Friday, 28 September 2007

Interactive Media

Bobby, Caroline, Jacqueline, Vanessa and I had a team meeting this afternoon. The main topic was developing the HND Interactive Media. Discussions such as when to implement and how many strands were top of the agenda.

We need to establish who is currently delivering the new HNC Interactive Media. Laura Hall will be call round centres next week, sourcing this information.

Please feel free to contact me direct if you are currently delivering this award.

Women in computing

Caroline and I met with Ron Dillon and Annamarie Kelly of Stow College yesterday afternoon to discuss ways of encouraging women to take-up Computing/IT courses. We came up with a number of ideas including:
  • focussed marketing for women
  • a women's prize in IT
  • promotion of women-friendly qualifications (such as Social Software, Interactive Media, etc.)
  • approaching female organisations (such as the Girl Guides) to encourage young women to take-up technical careers.
The forthcoming meeting of the Sector Panel for Computing & IT will also discuss this issue.

I'd be interested in your comments about this problem (and these ideas).

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Interactive Media update

I met with Alasdair Smith of Skillset this morning, in one of our occasional meetings to keep each other up-to-date with developments in our respective organisations. It was an interesting meeting during which we covered a number of topics including the new HNC Interactive Media award and the subject of women in new media.

The new HNC Interactive Media was validated in June and is available to centres now. I wanted to discuss the next stage of the process - the development of an HND. Alasdair was supportive of this in principle but felt that there may be a need for two separate awards - one focusing on the technological aspects of the field and one focusing on the creative/design side of things. He also expressed the view that it would take around 18 months to produce a good, design-oriented award. I'll discuss options and timescales with key centres during the next few weeks so that I can produce a development plan for whatever course of action we decide.

We also discussed the gender problem in creative media, which is not as acute as it is in the computing sector, but is still an issue, with under-representation of women in creative industries - and especially socially disadvantaged women. We agreed to convene a meeting of interested parties later this year to see if we can use the HNC Interactive Media qualification to introduce working-class women to this exciting field.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

ASPs - PC Passport (FE Packs)

The first batch of PC Passport ASPs for FE Centres will be uploaded to the SQA Secure website on Friday.

There will be a mix of Beginner and Intermediate packs available. Our publications Team are busy finalising the remaining FE packs - all of which have a high priority.

All ASP materials for School-Based packs are available for download from the secure website through your SQA Centre Co-ordinator.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Letters to centres

While I was on holiday, a number of letters were sent to centres. One letter related to PC Passport, one related to National Certificates and National Progression Awards, and one covered Higher National Developments.

The letters were sent to SQA co-ordinators so I hope that they have reached classroom teachers. If not, download them now since they contain important information about each of these qualifications.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Scottish Learning Festival

I attended the Scottish Learning Festival this week and delivered a seminar on "Internet qualifications", which featured SQA's range of Internet-related awards including stand-alone units (such as Social Software) and Group Awards (such as the National Progression Award in Internet Technology). The seminar seemed to be well received. Representatives of the school sector seemed particularly interested in the use of these qualifications for fifth and sixth year pupils for whom traditional qualifications are not suitable. You can download my presentation here.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Student Offer - Discounted Microsoft Office 2007

We have been asked to disseminate this information on behalf of Microsoft to the field - please pass on this information to your students in order for them to take advantage of this fantastic offer!

Student offer: Discounted Microsoft Office 2007
We are aware that more and more of our students are arriving at college/university with your own computers, and recommend that you try and make the most out of this purchase by using legitimate and reliable software. We have learnt that for a short time Microsoft will be running a special promotion open to our students, which allows you to purchase Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 at a heavily discounted price. With this offer, you can get Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 for just £38.95 by visiting

o Save money on important software you need for your work
o Get the latest version of Microsoft Office
o Get the Ultimate version of Microsoft Office 2007 which includes more programmes than normal retail versions

How to take advantage of this offer
1. Go to the website
2. Confirm that you are a student using your college/university e-mail address (the one which ends with
3. For just £38.95, download Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 onto your computer

What's in Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007?
The new Microsoft Office 2007 System has been redesigned with a fresh look and new features that make it easier for you to get the best results out of your work.

· Word 2007
· Excel 2007
· PowerPoint 2007
· Publisher 2007
· Access 2007
· Outlook 2007
· OneNote 2007
· InfoPath 2007
· Groove 2007

To find out more about these applications, visit and click on the box labelled 'Office Ultimate 2007'. By rolling over each icon you'll be able to see how they can help you with your university work.

Ps. Microsoft are only making this offer available to college/university students for a short while, so please don't wait too long to decide whether you will want to buy it.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Wanted - HN Assessment Exemplar Writer

We are looking for a writer to develop HN Assessment Exemplars for the following HN Units:

F1X9 34 Computing: PC Hardware Operating Systems Support
F1XA 34 Computing: PC Hardware Operating Systems Essentials

Units can be located on the SQA Website for those who would like to see their content.

Ideally, we would prefer that one person writes both exemplars to ensure consistency throughout. This is paid work with a tight timeline (1st November).

If interested, I would be grateful if you could get back to me direct

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Internet Safety Assessment Support Pack (ASP)

Today the Assessment Support Pack for Internet Safety (Intermediate 1) was uploaded to the SQA Secure Website.

The pack is located within the NQ Subjects section under 'Digital Media Computing'.

Please contact your SQA Co-ordinator within your centre to gain access to this material.