10 reasons to join Digital Schoolhouse
We’ve had one of the best years yet and we’re only half way through! Digital Schoolhouse now has 30+ Schoolhouses throughout the UK, with an estimated 15,000+ pupils and 1600+ visiting teachers that’ll be reached by the programme this academic year. Besides furthering our reach, we’ve also delighted in SEGA, Warwickshire County Council and Scirra joining PlayStation in supporting the programme and enabling us to expand. So, what is all the fuss about and why do people want to get involved?
We believe that Digital Schoolhouse offers teachers and schools a unique opportunity to inspire, create and collaborate, to revolutionise Computing education and equip the next generation with the digital skills they need to thrive. As it happens, industry agrees, and - delivered by games trade body, Ukie - we’re in a privileged position to begin bridging the gap between education and industry. We aspire to a more aligned view on how the future workforce should be successfully prepared, and that students are given the opportunities they deserve, in an industry they love.
As well as contributing to the revolution of Computing education, here’s 10 reasons why you should apply to the programme and become a Digital Schoolhouse.
1. Leading teaching pedagogy
Innovation and creativity are at the heart of everything we do in DSH and that’s why we are constantly working on improving and refining our pedagogical approach to teaching Computing. The DSH team and our community of teachers undertake practitioner research to help ensure we stay at the cutting edge of teaching expertise - key to making a difference to computing education across the country.
We believe in the power of play and all our workshops and resources use a play-based learning approach. By harnessing children’s natural curiosity about the world, we can guide their exploration of key concepts and help them make their own discoveries in the field of computer science.
The only way to encourage more students to enter the creative tech and digital sector is to go beyond delivering simple subject knowledge and to inspire them enough that they want to continue their learning on their own. Using creative resources and ideas to engage students easily does this, as well as helping them understand the underlying key concepts within the technology they use.
2. CPD events & training opportunities
As a Digital Schoolhouse Lead Teacher (DSLT) we understand that not everyone feels empowered to deliver Creative Computing from the get-go, as a result we induct every new school in a one-stop-shop Summer Training ‘Boot-up’ Camp to harness their own creativity and prepare them for the implementation of DSH at their school.
Throughout the year we also host Ingenuity Days which are an ingenious amalgamation of exciting programme updates, CPD training & opportunities brought to you by the likes of BAFTA YGD, Unity, Scirra & We are IVE.
In addition, we help teachers with wider CPD opportunities too, from headlining articles to speaking at events and more.
3. DSH Lead Teacher community
As reflected in our programme values, we take pride in cherishing our community of passionate and proactive teachers, who challenge perceptions of Computing through innovation and exploration together. It may sound cheesy, but we really are a like-minded bunch who love Computing. If you feel the same… this is the programme for you!
4. Direct links with the UK video games industry
Delivered by games trade body Ukie, powered by PlayStation and sponsored by SEGA, Digital Schoolhouse is uniquely placed to benefit from both industry and Education expertise. This allows us to draw ever-closer to realising our vision. Within our workshops, this also enables us to focus on what students need to thrive in the Digital economy, as well as meeting curriculum needs.
5. Boost your network locally & nationally
The very nature of workshop delivery means that Primary schools will visit the hosting Schoolhouse, naturally connecting schools within the local and wider area to you. As a Digital Schoolhouse you are also part of the DSH Lead Teacher community, positioned at various educational institutions throughout the UK, and who you'll meet at various CPD & training opportunities throughout the year.
6. It’s free – funding opportunities are available
As a not-for-profit initiative, we are entirely funded by our supporters, with no cost to schools who join the programme. Each Schoolhouse even has an opportunity to apply for a bursary to support the implementation of the programme at their school! That means, not only is it free, but we could end up paying you to pursue your passion in inspiring the next generation.
7. Personalised support programme
We understand that every school and every teacher is different - with different needs, wants and objectives for joining the programme. The Digital Schoolhouse team works hard to ensure that every teacher and school is getting the most from the programme, as well as offering support, advice and opportunities along the way.
8. Raised profile within your community
We encourage Schoolhouses to market their workshops (with our support should they need it!) and to connect with local businesses and authorities. Spreading the word and increasing your reach in the community means more schools have access to this opportunity, besides the opportunities that may follow for your school when professionals in your local area know what you're doing!
9. Classroom resources
Our portfolio of original cross-curricular resources has been written to align with the UK computing curriculum, as well as using expertise from a plethora of educationalists and industry professionals including BBC, Disney, BAFTA and Apps for Good.
Each workshop contains a teaching guide, presentation and worksheets for pupils to engage with Creative Computing. In our online resource library, you'll also find our Playful Computing Activities which epitomise how play-based learning can be implemented in the classroom and feature a range of 'unplugged' exercises to establish complex computing concepts to Primary pupils.
10. Direct contact with a specialist Digital Schoolhouse teacher
Within our Lead Teacher community, we have a variety of teachers who've been part of the programme for a number of years, and others who are brand new. We ensure that our new schools have ample opportunity to talk to experienced DSLTs who can impart their experiences and knowledge whilst you find your feet (and don’t worry we won't just disappear!) As we've already mentioned, we champion our teaching community and ensure that throughout the year we maintain connected and inspired always.
Now you've gotten to reason number 10, looks like we've definitely peaked your interest! If you'd like to find out more about joining us, APPLY HERE. Please note, applying to the programme doesn’t commit you to joining. After applications close on 31/03/18 Digital Schoolhouse will contact all applicants to begin the selection process.