All posts by Louise Foreman

Tackling the Technology Gender Gap Together 2017

Wednesday 29th March 2017 – 09.30am until 2.30pm (including lunch and networking)  University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre,  99 George Street Glasgow G1 1RD

The theme of this event is to share good practice, and for you to take away new ideas and approaches to encouraging more women into technology.  During the event you will hear from schools, tech clubs, colleges, universities and employers who have all been successful in engaging and supporting females into digital technology.  Ms Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Higher Education, Further Education and Science, will also present a ministerial address highlighting the importance of tackling the gender gap.

This is an opportunity to:

  • Hear about best practice from organisations who have been successful in encouraging females in digital technology
  • Attend workshops that will allow you to discuss and learn more about these successful strategies and how you can incorporate them into your own plans
  • Network and form new partnerships with organisations who could support your own gender plans and strategies
  • Discuss how we can jointly work towards making a real and lasting impact in this area

To secure your place at this event please register here where you can view agenda and workshops

Raspberry Pi Code Club Free Training

Science Connects is delighted to host The Raspberry Pi Foundation at the University of Glasgow for a Raspberry Pi CPD training workshop based around Code Club. During this session you will learn to understand key programming concepts and apply them using Scratch.

This introductory workshop is suitable for Primary teachers and Secondary teachers with no prior knowledge of coding.  Upon Completion of this course you will be a “Raspberry Pi certified educator”. 

This is free CPD course for teachers and STEM Ambassadors and will be held: Glasgow University, 10th January, 5:00 -7:30pm

To Register please go to the Eventbrite page at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/raspberry-pi-code-club-training-tickets-29741372245

 This is free CPD course for teachers – https://www.raspberrypi.org/

Join the ever growing Computing Science Glow Community

 

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Computing Science is an incredibly exciting and inspiring area of the curriculum and it is essential that teachers and learners across Scotland benefit from the wealth of opportunities offered by the subject. The Glow Technologies Professional Learning Community provides teachers and learners with anytime, anywhere access to a wealth of contemporary, creative and engaging computing science online materials, resources and presentations.  All materials are tailored to levels within broad general education and senior phase enabling easy and quick access to the most relevant resources.  Watch videos and hear how teachers are enriching their learning experiences through the creative and interdisciplinary use of computing science.  Join this well-established Glow community today!tech-image

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DigitalXtra opens new round of funding #DigitalXtra

www.digitalxtrafund.scotDigital Xtra opens new round of funding for extracurricular computing projects

Scotland’s Digital Xtra Fund launched in May 2016 and awarded £250,000 to 12 projects, which expect to reach a combined total of 10,500 young people across the country by March 2017. An additional £150,000 has now been made available in response to the high number of applications received for the first round of funding.

Applications open  3 October via Public Contracts Scotland and eligible organisations can bid for grants from £1500 to a maximum £25000 per project to support computing science and digital skills focused extracurricular activities for 2016/17.

Funding is intended to support enterprising organisations that give young people aged 16 and under opportunities to learn computer science related digital skills and contribute to widening the provision of extracurricular computing science related activities across Scotland.

Scottish Government strategy sets out an ambitious plan to make Scotland a world-class digital nation by 2020. Over 84,000 people work in digital technologies roles across the Scottish economy and skills development will be an integral component in helping young people prepare for the digital future. Career opportunities are significant, with up to an estimated 11,000 job opportunities available in Scotland annually.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, said: “The Scottish Government is determined to close the digital skills gap faced by all sectors across the economy. We made clear our commitment to invest in the digital skills of our young people in the digital teaching and learning strategy we published last week. This additional funding for Digital Xtra will give thousands more young people opportunities to strengthen their digital skills through their engagement in a range of innovative projects.”

Digital Xtra has been developed and funded by the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership whose partners include Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Funding Council, Education Scotland, ScotlandIS, and industry representatives.

It is anticipated that industry, employers and other funders will contribute to the fund in subsequent years, making this a sustainable approach.

Applications will be assessed by an expert panel which includes representatives from across Scotland’s digital technologies industry, Scottish Government and education.

Phil Worms, Computing and Schools Project Lead at ScotlandIS, says: “The panel was impressed by the many innovative ideas and partnerships received in the first round so it is fantastic to be able to offer a further funding opportunity this year and make extracurricular computing activities available to even more young people.  Once again we are very keen to see collaborative applications involving different partners and projects that foster greater links between industry, young people and the wider community. Projects should also show how participants will be involved in digital making and what computer science related skills they will learn.”

The Digital Xtra Fund welcomes applications from existing initiatives looking to expand their activities, as well as from innovative new projects and pilots that could be rolled out further in future. All applicants should clearly demonstrate potential for scalability and sustainability, as well as showing how they will reach previously underrepresented groups.

A total of £250,000 was awarded to 12 projects in August 2016, supporting a diverse range of activities including the use of wildlife cameras to help school pupils learn to code using Raspberry Pi computers, coding taught through local libraries, and a forensic investigation project.

The deadline for submissions is noon on Friday 4th November, 2016.  For full information and to apply, visit:

http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/Authority/Postbox/Auth_PostBoxStatus.aspx?ID=SEP258925

Public Contracts Scotland Helpline Number: 0800 222 9003

Key dates 

Event Date
Competitive Grant Issued on PCS Monday 3rd October, 2016
Applicant Information Session 10am Thursday 13th October, 2016

10am Friday 14th October, 2016

Date and deadline for queries/clarifications 5pm Friday 28th October, 2016
Response date and deadline to queries Tuesday 1st November, 2016
Submission closing date and deadline Noon, Friday 4th November, 2016
Evaluation period 7th November – 25th November 2016
Award Date Week commencing 28th November, 2016
  1.  Any questions or queries about the application process should be submitted via the Public Contracts Scotland portal no later 5pm on Friday 28th October 2016
  2. Applications to the fund will be subject to a two stage assessment process comprising:
    1. An initial sift to ensure eligibility conditions are satisfied
    2. A full panel assessment with representatives from across Scotland’s digital technologies industry, Scottish Government and education

If you were an engineer in Scotland, what would you do?

Scottish Engineering, the University of Strathclyde, and Primary Engineer Programmes are working together to ignite the creative engineer in our pupils and help them engineer solutions to the problems that affect them and others.

 This is a free competition open to all schools where pupils are invited to interview engineers about their creative engineering p

  •  Pupils devise, illustrate and annotate their solutions and include a ‘Pitch Letter’ to engineers explaining why they should build their invention…and, you never know, they just might!
  • All entries gain a certificate
  •  All schools will have entries put on public display
  • From all the entries two pupils per year group will be chosen by a panel of distinguished judges to receive awards and be invited to a grand Award Ceremony to collect them.
  • Grand Final held in the Barony Hall in June 2017

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Schools can register for the Scottish Engineering Leaders Award 2016-2017 here

National Coding Week 19th September 2016

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How to get involved with National Coding Week

Children are part of a confident “Digital Generation” having grown up with the internet, smart phones and coding classes. However, many adults have missed out on the digital revolution and feel left behind.

“The aim of National Coding Week is to give adults the opportunity to learn some digital skills”.

Children can inspire adults

Children are learning digital skills in school or through coding clubs such as Code Clubs and CoderDojos. We therefore would like these clubs to open their doors to parents for a one-off session in which the children will teach the adults some of the skills they have learnt.

Libraries can act as focal points

Libraries are in an ideal position to act as a focal point and can host a coding session. Either the staff can lead the session or someone who is confident and familiar with coding from the local community can share their skills. Read CILIP’s blog: Libraries — how they can improve our Digital Literacy

Schools can get involved

Children are learning coding but many parents don’t understand what their children are doing and many non-specialist teachers and governors feel they have missed out on these skills.

Web, app, creative and digital businesses can throw open their doors

Those with the expertise can share their skills and have fun teaching people the basics of coding. There are many training organisations who offer courses throughout the year. They can contribute to the week by offering taster sessions to encourage people to sign-up.

Tech Hubs

There are hundreds of tech hubs with amazing businesses working from them. The tech hubs are giving start-ups a platform from which to launch businesses and inspire others. These can be the perfect venue for the week and we would love them to be involved.

Advice:

1) Keep it simple — it might simply by showing people resources available on the Technologies Professional Learning Community  in Glow, Code.org or Barefoot Computing

2) If you are able to organise it, get a friendly local web development agency, ICT teacher or FE college tutor to lead the session.

Click here to get involved!

FREE Cyber Security Summer Camp for S6 Pupils

digital world eyeDoes your school have students with a keen interest in software, computing, telecommunications, cyber security, maths and ethics who are planning to start university to study Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths or Social Science either in autumn this year, or in autumn 2017 after a gap year?   If so, we are delighted to offer them the chance of FREE places at the prestigious Cyber Security residential Glasgow Caledonian University – 4 to 22 July 2016 delivered by GCHQ and their training partner QA.

See the courses’ details, locations, dates, eligibility criteria and how to apply on our website at: http://www.arkwright.org.uk/exclusive/cyberfirst_advanced.htm .   Students who are chosen to attend one of these courses could enhance their application for one of the new CyberFirst Student Bursaries to support their university studies – that’s £4,000 per year for every year of the student’s undergraduate course!

If your students think they’ve got what it takes to impress the experts at GCHQ and QA, they should check their eligibility on our webpage and apply NOW for one of the FREE places. Only 30 free places are being offered. The deadline for applications is Friday 17th June 2016 – so please can you spread the word about these courses rapidly.

Basic student eligibility requirements are: ·   Must be a UK national ·   Must be at least 18 years old on the day before their chosen course starts in July/August this year.

This opportunity is open to all final year students (who meet the eligibility criteria), not just Arkwright Scholars.   Please see website for full details: http://www.arkwright.org.uk/exclusive/cyberfirst_advanced.htm

Questions can be directed to:  Cyber-First-Project@gchq.gsi.gov.uk

Digital Xtra Fund NOW OPEN #DigitalXtra

digital world eye

Coding, computing, web development and digital animation are just some of the activities that could benefit from Digital Xtra, a new fund dedicated to widening access to extracurricular computing related projects in Scotland which opens for applications today!

The fund aims to make extracurricular computing clubs accessible to all young people aged 16 and under, wherever they live in Scotland. A panel of experts from Scotland’s digital technologies industry, Scottish Government and education will evaluate applications.

The fund is calling for applications from a wide range of organisations with the capability to deliver, as well as from existing projects who are encouraged to use the opportunity to pioneer new approaches or expand to rural areas. The evaluation panel will prioritise projects that demonstrate scalability, sustainability and innovative ways of engaging additional young people, especially in areas where there is a shortage of provision.Lego_League_018_original (2)

Projects must involve young people in activities that develop computational thinking rather than simply consuming or learning about technologies. Successful applications will include activities which increase the number of young people taking part in computer science related activities across Scotland, improve participation of girls and underrepresented groups and promote computing science as an attractive career path.

Applications are open now through Public Contract Scotland where full information can be found. http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=MAY244554

Deadline for applications is 12:00 noon on Friday 17 June 2016.  All questions or queries should be submitted via the Public Contracts Scotland portal Any issues with registration please contact PCS helpline direct on 0800 222 9003

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New fund for activities to broaden pupils’ digital horizons

A new fund launching this month will support Scotland’s drive to attract more young people into digital careers by widening access to extracurricular and enrichment activities that bring technology to life.

The new Digital Xtra fund will be dedicated to ensuring that every child across the country has the opportunity to benefit from exciting and challenging digital activities such as after school coding clubs, competitions and innovative classroom programmes.

The £250,000 fund will be administered centrally by Skills Development Scotland and will accept applications from a wide range of organisations across Scotland such as education providers and schools, the voluntary sector and employers. Applications open later this month and full criteria and documentation will be available online via the Our Skills Force website.

The fund aims to make initiatives more accessible and sustainable across the whole country, and address the current shortage of extracurricular and enrichment provision in rural areas. It will also focus on fostering cutting edge initiatives as well as sharing best practice.

Developed in partnership by Skills Development Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, ScotlandIS and Education Scotland, the new fund is part of an innovative and coordinated approach to how digital extracurricular and enrichment activities are supported. It will allow public sector bodies, Scottish Government, voluntary sector and industry to work together to support projects in a more coordinated way.

As part of the new approach, all extracurricular digital initiatives will be mapped to the curriculum to enable schools and teachers to make best use of them. Online resources will be developed to increase awareness of the full range of initiatives and best practice case studies and ideas will be made available for teachers and schools.

It is also planned that school pupils, parents and volunteers will be able to search for initiatives in their local area and find out how they can get involved.

The Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership will provide funding for the first year, and it is anticipated that industry, employers and other funders will contribute in subsequent years, making this a sustainable approach.

Agile Software Development opportunity with Industry

 

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XP2016 in association with Skills Development Scotland Digital World are offering school students, P5 – P7 and S1 – S3, the exciting opportunity to take part in a free software development workshop at the International Conference on Agile Software Development in Edinburgh 24-27th May.  This is the first time the digital industry has given school students the chance to take part in an industry conference.

Invitation – Software Development Workshop (2)

Coderdojo coding clubs will be delivering the workshop, providing a fantastic opportunity for schools to get hands on with software development and for students to get an exciting taster of what a career in software development might involve.

The event is held in Edinburgh and the organisers will be making contribution to travel costs to help schools from further away take part.   Places are very limited and schools will be drawn from a hat to ensure fairness. Schools MUST REGISTER by Friday 22 April to be part of the draw.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Ketty Lawrence, Skills Development Scotland – Ketty.Lawrence@sds.co.uk