ICT For Education Birmingham – Friday 20th November

On Friday, we demonstrated our new student planning app – PenstripeEdu – at the penultimate 2015 ICT for Education event at Cranmore Park, Birmingham. The occasion saw another host of valuable talks on the current hot topic of education technology.

Miles Berry, Principal Lecturer of Computing Education at the University of Roehampton, kicked off the day by looking at the potential practices emerging from schools’ computing teachers. Since computing has only been a part of the curriculum for two years, the talk suggested strategies that could be incorporated into computing lessons to make them as relevant as possible, and highlighted the importance of a ‘positive growth mindset’.

Bentley Federations’ ICT leader, Dawn Walker, followed up with a presentation on the triumphs and challenges teachers face when embedding ICT strategies into primary schools. Teaching computing to young children can be difficult, especially when technology is advancing at such a rapid pace, however Dawn made some fantastic points regarding the incorporation of technology such as iPads and websites into the curriculum, and the benefits that it can bring.

Next was the ICT Reviews Live slot, and at this event, our Director, Chris Anderson, took to the stage to do a live demo of our app, PenstripeEdu. We’re delighted to say that we got some great feedback, such a fantastic opportunity to showcase our new product.

After our review, the event was ready to tackle a more controversial topic; the challenges of the computing curriculum. One of the notable factors about the ICT for Education events is their use of real education professionals such as Sue Sentence, a senior lecturer from London’s Kings College who held this talk. She spoke from both research and experience about the challenges teachers face with the new computing curriculum and highlighted how vital it is that professionals support one another. Sue also suggested extra beneficial strategies that teachers can implement in order to make sure classes are as engaging as possible.

Next up was Natalie Moore, Education Community Manager at Apps for Good. She gave a slightly different version of the presentation that Debbie Forster, UK MD of Apps for Good, has given at previous ICT for Education events, still under the theme of inspiring students to become innovators.

Following a Q&A with the panel and a quick lunchbreak, the day ended with an enlightening talk on reasons to be cheerful by educational ICT consultant, Andy Hutt, a great presentation that we’ve heard at previous ICT for Education events. He showcased some brilliantly easy tools that can help both teachers and students become more IT savvy, as well as elaborating upon the ones that were presented at last year’s event.

Once again the team at ICT for Education held both an insightful and inspiring event, and we’re looking forward to attending the final conference of 2015 in Newbury on the 4th December!

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