Category Archives: Digital Learning

Tackling the priorities in QuISE – a joined up approach?

 

By Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director

Our report ‘Quality and improvement in Scottish education 2012-2016’ (QuISE) points to five key aspects of education and practice which we believe should be priorities for improvement if all learners in Scotland are to achieve their potential. Many or all sectors of education should be:

  • exploiting fully the flexibility of Curriculum for Excellence to meet better the needs of all learners;
  • improving arrangements for assessment and tracking to provide personalised guidance and support throughout the learner journey;
  • maximising the contribution of partnerships with other services, parents and the wider community to enhance children’s and young people’s learning experiences;
  • improving further the use of self-evaluation and improvement approaches to ensure consistent high quality of provision; and
  • growing a culture of collaboration within and across establishments and services to drive innovation, sharing of practice and collective improvement.

Looking at these priorities from my perspective in ensuring the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence, the employability and skills agenda, and digital learning and teaching, I am struck by how the priorities inter-relate and, indeed, are interdependent.

The flexibility offered by CfE has the potential for schools to design their curriculum structures in ways that reflect fully the local contexts and aspirations of their learners. Within this, the range of progression pathways can then enable children and young people to make suitably brisk progress across the broad general education, and into and through the senior phase.  This needs to be informed by improved assessment and tracking to ensure teachers, learners and parents make the most appropriate decisions at the right time.

However, there is no doubt that the curriculum structures needed to make this a reality rely very strongly on the direct contributions of partners, including agencies and local employers. Collaborations amongst staff within and across schools, with colleagues in colleges, community learning and development and other areas of expertise all combine to enrich the curriculum and motivate learners.

In early learning and childcare provision, primary and secondary schools, the new curriculum area Benchmarks are beginning to support a clearer understanding of learners’ progression across the broad general education. This  will help teachers to plan the breadth, challenge and application of learning that will prepare young people for the three year learner journey of their senior phase.  And that of course involves collaborations and the wide range of qualifications across the SCQF framework, exploiting again the flexibility of CfE in preparing learners for their futures.

Partnerships are the essential element in Developing the Young Workforce. I’m becoming aware of increasingly effective approaches to employability, skills and career education, often promoted through three-ways partnerships amongst schools, colleges and employers.  And by now you’ll be seeing the connections with the other QuISE priorities of collaboration and more informed personal guidance that can help to exploit that full flexibility in CfE.

Digital learning and teaching has great potential to promote and improve partnership working and collaboration, locally, nationally and internationally. Teachers and pupils can gain significantly in learning from the innovative and effective practice of others.  Where digital is central in planning and delivering learning and teaching, and makes use of learners’ own digital skills or develops them further, I’m in no doubt that young people benefit.  Digital can and does support teachers in their tracking and monitoring, reducing bureaucracy and workload.  As digital access and digital skills continues to improve, the opportunities for leaders, practitioners and learners to take steps that address the QuISE priorities are significant.

The individual QuISE chapters on each education sector highlight good practice as well as challenges in providing high quality experiences for all. The key is often the distinct professionalism of leaders and practitioners, engaging individually and collaboratively to reflect and to make the changes that matter.

Finally, effective self-evaluation is central to ensuring continuous improvement in addressing the priorities in QuISE.   I am beginning to see schools, colleges, and community learning and development now looking beyond their own centre and working with all partners in undertaking self-evaluation and analysing evidence.  The benefit will be greater collective understanding of how effectively their curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment genuinely meet their learners’ needs.  Where that process leads to jointly agreed actions for improvement, I’m in no doubt that the learning experiences and the outcomes for all children and young people will also improve.

TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR TEACHERS – CPD Workshops

The School of Engineering and Computing, University of the

West of Scotland would like to extend an invitation to join us

at our Paisley Campus for a CPD Away Day. Attendees will not

only be able to participate in our workshops but also have the

opportunity to network with colleagues from other Secondary

Schools and the University over a light lunch. To enable you to

plan for your CPD Away Day, we will ensure that your place is

confirmed by same day return of email.

To reserve your place please email: computing@uws.ac.uk.

Please contact Georgia Adam on 0141 848 3101 who will be happy to help with all enquiries. We look forward to welcoming you on campus.

 

WORKSHOP A RADIATION:

Workshop focus is on detection of environmental radiation

where there would be an opportunity to use a range of stateof-

the-art radiation detector systems in order to learn how

these different systems can be used to locate and characterise

ionising radiation in our environment.

WORKSHOP B PROGRAMMING:

Session focus is on Arduino – programming for the real world.

The Arduino is an open software/hardware microprocessor

platform which can interact with the real world via digital and

analogue I/O using a variety of sensors, switches and actuators

(motors, servos, LEDs).

WORKSHOP C MUSIC:

“An introduction to AVID Pro Tools for music and post

production” in support of the Music Technology National

awards will be provided through a tailored practical session.

In addition, AVID Pro Tools training and certification is available

at UWS presented by an AVID Certified Instructor.

WORKSHOPS WILL BE FACILITATED BY:

Dr David O’Donnell, Lecturer in Nuclear Physics

Duncan Thomson, Programme Leader for Computer Networking

Colin Grassie, Lecturer in Music Technology.

Location: Paisley Campus

Date: Thursday 25th May 2017

Duration of workshop: 1000-1400 hours

Spaces available: Spaces are limited to 10 for each session

and given the anticipated popularity of the sessions, we will

offer places on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cost: We are delighted to be able to offer these ‘something

for the Teacher’ workshops with session fees waived on

this occasion to allow you to engage in hands-on activity

aligned to the Physics, Music or Computing Higher/ CfE /

National Qualifications.

 

Learn @ BBC Scotland: How will you be living in 50 years’ time?

BBC Scotland Learning and the Glasgow Science Centre invite you to take part in a day of talks and activities to look at the future. There will be a live talk by Scotland’s leading scientists talking about robots, climate and health at the Science Centre on 8 May.

Dallas Campbell will host the event as he speaks to Prof Sethu Vijayakumar, Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and a Judge on Robot Wars, Prof Lesley Yellowlees, who was the first ever female President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and geneticist Prof Kevin O’Dell from Glasgow University.

The talk will also be streamed live and you can talk to the expert panel online.

Find out more here.

Scotland’s Enterprising Schools: Supporting career education from 3 – 18

Are you looking for creative ways to develop children and young people’s learning about the world of work?

To inspire you have a look at our Interesting Practice area that highlights the many creative ways schools like Broxburn Academy are providing opportunities for young people around entrepreneurship and enterprise.

 Interesting practice exemplars from Fife Council

The Raytheon Quadcopter Challenge is a partnership between the Council and Raytheon UK. The programme brings STEM Ambassadors from Raytheon UK to deliver lessons in classrooms to second year pupils, on a variety of engineering topics, bringing contextualised learning to young people.  Another great example from Fife is The Enterprise Game. The game is a developmental tool helping pupils to learn about business.  Initially created as a board game, it allows young people to use their entrepreneurial skills to make, sell and deliver products to customers around the board.  It has been customised to incorporate the names of many major employers throughout Fife which helps players to increase their understanding not just of enterprise, but of the wider Fife economy.

You can also learn about the great opportunities offered to young people by Glasgow City Council and Renfrewshire Council.   If you have interesting practice to share please contact us.

Looking for support?

If you would like support to embed enterprise within your school’s curriculum Scotland’s Enterprising Schools can help.  Have a look at our resource area for ideas or contact us to arrange for a member of our team to get in touch with you. You can also expand your knowledge around enterprise and get support to embed the Developing the Young Workforce strategy by attending one of the free twilight professional learning sessions we are delivering across Scotland.  You should hear about these opportunities from your Local Authority shortly.  The next sessions will be held as follows:

Fife Twilight Session (venues and times tbc):

  • 26th April 2017 – West Fife
  • 2nd May 2017 – Central Fife
  • 8th May 2017 – North East Fife

Aberdeen City Twilight Session (venue and time tbc):                         10th May 2017

Inverness All Day event (for senior leaders) at Smithton-Culloden Free Church   –  1st June 2017

If you would like more information about these sessions or opportunities in your area please contact us.

Digital Schools Award Scotland

digital-school

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science presented the first primary schools in Scotland to achieve ‘Digital School’ status with their award on 22/02/17 at Wormit Primary School.

The Minister met with representatives from the schools and from the Digital Schools Awards Scotland programme, speaking to them about the value of digital skills before presenting them with their award:

Digital skills are an integral part of our everyday lives, and as such it is absolutely essential that we give young people the opportunities to understand and use them properly. The Digital Schools Awards Programme is a fantastic example of industry supporting education in Scotland and helping ensure our young people develop the skills and opportunities to flourish.”

21 Schools have achieved this award to date and they are;

List of Awarded Schools

School Location Local Authority
Kelvinside Academy Glasgow Glasgow
Kirkton of Largo Leven Fife
Calside Primary School Dumfries Dumfries & Galloway
Dalry Primary School Dalry North Ayrshire
Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral Primary School Motherwell North Lanarkshire
Echt School Echt Aberdeenshire
Lundavra Primary School Fort William The Highlands
Wormit Primary School Newport-on-Tay Fife
Bonhill Primary School Bonhill West Dunbartonshire
Kildrum Primary School Kildrum North Lanarkshire
Bathgate Early Years Centre Bathgate West Lothian
The Compass School Haddington East Lothian
Mearns Primary School East Renfrewshire East Renfrewshire
Whitehirst Park Primary Kilwinning North Ayrshire
Kingswells School Aberdeen Aberdeen City
Kinlochleven Primary School Kinlochleven The Highlands
The Edinburgh Academy Jnr School Edinburgh City of Edinburgh
Blackfriars Primary School Glasgow Glasgow City
Netherlee Primary School Glasgow East Renfrewshire
Beith Primary School Beith North Ayrshire
Rosebank Primary School Dundee Dundee

The event gathered media interest and was featured on STV news

More info leading up to the event and on the day itself is available on twitter from following users @Schools_Digital and @EducationScot and from following the hashtags #DigitalSchoolsAward #DigitalDifference

PROGRAMME BACKGROUND

Digital Schools Award Scotland is a national awards programme to promote, recognise and encourage the use of digital technology in primary schools. It builds on the progress already made at schools, by providing a pathway and resources for schools who are seeking to do more with digital technology to deliver the curriculum. The Digital Schools Awards programme is being delivered by HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel and is recognised by Education Scotland.

For more info on the programme please visit https://digilearn.scot/2016/09/23/digital-schools-awards-now-launched/

Apps for Good Scottish Event

apps_for_good_logo_version_2

Apps for Good is an education movement that is powering a generation to change their world with technology. We partner with teachers in schools and learning centres to deliver our course to young people from 8 -18 years of age. Students work together as teams to find real issues they care about and learn how to solve them using technology. Since 2010 Apps for Good has been delivered to over 75,000 students in more than 1,500 schools across the UK and internationally.

Join us to celebrate the next generation of Scotland’s tech entrepreneurs.

On Wednesday 15th March, over 100 students from across Scotland will travel to Edinburgh’s Quincentenary Conference Centre to participate in Apps for Good’s first ever Scottish event.

The event will bring together the next generation of digital talent in Scotland under one roof in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre for a day of networking and workshops. Teams of young people are working together and creating apps to tackle the problems & issues which matter most to them, and the event will provide them with the opportunity to engage directly with a range of invited guests, and the other participating Scottish schools.

We’re inviting you to join the Marketplace part of the event from 2pm – 4pm, giving you the opportunity to walk around the room and meet the young people who have been working on their app ideas. The students will be keen to practice their pitch and listen to any feedback and advice that you may have. You will also be able to cast your vote in our People’s Choice Award which will allow us to recognise the top three teams.

We would love to see you there to celebrate all of our students’ hard work!

Our first ever Scottish event has been made possible after being awarded a grant from Digital Xtra, funded by the Scottish Government Digital Skills Business Excellence Partnership, who have provided Apps for Good with support to help us grow our after-school activities in Scotland.

Sign up via Eventbrite here

Money in a digital age

Teachers can put digital technologies at the heart of great learning in financial education by using a variety of software applications to

  • Keep financial records
  • Analyse information
  • Assess value for money
  • Prepare and use budgets
  • Make informed financial decisions
  • Simulate real life scenarios
  • Find specialist advice and information
  • Communicate with advisors and specialists

In an ‘enterprise context’ a number of schools have used and encouraged their young people to manage the finances of their healthy eating tuck shops by using ‘Excel’ on Glow.    A Fife school has used the software to manage cash flow, stock control and profit calculations.

At a personal level this can be exemplified by using a resource such as Money Talks, Family Finances which examines the inter-related finances of an extended family.   The on-line bank statements are based on ‘Excel Spreadsheets’ and young people can see  how changes in expenditure and income affect the end of month balance.  Items of expenditure can be more deeply researched using the Internet to compare best value for a range of goods and services.  This  links closely to the use of loyalty cards and text alerts which a number of banks and supermarkets use to keep customers informed of additional services being offered.  Other online services and technologies that young people should be aware of are

    • Paypal
    • Contactless technologies
    • Foreign currency conversion tables
    • Peer to peer lending
    • Crowd source funding and financing
    • Just giving – online support for charities
    • Paying or donating by text messaging – many organisations use this for television charity appeals.
    • Transport apps – Lothian buses is good example.
    • Wearable technologies

Government agencies also encourage the use of digital technologies for claiming benefits and the payment of taxes such as the ‘Vehicle or Road Tax’.

There are a range of potential risks to the use of digital that need to be recognised. In particular young people should be given the opportunity to discuss

  • Gambling apps
  • Pay day lending
  • Illegal streaming of videos and music
  • Digital security and keeping money safe
  • ‘Phishing scams’ involving email
  • Identity theft
  • Recognising secure sites

One of the main areas of risk is around the abstract nature of money and this may be an issue given that children and young people have access to mobile technology at a very early age.

 

Mission to Mars iPad Event

missiontomars

Mission to Mars is an inspiring, one-day, iPad event for schools and school leaders to provide excellent CPD and practical ways to take teaching and learning forward with iPad. The event will showcase the latest and most exciting tools for schools.

Glasgow 08.03.17

Edinburgh 31.01.17

This event will be a chance for schools to be inspired with ideas and hands-on experience of innovative and powerful ways to enhance teaching and learning for the students of today’s technological world.

This event is suitable for school teachers and leaders from both primary and secondary stages and across all subjects. It is suitable for schools at all stages of their iPad journey.

Workshop type – Keynote & practical, hands-on activities

Click here to book:  http://mars.xma.co.uk/index.php

Tweet about this event! #M2M

Financial Education, Numeracy and Mathematics

The ability to work with numbers is an essential part of being financially capable. This has been recognised recently in a number of support materials recently published by Education Scotland. The first of these is the National Numeracy and Progression Framework. This includes a progression pathway on money (linked to the experiences and outcomes for money in Curriculum for Excellence) One of the key aspects of this framework is the concept of understanding finance in a digital world.

As well this there is also a set of benchmarks that will support teachers in assessing learning. These Benchmarks were published in August 2016 as draft documents. There is currently an online consultation which can be accessed via the National Improvement Hub. This consultation will close on 31.3.17 and the final Benchmarks will be published in June 2017.

There are many activities that will support young people’s learning across a number of different levels to ensure that financial education can provide memorable experiences and powerful messages. In a number of practical situations the following opportunities can be provided

  • budgeting
  • investigating value for money
  • deciding on costings for design and manufacture
  • discussing types of bank cards and costs involved
  • designing coins/notes – shapes, patterns, etc
  • taking part in money games
  • investigating exchange rates
  • discussing various methods of payment and costs involved
  • using tally sheets and producing graphs/pictograms
  • engaging with money transactions – different combinations of coins and notes
  • comparing prices
  • using Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and other ‘money’ machines
  • calculating profit/loss

In addition to this engaging with numeracy and mathematics helps young people make the jump from dealing with concrete examples to the much more abstract nature of ‘money in the digital age’.

UK Safer Internet Centre’s Online Safety Events

online-safety

Delivered by the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL), and in partnership with the Scottish Government and local Child Protection Committees, Online Safety Live is a programme of events designed exclusively for professionals working with children and young people and they’re completely FREE.

The events are two hours long and cover a broad range of online safety topics. At the end of the event all delegates receive access to an online resource area containing links to all the materials mentioned, signposting to sources of help and support as well as a live copy of the presentation itself.

SWGfL are returning to Scotland in March this year to deliver sessions in the following areas:

Angus

Dundee

Kirkcaldy

Irvine

East Ayrshire

Prestwick

Stirling

Falkirk

Sign up via: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/protecting/child-protection/ChildProtectionWork/InternetSafety