Barefoot Computing. Heard of it?
If you read our newsletters and visit our magazine regularly, you will probably be aware of our involvement in the project. Originally funded by the DfE, Barefoot is all about supporting primary school educators to teach computer science and computational thinking. For the last two years, the project has been funded by BT, as part of the BT Tech Literacy programme. This programme aims to reach 5 million children by 2020 through 3 key strands; Inspiring Kids, Enabling Teachers and Equipping Schools. Find out more about the Tech Literacy challenge here: https://techliteracy.co.uk.
So what does the tech literacy landscape look like in the primary classroom?
A recent Ipsos Mori study commissioned by BT builds on the learnings of the Barefoot Computing project and brings together the views of 400 primary school teachers across England, Scotland and Wales, as well as teachers and pupils from five schools who have been through the Barefoot Computing Project.
The results indicate that a large majority of primary teachers (81% per cent) now feel confident teaching the computing curriculum. Dig a little deeper into the research however, and it’s clear that there is still work to be done for today’s primary pupils to grow up being truly tech literate.
Sseven out of every 10 primary teachers would struggle to make a simple app; and four out of 10 teachers are unsure about developing basic code. And the skills-map of the UK’s teachers is hugely varied – with 35% of teachers finding the computational thinking element of the new curriculum difficult to teach.
So we still have some way to go, and that is where Barefoot comes in. The results confirmed that teachers see value in online resources and face-to-face training, especially when it gives then practical ways to use computational thinking across the curriculum. So if you are one of the teachers sitting in the 35% struggling to teach computational thinking, take a look at the free Barefoot resources, book yourself a free Barefoot workshop and start yourselves on the journey to becoming a confident Computing teacher.
Please see below an executive summary of the findings, please do download and share, and visit https://techliteracy.co.uk/tech-literacy-today for the full report.