Those of you who follow my activity on twitter as @teknoteacher, may well have seen or heard me make recent reference to my latest project titled ‘Jam Packed’.
Jam Packed …is an 18 month programme with two main aims:
- To support the development of outstanding teachers of Computing
- To inspire & engage the digital creators of tomorrow.
Jam Packed is non-profit programme being funded in the main by grants from the DfE, The Raspberry Pi Foundation, and RM Education limited as well as a number of other organisations. I will shortly have a website that I can direct you to for more information, but while the website is in development, I am appealing to readers of this blog to recommend locations that we should bring our roadshow to.
I’ll start by giving you a brief overview of what is on offer, and then I’m asking you to suggest schools and geographical areas that are the most likely to benefit from this project.
Jam Packed is a two day computing festival for your community. It takes place on Friday and Saturday and offers three different events for teachers, pupils, schools, families and local community. There is no cost to the host school or participants for taking part, our grant funding covers all of our costs.
After agreeing the dates with host secondary schools, and identifying the groups of pupils most likely to benefit (100 – 300 pupils), we start planning and promoting the events among the community.
Hack To The Future: On the Friday of Jam Packed, we plan and lead a Hack To The Future event at a host secondary school. The main beneficiaries are the teachers and pupils from the host school, but we extend the offer to teachers and pupils from other schools as well. For example, groups from local primary schools may visit for all or part of the day. Teachers from other schools are welcome for as long as they can stay. We plan for a range of workshops & activities and appeal to those working/studying in the digital sector to support our workshops, eg. computer science students, software developers etc. You can [watch a Hack To The Future film here] originally commissioned by BBC Learning
Family Hack Jam: On the Friday evening, we invite families from the community to compete in a 3 hour hackathon. No previous experience is required, we provide a basic introduction to problem solving using Computing tools and then ask the teams to collaborate to create a solution to the problem. This is then followed by presentations and prize giving. This [blog post] and [short film] give a flavour of a family hack jam.
Raspberry Jam: On the Saturday, we then use the host school as a base for a Raspberry Jam event to which we invite anyone with a passion or interest in Computing to join in. The Raspberry Jam offers a blend of workshops, demonstrations, talks and exhibitions. This [TalkTalk film gives a taster of a Raspberry Jam event]
If you have previously considered planning an event to inspire and engage learners in Computing, but have not yet managed to do so, this would be a fantastic opportunity for your school. It acts as a great catalyst to generate excitement in Computing in your community.
Priorities The Jam Packed roadshow will prioritise schools in areas where there are high proportions of pupil premium and lack of opportunities for communities to participate in. At the time of writing this, we have agreed 4 host schools, which leaves a remaining 14 potential locations for us to visit. For practical reasons, we are seeking locations from the Midlands up to the Scottish Borders and coast to coast – but if you can put forward a compelling argument for another location we are prepared to consider it.
Like to know more? The event pages for our first six events (in Hull and Eccles, Manchester) [are here online], and as our programme becomes finalised future events will appear here. You’re welcome to join us at one of these, or if you know you can’t but want to watch from afar, register as a ‘lurker‘ with absolutely no commitment level required.
#TeachComputing Webinars: You may also have seen that there will be 28 free online webinars offering CPD for Computing teachers which form part of our Jam Packed roadshow. To find out more or register, [visit this page].
Dates: These are the dates I currently have available for Jam Packed until the end of March 2015. To avoid disappointment, contact me now to start discussing availability & eligibility.
5th & 6th Dec, 12th & 13th Dec,
9th & 10th Jan, 30th & 31st Jan,
13th & 14th Feb,
20th & 21st Mar, 27th & 28th Mar
Please post questions/messages/comments here.