Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Festive Cheer

One last quick post before I sign off for Christmas.

The Subject Advisor service will be closed from the 24th and I will be available again on the 4th of Jan 2010 to answer any questions you might have. You can get me on or call the ICT Subject advisor team 08443722186.

A few reminders for those of you with education on your minds over the holidays:
  • Edexcel GCE ICT Pre-release exam files will be available to download from the Applied GCE pages from the 5th of January
  • Announcement on the BTEC ICT plans for 2010 expected very early in the new year (promise!)
  • Lots of interesting info on the 2010 GCSE ICT coming in the new year, including Controlled Assessment Support Service and Teacher Toolkit.
  • BETT show in London's Olympia 13-16 Jan. I'll be there Thurs - Sat if you would like to discuss your ICT needs. If you would like to book an appointment please email me at above
You can still follow me on Twitter @ICTSubAdvisor
Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.


Friday, 20 November 2009

Controlled Assessment Update

For those of you with an interest in the changes taking place in 2010 and specifically in Controlled Assessment please take some time to view this discussion on TES.

Any feedback or additional discussion would be appreciated.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Controlled Assessment Support

As most ICT teachers are already aware, Controlled Assessment (CA) comes hand in hand with the new GCSEs in September 2010.

If you are currently delivering GCSE ICT or planning to start in September it is in your interest to get up to speed on the requirements of CA. I would like to invite you to join our discussion on CA. Lets start talking and sharing ideas as a community of ICT teachers with a view to making sure we are informed and prepared for CA in 2010.

You can access the controlled assessment discussion thread here.

Click here for information on registering for the Edexcel forums.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Open Source Resources

Trying to keep up with changing technology can often leave schools and teachers with some big bills to pay. To support schools I have been putting together some pointers to free software tools which can be used to deliver current ICT qualifications without the high costs.
The majority of these resources (with the exception of Audacity which, in my opinion, is invaluable) are web based and will only require a chat with your system administrators to unblock the sites.
I've found some of these very useful and enjoyable, especially when delivering courses such as DiDA, OCR Nationals, GCSE and GCE Applied ICT.

I am very keen to keep these resources up to date and would appreciate links to any software you find useful. Especially if you have experienced success when using them to deliver a particular course.

Audacity Sound Editor
Prezi Presentation Editor
Animoto Slideshows
Brainstorming with Bubbl
Scratch Animation
Wordle Word Clouds
Open Office
Animation with Gickr

Thursday, 15 October 2009

NAACE All Members Conference

Attended the NAACE all members conference last Friday and Saturday near Daventry. Some really interesting thoughts and ideas about the use of ICT in Education.

Excellent presentation on the Building Schools for the Future program. Including some really good pictures of exactly what's wrong with ICT in schools at the moment. Come on, we've all seen them put those IWBs right next to the window? Then they give you curtains, but that means you need to turn on the light right above the board!

Good presentation from Matthew Poyiadgi from CompTIA who took the information we've all seen in "Shift Happens" and brought it up to date. One question posed was..."Was the return of Cadbury's Whispa and the subsequent record breaking profit really kicked off by two students and a Facebook Campaign? Or was it the work of some brilliant PR people?"

Interesting update from QCDA on the future of Functional ICT. Where the new 4 pathways will lead and how we will battle against falling numbers in ICT through more interesting qualifications. GCSE ICT 2010 was mentioned quite a bit and the reasons behind the new specifications from each AB. All 4 available look very interesting and completely different. Only Edexcel is accredited at present so I'm not sure if that means the other ABs got it wrong or they will have to make massive changes to their specs. Either way, I've made my decision and have started writing a SOW to the Edexcel specification.

One breakout session posed the question "Will teaching become a Masters profession?". Lots of people think it will but with the oncoming change in government who knows? Either way I left the conference with the question foremost in my mind and went home to try to dig out my dissertation.

Thanks to all at NAACE who do an excellent job and deserve more support.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

GCSE 2010 Enhanced Specification

Edexcel's GCSE 2010 ICT enhanced specification should be landing on teachers desks this week. The new style blows away the norm of black and white boring specifications downloaded in PDF from an awarding body's website.

The publication comes with annotations to the specification, pointing out the most important elements and including some interesting pointers and tips for delivering the content.

It also includes a lot of other helpful content such as SAMs and SCAMs and some possible delivery models.

Another point of interest is that the Edexcel Spec is the only one so far to receive accreditation from QCDA. This means that HODs and curriculum managers can begin planning their content without having to worry about the spec being declined or the content changing.

I'll try to post some additional info later this week.

I'm also looking at getting hold of some additional resources for GCE and BTEC units. I'm getting a lot of requests for these and hope to come through soon.


Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Gareth Byrne - ICT Subject Advisor

Hi my name is Gareth Byrne and I am a Subject Advisor in ICT for Edexcel.

I will be using this blog as resource outside of the Edexcel Domain for teachers of ICT to utilise as an aid to the delivery of ICT lessons at all key stages.

My first post today is to inform all teachers currently delivering DiDA that this years SPBs are available to download on the Edexcel website by following this link...