1. Choosing a CurriculumEvery school’s journey begins with identifying their needs which are gathered by answering two questions:
- What skills and competencies they want to develop in their students
- How much time they have available
- TechReady: These are focused technology courses (like Data, AI, App and Game Dev, etc) for ages 8-14 aligned to US/UK/IB curricula and mapped to ISTE/CSTA standards.
- TechConnected: Technology projects for English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, Humanities and Language Learning for ages 8-14. Aligned to US/UK/IB curricula and mapped to ISTE/CSTA standards.
- Technovators: After school and camp courses for ages 8-14 covering a range of topics including Coding, Robotics, Tech Entrepreneurship, E-Sports, Lego, Roblox, Minecraft, etc.
- Connect2Work: BTEC aligned vocational courses for career readiness in technology first jobs for ages 16-18.
2. Teachers Skills Building and Curriculum FamiliarisationAfter the requirements have been identified and projects chosen, teachers receive professional development training by our instructors. The training gives the teachers the skills and confidence needed to adopt, implement and sustain the delivery of BSD curriculum seamlessly in their classrooms. The training covers:
- An orientation to BSD Online – our online learning software platform
- Skills building – hands on introduction to digital and coding skills
- Curriculum familiarisation – understanding of the teaching resources like lesson plans or teacher prep guides BSD provides and how to use them
3. Start Teaching and Community BuildingAfter training, teachers are ready to integrate technology education in their classroom. As teachers start teaching, we support them by providing virtual or onsite coaching with regular check-ins. Teachers who are trained and gain experience in the classroom, are encouraged to try new projects and strategies. As teachers experience and confidence grows, some go ahead and start sharing their experiences and success stories of using BSD curriculum in their classrooms with their colleagues while others take the initiative of training more teachers within the school. This helps develop a robust community of technology education practitioners in the school, all supported by BSD’s online Educator Community!
The BSD AdvantageOur professional development training is designed to help teachers overcome the three fundamental barriers that we have found to consistently prevent a broader implementation of technology education in the classroom.
- Confidence: Teachers usually don’t have background in technology so can see bringing technology education into the classroom as risky and unfamiliar. Professional development for an area that is new and technical can be hard to access. We help teachers by providing an online teaching environment and training by professionals that gives them the skills and confidence by putting them in control of the learning experience.
- Content: Technology is constantly changing. Curriculum can, therefore, become quickly outdated. We help overcome this by providing up to date curriculum and content with real world relevant curriculum that can be brought into every subject.
- Community: Teachers don’t often have a community of practice or peers to collaborate with, or a core group of trained practitioners to learn from and share ideas with. We assist teachers by becoming their trusted partners. We provide ongoing virtual or onsite coaching, regular check-ins, and an online community and events with like-minded educators from around the world.
How Nord Anglia International School in Hong Kong is using Technology Education Curriculum for their MIT STEAM Challenges
What are the MIT STEAM Challenges?The MIT STEAM Challenges is a collaboration between Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Nord Anglia Education to enhance the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) by connecting MIT innovation and culture to Nord Anglia schools globally through project based challenges. Since 2016, MIT has designed three challenges per year, which have been implemented in Nord Anglia schools. The Challenges are in-school cross curricular experiences for Nord Anglia students based on MIT research. The MIT Challenges are a unique opportunity aimed to give a taste of MIT to every school, teacher, and student in the Nord Anglia Education family. Each MIT Challenge embodies the teaching and learning culture of MIT, is rooted in the research of MIT faculty, and makes that research relevant and accessible to Nord Anglia students.
This Year’s ThemeThe 2018-2019 MIT Challenge is themed “STEAM Superheroes”. The challenges highlight the research of three MIT professors and their ‘sidekick’ graduate student researchers, for Nord Anglia to use as inspiration for developing their own innovations, powers, devices, identities, and more. Each of the three “STEAM Superheroes” challenges present the work of an MIT professor and a graduate student researcher as a snapshot of life at MIT. Nord Anglia students then tackle a project of their own, using the professor and their process as inspiration The three STEAM Superheroes and their powers are:
- Epic Identity featuring Prof. Leia Stirling: Students will learn about wearable technology and its ability to improve human performance.
- Super Natural featuring Prof. Anette “Peko” Hosoi: Students will closely observe the natural world and understand the physics behind an animal’s adaptation, then apply that knowledge to engineering design.
- Medical Marvel featuring Prof. Chris Voigt: Students will tap into the potential of applying engineering principles to biological problems to improve human health.
BSD Education and Nord Anglia International School, Hong KongBSD partnered with Nord Anglia International School, Hong Kong (NAIS HK) in 2017/18 to develop and deliver projects for the MIT STEAM Challenges. As part of the partnership, BSD delivered PD for 4 NAIS HK teachers in 2017 and is training 8 teachers in 2018. The 4 teachers developed in 2017, internally trained 4 teachers each, making a total of 20 teachers trained in 2017.
What students will learn to build using BSD Online in 2018-19NAIS HK is using BSD’s cross-curricular curriculum offering – TechConnected with their Year 3-6 students to build their own customised creations for the MIT STEAM Challenges. Students will build their foundation with coding by learning HTML and CSS, learn the fundamentals of Computational Thinking, and learn how to make their digital artifacts and present their work. The BSD projects recommended can be used by students to showcase and present work or to apply their learning. For example, students will showcase their work by documenting their journey of researching and building their own STEAM Challenge and present this by creating a digital portfolio. Students learn about the challenges of space travel, the preparation required and what astronauts do when they face problems in space; then students apply this learning by creating a Mission to Mars theme Choose Your Own Adventure game. All students will be build their own Personal Portfolio Showcase to document their learning and showcase what they have built. In addition to this, students will complete the following projects in each year group:
- Year 3: Introduction to coding in HTML & CSS followed by coding and designing their Online Poster with a Keep Calm and Carry On theme.
- Year 4: My First Website to explain and document their STEAM Challenge
- Year 5: My First Website with the theme of “Into the Unknown” and Choose Your Own Adventure with a “Mission to Mars” theme.
- Year 6: Trivia Game and MicroBit Wearables with a “Medical Marvel” theme.
1. Kids need digital skills to succeed in the futureTechnology is already fundamental to every industry and this will only increase. We can’t ignore the way the world is going and the facts: computer-related employment will grow 22% by 2020 and 65% of children entering primary school today will do jobs that don’t yet exist. For students to succeed in the future, it is therefore critical they learn digital skills. Some schools believe that this can be done through a computing class or an after school club, but in the real world technology touches everything and impacts everyone. It cannot be isolated to one subject area or a group of self-selecting people and the school environment must reflect this. It needs to be infused across everything so that students can make connections, follow their interests and understand how to use and apply technology to build solutions across contexts.
2. It increases engagementAs well as giving your students the skills they need to succeed in the future, teaching digital skills will increase engagement with your subject. Teachers we have trained have reported that students are more engaged in classes using BSD Online and our curriculum. It can enable a more interactive learning environment and helps make the learning more authentic. Students can struggle with the real world context of some topics and a common question is ‘Why are we learning this?’. Bringing technology into your subject and giving your students the opportunity to explore, build and create with it makes the connection to the real world much stronger and helps to pique students’ interest.
3. It develops vital soft skillsPoint 1 highlighted the importance of learning technical skills to help students succeed in the future. However, the skills developed by bringing technology learning into your subject don’t stop there. Technology learning expands the mindsets of young people by developing ‘21st century skills’. By focusing on designing and developing real-world products, learning how to apply technology nurtures a range of critical competencies for young people. For example:
Communication and Collaboration
When working to create a solution or product, students often have to work together to combine complementary skills and must always consider whether the end product is actually going to work for the end user. Students therefore need to work with others to: determine who will do what; understand potential users’ requirements; request and act on feedback; and share information about what they have designed and built. None of this can be done without communication and collaboration skills. Creativity Creativity links to building with technology in two main ways: Creativity in problem solving and creativity in design. When solving a real world problem, students need to think creatively about how to solve it using a technological solution. Once students have decided on the product or solution, they need to think about the best way to design it. Thinking about the end user, they need to consider user experience and user interface – nobody wants to use a poorly design product. Computational thinking Computational thinking is about taking complex problems and breaking them into tiny pieces, which is exactly what students have to do when they are deciding how to use technology to provide solutions. In a rapidly changing future, students will have to solve problems constantly to adapt to the world around them.Bringing technology learning into your subject is a win-win. It will make your classes more inspiring and engaging, whilst also giving your students the skills and competencies they need to succeed in their futures. To find out how BSD empowers all teachers to bring technology learning into their classroom and give their students the tools of tomorrow, get in touch!
|Using technology in your classroom||Teaching how technology works|
In the next few weeks, we will take a deep dive into six subject areas (English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Geography, and Foreign Languages) to discuss how you can bring authentically connected and integrated tech projects into your subject area.
- Confidence: Teachers don’t usually have a tech background and so can see it as risky and unfamiliar. Professional development for an area that is new and technical can be hard to access.
- Content: Technology is constantly changing. Curriculum can, therefore, become quickly outdated.
- Community: Teachers don’t have a community of practice or peers, with a core group of trained practitioners, to learn from and share ideas.
- An online teaching environment that gives teachers confidence by putting them in control of the learning experience.
- Real world relevant curriculum that can be brought into every subject.
- Professional development that enables every teacher to integrate technology into their classroom.