New technology to inspire learning in schools

Sponsored article. Many schools across the country have invested in tablet technology, but are they using them to their full potential? Research indicates that used correctly, tablets are fantastic learning tools and can really inspire students and aid teaching. A potential barrier to tablet technology being fully utilised in schools is the complexity of storing and moving work and sharing finished pieces between students and staff.
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6 Ways to respond to requests for pointless data

So, there you are, basking in your new-found freedom to report to parents what their children can actually do in Computing and ICT, when the data impresario in your school says they want you to supply the school office with a “Level” for each child. And for good measure, they want you to do that four times a term in order to monitor progress. How should you respond?
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Preparing for the new Computing curriculum: what if #4

The new Computing curriculum is little more than a checklist. But what it lacks in detail, especially regarding progression, it more than makes up for in terms of the freedom it affords schools to interpret the new Programme of Study in a way that suits them.

With that in mind, have you ever researched your own area

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How to collaborate with other schools when you're not allowed to

The preference of some Academies for not collaborating with other schools is not only annoying, it is, ultimately, self-defeating. Whether it stems from hubris, aggressively defensive commercialism, or a combination of the two, this practice seems to assume that one school cannot learn from another. Or, at least, that it will learn less than it "gives away". 
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11 Reasons to collaborate with other schools in implementing the new Computing Programme of Study

1942 ... Rosie the Riveter!John Donne wrote that no man is an island; he might have said the same thing about schools. Many schools have a mindset perhaps best described as “splendid isolation” – except that there is nothing splendid about it. In fact, in many cases it is just plain daft.  Here are my reasons for saying so.
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5 reasons schools need computing teachers with expertise in the subject

Some Principals and Headteachers think that a good way around the problem of teaching computing is to not worry about whether teachers have subject knowledge at all. “All we need are facilitators”, they say, “while the kids can teach themselves and each other.” This is, as any teacher knows (or should know), easy to say, less easy to do, and not altogether the most desirable thing to do even if you can do it. However, just in case your school happens to be “led” by one of the aforementioned Headteachers, here are some arguments you may want to use. I think that any one of them should suffice, and all of them together make for a cast-iron case.
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Preparing for the new Computing curriculum: what if #2

PLAN AI am a member of Computing At School, and every day someone uploads a new scheme of work for the new programme of study. IT’s fantastic to have so much good stuff to choose from. It’s also a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start in the first place.
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Preparing for the new Computing curriculum: what if #1

PLAN AI believe a lot of people are worried by the forthcoming Computing Programme of Study, judging by the number of people I’ve spoken to who say they have not yet begun to think about it. And that is quite understandable. Although looked at from one point of view it is more of a change in emphasis from the old one, there is also a lot more required in terms of computer programming and related matters. Schemes of work will need to be modified – I don’t think they should need to be completely rewritten if you have been teaching to the old ICT programme of study properly. This is the first in a series of posts that aim to encourage you to think about the new programme of study, perhaps in a new way. It is based around a keynote talk I gave a short while ago.
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Getting permission to go on an ICT or Computing course

On this date 4 years ago I published an article that I think is still relevant today.

It strikes me that, what with a new Computing Programme of Study coming into effect in September 2014, ie under a year’s time, Getting permission to go on an ICT course or to a conference is rather timely. Teachers of ICT having to become

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Report from the 3D print show

Richard Smith, of Igloo in Education and Amazing ICT, recently visited the 3D Print Show in London. What did he make of it?

Hi, Richard Smith here from Igloo in Education. I am delighted to have been asked by Terry to do a guest blog post on the 3D print show that took place in London from 7-9th November.

The venue of the event, the Business Design Centre in Islington, sent out a clear message out to visitors: 3D printing should be about innovative design and the encouragement of original business ideas. Of

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To be an ed tech maverick, you need to be sensible

What is a Maverick?What does it mean to be a maverick? To me, it means not going along with the general consensus about something, just because it’s a consensus. There is always a natural tendency to think “all those people can’t be wrong”, or “there’s no smoke without fire”, but in fact all those people could be wrong and there could be smoke without fire. (Think, for a moment, of all the vilified minority groups throughout history and throughout the world about whom all sorts of ridiculous and terribel things were believed by the majority.)
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My analogue program

Absolute and comparative advantage bookWhen, on my teacher training course, I was told I had create a resource to be used in school, I thought it would be fun to devise a programmed learning guide to the economic concepts of absolute and comparative advantages. Unfortunately, that was in 1974. Word processors were not yet ubiquitous, and home computers had not yet been invented. That came a year or two later. In any case, when I finally did get my hands on a word processor, courtesy of a friend of mine on my MA course, it was slo-o-o-o-o-w.
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