Digital Skills Partnership CPD Events in May 2019

The Digital Skills Partnership will be running events in May with a specific focus on cloud architecture and cloud services. These events are primarily aimed at early stage lecturers who want to make sure they have a working knowledge of how industry is deploying cloud. The DSP will also be running an event to support lecturers with the introduction of the HND in Cyber Security. Details of this event will be released in week commencing 8 April. More information about…

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Computing Conference 2018 – you can book now

Our annual Computing Conference 2018 will take place on Friday, 26 January, 10:00 – 15:30 with registration at 9:30am, in Radisson Blu Hotel Glasgow. The event will be of interest to college lecturers and school teachers – or anyone with an interest in vocational qualifications. The event will include an update on SQA Computing qualifications and external verification. There are also networking opportunities. The focus, as always, will be vocational qualifications but we will have interesting keynotes about contemporary issues in education and…

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Lead Person Network event

The Lead Person Network (LPN) event took place yesterday in the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow. This replaced the annual Heads of Computing event, which had been running for years previously (the one exception being last year). The event went well. It was the usual mix of updates, keynotes and networking. I was both MC and presenter at the event. My presentation summarised changes to qualifications. The keynote, from Andy Neagle of Microsoft, was particularly interesting, and the demonstration of virtual reality,…

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Lead Person Network event

We had to cancel last year’s Heads of Computing event due to staff shortages. That was a pity since we had been running them, without interruption, for over a decade. I’m pleased to let you know that these events will resume next year. Some time ago we established the Lead Person Network (LPN). The LPN is a group of college staff who we consult with about various aspects of Computing qualifications and who cascade information from SQA to their respective teams.…

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Training opportunity for NQ Computing Science courses at Higher and Advanced Higher levels

As part of SQA’s Digital Media and IT Vendor Alliance (DIVA), our partner Oracle Academy is in a position to offer industry-relevant CPD online training courses to aid delivery of the new Computing Science qualifications. The courses cover Computing Science Information System Design and Development units at Higher and Advanced Higher (SCQF levels 6 and 7). This CPD activity is available from Oracle Academy free of charge but applicants will need to commit to: Java Fundamentals: 90 hours virtual study…

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Cyber Security Conference 2016

I attended the Scottish Government’s Cyber Security 2016 Conference yesterday, which held in Dynamic Earth. The event was attended by experts in cyber security from across Scotland, the UK, and the rest of the world. The agenda sounded interesting, and the presentations were as good as the agenda implied. The speakers were fascinating and included the Director of Cyber Security for the Scottish Government and the Head of Cyber Security for KPMG. My talk was about what education is doing to teach…

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Safer Internet Day 2016

Today is Safer Internet Day. The Safer Internet Centre is launching a number of initiatives in support of the day. SQA is supporting the day too with a webpage explaining the qualifications that are available to protect learners from online threats. SQA was the first awarding body in the UK to offer a national qualification in online safety (in 2007) and we’re the first qualification authority in Europe to offer cyber security qualifications to school-age learners. The Award in Internet…

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Heads of Computing event 2016

We’ve been running an annual “Heads of Computing” event for a long time. It’s normally well received since it gives busy people (you) the opportunity to find out what’s been going on with qualifications and assessments. So it wasn’t an easy decision to cancel this year’s event due to staff shortages. It will be back next year but, given the current pressures on the team, it’s impossible to have one this year. Because of the changes in colleges, I intend to…

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Christmas Cyber Security lectures

I attended the Christmas Cyber Security lecture at Glasgow University yesterday afternoon. It was the usual high standard, with great speakers from all over the UK talking about various aspects of cyber security. This year’s theme was the new NPAs in Cyber Security so the speakers all addressed some aspect of this qualification. I particularly enjoyed the informative and entertaining lecture on selecting a password. You can find out more about the Christmas lectures here. The lectures have been organised…

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National Technologies Network meeting

Education Scotland convenes regular meetings with Local Authority leaders in technology called National Technologies Network meetings. I attended the meeting in Glasgow yesterday since cyber security was on the agenda. I gave a presentation on national qualifications in this field. I focussed on the new National Unit Cyber Security Fundamentals (at SCQF Level 4) and the new NPAs in Cyber Security. I expressed my view that every young learner in Scotland should have the opportunity to take the National Unit since,…

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PC Passport validation event

The validation of PC Passport took place today in the SQA offices in Glasgow. The Validation Panel was made up of representatives of colleges, employers and SQA. The purpose of a validation event is for fresh eyes to review the proposed changes to a qualification. The Qualification Development Team (QDT) presented a new Group Award Specification and explained the reasons behind the choices that we have made. It was a good meeting, held in a constructive spirit, with both sides trying to…

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Christmas lectures in cyber security

The annual cyber security Christmas lectures have been running for a few years now. I attended the first one in 2012 and was struck by the enthusiasm of the presenters and the audience. They’re great fun — and attended by hundreds of school pupils across Scotland. This year’s theme is the new NPA in Cyber Security. But, don’t worry, it’s not about the qualification. It’s about the topics within it. So attendees will hear talks about digital forensics, data security…

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Computing At Schools Scotland Conference

This year’s CAS Scotland Conference was held on Saturday at the University of Dundee. It’s invariably a good event, with a good attendance, and this year was no different. The event is designed for school teachers, although some college and university lecturers also attend. The event is a mix of keynotes, seminars and presentations. There were sessions on National 5 and Higher Computing Science, widening access to university, Google Classroom, games based learning, and object oriented concepts, to name just…

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Cyber Security workshop

Education Scotland is organising a workshop for school teachers to help them deliver courses in Cyber Security. The workshop will cover the Cyber Badge and national qualifications in this field. I will be there to present the part about national qualifications. I will talk about the Award in Cyber Security and the National Progression Awards. Education Scotland offered similar workshops last year, which were well received. So much so that they decided to run them again this year. The events…

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Internet Safety training conference

PolicyHub Scotland is hosting a conference on Wednesday about Internet Safety. As part of the conference, it’s hosting a series of articles about safety-related issues. I was asked to contribute one about cyber security and Internet safety. I choose the topic “Online safety, cyber security and digital literacy” to show the relationship between these subjects, and to argue that online safety is an aspect of cyber security, which is itself an aspect of digital literacy. The intention is that the discussion…

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International Conference on Cyber Security & Education

I attended this conference today, along with Helen, which was held in the beautiful grounds of the Scottish Police College in Alloa. The event featured in today’s Herald newspaper since it involved cyber crime experts from around the world including the FBI and Interpol. Steven Wilson, of the Specialist Crime Division of Police Scotland, gave the opening address and made specific mention of the importance of education, which he described as the “key” to tackling cyber crime. He, kindly, made…

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Cyber Security launch event

The launch event for the new qualifications in Cyber Security took place yesterday in the Stirling Highland Hotel. There was an excellent attendance, on a beautiful day, with 90 people attending both sessions. Sixty five schools and ten colleges were represented at the event, with representatives of regional councils, universities and employers also in attendance. The agenda included a lot of interesting talks, not just about the contents of the awards but also about the growing importance of cyber security, including the excellent…

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West College Scotland IT Symposium

Me and Helen attended this event yesterday, held in the Erskine Bridge Hotel, organised by West College Scotland. We enjoyed it a great deal. The aim of the event was to show how digital technologies can be used within teaching and learning. SQA was one of the sponsors. Almost the entire staff attended. There were keynotes and workshops throughout the day on topics such as Open Badges, Moodle and social media. It was interesting to hear how some teachers are using…

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Cyber Security launch event

Don’t forget to register for the forthcoming launch event for Europe’s first national qualification in cyber security.