Wednesday, 28 March 2012

DiDA - now and for the future


DiDA suite of qualifications
» DiDA - now and for the future 
DiDA continues to be popular with centres and learners alike and we want to reassure you of our ongoing commitment to this suite of qualifications in the future. Learn more.
Continuing with DiDA from September 2012
  • The existing CiDA, CiDA+ and DiDA are all on the DfE's 2014 headline measures list - you can continue to teach these qualifications and they will count towards your centre's headline measures in 2014.
  • AiDA, CiDA, CiDA+ and DiDA are all accredited until 31 December 2012; this means you can continue to offer these qualifications from September 2012.
  • We continue to work with Ofqual to gain accreditation for our next generation CiDA (120 GLH) qualification.
Year 9 starters from September 2012

For centres where headline measures recognition is not important, the full suite of NQF DiDA qualifications is accredited until the end of December 2012. If headline measures are important there are two options:
  • We are working to get the next generation CiDA qualification (120 GLH) accredited and available for first teaching in September 2012. Learn more.
  • Learners could take our GCSE ICT, which is very similar in style and content to AiDA. You can find out more about this qualification by visiting GCSE ICT.
For more information on DiDA - now and for the future, learn more.
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Some of the thinking behind the use of Facebook fans to target our Year 11 pupils

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Challenge Target

Love this for measuring pupil progress and moving kids out of their comfort zone.  Developed by my team here using pupil avatars on screen or on a large print out on a desk with model avatars.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

1<7 31337 4w420

Looking for a more friendly version of Geek of the Week to award to ICT pupils and looking at this site after a discussion with the team I am looking at these options: 

Turning our "Geek of the Week" into the ICT 31337 Award or 1<7 31337 4w420 using courier font of course?

Any thoughts?

Friday, 16 March 2012

Is the ICT curriculum too boring?


Is the ICT curriculum too boring?

Students from Lampton School in west London have been looking at the current debate surrounding the ICT [Information and Communications Technology] curriculum.
The government plan to change the way that ICT is taught, because they believe it is too boring.
The School Reporters ask fellow students, staff and educational experts what they think.
School Reportis an annual BBC project which helps young people make their own news reports for a real audience.
Here are our School report entries

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Resources and websites

Following a session with the GTPs and PGCEers today the following websites were mentioned as favourites, for resources and tools

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

DiDA Unit 5 Gamemaker marks

Unit 5 Gamemaker  
·   Strand A (5 marks)
o       No hand done drawings on the moodboard – if there are may be a bad moodboard but if good levels / characters then can help with Strand B
o       Moodboard – must be able to see the pictures clearly – can be annotated on board or around the outside
o       Cover all items on checklist some areas e.g. style of games may need several images – annotate all areas – feedback – good proposal overview then full marks
·   Strand C (9 marks)
o       If the game doesn't fit in with the scenario – low marks in C but can still achieve high mark in D – add background story and make sure ending is Olympic themed
·   Strand D (7 marks)
o       Does it show originality in terms of concept or assets?
o       Is there effective feedback to the player e.g. scores, life, health
o       Is the game sufficiently challenging? – amount of time / levels
o       Does the player know what to do and how to win
o       Are the bugs which spoil the game play? E.g. catching in platforms
·   Strand B – 11 marks
o       Assets table – only for game / promo. Copyright – Strand C – use material from other sources, providing they explain what changes would need to be made to the product/publication in order to make it for it's intended purpose. For example "the image of the clown on my digital poster would need to be replaced with an original or copyright free image before the poster can be used to publicise the event, as intended"
o       Storyboards – justify what they have done, needs to be annotated – must not be from the game – what assets / colour will you need – with reasons – if not a linear game then include a flowchart showing possible paths through
o       Timeline – Timeline not in all SPBs - don't do if not asked
o       Rules table – needs to be done up front – don't need to update as new ideas occur but for highest marks could add this to show development – if it's on the storyboard needs to be in the rule log – no crossover between the general and specific rules
o       Test plan – must clearly see what process of testing has occurred during the game – could be a narrative (but must be specific problems)
o       Feedback – ongoing, regular have disagreements
o       Candidates who produced good design logs also produced games which were effective and fun to play
o       The process of testing and making changes to the game was often badly recorded
o       If complete all documents reasonably 5/6 no more than that – need to show extensive evidence of testing to achieve this
o       Can give templates to any and all kids at no penalty
o       Need to make sure that the testing log shows problems that you may have had
·   Strand E – Promo (5marks)
o       No eportfolio - Other evidence has to be accessible but not need for context pages
o       Promo for the game
o       Should reuse some assets from the game – sounds, sprites, video clips
·   Strand F – Review (5 marks)
o       Not a project review
o       Comment on strengths and weaknesses of the game
o       Obtain feedback on finished game
o       Must be evaluative and fit for purpose
o       Don't just write bullet points – need more detail than that
o       Magazines wouldn't write a review in bullet point format so would not be fit for purpose

Bitmap v JPEG


Monday, 12 March 2012

Namechk – An easy way to check username availability

Keeping a uniform online presence

One of the things I think is really important when working online is to keep a uniform online presence.  It helps people to recognise and find you across multiple social networks and can ensure that when working with a new network you don't have to work hard to gain the trust of people who are already following you happily elsewhere.
The two things to keep consistent wherever possible are your profile picture and your username.

If you're starting out, check availability first

If you're starting a new venture, or rethinking your personal brand, it's a good idea to check out whether your preferred username is widely available.  Otherwise even if you have good intentions to keep your online presence consistent, you may be given no choice but to deviate from your original plan.

Checking multiple social networks can be tedious

Often you have to go right through the 'setting up an account' process before you can find out whether your preferred username is available.  It's a real bore and can take ages if you're doing it on multiple sites.  But if needs must…

This neat tool does all the hard work

Thankfully, I've recently come across this neat tool that does all the hard work for you (I say 'I' it was actually pooky who alerted me to it).  You just type in your preferred username to Namechk and you'll see which social networks you'll be able to sign up to with that username, and which you can't.  The list is extensive to say the least – 159 social networks and counting – and will check most of the social networks you could ever wish to flirt with (and many you've never heard 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

KONY 2012

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.


SAFETY ALERT - Jequirity Bean Bracelets


Please circulate to all schools, colleges, clusters, area groups, colleagues and other children settings
An alert has been issued by the East Midlands Ambulance Service, in conjunction with the Employment Medical Advisory Service of the Health and Safety Executive with regards to the sale of bracelets which may have been purchased, as per the photo above and photos attached.  These bracelets have been on sale at various retail outlets across the UK, including the Eden Project in Cornwall.  Information has been issued from those retailers urging customers to return the red and black bracelets made from the Jequirity bean.  The Jequirity bean bracelet is made from the deadly seed of the plant abrus precatorious.  It contains the toxin abrin that if swallowed, has the potential to kill in doses of just 3 micrograms.  Abrin is chemically similar to ricin, a chemical warfare agent.  People who have bought, or are in possession of the bracelets, are being urged to bag them, then wash their hands and avoid touching their eyes.

Abrus precatorius has many names around the world including Jequirity, Crab's Eye, Rosary Pea, John Crow Bead, Precatory bean, Indian Licorice, Akar Saga, Giddee Giddee or Jumbie Bead.  A native of Indonesia, it is a legume with long, feather-like leaves and mostly red and black beads used in percussion instruments and jewellery. The plant grows in tropical and subtropical areas. It has long been a symbol of love in China, and its name in Chinese means 'mutual love bean'. In Trinidad in the West Indies the brightly coloured seeds are strung into bracelets and worn around the wrist or ankle to ward off jumbies or evil spirits. A tea is made from the leaves and used to treat fevers, coughs and colds.
Ray West (RW Safety Solutions) spoke with Hampshire Constabulary Force Enquiries Officer (Winchester HQ) earlier this evening.  You are advised that if you or any of your children are in possession of one these bracelets, then you should double bag the bracelets, seal the bag and hand it in to your local police station where they will arrange safe disposal. You may also wish to consider informing parents who may have children with these bracelets.

Monday, 5 March 2012