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.