The keynote from Michael Gove at BETT 2014 was inspiring spelling out a vision to ensure that students in the UK will be future focussed. His speech addressed the latest in technology trends such as coding for students, the use of 3D printers and MOOCs to enhance student learning.
In describing the new curriculum he commented that “ICT used to focus purely on computer literacy – teaching pupils, over and over again, how to word process, how to work a spreadsheet, how to use programs already creaking into obsolescence; about as much use as teaching children to send a telex or travel in a zeppelin.
Now, our new curriculum teaches children computer science, information technology, and digital literacy: teaching them how to code, and how to create their own programs; not just how to work a computer; but how a computer works, and how to make it work for you.
From 5, children will learn to code and program, with algorithms, sequencing, selection and repetition; from 11, how to use at least 2 programming languages to solve computational problems; to design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems; and how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system.”
Key announcements were also made at BETT including the alignment between SMART and Google to create an education software solution called SMART amp collaborative learning software due to be released in April.
SMART amp collaborative learning software is “ a revolutionary, cloud-based solution hosted on the Google cloud that takes advantage of Google’s newest cloud services. It is the ‘glue’ that connects interactive displays, PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones, while enabling teachers and students to collaborate in real time, do in-class assessment, connect to shared digital workspaces and interact with Web-based learning materials regardless of location or device. The integration with Google cloud services ensures simple, cost-effective deployment and eliminates costs associated with supporting numerous proprietary operating systems and applications. For more information, visit smarttech.com/cloud.”
The BETT Award winners were also an inspiring list of products and services. Congratulations to SMART Technologies as a finalist and 3PLearning as a winner.