Tuesday, 31 July 2007

New online groups

When I returned from my secondment, I said that I would re-invigorate the online communities and I've now set up a number of new groups to support various SQA awards. I've chosen Jiglu to host the groups since I prefer this service to Yahoo Groups - but neither one is as good as Smartgroups (RIP) in my opinion. Here are the groups...

There is a group to support the new National Certificate in Digital Media Computing, one to support HNC/D Computing, one for HNC Interactive Media, and one for HNC/D Information Technology. It's straight-forward to subscribe to these groups - simply visit the home page and select "Join space" (left-hand column). Please note that you have to register with Jiglu before you can join a group (or "space" in Jiglu terminology).

The existing groups will continue. There's a generic mailing list hosted by Yahoo (for all Computing-related qualifications), and a dedicated Jiglu group for Internet Safety. I would particularly encourage you to subscribe to the mailing list (it currently has over 650 members) since this is where many announcements are made.

None of these groups replace the traditional means of communication. Every important development will be notified in the usual way (letter to centres and/or e-mail to SQA Co-ordinators). But they provide a uniquely interactive means of communicating with you and also for you to provide support to your colleagues.

Monday, 30 July 2007

More online assessments are coming

I met with Graeme Clark last week to discuss new online assessments for HNC Interactive Media and HNC Information Technology.

We met with a couple of Computing verifiers to discuss the standards required from the assessments, which will be placed in a large item bank and made available to centres.

The first task is to identify the units/outcomes that can be tested this way and I hope to work on that this week.

The online assessments should be available from January 2008.

This development is funded by ESF.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

National Certificate Arrangements are now available

The definitive Arrangements for the new National Certificates in Digital Media Computing are now available on the SQA website.

These documents cover levels 4 and 5. Level 6 is under development and should be available by end-year. More information about these awards is available from Angela.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Strathclyde Police adopt the Internet Safety qualification

I met with Rob Hay of Strathclyde Police this afternoon to discuss arrangements for the Police to incorporate the Internet Safety qualification into their Cadet Training Scheme.

Around 70 new cadets will enter the programme in October and they will all undertake the Internet Safety unit [PDF] as part of their training. The cadets are typically school-leavers, aged between 16-18 years old, who enter the scheme with a view to becoming Police Officers at the end of the two year programme.

Rob was keen to include the unit because of the increasing problem of cyber-crime and the unit (among other things) covers identity theft, grooming and phishing. The qualification's flexibility was also a selling point since the cadets can self-teach using a supplied CD-ROM or study online - or even use their mobile phones (point your phone's browser here to see a demo).

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Congratulations to Tony

Typical, you create an organisation chart and someone moves job! Congratulations to Tony who got a promotion to Project Officer in the HN Product Team. It comes at a good time since he's recently become a father. Tony moves to the new post on 6 August.

Tony's been a great help to the Computing team and will be sorely missed. I will particularly miss his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Celtic.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Vocational Computing team

I've put together a diagram [PDF] that shows who's responsible for what within the team. It also provides direct telephone numbers and personal e-mail addresses. Hope you find it useful.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

NPA Digital Literacy Arrangements Document

The NPA in Digital Literacy Arrangements Document is now available for download on the SQA website.

PC Passport Arrangements Document

Today the Arrangements Document for PC Passport at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced were uploaded to the SQA website.

The unit specifications for the full Group Awards are also available on the SQA website under the NQ Unit Search facility.

The full list of unit titles and unit codes are listed within the Arrangements Document.

SVQ IT User Levels 1, 2 and 3 - Extension Granted

We recently received confirmation that our submission to extend the SVQ IT User Awards at Levels 1, 2 and 3 until 31 March 2010 has been approved.

All centres approved to offer this award are in the process of being notified.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Good to be back

From today, I return to my "real" job as Qualifications Manager for Computing & IT. I've thoroughly enjoyed my secondment to the e-only project, which commenced last March, and I learnt a great deal from it, but I'm happy to return to my substantive post. Mike's done a great job and it will take me a short time to get up-to-date with developments but I'm looking forward to taking up the reigns again.

This blog has turned out to be very popular (if the number of people who refer to it is anything to go by) so I certainly plan to continue to use it - and encourage the rest of the team to do likewise. I also plan to resurrect the online groups, which were once popular (especially in the days of Smartgroups), but are less well used now. Look out for more information.