Don’t Miss #exabytes18 this month!
In just a few weeks, we’re heading over to Bradford’s fantastic Midland Hotel for #exabytes18, the biggest event in exa.foundation’s calendar, an all-day event exploring the best ways for teachers to get real results from using technology in and around the classroom.
With this year marking the third annual #exabytes conference, we’re working to make #exabytes18 extra-special, with some fantastic sessions planned, a more convenient structure, and a great lineup of keynote speakers (to name just a few major points).
This year, #exabytes takes place on the 29th of June, a date we’ve chosen in order to give as many teachers as possible to visit the show - head over to our EventBrite page for more information and to book your ticket today!
With the big day rapidly approaching, we’ve put the finishing touches on the #exabytes18 schedule - read on to take a look through the 20+ events we’ve got planned throughout the day.
Explore the #exabytes18 schedule
Designed as an all-day event, #exabytes18 kicks off strictly at 9 AM with our keynote sessions, after which attendees can head off to the 5 rooms in which we’re running events in throughout the day - with this year’s #exabytes taking place across a single floor of the Midland Hotel, it’s easy for guests to get between the sessions that they’re interested in visiting. In the programme linked below, we’ve put together a little bit of information about all the sessions taking place throughout #exabytes18 - click on the timetable to take a look!
With so many great sessions taking place, we’ve put together quick summaries below - stay tuned for a more in-depth interactive schedule!
Bit 0: 9:00 - 10:00
We kick off #exabytes18 with two great keynote speakers - Bradford Council chief executive Kersten England, welcoming guests to #exabytes18, and Miles Berry, Computing Education leader for the University of Roehampton, taking a look at the ways in which block-based coding can be used to build confidence and understanding for students at all levels.
Bit 1: 10:00 - 10:40
With our first set of sessions, we’ll see topics ranging from Physical Computing to using software to improve classroom performance, discussions on making the classroom more accessible, and more:
Making a Difference - Phil Bagge: Another of our keynote presenters, Phil Bagge discusses the ways in which he’s been able to have a real impact for Computing students, and shares some tried-and-tested approaches to help develop student engagement.
Automating with Add-Ons in G-Suite - Graham Bowman: Discover how to create, edit and use add-ons to add new functionality to Google’s range of G-Suite tools - a great way to introduce text-based programming for KS2-5.
Adding accessories to the micro:bit - Lorraine Underwood: Taking a look at ways in which various accessories (both shop-bought and homemade) can enhance the educational benefits of micro:bits.
Introduction to Sonic Pi - Catherine Elliott: Introducing Sonic Pi, with which students can use text-based coding to compose music - a great activity for both KS2, KS3 and SEND students.
Accessibility in e-Assessment - BTL: Taking a look at some of the developments BTL have made for building a more inclusive e-assessment environment, with discussion on how to help support students with any special requirements.
Bit 2: 11:00 - 11:40
With our second set of sessions, we’ll be covering a lot of budget-friendly topics, with events using free/ low-cost software and hardware:
Smelly Code - Jane Waite: It’s important for learners to understand how to make quality code from an early age, avoiding bad habits becoming engrained. Jane will take a look at ways to approach this kind of teaching for Primary students, discussing ‘smelly code’ and the importance of a ‘grain of correctness’.
Programming Projects Progression using the Crumble - Phil Bagge: In another great session, Phil shows off a wide variety of cheap, Primary-focused STEM projects, while also discussing ways in which to ensure that other activities are engaging for Primary groups.
Getting Started with PyGame - Dan Aldred: PyGame is an effective, free piece of software that lets users create games - Dan’s session will introduce the software, and take attendees through the process of creating basic games.
Coding and Printing 3D Shapes with BeetleBlocks - Carl Simmons: This interesting session takes a look at BeetleBlocks, a block-based coding language designed to make it easy to design and print out 3D objects.
Blockbuster on a Budget - Phil Nottingham: Class-made films can be a fantastic, engaging project - in this session, Phil will show teachers how to give their films an extra something, adding in special effects with AR, greenscreen resources and more.
Bit 3: 12:00 - 13:00
Here, we’re taking a quick break for a fantastic lunch provided by the Midland Hotel, giving all attendees the chance to catch up with other teachers they know - and network with others.
Bit 4: 13:00 - 13:40
Returning from lunch, we’ll be running a number of sessions covering real-world applications for Computing, from job possibilities to club activities:
Script to Screen STEM Roles - Emmerdale Experience: A guest presentation from Jessie Harris at the Emmerdale Studio Experience, this session takes a look at how STEM skills play a major part in creating television and films.
Cyber Security Games and Resources - Jason Stanton: A returning session from last year’s #exabytes, this great event takes attendees through a range of exercises designed to explore effective approaches to cybersecurity in and around the classroom. Side note: if you’re located in West Yorkshire, you might want to check out the free-to-enter Matrix Challenge cybersecurity competition being run by Jason and his colleagues!
Data Logging and micro:bits - Jon Witts: Among many other possibilities, micro:bits are a great tool for science experiments, letting students observe and record data in a wide range of forms - as Jon’s session will explore.
Teaching Robotics - Nicholas Hughes: Robotics are often a great way to get students engaged with the wider world of Computing, and this session will take a look at ways to introduce the subject to Primary students, mainly looking at micro:bit and Crumble-based robots.
Makerspaces and other co-curricular clubs - Christine Harvey: Computing is a subject where students can really benefit from local clubs and interest groups - Christine will be taking a look at the ways in which Computer Science clubs can be run on a budget in your school.
Bit 5: 14:00 - 14:40
From discussions on keeping students safe online to Physical Computing sessions, this set of sessions gives guests the chance to explore some exciting, engaging topics:
Computing on a Shoestring - Christine Swan: It’s important to be able to effectively teach Computing at any budget - in this session, Christine (who trains Computing teachers over at Birmingham City University) shares some low-budget, high-interest projects for GCSE Computer Science.
A bluffer’s guide to functional programming - Mark Clarkson: Focusing on high-level teaching, this session will introduce functional programming for Big Data from the ground up through some fun and engaging practical activities.
Using micro:bits and BitBots - Chris Sharples: It’s not just Primary students who can benefit from micro:bits, with this session taking a look at some fun ways to use the devices in Secondary teaching, particularly through the use of BitBots - ways to add more Physical Computing elements to micro:bit.
Be inspired with the Crumble Controller - Helen Wright: Crumble controllers let teachers open up the door to a range of fun practical projects, and this session’s designed to help develop teacher confidence when it comes to using the devices.
Online Safety Round Table - Matt Moore: Keeping students safe online is a major concern in the modern day - this round table discussion will discuss issues, approaches and options for creating a secure yet not over-restrictive online environment.
Bit 6: 15:00 - 15:40
Our final round of sessions covers a diverse range of ground, with a number of sessions looking at alternative ways to engage students with Computing, from introducing escape rooms to using Minecraft, micro:bit and more:
Escape the Classroom - Claire Wicher: Escape rooms are a tremendously popular activity, and it’s very possible to build lessons around adapting the idea into a classroom experience, engaging students while developing computational thinking.
Computers Explained through Storytelling - Sway Grantham: An excellent idea for Primary lessons, this session shows guests how to introduce students to Computing and computational thinking through the medium of storytelling.
Physical Computing with the micro:bit and MU - Rachael Duchovny: This session explores ways to use micro:bits and the Mu code editor to create fun Physical Computing activities.
Traffic Lights in Minecraft with EduBlocks - Beth McCue: Incorporating Physical Computing with popular video game Minecraft gives students the framework for a great deal of further development. This session introduces an easily taught lesson plan as a great starter for Physical Computing at all ages.
Google Classroom - Rob Martin: In this hands-on demo of Google Classroom, Rob’s set to take a look at how the free software can help some teachers simplify their day-to-day work.
Bit 7: 16:00 - 16:30
We close off #exabytes18 for the year with plenary sessions from exa.foundation leader Alan O’Donohoe and Phillip Nottingham - but feel free to stick around for a while for some more networking opportunities!
Book your tickets for #exabytes18
With tickets going fast for #exabytes18, we’re expecting some great attendance at the conference this year. As standard, tickets cost £49 + VAT, but if you’re an Exa customer, tickets are just £10 + VAT, a major saving. Head over to our #exabytes18 EventBrite page to book your ticket today (or get in touch through Twitter @ExaFoundation to find out more!).
As a way to kickstart #exabytes, we always run a completely free TeachMeet in Bradford the night before the conference. Taking place on the 28th at the Midland Hotel, the TeachMeet is a great way to meet local teachers, discover new topics, and a whole lot more - head over to our Teachmeet EventBrite page to register your interest in visiting!