Creating a culture of innovation, part 1: Conferences and exhibitions

How, as leader of Computing in your school, do you create a culture of innovation, ie of trying out new things? This is what we explore in this new ten-part series.

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The future of the teaching profession

Why is it so hard to recruit teachers? I attended a Westminster Forum conference in the summer of 2016. This looked at the key issues of teacher shortages and professional development. This article contains my reflections on some aspects of the conference. It's not about ICT or Computing in particular, but given the acute shortage of Computing teachers it does, I think, provide some additional food for thought.

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9 Approaches to assessing Computing and ICT–#4: A Mastery Approach

The DfE recently announced the winners of its Assessment Innovation Fund.Over the next week or so I will report on the winners and the descriptions of their approach. These descriptions are more like thumbnail sketches at the moment. I have used them to suggest ways in which they might be adapted for use in assessing ICT and Computing. I hope you find these suggestions useful, or at least a good starting point for your own further work.

In each case I have kept the text of the DfE’s announcement, and then added my thoughts under the heading “Applying this to Computing and ICT”.

Today: A Mastery approach.

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9 Approaches to assessing Computing and ICT–#3: A Scoring System

The DfE recently announced the winners of its Assessment Innovation Fund.Over the next week or so I will report on the winners and the descriptions of their approach. These descriptions are more like thumbnail sketches at the moment. I have used them to suggest ways in which they might be adapted for use in assessing ICT and Computing. I hope you find these suggestions useful, or at least a good starting point for your own further work.

In each case I have kept the text of the DfE’s announcement, and then added my thoughts under the heading “Applying this to Computing and ICT”.

Today: A scoring system.

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9 Approaches to assessing Computing and ICT–#2: The ladder

The DfE recently announced the winners of its Assessment Innovation Fund: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-win-funds-to-develop-and-share-new-ways-of-assessing-pupils

Over the next week or so I will report on the winners and the descriptions of their approach. These descriptions are more like thumbnail sketches at the moment. I have used them to suggest ways in which they might be adapted for use in assessing ICT and Computing. I hope you find these suggestions useful, or at least a good starting point for your own further work.

In each case I have kept the text of the DfE’s announcement, and then added my thoughts under the heading “Applying this to Computing and ICT”.

Today: The Ladder.
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9 Approaches to assessing Computing and ICT–#1: Skills Passport

The DfE recently announced the winners of its Assessment Innovation Fund. Over the next week or so I will report on the winners and the descriptions of their approach. These descriptions are more like thumbnail sketches at the moment. I have used them to suggest ways in which they might be adapted for use in assessing ICT and Computing. I hope you find these suggestions useful, or at least a good starting point for your own further work. First one: The Skills Passport
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T is for … Tablets

538Assyrian_tabletI think all sweeping generalisations are bad, including the one I am about to make. But you know what? I think I’ll make it anyway, and here it is:

A school that says they are implementing a tablet programme is doomed to failure.

You can substitute “ipad”, “Bring your own device” or some other similar kind of term for “tablet”, the result is the same.

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N is for … New Technology: 5 Reasons You Should Buy It

Watching home moviesI suffer from an unfortunate form of doublethink. In my personal life, I tend not to be an early early adopter. That’s because I rarely have an urgent need for whatever it is the new technology has to offer. However, when I was head of department in a school, and then when I ran a team of advisors and technical support staff in a local authority, I was very keen to spend money on brand new stuff.

Why?

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Ed Tech Innovation–#2: Create a poster

EniacHere’s the second part of this mini-series of ideas to try out in the new school year. I’ll bet your room is festooned with posters of one kind or another. (I know my own classroom had posters with instructions, ephemeral posters relating to the current topic, posters depicting the history of email, and so on.)

So, you won’t mind creating one more then, will you?!

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Ed Tech Innovation–#1: Introduce a new routine

The Dregs Dance RoutineWith the new school year about to start or, in some parts of the world, already underway, I thought a new mini-series containing some ideas to play with might not come amiss. Here’s the first one, about classroom routines.

How do you start your lessons? Do they always start in the same way? There’s certainly a lot to be said for having a well-established routine, but it’s not a bad idea to shake things up a bit now and again.

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4 Ways to come up with innovative ideas for teaching education technology

To borrow from Dr Johnson, I find that most innovative ideas in ICT I read about are both new and exciting. Unfortunately, the ones that are new are not exciting, and the ones that are exciting are not new. It’s all very well “pushing the boundaries”, but all that does is give you more of the same.

In my opinion there are four main ways of generating ideas that are both genuinely new and genuinely exciting. Here they are.

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