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BETT 2019

BETT 2019 is here! As usual the excitement to visiting the show was building.

What new tech were we going to see? If nothing else it would be good to see some of the suppliers, like 2Simple and Data Harvest with whom we have dealt with for a number of years  through the schools we have worked with.

It is fair to say that this year was the year of robots lots of new ones everywhere. We were in our element as we are always looking for new robots to recommend to our schools. Many of the robots seen this year has Microbit, Arduino whilst others were more sophisticated. Many use the old favourite, Scratch adapted to suit, however, a familiar coding platform which made it easy for schools to choose one or other without having to learn a new platform. 

It was great to see an old school favourite, Flowol 4 by Robot Mesh. Flowol 2 having been replaced by Flowol 4. The most amazing part of this year’s show was seeing the DeLorean ‘Back to the Future’ car. It was definitely something worth seeing. It was also great to attend some of the demonstrations to applications such as Edmodo.

Silence

OMG! What can I say?

Since the summer, having had a great break in Malaga, I came back landing firmly on the ‘mouse wheel’.  I would normally say that I thrive on the adrenalin that being busy usually produces.  Given all the events since the summer hols, I would rather not have had that kind of ‘busy’.

 

That said, I am back and looking forward to the next half term before Christmas, full and packed with events.

The SILENCE has been broken!

Parents ESafety Workshop

I was delighted to have been asked to support a Computing subject leader in his deliver of his first ESafety workshop for their parents.

We had been planning the content of the session for a number of weeks and always we had more content that we would have feasibly had time for.

Not knowing how many parents to expect, we were pleasantly surprised when the doors opened to see around 20 parents attending with a few more quietly dropping in during the course of the session.

What seemed to be the greatest concern for some parents was balancing the amount of time they allowed their children to stay online and online scammers.

We look forward to being able to organise another session that is more hands-on to help tackle some of the parental control setting issues.

Happy World Book Day

 Happy World Book Day! Hopefully your school wasn’t closed or badly affected by the ‘beast from the east’ snow.  We were unable to get into school today but KiKi still managed to dress up to celebrate World Book Day 2018.

KiKi as Wally from ‘Where’s Wally? Did you guess right?

What is your favourite book?

As World Book Day 2018 approaches, I have been searching through the recesses of my memory to think about the books which have had the most impact on me throughout my childhood.

I can remember the very first book I was given by my parents when I was about 5 or 6 years old, ‘Teeny Weeny and Friends’. I still have the book today albeit, the book cover is battered and torn. I became an avid reader and loved to disappear into the fantasy of some of the stories. My teenage years brought me to ‘The Three Musketeers’, one of my all time favourite books. I recently read the e-book version to a sick friend who was recovering in hospital. I really enjoyed it and was compelled to finish the book after leaving the hospital.

My teaching years introduced me to a wide range of books for children, many of which I read to the many children I taught over a 26 year period of my teaching career.  My love of reading helped me develop my art of story telling, a skill I loved to use in the classroom and encouraged the children to tell their own stories. I firmly believed that everyone had the ability to tell a story. 

As World Book Day approaches I look forward to seeing some of the characters that children will be dressed as to go to school.

Safer Internet Day (week) 2018

It never ceases to surprise just how much time the youngest of primary aged children spends online. The activities they participate in are wide ranging.

Working with Teacher’s and pupils during Safer Internet Day brings great joy in learning about the pupils’ own perception of their online safe practices. Many are aware of what to share or not to share in theory but in their reality they share more than they think they do.

Watching CEOP’s ‘Jigsaw‘ video and the discussion that followed highlighted just how much young teens are sharing without realising. Many children found the idea of a strange man looking around their bedroom very ‘creepy’ and yet some had stories of friends or older siblings posting pictures online wearing their school uniform.

The online safety message needs to be taught to parents, who can reinforce the message being taught at school. Alas, this can sometimes be a hard task as some parents class themselves as ‘technophobes’. Safer Internet Day activities in school should be done with parents and pupils together so that children can lead their parents through some of the activities they do in school to give them a better understanding. A parents only workshop can then show them how to set parental controls and other things.

BETT 2018

The annual BETT Exhibition at the Centre started in earnest today.  The buzz around the centre as arrivals waited to enter, it was clear that perhaps this year would be quite exciting and engaging.

We started the morning off with the first session at the Microsoft stand, listening to their introduction of all their latest educational materials truly geared to make teaching and learning at lot more collaborative and more exciting. 

The Hacking STEM materials were really exciting, making using everyday materials that doesn’t cost the earth.

 

The main theme of BETT this year seems to be on STEM and affordable robotics kits from different suppliers. We found the offering from UBTech really interesting. Yonshee is the Open Source Humanoid Educational Robot. This robot was really quite impressive (Look out for the video demonstrating Yonshee).

It was great to see some of our favourite exhibitors at Bett, like 2Simple, Asus, Microsoft, Zu3D and many more. All in all it was  a really good start to Bett week. Already looking forward to Bett2019.

 

Happy New Year

We hope 2018 is as exciting for you as it is for us. We are looking forward to bringing some exciting things to schools as we will be working with more robotics, AI, more on online safety and also collaborating with companies like 2Simple, Research Machines and Trend Micro. 

We look forward to working with you.

 

Merry Christmas

Christmas is the time of year we often can’t wait to come around. These days it seems come around really quickly and we are left rushing around trying to get last minute presents etc. 

This year is no different! Christmas is almost here and the annual debate goes on, turkey or goose or something completely different? Whatever, your answer is, we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

See you in 2018!

Shut down or restart? Again?

After reading this article highlighted by @MerlinJohn on Twitter yesterday, Shutdown or restart? Again?, I was perplexed as to why this updated report was any surprise? As usual as with most things in education, changes to the curriculum are made without the very people who really need to be consulted – teachers. Teachers who know more about the workings of the classroom and how, what, when and why to change and adapt effectively the curriculum subject matter. Read the summary report ‘After the Reboot’ here

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