Digital Resources and Opportunities for Schools and Educators
Digital or Online educational Resources
There are many digital or online educational resources being made available during the Covid-19 outbreak and specifically the social isolation period. Here is a summary of some of those.
SideQuest is a new initiative for 13-19-year-olds to learn a range of key practical and workplace skills during lockdown through designing and building videogames. The scheme is set up by the youth games career service, Into Games and the national trade body, UKIE. Participants will be able to take part remotely, with free software, curriculum mapped worksheets, online tutorials and a community of fellow game builders on the social platforms Twitch and Discord.
Those that take part will have to build a game from scratch in 7 days to a theme set by a well known UK games studio, during the week, industry professionals will stream masterclasses, tips and careers advice, offering a creative way to develop students understanding about careers in the sector, satisfying a number of Gatsby benchmarks.
If you head over to the Minecraft Marketplace, you will find some lessons from the Minecraft: Education Edition in a brand new Education category. These educational worlds can be played on your own, with siblings, parents or friends. From the comfort of your home, you can tour the International Space Station or even explore the inside of a human eye. They have also included ten worlds from our Marketplace creator community! Click here to find out more.
Carol Vordeman’s – The Maths Factor
The Maths Factor is free during school closures to support home learning- usually costs £2 per week.
Free during school closures- BrainPOP offers animated films on topics in maths, science and English for curious learners.
Sir Linkalot (backed by Susie Dent of Countdown fame)
Sir Linkalot focuses on spelling games for kids and gives them a great twist. Free during the school closures.
This is a new service requiring no log-in or account through which you can access free audio-books for small children and teens during the Covid-19 outbreak. (Also don’t forget you can access e-books from you libraries. In Lancashire County Council Libraries you can use the app Borrowbox.
Twinkl – Free to parents for a month – Teacher-created resources that provide entire schemes of work, lesson planning and assessments right through to online educational games, augmented reality and much more.
How do I sign up for the free month?
- Step 1: Go to twinklhq.twinkl.co.uk/offer
- Step 2: Enter the code you have received, or CVDTWINKLHELPS if you have not yet been given a code
- Step 3: Share the offer code and website link with anyone who could benefit
MysteryDoug – Free during school closures – Five-minute videos used to start the day, take a break, or spark curiosity, with prompts like “Can turtles live outside their shells?” and “Why are rubies red?” Doug is a former school teacher who guides questions, uses visuals, and asks questions.
(Thanks to Paul Forrest for many of these ideas).
A variety of resources are available around Scratch, Python, Raspberry Pi and minecraft. In addition, there is a full set of online resources, presently available for free, to help teach GCSE Computer Science. You can see all resources here and find out more about the EXA Foundation and their online events here.
BBC Teach – Free website and home to thousands of videos arranged by age group and subject (and mapped to curriculum).
Be Internet Legends website features an interactive online ‘Interland’ game for primary school children, to teach them how to stay safe online, and a full list of our PSHE-accredited teacher resources.
Khan Academy – Video lessons on a range of topics from science to maths for all ages.
BBC Bitesize – help with homework, revision and learning – lots of videos, guides, activities and quizzes.
Project Gutenberg – Free eBooks – Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online.
GoNoodle – GoNoodle engages kids with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are!
Futurelearn – One of personal favourite MOOC sites. Free to access 100s of courses. Payment is only required to upgrade if you need a certificate to verify your completion of a course (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account).
Wonderopolis – Wonderopolis is a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages. A US oriented site but nevertheless some great content. Each day, they pose an intriguing question—the Wonder of the Day—and explore it in a variety of ways.
Seneca – A homework and revision platform for those revising at GCSE or A level. A huge amount of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.
Openlearn – The home of free learning from The Open University… 60 second tasters through to 24 hour courses… mainly targeted at adults but suitable for young adults and students.
Blockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming. It is designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming – fun and free.
Ted Ed – TED-Ed is TED’s youth and education initiative. TED-Ed helps with ideas of teachers and students around the world. Contains hundreds of good quality animated lessons.
National Geographic Kids – Find amazing facts about animals, science, history and geography, along with fun activities, competitions, games and more.
Nature Detectives – From the Woodland Trust… some ‘out of the house activities’ – a lot of these that can be done in a garden.
Duolingo – Learn 30+ languages online with bite-size lessons based on science. Web and/or app based.
Mystery Science – Mystery Science offers free ‘open-and-go’ lessons that inspire kids to love and engage with science.
Scratch – Creative coding and computer programming using visuals – great on a tablet or touch device. My kids love this!
The Kids Should See This – A collection of 4,300+ kid-friendly videos, curated for teachers and parents who want to share smarter, more meaningful media in the classroom and at home.
Crash Course – A US YouTube channel with video courses covering Astronomy to History and Anatomy & Physiology USA high school curriculum topics but still useful content.
Crash Course Kids – A US Youtube channel for younger kids that contains a bi-weekly show from the producers of Crash Course. Its USA gradeschool science but still very relevant in the UK. They look at Earth, Habitats, Space, Chemical Reactions, Engineering, and much more.
Crest Awards – CREST is a scheme that inspires young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers. Great awards scheme.
Tinkercad – Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding.
Prodigy Maths – Engaging, curriculum-aligned math platform in USA grades, but good for UK Primary School age.
British Council – Classroom and teaching resources for English language learning.
Oxford Owl for Home – Oxford Owl was created to support children’s learning both at home and at school. Great number of free resources for Primary age kids.
The Artful Parent – A Facebook page of family activities that you can do right now with your family, while you are stuck at home during the coronavirus situation.
Red Ted Art – Provides easy and fun art and crafts for kids of all ages.
Cbeebies Radio – Fun radio stories, poems, songs and listening activities for babies, toddlers and young children. Listen online or download the podcasts to take away.
The Imagination Tree – A UK Primary School Teacher’s creative art and craft activities for the early years kids.
Toy Theater – Toy Theater is full of interactive online art, reading & math games for kids. Designed with the needs of kindergarten through third grade.
Big History Project – Aimed at Secondary age, Big History examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future.
Blue Peter Badges – A list of all the Blue Peter badges you can apply for and how to go about applying for them.
Dorling Kindersley – DK Find Out – Learn about dinosaurs, space, animals, nature & more. Fun learning activities for kids with videos, quizzes & galleries
YouTube Learning Hub – a YouTube channel collating lots of video resources for teaching.
The iDEA Award
The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA, is an international programme that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free.
Through their series of online challenges, students (or staff!) can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry-recognised Awards that help a student stand out from the crowd.
Get two free points by claiming the Lancashire Digital Skills badge by clicking ‘Redeem’ and entering the badge code: D1G1LANCS18UP if you’re 18 or over, and D1G1LANCS18UN if you’re under 18.
CompTIA – Future Tech
Meet the Future of Tech – a free resource from CompTIA which has five learning units on big data, cybersecurity, digital health, internet of things and artificial intelligence. Each topic includes background, a topic video and lesson plan. Useful for teachers, tutors and lecturers, businesses with digital apprentices, placement students, interns and private sector organisations interested in using these resources to raise understanding and awareness. CompTIA will be adding future technologies so keep checking this out.
Barefoot is a BT programme to empower teachers to teach the primary school computing curriculum brilliantly. Cross curriculum lessons and resources. That can be easy to teach via video link. Find out more here.
Also have a new Data Champions programme – the lesson plans and resources are available here.
TeenTech helps young people understand the opportunities in the science, technology and engineering industries, no matter what their gender or social background. Their lively, focused age appropriate initiatives help young people 8-18 understand their potential and raise their aspirations.
A Festival Event will be coming to Lancashire in 2020! Interested in taking part? Contact your Enterprise Coordinator.
British E-Sports Championships & BTEC E-Sports
British E-Sports Championships is a competitive video gaming competition for students aged 12+ in schools and colleges across the UK with two seasons a year. The Championships are an exciting team activity that can help develop social skills, behaviour and cognition, as well as leadership and communication skills. Students represent their schools and colleges in weekly matches every Wednesday afternoon
The Championships are open to all secondary schools, Further Education (FE) Colleges and Alternative Provision (AP) schools in the UK and are PC-based.
The British Esports Association has partnered with global learning company Pearson to create the world’s first qualification of its kind for a career in esports.
“The new BTEC qualifications in esports are skills-focused and are a major step forward in supporting the creation of long-term careers in the growing esports industry both in the UK and internationally. The esports industry is projected to generate revenues of $1.1 billion in 2020, a year-on-year growth of +16%, with the total esports audience set to rise 11.7% to 495m individuals, according to Newzoo.”
For more information on the qualification click here.
Digital Healthy Schools
Digital Healthy Schools supports schools and teachers in two ways:
- As a tool in your Pastoral Care, helping promote great and effective Digital Health solutions to your students and the wider school community or
- As a highly engaging introduction to Digital Health through the PSHE curriculum.
It gives teachers the information, support and guidance to help their students explore and understand digital health and see the real difference it can make to their everyday health and well-being.
Schools can develop through the PSHE programme (students create) a healthy apps web page for students to use. Helps young people understand which are good apps for supporting health and which are not. Then produces a site of safe apps for other pupils to browse and use.
Digital Advantage is an award winning organisation that delivers innovative work experiences to young people of all ages and abilities. Their industry-led programmes accelerate technical, creative and business skills to reveal the hidden talents of all our students. It’s innovative, engaging, effective and fun for learners, teachers and wider school community.
Cyberfirst. Part of National Cyber Security Centre and aim to develop the UK’s next generation of cyber professionals through their student bursaries, courses for 11-17 year olds and competitions. Five ways to get involved:
- Girls Competition – Cyberfirst competition for teams of four Year 8 girls – entries open in December. Need to be supported by a responsible adult who can act as the team guardian but this person needs no knowledge of cyber or be an IT or computer science teacher.
- CyberFirst Courses – during the summer holidays the NCSC provide short residential courses designed to introduce the young people to the world of cyber security.
- CyberFirst Student Bursary – £4,000 per year and paid cyber skills training to help a young person kick start a Cyberfirst Degree Apprenticeship.
- Cyberfirst Degree Apprenticeship— The CyberFirst Degree Level Apprenticeship is a three year apprenticeship where you’ll get exposure to some of the world’s most cutting-edge technologies along with practical insights into the innovative ways we use them to provide cyber security to our customers. Applications for the CyberFirst Bursary and Degree Apprenticeships will open in September 2019 for the September 2020 intake. All enquiries should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cyberdiscovery – Free, online, extracurricular programme turning teenagers across the country into cyber security experts.
Training for teachers/educators—starting with the fundamentals but also advanced training, devices training, certified trainer course, Digital Citizenship and Safety Course, Tools for Diverse Learners Training.
Designed for students to explorer, advance and succeed in computer science.
250+ hours of content for teachers to use to up skill themselves or use with students to teach digital skills.
Designed to be embedded in to any subject.
Workshops available for teachers.
National Centre for Computing Excellence
The National Centre for Computing Excellence has a range of options to support teachers to upskill to teach GCSE Computer Science confidently.
Computer Science Accelerator Programme
The Computer Science Accelerator Programme is a supportive development programme to help teachers confidently teach GCSE Computer Science – designed for teachers from non-specialist backgrounds who want to improve their knowledge of computer science and teach it at GCSE Level. Forty hours of CPD online and some face to face training. Cover paid for.
Bursaries to state-funded schools and colleges across England that cover the cost of time out of the classroom for teachers attending CPD. These bursaries can contribute towards associated costs, including travel and supply cover. (£1500)
Online courses hosted by FutureLearn are available.
Network of Computing Hubs
The National Centre for Computing Education is establishing a network of up to 40 Computing Hubs to deliver a school-led system of leadership of education across England. The network will be led by schools and colleges with an exceptional track record in teaching computing – Bishop Rawstone High School has been announce as a Computing Hub for Lancashire and will be coordinating training for Computer Science teaching staff. A similar model to the Stem Learning schools hubs (Ashton High School lead on this). Read more about it here: https://blog.teachcomputing.org/the-national-centre-for-computing-education-announces-seven-new-computing-hubs/ and here: https://teachcomputing.org/hubs.
Astro Pi – The European Astro Pi Challenge offers young people the amazing opportunity to conduct scientific investigations in space by writing computer programs that run on Raspberry Pi computers aboard the International Space Station. Astro Pi is an ESA Education project run in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Two challenges:
- Mission Zero – a non-competitive mission for young people no older than 14. Write simple python program using free online tools – your code is guaranteed to run in space for 30 seconds.
- Mission Space Lab – A scientific mission for young people no older than 19. Design an experiment, receive free computer hardware to work with and write the python code to carry it out. You code could run for 3 hours – two orbits – then you get your results back and can analyse them like a real space scientist!
The Edufuturists are Lancashire based group of teachers dedicated to informing and helping teachers learn more about technology and how to use it effectively with learners. They have a podcast, newsletter and blog to follow and run an annual Ed Tech Summit and Awards – ESA 2020 with take place at Burnley College – 09/07/2020 – register here.
The ICT Evangelist
The ICT Evangelist or Mark Anderson, is an expert on Ed-Tech and its use to enhance learning in a classroom. He has a great blog and a range of free resources—lots of ideas and tech tools with practical ways for use in the classroom – check out The Periodic Table of IOS Apps for AR and VR.
IBM Academic Initiative
The IBM Academic Initiative, in IBM’s words, allows and encourages faculty, students and researchers at accredited academic institutions to leverage IBM tools, courses, and other resources in the classroom. Their mission is to “to enable students to graduate with direct hands-on experience on “industrial strength” tools that will help them in their chosen career.” Lots of resources to look at under the additional resources tab including:
Master the Mainframe
This is the largest student mainframe competition in the world that takes place annually from September to December. This unique, virtual contest is open globally to high school (Pupils 13+) and college students that are interested in gaining skills in a real-world, enterprise computing environment. Through the program, you can win amazing prizes, while developing critical skills that are in hot demand by the world’s largest and most respected companies. Self-paced competition you can do anywhere in the world.
Call for Code 2020
Tech We Can
- Tech for communication & marketing
- Tech for safety & security
- Tech for education
- Tech for health & inclusion
- Tech for engineering & manufacturing
- Tech for fun
Other opportunities at PWC:
- Fully funded degree in Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, Leeds, Belfast or Edinburgh. Click here for more information.
- Digital Insight Week for Year 12 student in Manchester – explore the Digital World by gaining a deep insight into the work PWC do.
- PWC Women in Tech undergraduate internships – more information available here.