#Because Digital Skills Matter

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Aldwyn Primary School Digital Skills Centre

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Later this year, Aldwyn Primary School in Audenshaw, will launch a new e-safety website. This website is a little different because it has been built by children aged between 7 to 11 years old. This group of children are know as the "digital leaders" and have effectively setup a "new startup" IT company based around e-safety. We embraced a number of different cloud platforms to reach our goal and the children's digital skills - NOT CODING SKILLS, digital skills, went through the roof.

When this project is finished we have worked out that children probably have the top 10 skills employers are looking for in 2018. So, how is this possible at primary school level?

It's possible because we are very competent users of Google's Cloud platform. This has allowed children to work in a totally different way and learn skills that are very different to skills children may learn in the current IT curriculum such as coding.

North & South Skill Divide

Unhappy reading in the local news papers that the skills divide between the north and south is even wider. It seems that London, is once again, giving Manchester and the North a good kick up the backside and the joke is all ours.

In the north we know there is a skills gap, its screamed about in the news papers or on television every few months. Plans are already in place to help with "digital exclusion" - making sure people are not excluded from life because they don't have the digital skills to go online. But not much is being done to make sure that "digital inclusion" is tackled.

Our plan is to make sure schools have the skills to allow children to be included in the digital world. We want children to be given the skills that will permit them to not only think creatively, but know how to use and access tools that allows them to turn their ideas into real projects and present them to the world.

Cloud computing - its sounds very complected, but nothing could be further from the truth. Google had "dumb-down" the whole process and at the same time gives you a whole host of powerful cloud based tools that everyone can use.

Apart from the introduction of iPads, schools I.T. has not moved on since the mid 1980's. All schools, in the next few years, will move to some form of cloud computing; if you don't you will be look very last century and would be unable to offer your children 21st century digital skills.

Teachers need to add this CPD to their CV. Digital skills will be very much in demand in the next few years, so - Don't run to catch up, be a digital leader.