BBC Radio Scotland

On Tuesday 21st March, 2017, I was invited to participate on The Kaye Adams Programme (BBC Radio Scotland) for an open discussion on online learning within our classrooms. The discussion was based around an innovative approach to distance learning from the Western Isles. You can access the Scotsman article here:

Plans for video link lessons to deal with teacher shortage

The radio recording is available visa BBC iPlayer (for 29 days) and my segment begins around 2 hours and 40 minutes into the show. You can access the original recording here.

A YouTube version of the sound file can be accessed here.

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Upcoming Speaking Events / Conferences

2017 kicked off to an intensive start with #BETT2017, arguably the largest #EdTech conference in the world, and then into the #DigitalSchoolsAwards ceremony at Wormit Primary School last month. It continues to be busy as my diary fills up for three more events. I’ll be speaking on Smartphone Technology (microscope project) at the University of Glasgow; Social Media in Learning and Teaching at The University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre; and Digital Schools [Award] at EduTech17 as an ambassador for the programme, which is supported by industry – HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel – and accredited by the Scottish Government / Education Scotland.

Further details on these events can be found here:

I hope to see some of you there and if you can’t attend, follow me on Twitter for updates.

Optimism, Pessimism, Education and the Human Future

The Storify narrative was generated from an interdisciplinary symposium at The University of Glasgow. This event was designed to:

  • develop critical thinking on the human future through pitches from a range of academic voices;
  • make connections between different disciplines and areas of study;
  • experience the potential of interdisciplinary learning;
  • continue to reflect on questions of utopia and dystopia;
  • determine the power of education to improve humanity.

 

https://storify.com/leeandrewdunn/optimism-pessimism-education-and-the-human-future

 

Government and industry recognise and celebrate #DigitalSchools

Today (22nd February), 21 primary schools in Scotland have gained national ‘Digital School’ status for excellence in digital technology in teaching and learning. I had the pleasure of attending this event as a Programme Validator for the Digital Schools Awards. The schools were officially awarded the honour of being recognised as the first digital schools in Scotland by the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, at a ceremony held at Wormit Primary School.

Recognised by Education Scotland, the Digital Schools Award is designed to promote, encourage and reward schools that make the best use of digital technology in the classroom.   HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel are providing support to the programme, including a financial commitment of £110,000 in the first year as well as the provision of practical support and resources.

Schools that receive ‘Digital School’ status will demonstrate, among other things, the presence of a whole school digital strategy, evidence of how digital technology is being used to enhance learning and a commitment to ongoing professional learning for teachers. The programme has already highlighted some very innovative and collaborative approaches from schools and teachers regarding the integration of digital technology in teaching and learning, which will be an inspiration to other schools.

One in nine primary schools in Scotland, some 195 schools, have signed up to become a Digital School since the launch of the programme in September 2016. The programme aims to sign up 400 primary schools in Scotland to participate in its first full year.

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Speaking about the awards programme Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, said: ‘Digital skills are an integral part of our everyday lives, and as such it is absolutely essential that we give young people the opportunities to understand and use them properly. The Digital Schools Awards Programme is a fantastic example of industry supporting education in Scotland and helping ensure our young people develop the skills and opportunities to flourish.

Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director at Education Scotland said, ‘The Digital Schools Awards Programme is a very valuable approach to embedding digital learning in primary schools. It fully supports and promotes the vision set out in the Government’s Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. I am delighted to see these first set of awards being presented and the number of schools registering for the programme continuing to grow. I encourage all primary schools in Scotland who have not yet done so, to sign up to the programme.’

Neil Sawyer, Education Director at HP commented: ‘HP believes that the technology sector has a responsibility to support schools and ensure that the next generation is equipped with the knowledge needed to close the STEM and creative skills gap, and drive the economy of tomorrow. Being recognised as a Digital School is a great achievement and an important milestone. We congratulate the 21 schools receiving awards today.’

 Scotland performs very well in terms of integrating technology in the curriculum’, said Jane Grey, Sales Leader at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Scotland. We are proud to be part of the Digital Schools Awards initiative which is making a practical contribution to helping schools make the most of their digital capabilities. I would encourage more schools to sign up to the programme to take advantage of the comprehensive supports and expertise on offer.’

The newly awarded ‘Digital Schools’ are:

  • Bathgate Early Years Centre
  • Beith Primary School
  • Blackfriars Primary School
  • Bonhill Primary School
  • Calside Primary School
  • Dalry Primary School
  • Echt School
  • Kelvinside Academy
  • Kildrum Primary School
  • Kingswells Primary School
  • Kinlochleven Primary School
  • Kirkton Of Largo Primary School
  • Lundavra Primary School
  • Mearns Primary School
  • Netherlee Primary School
  • Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral Primary School
  • Rosebank Primary School
  • The Compass School
  • The Edinburgh Academy Junior School
  • Whitehirst Primary School
  • Wormit Primary School

Teach Technology – Applications are invited via UCAS

Scotland has a long established tradition in engineering and technology which is reflected in the history of the curriculum within the national education system.

Technical subjects and the development of a technologies curriculum are recognised as a strong aspect of contemporary learning within Scotland’s secondary schools. Central to maintaining the provision of a successful technologies curriculum are committed and well qualified teachers. The Bachelor of Technological Education Degree Programme (BTechEd) was established in the late 1980s to prepare graduate teachers for this developing area of the curriculum. Technology education, due to its demanding breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills, is best served by undergraduate study purposely designed to equip and prepare technology teachers within the early phase of professional development.

The Programme is designed to reflect this philosophy, preparing teachers of design and technology for the new technologies curriculum and to teach the range of technical subjects required by the secondary curriculum (Graphic Communication, Design and Manufacture, Engineering Science and practical courses in woodworking, metalworking and electronics).

Applications to join the programme in September 2017 are invited via UCAS. Further details can be found at http://www.teach.technology

 

Speaking at #BETT2017 (and first impressions!)

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Well! What can I say? BETT 2017 has turned out to be a wonderful experience, but then I expected nothing less. Rarely do I have the opportunity to see such an amazing assortment of technological wonders and rarely do I have the chance to mix with a diverse group of enthusiastic educators, industry representatives and entrepreneurs. Bett 2017 has a lot to offer and it makes one realise that education is only just scraping the tip of that proverbial iceberg.

My day started early. I had an exhibitors badge as a HP Partner, as well as a HE Leaders badge, so I was able to get into the hall before the doors opened at 10am. This provided the ideal opportunity to look around and to play with some of the technology before the mass of people arrived. Immersive technologies are the obvious theme this year. There was a range of virtual reality and augmented reality headsets on offer. I’ll be blogging about those in due course, so watch this space. I could not escape the abundance of screens, both projected and otherwise, on offer. Some of these were interactive and others were not, yet I could see an educational application for them all. The price (of course) remains the barrier to integration within the classroom and not the enthusiasm of teachers.

From a futurist perspective, there is an obvious instructional trend apparent in every aisle. 3D printing and maker spaces, blended learning, personalised learning, project based learning and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) / vocational \ technical and modular learning are the key areas on which educational technology seems to be focused today, with immersive technologies and mixed reality around the corner. I have accepted an invitation to do some work on VR and Mixed Reality over the coming months, so I’m quite excited about that.

I was delighted to present at the HP and Intel stand, talking about the Digital Schools Awards and primary education. My session was recorded and I’ll share it once it’s available from the media team. Following this, I spent a few hours in the Higher Education Summit, listening to a number of speakers. I was particularly impressed with Matt Zellor, a Product Manager for Microsoft Hololens. He delivered a great presentation and I have a few follow up activities to attend to on the back of his input. The rest of my afternoon was spent in conversation with people around the hall, sampling the exhibits (I have discovered that most of the technology is bolted down) and meeting with a few friends and colleagues. Networking with others is probably the best thing about these events. In reality, we are a small community and one tends to see the same names appear time and again.

I’ll be back tomorrow, so if you missed my session, I’ll be speaking again at stand D200 from 11am, before catching a flight back to Glasgow. Sadly, I won’t be around on Friday or Saturday, but my colleague Dr Victor McNair, a fellow DSAS Programme Validator, will be presenting at 11am for the second half of BETT.

I’ve taken a few photos and I’ll share them on my BETT 2017 page once I get back home.

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Connect with me at #BETT2017 (Digital Schools Awards) @HP Stand (D200)

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SPEAKING AT BETT, LONDON 25 AND 26 JANUARY 2017 (11AM) STAND D200

On 25th and 26th January, I will be speaking at BETT in London, about the Digital Schools Awards. BETT is the world’s leading education technology event celebrated in the UK every year and attended by over 45,000 people.

The Award is an industry leading award and public private partnership programme, supported by HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft and Intel. Schools that successfully complete the programme receive a nationally recognised digital schools award. Here in Scotland, this is accredited by Education Scotland.

If you would like to know more about the Award, register your interest in attending my presentation through the DSA website; also speaking on 27th and 28th will be my colleague and fellow Programme Validator, Dr Victor McNair. You will find us around the event, but based from stand D200 (with HP) by appointment.

I hope to see some of you there and I’m looking forward to writing up some thoughts about BETT, over the course of the event.

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National Digital Learning Week #NDLW17 #DigitalDifference

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Education Scotland has announced that National Digital Learning Week 2017 (#NDLW 17) will take place from 15-19 May 2017. This year the theme of the week will be ‘Digital Difference’ and throughout the week they’ll be asking us to share and celebrate the digital approaches which make a positive impact on classroom practice. The week will be packed with inspiring case studies from Early Learning and Childcare through to Senior Phase and beyond showcasing how digital makes a difference throughout the entire learner journey equipping young people for work. There will be online events and activities giving everyone the opportunity to get involved whether you’re a digital leader or simply just starting out and looking for some digital inspiration.

On the run up to the week there will be more details about how you can get involved. Meantime, they would ask that you put the dates in your diary and start to think about what you might do as a class or whole school to celebrate National Digital Learning Week 2017.

Source: www.digilearn.scot