Category Archives: Skills

The E-CLIC Landscape Competition

The E-CLIC Landscape Competition was announced on January 25th 2014 and will run until September 30th 2014. Participants are invited to submit an idea / project based on the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) devices and tools to face a challenge for the landscape, with respect to the principles of the European Landscape Convention. Participants can compete in one of three categories (Secondary Education Pupils, University Students and the General Public) and win a trip to Estonia, where they will have the chance to present their idea and take part in the international E-CLIC Competition.
Choose one of the three challenges for the landscape in our country and put your imagination to work – you have four months to think, prepare and submit your project, either as an individual or in a team (if you are aged under 18, please do not forget to get permission from your parent or tutor at the personal data form).
The Scottish/British challenges are as follows:
 
Offshore renewables in coastal landscapes and seascapes.
Allotment gardens and change in urban landscapes.
The historic shaping of upland landscapes.
We will be happy to answer your questions (jose.munoz-rojas@hutton.ac.uk). Good Luck !
Please visit our website ([http://www.e-clicproject.eu%3chttp:/www.e-clicproject.eu]www.e-clicproject.eu<http://www.e-clicproject.eu>) and ning platform (http://e-clic.ning.com/) for further information, and also pass onto those whom you think might be interested.

Series of 6 Glow TV Events with Engineers

Meet the Engineer with Primary Engineers.

This is an exciting series of 6 Glow TV events between the 4th of September and the 23rd of October from 10am until 11am to help support the Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award with Primary Engineer and the Leaders Award for STEM.

Ask your pupils the question ‘What would you do if you could be an engineer in Scotland?’ to help them formulate their answer join our Glow TV interviews with engineers and a Glasgow based solicitor who can tell you how to protect your ideas!

For the third year in a row Education Scotland supports this award as an exciting and relevant way for students from primary and secondary schools in Scotland to discover more about the impact and diversity of engineering, alongside paths and routes into this amazing career.

The list of all the dates and speakers is shown below and their biographies can be found on the leaders award website http://leadersaward.com/index.php/corporate/glow-meets

4th September –            Philip Hannay – Cloch Solicitors (Patents Solicitor) – Watch Again

11th of September –              Craig Goldie – Director Sweitelsky

25th of September –              Gordon Masterton – Vice President Jacobs Engineering

2nd of October –            Tom Sreeves – Director of Manufacturing Aggreko

9th of October –             Douglas Anderson – Founder and CEO OPTOS – this presentation will not be interactive and will be recorded and uploaded to the Education Scotland website Technologies pages

23rd of October –              Emma Henderson – Senior Engineer Expro Group

You can find out more and sign up for any of these events by following the relevant links above.

The Leaders Award for STEM website holds resources such as lesson plans for primary and secondary schools, links to resources from The Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame and award winning engineering companies from across Scotland through Scottish Engineering.

Entry deadlines are the 12th February 2015 with awards being presented in Glasgow alongside a public exhibition in March 2015.

SLF 2014 – Alma Harris keynote

With SLF 2014 now only 4 weeks away we hear for one of this year’s keynote speakers, Prof Alma Harris about her keynote and her thoughts on Scottish education.

I am looking forward to being part of the ‘Scottish Learning Festival’ 2014 and engaging with this vibrant educational community. I will be bringing a group of Malaysian educators with me and I have promised them a warm welcome but not warm weather! In my previous visits to Scotland I have found that teachers and principals appreciate honesty and integrity so my aim is demonstrate both.

In my session I will argue that we need to go ‘beyond PISA’ to find the touchstone of real educational success and that there are important lessons that systems, like Scotland, can give to the global educational community. Despite the fact that education systems in Asia currently dominate the top of the PISA tables, there is much that the East can learn from the West in terms of educational change and improvement. Some of these messages will be shared with you all.

The aim of the session is not to devalue or dismiss PISA but rather to underline that high performance in education is defined by much more than rankings. The session will argue that we need to put the ‘learner’ at the forefront of our educational reform processes and avoid being seduced by superficial explanations of ‘high performance’ that tend to objectify learners and place performance above learning.

I will also focus upon leadership and will aim to answer the question, ‘what type of leadership is required to ensure success for every student in every setting?’ To answer this question, I will share the findings from two recent comparative studies. The first set of findings comes from a ‘7 System Leadership Study’ that is exploring the relationship between leadership development and leadership practice in differentially performing systems (Australia, England, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia Singapore and Russia). Initial findings highlight that there are more similarities than differences in the approaches these systems are using to secure and sustain improvement. The findings also challenge some of the cultural assumptions and popular assertions about ‘high performing systems’.

The second study looks at leadership within high performing organisations across different sectors (education, sport and business). The full range of empirical findings can be found in a new book with Andy Hargreaves and Alan Boyle called ‘’Uplifting Leadership’. Among, a range of conclusions, the findings from this study show that the type of leadership needed to secure and sustain exceptional performance is that which builds professional and social capital.

Overall, my message is that we need to look ‘beyond PISA’ and to move past the current preoccupation with international rankings, if authentic school and system improvement is to be achieved. I will propose that the real power and potential for system transformation in Scotland resides in the professionalism of its teachers and its school leaders, combined with an unshakable belief that every child deserves the best education possible.

It is with a huge degree of humility that I take part in this ‘Scottish Learning Festival’ 2014 involving educators from many countries. It is also with a great sense of pride that I am speaking at a conference that is about learning first and foremost. Putting the learner at the heart of the reform process, deeply, authentically and genuinely gets us much closer to the outcomes that we want for all young people.

If you want to hear Alma’s keynote then register for SLF 2014.

Computing Science opportunity to work with Museums and Galleries of Scotland

Pilot project for schools, using museum collections datasets as part of the Computing Science curriculum:

                                                                                                                                                                                               Museums have an untapped resource of rich data, relating to their collections, which can be explored and re-used in new and exciting ways.  

Museums in Scotland have identified digital engagement as a priority (see page 17 of One Year On: Turning Actions into Advocacy), with a focus on how to reuse assets such as digital collections records (which can be similar to library catalogue records, containing data about individual or groups of museum objects) and images.  

Education Scotland and MGS (Museums Galleries Scotland the national development body for the museum sector in Scotland) would be keen to establish up to a number of pilot projects to run over the autumn to spring terms, through which schools would make use of museum collections data, as part of the Computing Science curriculum.

Museums would provide access to museum collections data, to support coding or other exploratory work.  The time available by the museums involved in these pilot projects will vary, but there would be the opportunity to discuss with the museum what the collections data represents, and how it is currently organised, and for the museum-school partners to explore their shared interest in data reuse.  There may also be the opportunity to work with the museum to create a resource which has a life beyond the project, to present new stories about the collections in new ways to the museum and its visitors.

Education Scotland and MGS would aim to work with the school-museum partnerships to develop case studies and a report on what has been learned from the pilot projects, to share with the wider museum and education sector.

If you are interested or would like to find out more about this opportunity please contact Kirsty McFaul Senior Education Officer Technologies, Education Scotland, Kirsty.mcfaul@educationscotland.gov.uk

Free Community Resilience Conversation and Networking Event

Community Resilience Education – Free Conversation Day and Networking Event

09:30 (for 10:00 start) – 15:00, Tuesday 7th October 2014

Venue: Thistle Hotel, Millburn Road, Inverness, IV2 3TR

Education Scotland is excited to be hosting a second community resilience conversation and networking event with a view to developing a shared, partnership approach to provide 3-18 resilience education opportunities.

The day aims to bring together members of the Scottish Government, emergency planning and civil contingencies teams from local councils, representatives from local education authorities, and members of other key organisations to consider the potential of community resilience as a rich and exciting context for teaching and learning. Key contexts for focus include flooding, severe weather and pandemic flu and the impact they can have on communities and how we can take steps to mitigate against their impact through educating learners.

We would also like to extend this event invite to school representatives (members of management teams, or teachers who have been, or are interested in engaging in community resilience education) to explore how we can take forward resilience education. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Conversation activities will provide delegates with opportunities to network and engage in professional dialogue in relation to developing more resilient individuals, families and communities. Selected examples of good practice will be shared through engaging presentations delivered by Education Scotland, Scottish Government, local councils and schools.

All interested delegates should register online by Friday 29th August 2014 at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N2F3TWC to confirm attendance and inform us of any special dietary or access requirements you may have.

If you have any further questions or your school is/has been involved in community resilience projects or initiatives and you would be interested in presenting at the event to share your practice with others, please contact Jennifer Moore at: Jennifer.Moore@educationscotland.gov.uk

SLF 2014 – looking forward to Frank Dick’s keynote

With SLF 2014 now only 5 weeks away we hear for one of this year’s keynote speakers, Dr Frank Dick OBE, on his thoughts about how people are prepared to take ownership of their lives and the vital role that teachers and mentors play.

A Winning Lead

Whether as teacher, coach or mentor, our purpose is to prepare the pathway that takes people from who they are to who they will become. My thinking in this was mostly shaped by two life changing books: Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull which to me was about taking the risk of being different; and The Prophet which persuaded me that the coach is to the athlete as Kahlil Gibran saw the parent to the child – the parent is to the bow as the child is to the arrow.

Both of these seemed to point to preparing people to take ownership of their lives – to doing things right and to do the right thing.

We are not in total control of conditions in our lives, nor of results, but we are of our attitude to dealing with them and of our performance. And because life is more like a white water ride than a flat water glide, our attitude must find us controlling the controllables and being agile to turn uncertainty and adversity to advantage. In this, focussing on the performance of those whose development we influence and our own, is key.

Our behaviours, it seems to me, must work to a simple acronym: “O.D.D.” Own: take personal ownership of each moment to turn it into opportunity. Decide: take considered risks in decision making to turn opportunity to advantage. Do: just do it – effectively and excellently.

Giving ownership means not only preparing people to be let go (arrow) but being prepared to let go (bow).
Whether teaching, coaching or mentoring or being taught, coached or mentored, the most important quote to reflect on is Arie de Geus: “Probably the only sustainable advantage we have, is the ability to learn faster than the opposition.” The key to this, clearly is in being prepared to learn.

“Being prepared” is about attitude (again!) and process. The attitude part is clear and must be there every step of the life experience pathway towards who we will become.

The process starts with learning to learn and having in place the “machinery” to learn. For example, before a Commonwealth Games you must put in place how you will collect the necessary intelligence to debrief meticulously all that has influenced the performance and results.

In all of this we might agree that there are some things in life we can be taught, and others we can only learn.
Early in our life experience pathway of shaping personal and professional growth, we are taught the “science” for our education and development role. As we proceed, through experience, we learn the “art” of translating the science to action excellence by effective decision making.

The trouble, however, as Vernon Law avered, is: “Experience is a hard teacher, because she gives the test first and the lesson after.”

Yet if we are to learn the art of delivering our purpose in education, we must be exposed to the challenge and pressure of experiencing the untrodden path. It is by taking such risk that we turn fear to courage in the process of making right judgement calls.

It is important to get this right. The learning experience must be planned to ensure it is appropriate for the intended lesson, and we must have a critical competency set in the person responsible to teach, coach or mentor following the experience.

To return to our purpose: by preparing the pathway well, we not only develop people for their arena, but through the process for a better life. We not only develop them to improve performance, but to deliver it under pressure, on the day.

Want to hear more from Frank? Then register for SLF 2014 today.

Education Scotland Higher Computing Science Conference

Higher Computing Science  – Conference Report

Background information

Education Scotland held a conference on Thursday 29 May 2014 as part of the ongoing support of the new national qualifications.  The need for this national event became clear following a series of meetings early in 2014 between the Technologies team at Education Scotland and the following local authorities:

  • North Lanarkshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • South Lanarkshire

Discussion with the local authority representatives focused mainly on the implications of moving from 2 Higher Grade courses in this area of the curriculum to one new higher.  The opportunity to up-date the content was quite rightly taken.  However this has resulted in a significant amount of new content which has resulted in practitioners being uneasy about their ability to deliver the subject content for this new qualification.  In order to evaluate the scale of the difficulties Education Scotland established a Short Life Working group for Computing Science to discuss the best ways to address the issues that were being highlighted.  This resulted in two main areas of activity

  • ‘crowd sourcing’ of support materials
  • organising and planning a national conference.

 The main aims of the conference were to

  • Examine a range of appropriate approaches to learning and teaching
  • Exemplify a significant amount of new course content
  • Continue to build a successful learning community for computing science
  • Examine other areas for development to be addressed over the next academic year

 Conference organisation and delivery

The programme for the event was a mix of keynote presentations and workshop sessions.  Gerry Docherty set the scene for the conference.  He is currently Chief Executive of Smarter Grid Solutions a fast-growing company, with operational bases in Glasgow, London and New York.  He leads on the implementation of the ICT and Digital Technologies Skills Investment Plan.  This plan makes explicit the need for developing skills in this key area of the Scottish economy.   It also makes clear connections to the industry working much more closely with the education sector.  From an education perspective, Education Scotland see this report as being a powerful driver behind the support we are going to be giving this area of the curriculum over the next year or two.  Gerry did a tremendous job setting the scene for the conference and many of the issues he raised in the morning were discussed again in the closing plenary. 

Peter Donaldson set the scene for the afternoon sessions by outlining the aims and objective of PLAN C (Professional Learning and Networking for Computing).  He explained that the Core PLAN C team are connected to 50 lead teachers who are then connected to a further 10-25 teachers in their local area with industry, HE and FE encouraged to link in taking a more strategic approach to supporting work in this area of the curriculum.

The workshops were delivered by 9 practitioners identified by the Computing Science Working Group and delegates were able to attend 3 workshops over the course of the day.  It was planned that each of these workshops would focus on learning and teaching as well as new course content.

Evaluations

The evaluations and conversations with various stakeholders during and after the event indicate these aims were met.  The table below indicates how successful the event was with respect to the evaluation forms returned at the end of the event.  This is based on 66 returned evaluations.  In total there were 125 delegates in attendance and 30 out of 32 local authorities had representatives and there was representatives from the private sector and from colleges.

The key statistics from the table above are

  • 92% of delegates agreed that ‘meeting and exchanging ideas with colleagues was valuable’.
  • 94% of delegates agreed that ‘the workshops sessions and discussions were helpful’
  • 89% of delegates agreed that ‘the suggested approaches to learning and teaching were appropriate’
  • 67% of delegates agreed that ‘a significant amount of new content was exemplified’

 

The figure of 67% in the final statistic is probably explained by the fact that the delegates were approaching the new content from a slightly different teaching background.  These being either a Computing Science or Information Systems background.  It is also an indication that much more needs to be done to support teachers in this area.  One of the comments from the delegates also helped explain this

‘Still need more detail.  Some subjects were over-subscribed, more access to these would be helpful.’

Further comments from delegates were very helpful and they focused on the following key areas.

Ongoing Support

The delegates recognise that this is just the start

‘More events like this to show ideas and methods.  Better continued support.  Direct guidelines to local councils as to how staff should be supported – reinforce the importance of computing science.’

‘We are still unclear about the depth of coverage and are simply guessing.  Fortunately we have a year to get the handle on this so hopefully more information will come out from SQA and yourselves.’

‘More meetings where we can gather, talk face to face and get away from being lots of ‘wee islands’ – the sessions were excellent and I am away feeling muchh more confident about the higher. Anything for ISDD would be great.’

Professional Learning Community

While computing teachers have an excellent ‘professional learning community’ through CompEdNet there is still more that we can do.

‘Local ES events welcome.  How can we develop a shared agenda?’

‘More of the same please. Always good discussions + inspiration.’

The role of key organisations

In the context of on-going work across education and the ICT sector this comment is pertinent

‘Very interesting and useful event.  Great speech by Gerry Docherty’.

Education Scotland and SQA are still expected to do more in this area too.

‘SQA arrangements still require more guidance on depth of treatment required.’

‘More detail on the support team at Education Scotland.  Who’s our contact? Who does what?’

Summary/Conclusions

Education Scotland would like to thank the Computing Science Working Group for their support in making this conference a great success.  The conference would not have been possible without their knowledge and understanding of the computing science context in local authorities and in schools.  Workshop presenters did a superb job and the level of ‘interactivity’ in the sessions was impressive. 

The following comment is one that we should finish on

‘Absolutely fantastic, we need more of these to get up to speed.’ 

It may be worth considering following this conference up in May 2015 to cover other aspects of the new higher but also have a focus on the new ‘Advanced Higher’.

Next steps

The following suggestions have been made as to how we build on the success of the conference

–          Work with the CompedNet practitioner network to identify the features within Glow that will support what they are doing through their professional on-line community.  This will focus on the added value Glow brings that is different from what’s on offer already through CompEdNet e.g. Glow TV, Glow Meets etc

–          Create user stories (identifying practice that’s worthy of sharing)

–          Monthly Computer Science update (publication, 2 sides A4)

–          Host a series of regional events to roll out the information from the conference

–          Host an online national conferences.

Education Scotland is aware that more support is required for computing science and this will continue over the next academic year.

Learning for Sustainability – Professional Development Course (Friday 26th September 2014)

LfS Scotland, in partnership with the Moray House School of Education, is now taking bookings for our new Leadership for Sustainability professional development course – a one-day course for Head Teachers, Depute Head Teachers and Principal Teachers in primary or secondary schools, and local authority officers with a key role in supporting Learning for Sustainability.

This highly interactive programme will highlight simple steps that school leaders can take to develop an effective whole school approach to Learning for Sustainability. It will enable you to effectively plan for and implement Learning for Sustainability requirements in your school in ways that will significantly enhance the educational experience of your pupils. A free follow-up twilight course is available to provide the opportunity for continuing collaboration with colleagues and for sharing insights from critical self-evaluation, reflection and enquiry.

More information is available here and to book a place, please contact Morag Watson

SQA Star Awards 2014 – nominate your brightest star’s!

Nominations are now open for the SQA’s annual Star Awards.

The awards are a unique way to celebrate success, triumph, achievement and recognition of the best in education and training. Behind every success story lies motivation and commitment, pride and self-esteem and, of course, sheer hard work.

See the stars come out – nominate your stars today at www.sqa.org.uk/star

Closing date for entries is Friday 27 June 2014.

Citizen Science for Hurricane Season: Cyclone Center

June 1st marked the official beginning of the hurricane season in the Atlantic, and you can help improve our understanding of these powerful storms on www.cyclonecenter.org

To recognize the start of the season, Cyclone Center (or Centre – depending on where you are in the world) is focussing on four hurricanes that all struck Florida ten years ago in 2004: Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. These storms claimed 34 lives and caused $18.9 billion in damages. We can’t prevent these disasters from happening, but your clicks can help us understand them better.

We’ll be doing more special storm sets throughout the hurricane season, so keep checking on the site.

PS If storms aren’t your thing, then maybe try our most-recently launched animal-spotting project: Condor Watch.