Preparing young people for a constantly changing 21st century labour market is a core part of the Archer Academy’s vision and ethos. We recognise that whilst traditional approaches to teaching and learning might have been adequate for the way things used to be, but they aren’t going to work in the future, if we want to compete in the global economy of the future. So we’ve built a strong emphasis on developing creative and critical thinking skills into our curriculum and offer a range of enrichment opportunities designed to inspire young people and support employability from age 11 onwards. One important part of this focusses on technology.
Despite the huge amount of tech-focussed stuff going on in the UK (and particularly in London, where we’re based) we’ve found it hard to know where to go, who to talk to and who can help us offer exciting, engaging and appropriate ways of engaging our students with technology. So, as my stock response to this type of challenge, I took to social media seeking the advice of my well-informed and well-connected networks to see what help they could offer. The response was fantastic. So I thought I would share the insight and wisdom offered to me, in the hope of helping others with similar challenges, to cut through the fluff. Here’s what I was got back…
- Emma Mulqueeny – For those of you who are my friends and have never heard of the Festival of Code… *not possible* here is the information https://youngrewiredstate.org/festival-of-code open for all young programmers aged 18 and under, self-taught bedroom coders, as well as those who have raced through their CodeClubs and are itching to make some real stuff. You can also host a centre if you are a business, school, social space or University AND if you want you can be a mentor. All info here… it’s the best fun you can have with your codes on.
- Emma Mulqueeny Hi – also Apps for Good
- Warren Hatter – Paul Evans has been down a similar road … (BTW One thing I’ve learned from my 13 y.o. nerd daughter is: don’t call it ‘coding’; ‘making’ is cool though)
- Paul Evans – Toby Blume I did a Raspberry Pi meetup – Firefox let me use their offices and there are quite a few freelance teachers / Pi Evangelists who appear to be happy to weigh in and get involved. It could be a good day-out for the schoolkids – if you want me to make Firefox intros or intros to the teachers/evangelists concerned, please let me know?
- Also, Toby – have you met any of these lot? http://audioboo.fm/…/playlists/4232-year-10-gcse-computing
- Teach Computing Podcast – audioboo.fm
- Julie Anson Have you tried STEM website or Coderdojo?
- Philip Colligan Code club and also speak to Helen Goulden about make things do stuff.
- Lauren Cooper Try contacting Jill at Tech Fire Camps. Don’t think it is a non profit, but she’s fantastic at making tech fun for kids, and a lovely person to boot. M loved her app-building class and the app actually works!
- | Fire Tech Camp – www.firetechcamp.com
- Ed Anderton – +1 on Code Club, and I can do an intro email to http://technologywillsaveus.org/ if you want – they are rather wonderful…
- Nick Fine – Treehouse Academy, Code Academy, Khan Academy….
- Edward Brett – The Hour of Code is here – code.org
- Raspberry Pi Starter Kit – Pimoroni – shop.pimoroni.com
- http://www.kano.me/ – Kano
- http://www.codecademy.com/ – Learn to code
- Jude Habib What a great feed – some very interesting posts. Most of the orgs I know have been mentioned. This is one that might be of interest
- Little Miss Geek – littlemissgeek.com
- Matthew C Applegate Hi Toby Blume although I don’t teach anymore I have made quite a lot of free resources to get kids coding http://creativecomputingclubsuffolk.blogspot.co.uk/ in the header you’ll find a link to resources. They were designer for absolute beginner teachers/parents to work through with kids.
- Jon Foster – Hmmm – have you spoken to the guys at Mozilla Foundation? Not sure if they’re doing anything in schools, but certainly up their street. Also not necessarily strictly what your after, but I know the Facebook policy team are do some stuff in schools (https://vimeo.com/68735668) if that’s of interest?
- Try Decoded too? No contacts there though.
- And +1 to Apps for Good and Tech Will Save Us.
- Also – this is a good list of people to try: http://makethingsdostuff.co.uk/get-involved
I also got a lot of personal contacts, people sharing my request for help, passing it on to others and people offering support – which is amazing – but I’ve not posted them here as I wasn’t sure they’d appreciate being offered out as a source of support to anyone reading this blog. But I wanted to mention it as individuals who are prepared to help very definitely part of the story!
I’m sure this is a far from definitive list of groups and organisations interested in supporting young people to engage with technology in interesting, creative and inspiring ways…so feel free to add more suggestions to the list (post a comment and I’ll add any suggestions to the list).
I’ll try and let you know how we get on at the school – we did have a very good coding club (and no, it wasn’t called that Warren…it was a Minecraft Club but it was all about coding!) last term but we want to do much much more. And I hope that we’ll get some of the students sharing their experience on the topic too – I’ll be helping them set up their own students blog in a couple of weeks.
Thanks to all of you who offered ideas and insights. This post proves yet again the power of social media!
Links to tech and young people orgs [nb not all of these are doing work in schools or specifically with young people…but might still be relevant]
Make Things Do Stuff – http://makethingsdostuff.co.uk/get-involved
Facebook policy team – https://vimeo.com/68735668
Young Rewired State – https://youngrewiredstate.org
Mozilla Foundation – http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/foundation/
Apps for Good – http://www.appsforgood.org/
STEM Clubs – http://www.stemclubs.net/
Coderdojo – http://coderdojo.com/
Code Club – https://www.codeclub.org.uk/
Technology will save us – http://technologywillsaveus.org/
Treehouse – http://teamtreehouse.com/
Code Academy – http://www.codecademy.com/
Suffolk Creative Computing Club – http://creativecomputingclubsuffolk.blogspot.co.uk/
Khan Academy – https://www.khanacademy.org/
The Hour of Code – http://code.org/
Little Miss Geek – http://littlemissgeek.com