17 November 2016

What was IT education like when you were at school?

It is astonishing to think of the progress that we have made in technology in the years since I was at school. My daughters are not only more than able to use computers, iPads and all manner of devices and software; they’re also able to code, to create software and tinker with hardware too.

Technology education is no longer about learning to use the Microsoft Office suite. It’s about the nitty gritty of computing. Our Code Clubs have shown us that children no longer want to play games and click buttons, they want to create the games and control the narrative.

Thankfully, schools are embracing the need for digital education but, in my experience, there is still a long way to go. It’s something we’ve been passionate about for a while at UKFast.

For many years now we’ve partnered with the Dean Trust, providing technical resources, workshops and Code Clubs, as well as creating a Raspberry Pi café at their Broadoak School for community use too.

Through this work, we’ve seen first-hand the incredible effects of engaging young people with the digital world – more often than not, we’re finding that the children’s skills are above and beyond those in the curriculum. Budget restrictions, time constraints and the fast-paced world of tech make it a huge challenge for teachers to keep education current in an increasingly digital world.

Our team visited a school in Stockport last week to see how we could help them with their technology provision after a tweet from a teaching assistant. The school has a few temperamental netbooks and whilst children are learning to code, their learning by writing with pen and paper.

Soon, we’ll be kitting them out with a Raspberry Pi suite to see if we can change that.

Alongside this, we’ve put together a bid along with the Dean Trust to launch a new secondary school in Manchester that focusses on equipping young people with the skills that they need to thrive in an ever-increasing world. As part of this bid, I want to hear from you.

What do you think high schools in Manchester need? How can digital literacy be improved across the region?

Watch the video below or take a look at the school bid’s website and leave your feedback via the form or comment below.

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