Celebrating Digital Skills Week (14th – 18th September)

Celebrating Digital Skills Week (14th – 18th September) – Win a FREE workshop for your child & school.

In celebration of our return to teaching, and as part of Digital Skills Week (14th-18th September), we will be providing both parents and schools with the opportunity to win a free workshop. Entries made by schools will have the option to use the session either as a full session delivered by one of our Code Coaches or for CPD for their teachers.

The courses on offer are:

  • eSafety
  • Robotics
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • 3D Modelling
  • Coding Crash Course

To enter all you have to do is email your nominated school and workshop to roger@jamcoding.co.uk.

Three schools will be picked at random with the winners being announced at the end of digital skills week by Direct Message or eMail.  

Thank you and good luck. 

We’re back…

We’re Glad to be Back…

We’re Back!

Jam Coding are pleased to be back in schools, doing what we love, teaching the next generation of digital citizens some important life-skills. 2020 has certainly shown us that technology is hugely important for education and connecting people and will only grow in significance for future generations.

We have been busy over the last couple of months planning and preparing for the next school term with exciting new curriculum lessons and extra-curricular workshops starting this week.

A lot has changed…

Getting children back into the classroom has been highlighted as being so so important for their development and well-being. But of course, we, like everyone else in the great communities we serve, cannot ignore the difficult circumstance under which we have to operate now in the classroom. 

In order to ensure the safety of your children, Jam Coding have put in place the following a list of policies and procedures:

  • The disinfection of all equipment prior and post-use in each of our sessions. 
  • The use of gloves by all staff if requested by the school
  • The use of face masks or visors as required by the school
  • Temperature checking of all staff on a daily basis
  • Class Bubble or smaller group sizes for After School Clubs (1 child per laptop) where children are operating out of class bubbles. 
  • Use of group bubbles to distance and seat learners as appropriate
  • Sanitisation of hands by learners before and after each session
  • Full staff training for all Jam Coding Code Coaches with risk assessments for the management of groups and environments

We have taken these steps to ensure we can get back working with our budding young coders as soon as possible. If you would like to speak to us about coding in a school then please contact us. 

A lot is changing…

The fact is 9 out of every 10 jobs will require sound digital skills in the next 10 years. Jobs in digital will represent a huge proportion of the future workforce and we are on a mission to make sure as many young people as possible are digitally ready to join that workforce. If they aren’t then they are at a serious disadvantage to their peers. It’s Digital Skills week from the 14th September and we are going to be launching some workshops FREE for schools in the UK. Watch this space for more information.

Bridging the Digital Divide with Devices Dot Now. Supporting home learning for parents and children.

Bridging the Digital Divide with Devices Dot Now. Supporting home learning for parents and children.

When Lockdown began and schools were closed, the dependency on technology for education increased beyond all comprehension, and where there is dependency on technology, there exists inequality.

The gap between those who have access to the latest technology and those who do not is called the ‘digital divide’. The digital divide is a global issue as well as a national issue. In the UK it is mostly due to the availability of technology and network coverage.

Lockdown has exacerbated the issue in the UK:

According to research carried out by Lloyds Bank, an estimated million children and young people do not have adequate access to devices or the internet at home

There are in-fact 1.9 million households with no access to the internet and tens of millions more reliant on pay-as-you-go services.

Simply put, without intervention, millions of families across the UK will not be getting a proper education. That is why we are calling on our network of schools, parents and community groups to help. 

Jam Coding is very proud to be working with the Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity, on the DevicesDotNow initiative.

How does it work?

Via crowdfunding donations, Future Dot Now and Good Things Foundation have purchased laptops in bulk on a national level. Theses devices are being distributed through a network of community partners who specialise in supporting vulnerable people in our society.

As one of these community partners, Jam Coding are looking to distribute laptops, support and training to local households who are in need. It is important to understand that the laptop will include tuition for adults and children. From surfing the internet, setting up emails to word processing. The laptop will support home learning for all.

If you work with primary schools or community groups in your local area and know of any family who could benefit from a laptop then please get in touch and leave us a message, or, email:  info@jamcoding.co.uk

To find out more about how you can contribute to DevicesDotNow and help protect and empower some of the most vulnerable households in the UK go to-  www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-the-vulnerable-stay-connected

Jam Coding’s Guide to Instagram

Although you have to be thirteen to have an Instagram account, we are that this is not the case and that many primary aged children are in fact on Instagram.

Instagram has a reputation for having a strong influencer culture who flood Instagram with filtered selfies and food-pics. Unfortunately, this “doctored” representation of reality is having serious consequence to the mental health of some impressionable youngsters.

Nevertheless, children are going to use Instagram so it is important that they use it in a safe way!

Download our ‘Guide to Instagram’ to learn about Instagram and help your child understand how to use the platform responsibly.

Used safely, Instagram is an excellent creative outlet for a child to showcase their passions. This is particularly true if they have an interest in photography, as Instagram is most notably a visual platform.

Social media can be a great thing. A budding artist can post their creations. The next Mary Berry or Jamie Oliver can post their bakes and recipes!

So download our guide and talk with your child about they can get the most out of Instagram!

Gaming Disorder. A Recognised Mental Health Condition.

At the very beginning of last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD -11). The revised 11th edition saw the inclusion of a condition called “Gaming Disorder”. Up until then, “Gaming Disorder”  had only been listed as a “condition for further study” within the 2013 fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

What is Gaming Disorder? Signs and Symptoms 

A person with Gaming Disorder, as defined in ICD-11 by WHO, will show the following characteristics for at least 12 months:

  • lacking control over their gaming habits
  • prioritizing gaming over other interests and activities
  • continuing gaming despite its negative consequences

To be diagnosed, these behaviors must be so severe that they affect a person’s:

  • family life
  • social life
  • personal life
  • education
  • work

(Source: Medical News Today)

Should “Gaming Disorder” be a recognised medical condition?

The decision to recognise Gaming Disorder as a  “condition” (that is treatable on the NHS) experienced a mix response:

Dr Richard Graham, a lead technology addiction specialist, was complementary towards the decision to recognise the condition which he believes “is significant because it creates the opportunity for more specialised services” and “puts it on the map as something to take seriously.”  

Among the gaming community however, there is the perception that this could lead to over-reaction and further scrutiny of a hobby that is already greatly stigmatised. The concern is that parents will rush to the conclusion that their child plays ‘too much’ and that this is detrimental to their mental health. 

Although he welcomed the decision, Dr. Rchard Graham added that he is sympathetic to those who do not think the condition should be medicalised because “It could lead to confused parents whose children are just enthusiastic gamers.” 

So are computers bad for your health?

Although computers, the internet, and smartphones do facilitate gaming, they are not the cause of  “Gaming Disorder”. These platforms were actually part of the WHO’s original research but were not deemed to be concerning in comparison to the addictive nature of gaming. 

It should also be mentioned that Gaming Disorder is still a rare condition, with a prevalence rate among young people of 10-15% in several Asian countries and, 1%-10% in Western countries.

Nevertheless, how technology is used determines whether or not it will be detrimental to health & well-being. In fact, recent research from the University of Oxford found that the majority of children successfully incorporate digital technology and screen-based activities into their daily lives, even using it to their benefit, for example with homework. 

“People think that children are addicted to technology and in front of these screens 24/7, to the exclusion of other activities – and we now know that is not the case.”

– Researcher,  Killian Mullan.

So before computers are condemned to be bad for the health & well-being of young people, it is important to acknowledge that for the majority, computers are used sensibly, safely and positively. And that is what we encourage at Jam Coding. 

We promote the safe and productive use of computers, even encouraging the kids who attend our workshops to go home and play outside afterward. What is more, our workshops were actually designed to teach children to use computers properly, by this we mean not just to play idly on them but to create, communicate and collaborate using the power of technology. They offer a 360 degree approach to eSafety. We are proud to have helped to raise the computing experience of thousands of learners, showing them that computers are for more than just gaming and all whilst helping them stay safe online.