#Naace14 Conference (am1)

Lucinda Searle Chair, Naace Board of Management

Not just programming and coding that are important: don’t forget the other aspects of technology that are important for our learners to develop. Lucinda recapped the balance in the new Computing curriculum. Learning in a connected world – new tagline for Naace. Don’t forget to support teachers in this new age of computing and technology today…and in the future


Kevin Brennan Labour Member of Parliament for Cardiff West and Shadow Schools Minister

Not enough being done in our schools to reflect the present, let alone the future. Comment on schools reflecting cultural and social landscape of our current “connected digital world”. Nod towards the need for pupils to become “problem solving citizens”. Children asked wanted to run their own business in the future yet none of them felt that school prepared them for this. Technology should become a “ubiquitous ally of learning” in order to support pupils learning. Learning through technology is also happening in the House of Commons as we speak. “Government seems to be designing an analogue curriculum for a digital age.” Moving on to discuss and comment on exams and assessment where we still seem to be using technology of the era of Dickens, to prepare young people for the age of the algorithm.

Question from Miles Berry on the shadow secretaries thoughts on reinstating Local Authority, middle tier coherence. Response includes comment on the “ludicrous idea” that the secretary of education can control 50% of schools from one office in Whitehall.


Lindsay Harvery and Janet Hayward Learning in Digital Wales

Foundation Phase in Wales from 3 – 7 years, moving through to KS2. 3 very straight forward commitments in Wales: to improve standards in literacy; to improve standards in numeracy; and to reduce the impact of poverty on attainment. E-safety worries can put teachers off engaging with new technologies – important comment for those of us ‘in the field’ trying to persuade colleagues and leaders to adopt new ideas and change practice. Important to remember that use of tech is all about driving forward standards for learners – we can get carried away with new technology.

*Thought* I can’t help but think that as we spend hours, days, weeks, years contemplating how best to support learners to develop computing/ICT/digital literacy (all of the above?) skills in schools, there are a great deal of learners actively taking control of their own understanding and digital development outside of school.

Learning platform through Hwb+ site. Early Years to Y6 children interacting with their learning platform, storing homework, messaging community, etc.

*Thought* Would be good to know the uptake and usage levels on learning platforms in school. Will children interact with platforms and maintain this access if they are not engaged in the content actually being uploaded and shared? It was discussed that platforms are revolutionising practice with vast benefits including file sharing, etc. I’m not sure if these platforms truly do revolutionise teaching or learning. Rather, they just move the practice that was happening in school to an online space. Is that revolutionising learning? I need to reflect more on this.

Teachers taken to be Digital Leaders across Wales with a task to build capacity in the system at all different levels across Wales.


John Anderson Professor of Education, Northern Ireland

Historical context of educational technology provision and vision in Northern Ireland (C2k). ICT embedded in NI schools – management, professional development, curriculum provision, teaching and learning. Progression in using ICT across the curriculum documents clearly setting out components of the statutory curriculum in NI. Exploring, Expressing, Evaluating, Exchange, Exhibit – the 5 Es for ICT in NI.

*Thought* We still seem to be stuck in the era of policy-driven, top-down development of use of technology in schools to meet predetermined agendas. Where is the focus on children, young people and learners who are already accessing and manipulating technology independently? Obviously, lots of young people are not as skilled and self-empowered with their use of technology as others and there is still a ‘divide’ in this sense. Yet surely we could learn from what’s happening outside of school with digital creation and bring this into education (working from young people’s interests).


Dr Jim Fanning Head of Emerging Technologies, Education Scotland

Spotlight on Scotland. Takes 5 years for governmental policy to become embedded. “Takes 5 years for an initiative to bed in”.

*Thought* This is too long in terms of technology development. Same issue with school 5-year plan for technology redeployment.

Learning is constructed around experiences and outcomes, not technology. Scottish government are asking public questions and showing how they have acted to support their ideas for development. Public involvement encouraged through Scottish ‘we ask, you say, we did’ (via Jan Harrison). Comment on top-down methods of development in the past (and currently). Scotland pushing for giving teachers and learners a voice in new developments (National Digital Learning Forum). The hope is that this will turn around the top-down model.

Comment from the audience – there is a contrast between technology that teachers need for personal professional activity and what they actually want to teach in terms of problem solving skills, creative development using technology, etc.

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