Friday, 22 February 2013

New community on Google+

The team has explored the use of social media to communicate with you since 2004 when this blog was started. Over the years, some worked (Blogger and Twitter) and some didn't (Facebook). We get around 50 page visits per day to this blog, and our Twitter account has almost 500 followers.

Although Blogger and Twitter have been great for communicating information to you, they're not so good for generating discussions, which was why we tried using Facebook around a year ago. That didn't work well but today I created a Google+ community to see if that helps to stimulate discussions about Computing qualifications.

I've made it a private group so you have to request to join but it's a very, very simply process. If you already have a Google account it will take (literally) two seconds, and if you don't it will take two minutes.

Please visit this web address and ask to join:

There is only one community so it's a one-stop-shop for all the qualifications. I hope you choose to give it a try. Me and my team will be on it, and many of your fellow teachers will (hopefully) join to give you peer support for everything from the new Computer Basics unit to the HND in Computer Science.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Computer Basics

We've been working on a new introductory computing unit for some time now, and I am pleased to say that I carried out my final edits on it this afternoon.

The unit has still to be validated but I don't think much, if anything, will change so this version is pretty much the one you will see on the SQA website in the near future.

It's an interesting unit. It's firmly aimed at beginners, and it's very up-to-date, covering desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. It's the first qualification to mention the Raspberry Pi.

The aim of the unit is to provide a modern, interesting and enjoyable introduction to computing in the 21st Century, covering essential skills and foundation knowledge. I hope it does that.

Contact Hilary if you want to know more about this new qualification.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

HN Interactive Media

There have been changes made to Units that are part of the HNC/D Interactive Media awards which have resulted in a re-coding.  The following Units have now been added to the above awards and will sit alongside their previous version as an 'either/or' for centres to use:

Sound and Vision for Interactivity - H31B 35
Designing and Developing an Interactive Media Product - H2X8 35

The changes that were made were in relation to the evidence requirements and knowledge/skills across both units hence the new Unit numbers.

The following Units have now entered their lapsing period and have a finish date of 31st July 2014 placed on them.  Therefore, candidates will need to be certificated by this date or alternatively registered on the newer versions using the codes above.

Sound and Vision for Interactivity - F6JC 35
Designing and Developing an Interactive Media Production - F6V5 35

These changes take effect immediately.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Mobile Technology awards

The qualifications in Mobile Technology recently funded and developed by NQGA team are available now for centres.  This suite of qualifications consists of the following:

NPA in Mobile Technology at SCQF level 4
NPA in Mobile Technology at SCQF level 5
NPA in Mobile Technology at SCQF level 6

NC in Mobile Technology at SCQF level 5

NPA in Professional Computer Fundamentals at SCQF level 6 (mapped to Microsoft Technology Associate)

For more information, the Arrangements documents and Assessment Support available please visit SQA website

Some of the awards contain Units that are in verification groups other than Computing and for this reason may not be automatically approved to existing centres currently able to offer SQA awards.  If you are interested in offering one or more of these awards please contact in the first instance who will advise and help with the approval process if required.

If you would like further information on any other aspect of the qualifications please contact HilaryWeir.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Ideas for new qualifications

I attended a meeting this afternoon with a couple of teachers from a Scottish college who had an idea for a new qualification.

Their idea was for a new HNC/D award in the areas of Business and Computing. We're always delighted to receive ideas from centres. The process begins when you complete an ideas capture form. Once we receive that form, someone from Product Marketing will take it forward.

It was a good meeting today and we felt that the idea had potential so Jacquie Campbell, from the Product Marketing team, will now take it forward.

If you have any ideas for new awards, let us know or contact Jacquie directly if you want to talk to someone.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Representing SQA

One of my roles is to represent SQA on various national committees, and I attended two meetings on Thursday of last week in this capacity.

In the morning, I attended the Scottish Government's Child Internet Safety meeting, held in Edinburgh. My main input to this group is to promote SQA's range of online safety awards, such as the National Unit in Internet Safety and the PDA in Online Child Protection. It was an interesting meeting and there was a lot of discussion about the forthcoming Safer Internet Day.

In the afternoon, I headed to Paisley to attend the University of the West of Scotland's Industrial Advisory Board for Computing. This is similar to my own Sector Panel but much, much bigger. Forty three people were in attendance!

Serving on external committees is a great way to stay abreast of developments, and although it takes up time it's well worth the effort. So please contact me if you want me, or one of my team, to serve on one of your committees. And, of course, we are always looking for your input to our committees, such as the Sector Panel or Qualification Support Team or one of the many working committees, so I would be delighted to hear from you if you are interested in joining one of the groups.

Please contact Caroline if you want to know more about SQA's online safety awards.