What a great weekend! A new initiative from Nesta: Digital Making initiative and the Mozilla Festival too. But even more exciting than all this is the final countdown to our Education Hack Event, which starts a week today where learners will be working with teachers, researchers and volunteers from the SME and StartUp community to ‘Hack their Education’ and show us all how technology really could make a difference to teaching and learning.
The Education Hack Event involves 50 students from 6 schools over 2 days at London Knowledge Lab working with volunteers to develop the future of education . It will enable secondary students to put into action their ideas about how technology could revolutionise their learning. Teachers get hands-on too, working with their students and experts from the LKL, industry and the media.
From e-diary systems to help them track their learning and homework to cyber bullying help networks, the students have the ideas and we will help them put them into action. This is ‘The real McCoy’ – kids hacking for good.
The technologies that are being used include MIT apps inventor, Java, HTML, digital film, web building using Thimble, Arduino kits, content mashups and much, much more
Members of the public can also take part on the Saturday afternoon, see what the students have built and try their hand at a range of activities from making jewellery tagged with radio frequency detection devices to writing code.
Teaching children computer science, including programming, is at the heart of the policy shift in the current teaching of IT. Programming helps build understanding of and access to formal systems of thought that are essential in helping people to express their ideas about the world, and make sense of it. That’s why programming is important: not just to increase the supply of programmers (important) or to introduce to everyone what is under the bonnet of the systems that power our society (essential), but to introduce the power of computational thinking. Events like Education Hackday allow young people to develop their computational thinking and hack new ideas to revolutionise their learning environment, working with their peers, teachers and technology professionals.
As one of our participating teacher says:
“Education Hackday will provide our gifted and talented computing and IT students with a challenging “real life” opportunity. They will learn how to use new computing and programming tools, experience different design environments, and work with a range of other peers, agencies and experts. The benefits of such an experience have a long term impact on the pupils themselves, as well on as the staff of the school.”
Chris Betts, Blatchington Mill School: