Schools

My 2013-14 Computing Curriculum Plan

I have just started to think about updating my current curriculum.  There are a few changes and additions I want to make, hopefully my new curriculum document will be available sometime in August.

In the meantime, here is what I plan to deliver next year.

Mr Britland’s KS3 Computing Curriculum: September 2013 – July 2014

Year 7 (approx 12 lessons a term):

  1. Introduction to the school network
  2. Learning Blog
  3. Effective web searching
  4. Stay Safe Online
  5. Kodu – Visual Programming
  6. Computer Hardware/Computing History
  7. AppShed – App Creation

Year 8 (approx 6 lessons a term) :

  1. Computer Networks
  2. Graphic Design Using Fireworks – Magazine Covers
  3. HTML5 and CSS3

Year 9 (approx 6 lessons a term):

  1. Advanced E-Safety – Privacy, Social Networks, Security, Sexting, Data Protection
  2. Advanced Graphic Design with Adobe Photoshop – Album Covers
  3. Python – Programming

Any questions give me a shout.

(Video Clip) E-Safety Presentation for Parents – Part 2: Social Networks

This is another short clip from my presentation to parents.

You can access the Google Docs slides here.

(UPDATED) ONLINE / TECHNOLOGY SAFETY FOR PARENTS (PRESENTATION/VIDEO INCLUDED)

Watch the 1st clip HERE.

How to Evaluate iPad use in Education

iPad

iPad

(UPDATE: Read the final report and evaluation)

We are currently running an iPad trial at school and investigating their effectiveness for teaching and learning.

In order to fully understand the impact of these devices it is important to evaluate their use.

I created two evaluations. One for students to fill out once and one for teachers to fill out. These were created in Google Forms and a short cut was added to the iPad to make it easier for students to access.

It was important to me that the evaluations were short to encourage staff and students to fill them out.

Once the evaluation period is over, I will use the evaluations to help formulate a report.

The PDF evaluations are below:

Teacher Evaluation

Students Evaluation 

The great thing about Google Forms is that it is free, plus it gives you a great summary of results  with a selection of graphs.

Is teaching computing an intimidating prospect for an ICT teacher?

Computing

When I did my GTP several years ago I did next to no training in computing. As we all know the curriculum was very much ICT based and that was fine with me. The skills I have very much fitted in with the curriculum I had to teach.

Things are now changing. Gove has told teachers that they don’t have to stick to the old curriculum now. Over the past year and a half I have been able to teach my own curriculum anyway, as I have moved to an independent school. But it’s very clear there is a need to teach computing in schools before KS4.

I agree this should happen, and its very exciting. However, it is also quite intimidating. I have spent almost 7 years (including my training) just teaching ICT with very little computing. Where do I go from here? Well, I have already started teaching visual programming using Kodu, I am also in the middle of writing a computer science scheme of work to be delivered next year.

My biggest worry is programming. The reason I didn’t choose programming at university was because I find it very difficult. For me it is like using a new language. I am very much of the opinion programming is not for everyone. Although, I understand it is very important.

I am sure there are other teachers like me who do not program. If the government want programming in schools they are going to need to stump up some money for training courses.

There has to be room for both ICT and Computer Science.

I would also very much like to rebrand ICT, for me it is old fashioned. Perhaps Digital Literacy would be more appropriate?

There are several teachers who I follow on Twitter working on Digital Studies. Is that the rebrand we need? I don’t think there is one answer but would certainly like to  rebrand ICT at my school.

This has been a very cobbled together blog post, so I apologise if it does not seem to very coherent. Over the next few weeks, when I have more time I would like to expand on my thoughts.

Edmodo – Do you need to pay for a VLE? (presentation included)

I am sure that there are very few people who have not heard of Edmodo by now. However, for those who haven’t, or who are not sure what it is; I thought I would include a very brief overview.

Over the last few years I have used several expensive learning platforms and VLE’s. In my experience they have been overly complicated, time consuming and often did not do what the school wanted. Without going into too much detail, I know two schools who have both purchased a very expensive learning platform and instantly regretted it. Luckily they managed to get their money back. I can imagine these were the lucky ones.

I started using Edmodo a while ago and I have not looked back. Its fantastic, does pretty much everything I want, its easy to use and best of all its free.

Some will say its simply a stripped down VLE, I would say it is just streamlined.

Perhaps it is not as advanced as many paid for products, but how many schools actually utilize all the features found in these?

Please have a look at  presentation below. (Click here for the formatted presentation on SkyDrive) It should should give you a brief overview of what Edmodo can do. Hope you find it useful and perhaps it may save your school some money.