19/03/2015

Make IT Digital!

I think I was a bit short sighted at school.

Picasso

These were the sort of people I thought were creative...

William Shakespeare
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

On reflection, perhaps I wasn't so lacking in vision. More of a generational thing.

I was secondary school from 1976-83. In 1980, one of these arrived in a cupboard at the back of one of the Maths rooms...

Micro Computer

It supported CSE Computer Studies. A course, it appeared, made available for students - exclusively boys - who couldn't cope with the 'mainstream' curriculum.

I wonder where they are now...?

Richard Branson

In 1980, I could not have conceived of digital creativity. I probably wasn't alone, even if some of my then leisure pursuits should have hinted at the way forward...

Space Invaders

I'm now delighted that our students are, by contrast, absolutely at the forefront of such creativity in learning and thinking.

Creativity is the theme of TeenTech - a national competition which encourages students to entrepreneurially apply their knowledge of the latest technological developments to business, environmental and educational development opportunities. Our students have reached the National Finals for the last two years as a result of the originality of their ideas...

Park House TeenTech

On the basis of this success, three of our students were invited to be the national school representatives and present their thinking at last week's BBC launch of 'Make It Digital'!

Park House School Make It Digital
Make it Digital Homepage

It's the BBC biggest programme since coverage of London 2012! The aim is to encourage young people to explore digital creativity and the myriad of innovative opportunities that exist - or will exist! - in the expressive industries related to it.

As an enticement, all Year 7 students across the UK will from September receive a ‘Micro-Bit’ ...

Make it Digital Micro-bit

This programmable device will be small enough to be fastened to clothing as wearable technology and has been developed to complement the Raspberry Pi.
 
Our three 'digital ambassadors' at the event, Erin Purton, Kirara Jones and Josh Smith were in their element, capturing exactly the prevailing spirit of creativity and innovation as they described their TeenTech projects to industry experts... And BBC Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones...

Park House Students with Rory Cellan-Jones

Erin and her team are working on the development of an educational app to support classroom learning through the use of games. Josh and his team aim to tackle issues associated with hearing impairment by turning sounds into text that can be read through digital glasses. And Kiara’s team are looking to solve issues with poaching and animal welfare by looking at new ways of using microchips to monitor the health and location of endangered species. Creativity, or what!
 
The Make It Digital initiative resonates with so much that we are already doing at Park House as the South's Lead School in the Network of Excellence to promote creativity and innovation in learning about the applications of Computer Science.

Two of our Year 11 students - Lucas Voss and Grace Blake - are pivotal members of the Young Digital Skills Taskforce, researching young peoples’ use of technology and perceptions of IT professionals and careers for a Parliamentary Report and recently accompanying TV Technology Reporter  Maggie Philbin to take centre stage on the arena at the BETT Show...

Park House Students with Maggie Philbin at BETT

Within the curriculum, creative approaches include combining Dance and Art with computational thinking principles through collaborative programming; targeted activities which have enabled us to buck the national trend in terms of the very large number of girls studying Computer Science.

This was further reflected last Monday, when a group of our Year 8 Girls attended an enrichment day at Reading University's Department of Engineering and Computer Science, where they made a new friend in Baxter the Robot...

Park House Students at Reading University with Baxter the Robot

We certainly do work creatively to Make IT Digital!
 

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