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Monday, 2 March 2015

#DesigningforLearning Computer Science

Young learners at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy have been contacted by some of the world's biggest technology companies asking for their help. The project, 'created' by Academy Director of Change and Innovation Mr Gary Spracklen, has seen learners combine their Computer Science skills to support an inspired writing activity.

Speaking about the work, Mr. Spracklen explains, 'we wanted to use our leading work with Computer Science to inspire writing...and what could be better than receiving a ''a very important letter'' from our friends at Google in California'. Speaking about the letter, Year 2 pupil Amelie who attends IPACA's Southwell Campus said, 'It was really special to have a letter from California asking for our help'. Millie, also a Year 2 pupil at Southwell Campus added, 'We had to work really hard because our work was going to be used for a new website and seen by thousands of people around the world'.

The Portland Academy's work comes at a time when the House of Lords Digital Skills Committee, which the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy was invited to present to, warns that the country is not addressing its significant digital skills shortage and an incoming Government urgently needs to resolve this. The Digital Skills Committee also highlights the impact of changing technology on the labour market, with an estimated 35% of UK jobs at risk of being automated over the next 20 years.

Baroness Morgan of Huyton, Chair of the Lords Digital Skills Committee and a former chair of Ofsted, warned that '35% of UK jobs were likely to be automated over the next 20 years', and said the 'report was a wake-up call to whoever forms the next government'. The report comes as no surprise to the Academy Director Mr. Spracklen who thinks, 'we are at a significant cross-roads, it is important that the next government seize the opportunity to secure the UK’s place as a global digital leader by, among other things making digital literacy a core subject at school, alongside English and Maths; viewing the internet as important as a utility, accessible to all; and putting a single ‘Digital Agenda’ at the heart of Government. We are already doing our part here on Portland, let's hope other join us'.