ICT for Education Newbury – Friday 4th December

On Friday, we travelled down to Newbury for the final ICT for Education conference of the year. The event, once again, didn’t fail to provide us with a wide breadth of knowledge regarding the implementation of ICT into the curriculum.

First up was Tom Crick, senior lecturer of Computing Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University. After reflecting on the past year of the new Computing curriculum, Tom provided us with an insightful talk about what he thinks the future holds. He spoke about everything from computational thinking to digital competencies, highlighting both the opportunities and challenges that could lie ahead.

Alan O’Donohoe, education consultant, then followed with a presentation aimed at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 teachers, although the basic principles of the five strategies he suggested for overcoming ICT challenges could be used for older students too. It was evident that Alan had listened carefully to the struggles teachers face in regard to the new computing lessons, making for an incredibly useful talk.

Next up was ICT Reviews Live, and another interactive presentation. The team demonstrated a whole host of educational products, and it was great to see the audience participating by commenting on how they thought the products could be adapted for use in their schools.

It was great to meet TrouDigital during the break that came next; they were so impressed by our Penstripe stand that they tweeted a picture!

Afterwards, Samantha Badchkam, Head of IT and computing at Waldegrave School, openly spoke of how her secondary school had welcomed the curriculum change with open arms. She went on to explain how they’ve effectively embodied the likes of digital literacy into the school day. However, Samantha also stressed the need for further balance in the curriculum, to help nudge KS4 students into choosing IT or computing as a GCSE.

Natalie Moore, Education Community Manager at Apps for Good, had everyone thinking with her suggestions on how teachers can go beyond the call of duty to help students become innovators and entrepreneurs – a theme that has been consistent throughout all of their talks at the ICT for Education events.

The Q&A session proposed the question of what challenges and opportunities have occurred since ICT has been put into practice in schools, followed by a quick lunch break. Educational ICT consultant, Andy Hutt, saw us out with part two of his presentation ‘Reasons to be cheerful’. He shared with us even more tools that can enable both teachers and students to become more internet savvy.

It has been a fantastic few months demonstrating PenstripeEdu at the ICT for Education events. Thank you for having us! Look out for a blog post at the beginning of next year that will tell you all about the conferences that we’ll be attending during the first half of 2016.