Creativity, Coding and Conversation at the Computing Conference


On the 6th of December we held the first of our two annual Computing Conferences. Bringing together computing leads from across Lambeth and beyond, the conference provides a great platform for teachers to share knowledge, gain skills, and be inspired to try out new technologies in the classroom.
The day kicked off with talks from Sarah and Julia, encouraging everyone to think a bit more deeply about what we find on the internet. If adults find it difficult to distinguish between real and fake news stories in a post- truth age, it’s got to be even harder for children without the right guidance and support, and our teachers discussed the role that schools can play in tackling this increasingly important issue.

English/D&T

When the workshops kicked off in earnest, the Mac suite was full of fairytales – using Google Explore to investigate worlds and Padlet to collate ideas –  the teachers explored how technology can aid storytelling and fire the imagination, the workshop.

The conference room was feeling festive in the D&T workshop with the BBC Microbit (and a lot of glitter and glue) being used to create and programme light-up decorations.

Music/Science

After the break, the Mac suite was alive with the sound of music. Beautiful tunes were composed, and trying to create a simple Scratch script for the lyrics of The Twelve Days of Christmas was brilliantly brain melting.

The conference room was transformed into a lab, with digital microscopes and data loggers acting as the tools for a session on technology and the scientific method – how tech can help children to interrogate data and produce results.

During lunchtime, we welcomed a number of guests to show off their wonderful wares to the teachers. Dora from 2 Simple Software was on hand to answer any questions and to show off the range of tools available to teachers. Visitors from University of the Arts London gave our teachers the chance to try out the Tilt Brush – a virtual reality 3D Drawing tool. It’s incredibly good fun but, as you get lost in the virtual world of your own creating, in the real world you can look rather silly!

A hugely important part of our conferences is giving teachers the opportunity to skill share, spreading their computing expertise to other schools. A number of attending teachers gave talks to the group, introducing software that they find useful or techniques that have worked in their classroom; it’s always brilliant to see teachers engaging with each other and sharing ideas – that’s what our conferences are all about.

Art/Maths

After lunch, the conference room got a final coat of glitter in the art workshop. The teachers looked at where art and technology collide, using digital drawing, programming and animation to help children explore, present, develop their art. The Mac suite got all mathematical with the teachers exploring how Scratch and the Scratchmaths project can be used to develop problem solving skills with a focus on the maths curriculum.

We had a brilliant computing conference and judging from the feedback our teachers did too. We’re looking forward to the next one in June 2017.

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