Editorial #164 – Welcome back!

In this week’s Connected Learning Centre newsletter, new children’s internet code prompts Big Tech to make changes, remote education requirement reissued, great Raspberry Pi Guide to making the computing curriculum culturally relevant, join us at a free CAS event, 41 questions you should be asking the tech you use, and much more...

Welcome back! We hope you all had a very relaxing summer break. Why not spend a few minutes browsing our new brochure and plan some rewarding fun for the year to come? It’s packed full of exciting computing curriculum and technology-based workshops for primary children and CPD for teachers.

News and resources update

A ‘better internet for children’ begins today

The Age Appropriate Design Code comes into force today. It mandates websites and apps to take the “best interests” of their child users into account, including designing services to be age appropriate, stopping using design features that encourage children to provide more data and switching off geo-location services that track where they are based. Tech firms face fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover if they break the code. Big tech from TikTok to Facebook have made changes, though they deny that it is as a direct result of the regulation. Read more

Remote education legal requirement continues

The Department for Education has reissued its legal requirement on schools to provide “high-quality remote education” for pupils unable to attend the school site due to Covid-19 for the next academic year. The previous requirement expired in July. However, the DfE also told Schools Week that it had never actually used the previous legal powers with no injunctions issued to schools during the 2020-21 academic year. It also announced additional grant funding for connectivity. Schools will be able to claim up to £75 per pupil over three months to provide mobile dongles and broadband routers so that disadvantaged pupils can access remote education. Read more

Guide to delivering a culturally relevant computing curriculum

Raspberry Pi has developed a practical guide for computing teachers with information, practical tips, and links to resources to support teachers to implement culturally relevant pedagogy in all these aspects of their teaching. It’s based on the principle that, in computing education, designing equitable and authentic learning experiences requires a conscious effort to take into account the characteristics of all learners and their social environments. Highly recommended. Find out more. We’re also in discussions about a culturally responsive curriculum with various partners across the sector following our work on TechPathways London.

Interested in school workload reduction?

That’ll be everyone. Education Development Trust is working with the Department for Education on an exciting teacher-led research project and is looking for primary and secondary teachers in England to take part from autumn 2021. More details

Free CAS Inspire event – with us!

Join us online with Computing at School on 14 September from 4-4.45pm for a session in which we’ll share some of the ways in which our experiences of remote, blended and flexible teaching have transformed approaches to teaching computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We’ll suggest ways that teachers can put new systems, strategies and skills to good use in the classroom, showcasing some examples from our work with schools nationally and internationally. Book a place for free

Latest blog posts

Teachers lessons from lockdown learning

Our first blog post of the new term is a guest post on the Bett website, in which teachers share their experiences of, and insights from, remote and blended learning and, especially, the good changes they intend to carry on through from lockdown. Read the blog post

Want more? Check out CLC blog and BlendEd blog

We're listening, watching, reading...

"Edtech is trying to solve problems that don’t exist":
damning account from Rest of World of how Indian edtech giant Byjus fuels its meteoric rise
"Pupils, parents and teachers were too often left bewildered by last-minute, poorly communicated U-turns on school closures and exams":
this investigation by the Institute for Government into the UK’s government’s handling of education during the pandemic doesn’t pull its punches.
"Simple but profound":
we really like this thought-provoking list of 41 questions we should ask of the technologies and tools that shape our lives. They include: What habits will the use of this technology instill? What assumptions about the world does the use of this technology tacitly encourage? Does using this technology require me to think more or less?

Give it a try

ProjectEVOLVE knowledge map

This new initiative from the UK Safer Internet Centre for school years 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 is intended to reduce teachers’ workload by recommending resources relevant to the children they teach while giving valuable insight into where strengths and weaknesses lie in their online development. The knowledge map “offers students a variety of scenarios about their online lives and provides a set of responses that are carefully mapped against the Burch Competencies. These competencies attempt to categorise children’s understanding of a concept; whether it is secure, emerging, developing, if they’re unsure or if they have understood the concept incorrectly.”

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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

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Technology loans

Kit for every classroom

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Upcoming CPD

Maths and digital technology forum for primary teachers
Maths and digital technology forum for primary teachers

The maths forum provides an opportunity for maths subject leaders to share their expertise and investigate new opportunities for digital technologies to support maths teaching and learning in class and online at home. The forum combines discussion with colleagues about school-wide progress in mathematics, with hands-on activities led by a CLC teacher, demonstrating how technology can be used to support maths. Activities will include programming in Scratch 3, which offers a practical way to illustrate and explore key mathematical concepts such as shape, space, position and direction.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...
Using technology to enhance assessment and feedback in primary schools
Using technology to enhance assessment and feedback in primary schools

Discover how digital technology can change the way we assess pupils’ work. We will demonstrate how teachers can use technology to monitor, evidence and respond to pupils’ progress in school and learning online remotely, and how pupils can use technology to present and reflect on their learning. We will outline a range of approaches to help assess and evidence learning across the curriculum.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...

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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