An opportunity to share research in a friendly environment.
Greater Manchester Digital Talent Pipeline Programme
The programme will build links between education, informal learning & industry delivering short, medium and long term solutions to the digital talent shortage. The outcomes we need to see are; young people inspired to enter careers in digital/tech, teachers supported to deliver the computing curriculum in an interesting & industry relevant way and all young people building up their work readiness and the right digital, creative and broader business skills.
The programme will operate at scale across GM working with schools & colleges across GM – we want an offer that is open to all but there will need to be some targeting to ensure we deliver the maximum social and economic impact possible. It will make it easy for industry to get involved with education in a way that is strategic and relevant to their talent pipeline.
Research – Extensive local and national research was gathered on the digital talent shortage included reports from the GM LEP, GMCA, Manchester Digital and HM Govnt Industrial Strategy.
Research included key shortages in the local, digital sector from software development, data analysis through to cyber security and testing. Future employer demand was also identified including AI, machine learning and IOT.
• A small group of schools in Greater Manchester were engaged to understand their drivers and challenges around the delivery of the computing curriculum, careers and work placements and the support they would like to access.
• A small group of digital/tech employers were engaged individually and as a group to understand what expertise they can offer to education & support requirements.
• A group of GM organisations currently involved in promoting the digital agenda were also consulted to find out what is working well and at scale. This group included Manchester Digital, HIVE Manchester, InnovateHer and Stepping into Business.
In September 2014 the new National Curriculum programmes of study for Computing became mandatory in England, replacing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a school subject and introducing Computer Science into schools.
The new curriculum posed a challenge for in-service ICT teachers without Computer Science subject knowledge: teachers urgently needed to develop both subject and pedagogical knowledge to make the transition from teaching ICT to teaching Computing.
Using an extended version of Shulman’s pedagogical reasoning model, this paper uses an empirically-driven theoretical critique to examine the opportunities and limitations of PCK for understanding how a group of teachers making the transition to teaching Computing have been able to plan lessons aligning with the new programmes of study.
This presentation is concerned with the digital skills needed by practitioners for the teaching of and with new technologies; specifically for the pedagogy of VR filming. Drawing upon experiences in the teaching of a dozen young people in the creation of three Virtual Reality (VR) films during a BFI project, this presentation explores whether traditional teaching paradigms hold an anachronistic existence within the digital world of technology. This is done by considering Rancière’s theoretical stance and whether it might be suggestive of a paradigm for the digital citizenship of young people which embraces the concept of meeting expectations instead of raising them.
Research or Practice Paper
Main Lecture room – West Downs 2
Chair: Andy Connell
Time 9.35 – 10.35
This session will consider the following questions:
1. How should young children learn about technology?
2. What should we be doing to ensure firm foundations for Computing in Key Stage One and Beyond?
Raising Aspirations in Technology in the Early Years
Technology in Early Childhood is a contentious issue. Some see technology as potentially harmful to young children (House, 2012). Whereas, others stress the need for positive experiences with technology from a young age in order to prepare children to thrive within an increasingly technology driven society (Plowman, McPake & Stephen, 2012; Morgan & Siraj-Blatchford, 2013). In 2014, a new Computing curriculum became statutory for local authority maintained schools in England. This curriculum is taught from Key Stage One (from the age of five onwards). This paper explores best practice approaches to early childhood education; calling for playful, imaginative and creative uses of technology that encourage collaboration and communication. In addition, the session will explore what should be done within Early Childhood practice to ensure firm foundations for the subject of computing in Key Stage One and beyond.
In November 1969 the Sunderland Echo pronounced “County Hall enters the space race”. We are often assured that computers at this time were in their infancy. But there is evidence that Higher Education worked with schools to introduce computing years earlier. A later article in the same month reported that a local school (in Sunderland) had a Computer Club and that Computing was on the curriculum within the school in the sixth form and had regular visits to the Polytechnic Computers and this research has revealed evidence of pupils having at least visited computers in the early 1960s. Although such links may have been rare, the introduction of computing into the curriculum came about alongside support for the subject by Higher Education. Most of the articles I have read suggest that computing links between HE and school happened in later decades but the evidence I have found refutes this.
The aim of the research is to consider the parallels and differences between the early introduction of computing into schools and the changes of 2014.
Over the years the movement away from computing and towards IT was less related to higher education.
The catalyst to curriculum reform in 2014 which reintroduced computing into the school curriculum may appear to be led by government but there was strong influence from Higher Education Computing Departments. Again, support was provided by Universities to schools in developing the subject for their pupils. The presentation will discuss the parallels between the introduction of computing into the curriculum as a STEM subject both in the early years of Computing and in the more recent changes of 2014.
Will this ‘new’ curriculum really help to develop a greater quantity of computing graduates in future years in the manner envisaged or are there lessons which could be learned from the past?
The past few decades have included a parallel process of destruction and construction in the life of our global family. Iconic examples include the Holocaust and the Internet; one aimed to disconnect the human family by eliminating an entire part of its membership, the other made connecting each person to the other possible. Leading voices echo similar realities. For instance, the UNHCR reports the highest number of refugees fleeing conflict, while Harvard’s Steven Pinker argues we live in the most violence-free era in history. Generation Alpha lives at the heart of this parallel process. This means they have the opportunity, information and tools to choose a life that contributes to the constructive process or the destructive process. This research argues that education is the primary factor that can enable Generation Alpha to engage in the former. While many factors contribute to the overall development of each person, the curricula they are educated with, is the strongest enabling factor, including in EdTech. A growing body of materials and resources provide for education and training of children, including middle childhood, when most children transition from a perspective that is dominated by self to one that also includes, and defines the basis of relating through universal human rights and responsibilities, to ‘the other’, be it in families, communities or societies at large. This is particularly evident in the burgeoning field of EdTech, where learning spaces may no longer be confined to the kids on the block, but the kids in other continents. This shift in reach and diversity calls for a much richer curriculum, one that enables the learner to develop inherent characteristics that enable each to engage in lifelong constructive processes through ideas, expressions and actions that foster the best life for one’s self and society.
This paper brings together two ideas I have explored over recent years. The first is the changing nature of liberties offered to the young by an increasingly technological environment. The paper asks if both the negative and positive behaviours exercised online are expressions of the natural, often benign, characteristics that have always marked our youth but have migrated to a digital landscape where they have new significance because the young have lost liberty to explore the real world on their own terms? https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/day-remember-laurence-boulter/ The other is a need for teachers, as a profession, to join pupils in a feral landscape where they can provide the same guidance and care teachers do in the non-digital world. Should social networking not only be on the curriculum, but actively enabled by schools? https://www.nexus-education.com/learning-in-a-digital-landscape/
Research, recently carried out by Cengage, a global education and technology company, has investigated some of the most prescient issues that higher education institutions and content providers can work together to address. More specifically the Student Voices research has explored the learning challenges higher education students most commonly encounter and their use and attitude towards digital learning resources.
The Student Voices research was carried out by independent market research company, Shift Learning. Students across the UK, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and South Africa were surveyed, resulting in 772 respondents.
For first year students the most commonly cited challenge was ‘independent learning’ (38%), whilst by the third year it was ‘interpreting data’. Taken more broadly, modules they find most challenging vary by subject. Business and Economics related students, for example, often find certain modules challenging due to the mathematical/statistical aspects.
The research also finds that 79% of students state that digital resources are an essential part of their course. The majority stated that they are always looking to try out something new, suggesting that students are open to new digital options. Those digital resources and tools offering online reading and practice questions are used the most frequently. These are conducive to enabling independent learning and is in line with the higher number of students who suggest that independent learning is a challenge.
More generally, respondents feel that their course experience could be improved through more one-to-one guidance, more support on assignments and the provision of more digital resources, including more information on where to find them and how to use them.
Jason Bennett, Digital Solutions Marketing Manager at Cengage, will talk through these findings and discuss the wider questions they raise in terms of how digital resources can enrich the curriculum, provide more equal learning opportunities and improve the wider student experience.
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