Science Minister visits ‘digital school’ in Scotland
Today the Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Dr Alasdair Allan, came to visit Oxgangs Primary School to see the work we have been doing to support teachers with their digital skills as part of our Digital Education programme in Scotland.
Oxgangs Primary in Edinburgh is one of our eight pilot schools where our Digital Education Manager Kate Farrell has been working as a ‘digital mentor’ to support teachers to build their confidence in using digital technology so that the young people they teach can not only consume digital content but learn how to create it themselves.
Today Mr Allan saw a classroom of 10 year olds using Scratch to build animations on the theme of the Caribbean - the school’s current topic. What is so good about this is that the young people are totally engaged and enthused about this learning experience and the teachers want to make Scratch a main staple of their learning plans moving forward - something that would never have happened without our small intervention.
We have been investigating the best model of supporting Scottish teachers with their CPD/digital learning and working as a mentor to a cluster of teaching staff at both primary and secondary schools is just one model of delivery to support this. We are also testing one-day digital events - where teachers are invited to come along to join in our workshops on physical computing (using Raspberry Pi/Arduino and the like), 3D printing, video editing, web building and animation creation.
We have now run events in Edinburgh and Aberdeen and our next event, which is geared towards primary school teachers, is planned for Saturday 10 May in Glasgow. Our Eventbrite booking will go live by the end of March, or do contact us at our Dundee office (tel: 01382 229 521) if you would like tickets. If you are interested in seeing what sort of things we do at these events - we have created six films showing the varied ‘lessons’ on offer.
We are pleased that this work is seen to be strategically important across the UK. This week the Scottish Government announced a £6.6m package of measures under the newly published Skills Investment Plan (SIP) to support digital skills in Scotland and the ICT and igital sectors- a growing area of importance for the Scottish economy. We look forward to working with our partners to support the SIP with Scottish teachers to ensure that the work that was on display at Oxgangs Primary School today, is the norm, and not the exception.
Photo: The Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Dr Alasdair Allan, with a pupil at Oxgangs Primary School