In 2018 I changed careers. With a background in business, I’d worked in a number of sectors, always seeking an environment that would promote innovation and creative curiosity. It intrigued me that so few other people sought the same. Even the graduates coming up through the ranks seemed depressingly unimaginative, content to maintain the status quo rather than seeking to innovate it.
Founded to help Inspire, Support and Promote the teaching of Computing across the UK a little over a year ago, exa.foundation has helped hundreds of teachers and thousands of students develop their interest in Computing, running a wide variety of events aimed at school teachers, students and Computing hobby clubs. In this piece, we’re taking a look at some of the events we’ve run recently - and what’s coming up next!
Tired of delivering traditional STEM activities or finding it difficult to inspire your class in Design & Technology or Computing? Then VEX Robotics is the answer! Providing an exciting, affordable and scalable solution, VEX Robotics is the leading platform for educational robotics around the world. Offering platforms catering to Key Stage 2, 3, 4 and beyond, VEX IQ and VEX EDR are perfectly placed to allow students to grow and develop in an open-ended, problem solving and engaging way.
Of course it’s important for kids to learn how to read and write, and there are plenty of games to help them do that, not to mention textbooks. However, in our increasingly technological society, coding is another crucial skill — and it helps when kids learn it young.
The lessons that I enjoy teaching the most are the ones where the children are enjoying their learning. This enjoyment can stem from various sources, including using their interests as an impetus, but always occurs in lessons where I feel secure in my subject knowledge. This security allows me to test new ideas, to give children greater ownership of the lesson and to roll with it if / when things don’t go as planned. For me, this is most evident in my lessons that use technology.
Today sees up to one million BBC micro:bits being delivered free to every Year 7 student in England and Wales, Year 8 student in Northern Ireland and S1 student in Scotland. BBC micro:bit, launched as part of the BBC Make it Digital initiative, is a pocket-sized codeable computer that allows young people to get creative with technology, whatever their level of experience, and aims to help develop a new generation of digital pioneers.
Samsung have launched a companion app for the BBC micro:bit. Available via Google Play, the resource will connect the BBC micro:bit to smartphones and tablets, allowing young people to code on the go. By being introduced to connected technology and the Internet of Things, pupils will be able to control their smartphones or tablets via the micro:bit and come up with fun applications, such as building their own ‘selfie’ remote controller. Samsung has also developed micro:bit projects for parents and teachers.