Sunday, February 9, 2014

Keeping one eye on the ball

I followed the thread of some tweets this morning by @andreacarr1, @hubmum and @ohlottie, which led me to reading these posts about the Year of Code controversy. Forgive me for not adding my own opinions, you will form your own after reading these.

7 reasons why the year of code is just am dram by Emma Mulqueeny (@hubmum)

Festival of code tweeted by @hubmum 

Lottie Dexter should quit and take the year of code board with her shared by @digitalmaverick

You can see why here (6.26 got my back right up!) Amongst other sweeping statements, she doesn't seem to realise that lots of teachers have taken coding into the classroom, many won't be able to pick it up in a day, coding alone won't help you create a business and also many folk have made websites without understanding code. What's with the e-card too?!

Are educators ready for Gove's new computing curriculum? (can't remember who tweeted this - sorry!)

The initial thread prompted me to write this post, which is a personal reflection of my career changes, my attempt to keep one eye on the computing ball and most importantly share another opportunity for great free cpd. It's personal babble really. The juicy posts are above - or another great post by @ohlottie that was also prompted by discussions this morning.

I have been in the process of writing a post about leaving behind Roydon Primary School and becoming a Deputy and SENDco at East Harling Primary School and Nursery for about three months. I wanted it to be advice for anyone thinking about or undertaking the same role. I will finish it one day.

The biggest challenge for me was giving up my outreach work and letting go of some things that I am passionate about. With my outreach work I initially begrudged the fact that I was getting requests to support schools with ICT rather than my passion (dramatic inquiry) though I realise that it pushed me to learn and opened many doors for me. I had lots of exciting opportunities within my role and became passionate about promoting the employment of digital leaders in schools to sustain developments in ICT.

At my new school the ICT coordinator had seen me speak at the Norfolk ICT conference and had started the digital leader journey. I was chuffed to bits, but also a little bit gutted that this would not be my responsibility. Yes we work together and have a fantastic working relationship, but I am learning to let go and let others take the lead. Learning to let go is a challenge.

Of course this doesn't mean that I won't continue to promote digital leaders or continue to polish my ICT/computing skills. Balancing my passions has become extreme plate spinning and I've had to drop some, like the Bett show this year. Yes I'm gutted about that. Rising Stars were giving out leaflets about digital leaders that I had written. Many of my #DLchat friends were there and I felt like I was missing out, but back in Norfolk I was juggling an internship (at a fantastic school), SENDco training and some extreme challenges in my classroom.

That said, I can't quite let go of some things and am keen to keep one eye on the ball (plus the word FREE is always persuasive). So this week I have started a free computing course by the UEA, just to make sure my basic skills are intact. You can access the course here. I'm pleased to say that I was ale to complete week one whilst writing reports. The end of unit assessment didn't prove to be a challenge; it's what I know and have been pushing for the last few years. A colleague and friend of mine completed it and said she learned new vocabulary (she is an able ICT teacher). I think this course will be highly beneficial to teach the basics and boost the confidence of teachers who feel anxious about computing. And it's free CPD! So be proactive and sign up! Carry on learning! 

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