This article was published on the Barclays Life Skill website in March 2016.
You might have seen the news that the BBC micro:bit is now being sent out to all year 7 students. The aim of these mini, programmable computers is to inspire students to develop creative and digital skills through coding, and get more young people interested in science, technology, engineering and maths. It is clear from this alone that coding has become the hot topic for technology in the classroom, having been made a part of the curriculum as of September 2014 . With over 12 million people in the UK unprepared to fill the looming digital skills gap, it’s no surprise that coding has been highlighted as such an important aspect of current and future teaching models 
Though coding may seem very technical and sometimes daunting to tackle, confined to the realms of the computer labs, I’d like to dispel this myth. Granted, the digital skills learnt from coding are a major benefit to the changing needs of the labour market; in today’s digital world, it’s not enough for the next generation to know how to use programmes and software – they also need an appreciation for how these things are developed and how coding is used to produce them. But we shouldn’t consider it a teaching practice exclusively designed for computing lessons.
This is the presentation I gave at the Research in Practice annual meeting about Professionalising the use of social media. It was a great morning and I met some amazing people who are really interested in using social media.
Over the last couple of months I have been working on updating my Computing curriculum ready for release this month. This is the 3rd version and I have tried to do something slightly different with it.
Several months ago Tristan Kirkpatrick, a newly qualified Computing teacher (@Tristan_ICTCS) got in touch with me and asked if I was interested in making the curriculum open source. I jumped at the chance. Tristan began building a new website to enable the curriculum to be shared. All his hard work has resulted in something really exciting.
My talk was entitled the ‘Classroom of 2018’. The talk has now been published and you can watch it below.
In my talk I mention the need for decisions about technology that affect teaching and learning being made by a teacher, the Director of ICT for instance and not just by an IT manager. Although I didn’t say it in this talk, I want to make it clear how important IT managers / network managers are in schools. They have the technical knowledge to make things happen. I realise I may cause offence to some but that was not my intention.
I also did an interview entitled ‘What will the classroom of 2018 look like’. You can read my interview by clicking on the link below and going to page 43.