Author Archives: J. McLean

Safer Internet Day resources

Safer Internet Day 2020 education packs are out!

We’ve doubled the number of Safer Internet Day supporters in Scotland in two years. But we can do more!

Last year, 42% of teachers involved in the Day said it led to disclosures of potential safeguarding issues online (see attached report). Please join us, and over 140 countries around the world in celebrating Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 11th February 2020, or during Cyber Scotland Week.

Access your free education packs here, and please don’t forget to register as a supporter (so we can demonstrate to funders the impact and reach in Scotland

Impact report 2019 2 page

RAF Youth and STEM Team : Free STEM days

The RAF are very keen to promote the STEM agenda and have a fantastic set of free resources that are available for school. The attached presentation gives a flavour of the activities

All activities and resources are free and are booked via the website. 

The STEM day activities are for young people aged 9-14  . THere are a number of slots available for Scottish school STEM days, please register ( and do it quickly!) on the website

Powerpoint here : RAF Presentation



Hour of Code 2020

Hour of Code week 9th to 15th December

Please click on the image above and together with your classes, school and cluster put Aberdeenshire young people on the map and join in with millions of youngsters around the world and carry out at least 1 hour of coding.

PLease go to the site and register your school, and then let the fun begin!


Cyber First Girls Competition (Girls in S2)

  • NCSC’s CyberFirst Girls’ Competition will feature regional heats for the first time
  • New format aims to tap into potential of girls across the country
  • Less than 50 days until registration opens for new-look contest

SCHOOLGIRLS will be able to test their cyber skills against those of local rivals for the first time thanks to the introduction of regional heats in a flagship National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) competition.

The CyberFirst Girls’ Competition is the NCSC’s free to enter contest for girls aged 12 to 13, who are invited to form teams and take on a series of online puzzles and challenges related to cyber security.

The NCSC, which is a part of GCHQ, launched the competition in 2017 with the aim of developing the next generation of cyber security professionals and encouraging more women in particular to consider a future career in the industry. So far more than 24,000 girls have taken part.

Previously, the girls competed in an online round before the finalists met. For the 2020 competition, the opening round will be followed by eight semi-final heats taking place simultaneously from Scotland to the South West, with each regional winner meeting in the final.

Registration for the 2020 competition opens in less than 50 days’ time, and it is hoped that the new regional focus will tap into even more of the country’s potential cyber security talent.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Growth, said:

“The CyberFirst Girls Competition is a great introduction for young people to cyber security, and since its launch it has gone from strength to strength.

“While the competition continues to grow in popularity, we want to make sure we’re drawing on talent from all parts of the UK, and the introduction of regional semi-finals will help us do that.

“I hope this new format will encourage more schools than ever to get involved, and to help us build the diverse workforce so crucial to the nation’s future cyber security.”

Registration for the 2020 CyberFirst Girls Competition opens on Monday 2nd December and is open to girls from S2.

The highest scoring teams from the opening round will go through to the semi-finals, taking place on February 8th in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North of England, Midlands, South West, South East and London, with the final on 15th and 16th March in Wales.

12,000 pupils took part in the 2019 competition, which tested their skills on topics from logic and cryptography to networking and online safety. Of the girls who took part last year, 98% said they would like to learn more about cyber security.

Cyberfirst 2020 Teacher Information

Cyberfirst 2020 poster – Students

Cyberfirst 2020 poster – Teachers and Parents

Ultimate STEM Challenge: Wearable Tech 2019/20

The Ultimate STEM Challenge is back again and bigger than ever before! Now open to pupils aged 9-14, this national competition invites young people to get creative and design a new piece of wearable tech that will improve lives in the future.

Wearable tech is all around us – from smartwatches to robotic prosthetics, the possibilities are endless and now we are looking for the next big thing!

There are some brilliant prizes up for grabs including, an all-expenses paid Hackathon day at BP’s Upstream Learning Centre, where students will discover more about the world of wearable tech and work with scientists, coders and designers to bring their own ideas to life! Plus, two lucky schools will also each win £750 to spend on STEM learning equipment or field trips.

It’s easy to take part, simply,

1.    Download your ready-to-go packs including two lesson plans, homework activity and competition entry forms. (Click HERE for details , use CHROME Browser when entering School postcode)

2.    Get your pupils to capture their wearable tech idea on the challenge entry form.

3.    Send us your pupils’ entries before the closing date of 14 January 2020.


Education Scotland: Video

The Digital Learning Team  from Education Scotland are in the process of populating their YouTube channel with videos from schools.

The videos link into the Education Scotland Digital Vision Diagrams below,

If you have any videos already prepared , then please  contact me at or and I will forward to Education Scotland

Alternatively, if you would like the H2L2 team or Susan Sey from Education Scotland  to visit a school to support with the video production, then please email at the addresses above.

The videos could share a story or a digital journey that the school have been on.

The videos could be of practitioners, students or parents and be between 1 – 6 minutes long.

The videos  will also be added to the new DigiLearnScot blog once it is ready  to be launched.


Grove Academy – Ethical Hacking

Midlothian – Curriculum Planning

North Lanarkshire – I have the confidence to embrace digital technologies

Early Level – I understand and can demonstrate the benefits of digital technology

Digital Leader (Staff) Days


We have an exciting agenda planned for the upcoming Digital Leader days. Please visit ALDO -> ECS Events, and then sign up for one of the two advertised days. (on your Aberdeenshire Computer visit this link : HERE   and use your Aldo login

The days will be at the brand new Northern Alliance Learning Hub in the  University of Aberdeen Macrobert building and we have Dr Steve Bunce (@stevebunce on Twitter) Susan Sey from Education Scotland (@SeySusan on Twitter) and some of the topics we will explore are : VR, MAkey Makey, Podcasting, Creating Apps- without code and much more.

It will be a great chance to catch up with your fellow digital Leader colleagues,  and if you need another bonus…Lunch is provided!

We look forward to seeing you on the day. If you have any questions before the days then please email at or post into the yammer group

Safe and Empowered: Responding to a Digital Generation programme.

Information around free CLPL opportunities in Online Safety.  (There would be costs for your school in cover and travel if you choose to attend a course))

The programme is about bringing online safety education and approaches up to date and moving to a focus on supporting digital citizenship. The programme is for any educator, any discipline, from early years to 18, across Scotland.

Funded and endorsed by Education Scotland, educators can attend a free one-day training event at venues across Scotland, or can book onto two twilight webinars instead. There are also delivering a programme of focused webinars on key topics. More info and booking here:

Poster link here



November 2019 Blog Reboot…..

This Learning through Technology blog has now been rebooted. Please check regularly to see the latest news on all things digital in Learning and Teaching , Computer Science and Cyber Security for pupils/students of all ages and of course for staff.

“The question is no longer whether technology should have a place in the classroom, but how technology can most effectively be integrated”
                                                                                                                                          Sir Kevin Collins EEF 2019


Click image for further information