The University of Wales Trinity Saint David has hosted a conference to explore the relationship between its CISCO Academy and the new Curriculum for Wales.
The conference was organised by the University’s School of Applied Computing and Cisco Networking Academy Support Centre and was held on the Swansea IQ campus. It explored the new Curriculum for Wales focusing on Computation Progression steps 3,4 & 5 and the opportunities with Cisco Networking Academy to provide an integrated learning model that the industry aligned.
Opening the conference, UWTSD’S Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Dylan Jones said:
“Today is an example where we show our commitment as a developing university to collaborate closely with schools and partners in our region to make an impact and respond to the new National Curriculum.”
Dr Nitheesh Murugan Kaliyamurthy, Senior Lecturer & Programme Manager (CertHE – Digital Skills, Engineering, Electronics, Construction) at UWTSD and conference organiser said the aim was to give more information to the schools on how the Cisco Network Academy provides various opportunities to align the curriculum, especially on computing progress steps with the current industry requirements.
“The Cisco network provides several courses which match the new Welsh Curriculum, and we want to support ICT teachers and digital coordinators who are framing the curriculum by showing what content is available. It will help ICT Teachers to share their best practices to save time and resources, whilst improving quality and efficiency. Cisco has a strong and powerful learning management system which schools can use to support students.
“UWTSD is a CISCO Academy Support Centre. We are the only support centre in Wales that supports schools providing training and taster sessions to teachers and students on various subject matters.”
Speakers included Semyon Ovsyannikov, Senior Regional Technical Manager at Cisco – EMEAR and Elizabeth Barr, Business Development Manager CISCO Networking Academy UK & Ireland. Over the last 25 years, the network has helped 3.20M students globally in 190 countries.
Semyon and Elizabeth gave the conference a demonstration of how the Cisco network worked and showed the importance of the network’s role within the new Welsh Curriculum. Semyon said the network provides the best opportunities for certification for students, and 95% of students completing certification-aligned courses attribute their participation in Networking Academy to obtaining a job and/or education opportunity.
“The Cisco Networking Academy is excited to be levelling up our engagement in Wales during an important period of educational reform. Alongside key Partner UWTSD, we strive to support teachers across Wales in the delivery of technical qualifications, in turn equipping students with the job-ready skills to succeed in their next academic or professional pursuit.”
Andrew Smith, a Senior Lecturer in Networking at the Open University also delivered a talk and encouraged teachers to join the network and use its content in order to develop and deliver their students skills and knowledge.
Victoria Price, Head of Computing at Ysgol Greenhill in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, demonstrated how joining UWTSD’s Cisco Academy has benefited them as a school.
“The Cisco network has helped us as a school with our professional development, and with our knowledge as teachers. It supports us in delivering the new courses like the GCSE’s and A Level Digital Technology, and then at Key Stage 3 it supports us with the new mapping, and UWTSD is allowing us to look at the progression steps, and then identify where the content from UWTSD’s Cisco Academy will give us some rich content to deliver to our students.
“The content of the Cisco Network academy is a free platform, full of rich content, and by signing up to it you’re helping to support those learners to become ambitious capable learners and independent – all those things that are in our new National Curriculum that we’re trying to develop in these children.”
“The University supports us with whatever we need. We get a lot of support from Kapilan and Nitheesh in terms of what we’re delivering. If we’re stuck on anything, they’ll visit the school and arrange a workshop.”
Dr Kapilan Radhakrishna, UWTSD’s Academic Director for Applied Computing said:
“The conference today was to show what resources are available to teachers to embark on their new journey with the new curriculum, and how we can support them. We offer a number of free training modules as part of UWTSD’s collaboration to prepare teachers to go and tutor students about new technologies.
“This collaboration is available to all primary and secondary schools and further education institutions in Wales in order to bring the next generation of learners on a journey to success.”