The Beeb's new Micro will debut in September but teachers won't get it first, as hoped, writes Tony Parkin
Way back in November 2013, when the BBC's planned "Year of Making and Doing" was first discussed outside its hallowed walls, there was talk of a new device. Some hoped for a sort of updated BBC Micro, while others wanted the BBC to exploit the Raspberry Pi. Others were dubious that either of these would prove to be correct: their caution was well-placed.
When "Make it Digital" officially emerged in 2015, focus shifted to a far smaller and simpler device, previously nicknamed the BBC Bug, but now baptised and confirmed by the BBC as the Micro Bit. Indeed Sinead Rocks, head of BBC Learning, has dubbed it the initiative's "centrepiece".Read more...
England's "voice of academies" – IAA – about to be silenced by declining fortunes
The Independent Academies Association (IAA), described on its website as "the only membership organisation solely dedicated to supporting Academy and Free School leaders", is facing closure.
A directors' meeting on June 11 decided that, as a result of declining levels of membership and sponsorship, the organisation, created in 2002, was no longer sustainable and agreed that a liquidator should be appointed. The professional advisers appointed will contact all active IAA members. A letter from the board went out yesterday (June 15).Read more...
Intrigued by teacher communities, researcher Kristen Weatherby sets her sights on Computing at School
For years we’ve talked about teachers being isolated in their classrooms and tried desperately to get them to form or join communities with their peers. Professional learning communities (PLCs), personal learning networks (PLNs), communities of interest, communities of practice (COPs), virtual communities, online communities, interest groups and knowledge communities, to name but a few.
This work has not been in vain. Teacher collaboration is a good thing. And the 2013 results of the OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) indicate that teachers who report collaborating with colleagues also report significantly higher levels of confidence in their own work (self-efficacy) as well as higher levels of job satisfaction.Read more...
What lies behind Apps for Good's success? STEAMED for one, and its use of external experts for another
It is not always easy to engage students, but one ‘real world’ learning experience has been firing the imagination of countless young people – the Apps for Good educational programme, which grew out of the favelas of Brazil.
Next week (June 18) sees the 2015 Apps for Good awards finals at London’s Barbican, so it’s a good time to look at one of the factors behind its immense appeal for schools – STEAMED - in this extract from Learning with Mobile and Handheld Technologies.Read more...
Who cares? Denbigh High students do, and they made an app to prove it, says Sal McKeown
Denbigh High School in Luton is a diverse 11-16 school where 98 per cent of the students come from black minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds. While it looks traditional with its 1930s school building, it is purposefully pushing forward with 21st century technology skills.
Building on the success that came from its recent adoption of the innovative realsmartcloud learning platform with Google Apps for Education embedded, Denbigh took the next bold step by entering students into the Apps for Good programme for the first time. UPDATE below.Read more...
London Grid joins move by broadband consortia to fill gaps for half of schools with 'poor' internet
Schools across the UK are to get more choice for their high-speed broadband internet services as the government-funded bodies responsible for supplying English schools – the Regional Broadband Consortia (RBCs) – relax their geographical ties.
Supplier to the capital’s 2.500 schools, the London Grid for Learning (LGfL), has launched TRUSTnet, “discounted broadband, ICT services and BETT award-winning digital curriculum content” nationwide.Read more...
Invited to 'Erase All Kittens', Tony Parkin finds a bunch of pussycat digital student leaders
There has to be some form of positive equivalent to the perfect storm: when multiple factors align to produce an ideal situation rather than bringing down tempest and mayhem on everyone. The 'perfect day'? Or maybe that's already 'copyright Lou Reed'?
I know this scenario exists from my recent visit to Oasis Academy Shirley Park (Primary) to see the Erase All Kittens team in action. Yes, you read that correctly – Erase All Kittens is the name of a computer game aimed at schoolchildren.Read more...
New trustees sought to widen expertise and experience as activity ramps up
Set up with funding of £50 million, the Ufi Charitable Trust is the important investor in digital innovation for vocational education. And the response to its latest call for projects -–the Ufi Vocational Learning Tech Challenge (LINK) – has attracted more than 180 entries.
The "fantastic response" reflects the drive at Ufi to increase its project portfolio, according to chief executive Rebecca Garrod-Waters. And the increase in activity means that Ufi is looking for new Trustees to extend its range of expertise and experience.Read more...
They are volunteers with huge duties and not much thanks – but now with their very own app
Who would be a school governor? It takes time, effort, commitment, sensitivity and drive – and then there's the politics. And, if all goes badly wrong, they are financially liable.
Thankfully, the role is so important that communities do find the volunteers to support their schools. And there's a wide range of support for them, including their own app, Modern Governor (for Apple and Android), which was launched in 2014 and is now going into its second version.Read more...
The eyes have it as eyegaze tech picks up awards. Carol Allen and Ian Bean explain why it's so important
From April 15 in Finchley, London, artist Sarah Ezekiel will hold another in her series of art exhibitions created on a computer controlled by her eyes. Sarah, who has motor neurone disease, uses an eyegaze system developed by Tobii to produce stunning images by controlling the art package by looking at the on-screen tools and menus.
Computers controlled with your eyes? Surely that’s science fiction, alongside hover-packs and teleportation? Yet it is here now and in classrooms, and homes, near you.Read more...
Welcome to Agent4change.net, the website of Merlin John Online Ltd. It's a free site and comments no longer require registration, but they are moderated.
Agent4change.net has been set up to share and celebrate the enormous changes to teaching and learning and school administration being brought via the appropriate use of ICT. This coverage is made possible by advertising (advertising rates here), so please take time to check out our advertisers as they help us build an independent source of editorial and advice for learning with ICT.
Stay with us, give us feedback and be part of a service dedicated to learning and innovation with ICT.
- Ufi seeks new trustees as innovation bids surge
- BBC Makes it Digital – a Micro Bit at a time
- Guvnor app puts education facts at fingertips
- What's up pussycat? Pupils who erase kittens
- Teacher communities – what makes them tick?
- Powered by STEAMED – Apps for Good
- Rheingold EFF event gets welcome Tosh backing
Founder of Education Fast Forward on the move again
Jim Wynn, one of the most successful UK school leaders to cross the line between school and the technology industry has move...