With Computer Science becoming a key element of the UK curriculum, the BBC and the Department for Education have partnered with Microsoft to show parents and teachers how important this movement is.
On Monday 8th of September London’s top parental bloggers were given the chance to see the innovative Computer Science resources out there for students, teachers and parents with this recent change in curriculum.
Hugh Milward, Director of Corporate Affairs at Microsoft UK spoke at the event, arguing that Computer Science is vital to prepare students for their future. Creating a strong pipeline of talent not only supports individuals but enables the country to gain a global competitive advantage over other locations. Studies have proven that students who study Computer Science do better in every other subject. Computer Science is how we are going to improve outcomes for students today. Hugh argued this is “not just the smart thing to do, but it’s the right thing to do.”
Throughout the event attendees were given the opportunity to hear more about the free and simple resources available to teachers, students and parents:
The BBC have recently re-launched their BBC BiteSize site to include Primary resources. Computer Science is now the first subject available on BiteSize available for students from Primary all the way through their school life.
The BBC’s ‘Make it Happen’ Campaign will be launched in 2015, where the company intend to dedicate the entire year to coding, games and computer science.
At the event Stuart Ball, Microsoft Education Network Programme Manager UK, gave participants the opportunity to get their hands on Windows Devises and test Kodu, a coding software for beginners. Kodu provides students with access to a visual, interactive method of learning. The flexibility and creativity Kodu provides in this 3D world allows students to develop their Computer Science skills in an innovative manner.
Attendees were also able to learn more about Dream Spark, another exciting free software which can support the Computer Science change in curriculum.
Dr Bill Mitchell, Director, BCS, The chartered institute for ICT spoke at the event. He believes that coding can be a fun technique used to support vital skills, which are necessary to help students succeed in life. For example, an algorithm used in coding relies on students using clear communication to follow steps and rules. If a student was to be blind folded and the directed by another pupil to reach a location they would be following a precise set of instructions – an algorithm. At the event attendees were given the opportunity to learn the basic processes behind Computer Science, in the picture below participants took part in a lesson activity to show how reactions take place due to a trigger.
Attendees of the event praised the engaging nature of the resources available. Many were shocked at the range of support being developed for teachers, pupils and parents.