cameron code

The PM's National College for Digital Skills? Look behind the computing policy codes
Prime minister David Cameron's recent razzmatazz, electioneering announcement about a new National College for Digital Skills glossed over disturbing feedback on teacher readiness for the new computing curriculum and also about his new college bedfellows.

Surveys of teacher preparedness for 'computing' are consistently ringing alarm bells, and two of the people behind the NCDS – protégés of Teach First – have been involved in an unseemly dispute over the use of the preferred title, "Code College", which they "launched" earlier in 2014 even though an experienced programming expert and successful teacher educator was already running one.  

As education shows cross borders, former Bett director Joe Willcox traces the Bett roots of 'Learning'
Rani Sarala Devi School, BangaloreLearning on the move: Students at Rani Sarala Devi School, Bangalore (photograph courtesy of Siddarth.P.Raj, Wikimedia Commons)I’ve worked on live events for 14 years. In that time, I’ve helped to organise conferences and expos for a wide variety of audiences – EFL teachers, high-powered telecoms executives and IT professionals from every kind of business. I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of the world on my events travels – Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the USA and South America.

But one period of my career clearly stands out as the most enjoyable to date – my three-year stint on the Bett Show executive team, which started on a blazing hot day in July 2010.

Don't believe the hype. Half the world's people don't have mobiles, and 774m are illiterate. Opportunity?
Cramlington tabletCramlington school has a successful tablet schemeIf mobile technology is so good for schools, why the horror tales of mass iPad purchases without wifi networks to support them? Or headlines like this: "LAUSD report faults iPad bidding"?

Is it because the technology has led the learning? Hard sell and hype from big business? A free-to-join webinar next Tuesday (October 14, 3pm) gives educators a forum to share their insights and opinions. It builds on the recent Eduication Fast Forward 11 debate "Mobile learning for the masses?" Register here.

Teachers and classroom practice are at the heart of World Teach In 2014
Amy KingAmy King, SEN teacher and ‘GlamChem blogger’Imperial College London will host a major event for primary science teachers on half-term weekend (November 1-2). World Teach In 2014, organised by online science provider Tigtag and education consultants Suklaa in association with Imperial, promises a weekend of inspiration from key figures like Sir Robert Winston, Professor Maggie Dolman and curriculum expert Anne Goldsworthy.

It's closely focused on classroom practice and features a stellar range of science teachers from the UK and abroad. Some of the sources of inspiration can also be found in the high-quality new online science resource for teachers, Reach Out CPD (see also "Primary science boost from Reach Out CPD").

Ofsted withdraws Computing advice even though teacher confidence is low
David Brown PowerPointBureaucracy works in mysterious ways, but those in education’s computing community are baffled by the news that extremely useful advice about England's new Computing curriculum from Ofsted's head subject inspector David Brown had suddenly been withdrawn.

It’s believed to be the result of a diktat issued by Ofsted to all its HMIs of new and revised subjects, based on the argument that inspectors cannot advise on a subject that isn’t taught yet. The good news for teachers  and schools, however, is that the education adviser who first raised this issue, Ian Sillett, from teacher support outfit onefourseven, has already shared the PowerPoint presentation featuring David Brown’s sage observations and it's still downloadable.