I have been looking through the new specifications for GCSE computer science starting in September and I have been struck by the lack of agreement on terminology. I’ll give you a couple of examples of this, but I could easily find more. OCR and Edexcel use the term Sample Rate, whereas AQA use the term Sampling Rate. OCR and Edexcel use the term Bit Depth and AQA uses the term Sample Resolution. Is there any need for this difference? – I’m sure this wouldn’t happen in science. Why can’t the exam boards agree on the base terminology that they use? This would be helpful to students who change exam boards, in their transition from GCSE to A level, and students who move schools.
Schools can be transformed using digital technology, but has this been the case in the most schools? I would say that many schools have made great strides in developing an environment where technology can be used to support learning and school management, but often there is not a clear whole school plan.
Often schools lack an over-arching shared vision of what they want to achieve and this can sometimes mean that expensive technology is not being used effectively, or not being used at all.
The best thing to do is to take a step back and reflect on why you think using technology can enhance learning and improve your school’s management systems. Once you have decided on your shared vision, the next step is to consider who will be responsible for your strategy and implementation. You will need to consider teaching & learning, school management, availability of technology, school management, digital safeguarding and training requirements.
To help you to do this we have designed a school technology audit. This audit is currently free to UK Schools. It will allow your school to consider a range of key factors and aid the process of planning for the transformation of your school. It’s best if the audit is completed by a number of staff from within your school, but feedback from one member of staff is still useful.
What have you got to lose? Complete the School Technology Audit (results will be returned to your school within 5 working days)
You would think that with the increased use of technology in schools, teachers would be having it easy. Unfortunately, the saying no pain no gain can be used here, as there definitely is a phase when you start using new technology that makes you think - is it worth the effort? Well it is! as long as you take good advice and make use of the experience of other teachers that have already taken the plunge.
Here are a few suggestions:
Russell Bryant, has taught Science, ICT and Computer Science both in the UK and in South America for over 20 years. This includes teaching GCSEs, A Levels, IB and IGCSEs. He has also worked as an online learning consultant in London, helping schools to develop an online learning strategy.