Damian Hinds’ edtech future for schools: putting the vision into practice now

Last month we wrote a response to the government’s announcement that it was putting education technology at the heart of education, welcoming the initiative and arguing that it must be led by teaching and learning needs rather than the ed tech industry.

Bob Harrison has also responded to that ‘vision’ in a no-holds-barred article, Don’t look back in anger? Really? in SecEd. He reflects on the past eight years of policy in this area, commenting that it is marked by

“neglect and a failure of political leadership and vision, driven mainly by an ideology which resonates more with a 19th-century view of teaching, learning and assessment than one that will prepare our children for the challenges of a digital world”.

He urges Damian Hinds to listen to teachers to find out what works rather than passing the buck to the ed tech industry. He also points to the spending gap between words and action:

“Mr Hinds has been very quick to find £50 million to fund the expansion of grammar schools, but not a penny for ICT. That speaks volumes for his priorities so forgive me if I am somewhat sceptical when reading his August epiphany about technology.”

However, Bob also points to some of the great work that’s being done in schools and the technologies that will become the norm for pupils: screen-based technology, touch and gesture-based computing, voice-to-text and text-to-voice software, augmented and virtual reality, blended learning and instant feedback, online formative and summative assessment, along with a familiarity with artificial intelligence and machine learning.

At London CLC this is a vision that we’re living, breathing and working every day. Bob’s prescription for schools is exactly what we offer. Drop by our centre in Clapham and most days of the week you’ll hear the excited buzz of children programming robots, learning about encryption via Julius Caesar, problem solving with ScratchMaths and discovering how artificial intelligence is changing the world. And because teachers need the digital skills and knowledge to be able to support children in their 21st-century learning,  you’ll also find groups of teachers absorbed in our CPD, whether that’s learning to use the iPad creatively and effectively, getting up to speed on online safety or taking part in one of or subject specialist workshops, such as the creative arts or English forums.

History will tell whether Damian Hinds is to contribute more to the future than visionary words but meanwhile the future is rushing headlong towards our children, irrespective of policy, and it is up to all of us to ensure they can meet it with the right knowledge and skills. Forward-thinking teachers know this and know that they need to equip themselves to help their students. London CLC is here – now – to help.

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Does your school need a sustained programme in the use of digital technology to underpin your whole school aims and plans?

Our support package covers the following:

Professional learning

Teacher professional development which puts digital at the heart of teaching and learning

Pupil workshops

Engaging, practical workshops for your class, in your school, at our Clapham centre online

Creative technology projects

Engaging, immersive educational experiences with corporate and cultural partners

Consultancy & advice

Get tailored support from our expert team of teachers and technologists

Technology loans

Kit for every classroom

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Upcoming CPD

Summer primary school computing conference
Summer primary school computing conference

This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.

- 15:30
Computing subject leaders, Teachers...
Creative Arts, Digital and children – CLC meets More Than Robots online
Creative Arts, Digital and children - CLC meets More Than Robots online

Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.


The Play Observatory - Prof. John Potter

“In their own words”: Westminster Abbey & CLC digital projects - Sian Shaw

Building (and maintaining) a city-wide primary arts curriculum to raise attainment - Kate Fellows

More to be added soon

This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.

This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates

The morning will include case study presentations (details below) followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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