Wales DigitalFest 2018

May 24th, 2018 by Angela Rees
Cardiff may be a small city but it certainly knows how to put on a good show. The beautiful Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay was jam-packed with exhibitors, speakers, workshops and discussions with attendees ranging from wannabe start-ups to big business moguls, politicians to street food vendors. Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies featured highly on the agenda, which...

Wales DigitalFest 2018

May 24th, 2018 by Angela Rees
Cardiff may be a small city but it certainly knows how to put on a good show. The beautiful Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay was jam-packed with exhibitors, speakers, workshops and discussions with attendees ranging from wannabe start-ups to big business moguls, politicians to street food vendors. Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies featured highly on the agenda, which...

Wales National Digital Learning Event 2015

July 15th, 2015 by Angela Rees
Jen and I went along to the National Digital Learning Event and Awards in Cardiff earlier in June. We handed out Taccle books and went to some workshops. There were a few to choose from but I attended a technocamps session which explored some ways of teaching computer science using lego bricks, (build a simple lego structure, now explain to your partner how to build an identical structure without them seeing what you have built) using people, (direct your person around the room using simple commands) and using Cargo Bot. I like what technocamps do, kit like Lego Mindstorms is pretty expensive, so they take the kit around to secondary schools and colleges across Wales for one day workshops. For lots of ideas about how to teach computing, coding and programming for the rest of the year you could check out the Taccle2 blog and the Babitech page. In the afternoon I had fun playing with Sonic Pi , which uses code for composing and performing music, you can see me in the video below (just after the 2 minute mark) getting flustered because there was a mistake in my loop. Don't let that put you off, it was really good fun and a great way to get instant and useful results form your code. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRq1W7ffdDE?rel=0] The best thing about the day was seeing the great things being done across Wales with Ponty locals Big Click scooping the Commercial Digital Project Award [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRVhWD9sjkY?rel=0] You can see all of the other inspirational kids and teachers getting their tech on at the Hwb website with projects like e-safety, coding with minecraft, creating an interactive local map and staging a robot wars competition. Keep an eye out for next years entries, Welsh kids are good with technology, the competition should be tough!
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    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.


    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.


    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.


    News from 1994

    This is from a Tweet. In 1994 Stephen Heppell wrote in something called SCET” “Teachers are fundamental to this. They are professionals of considerable calibre. They are skilled at observing their students’ capability and progressing it. They are creative and imaginative but the curriculum must give them space and opportunity to explore the new potential for learning that technology offers.” Nothing changes!


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