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CDSM EdTech Education Events Insights Wales

A Digital Competence Framework for Wales

At the National Digital Learning Event earlier this year, Education Minister Huw Lewis announced a Digital Competence Framework (DCF) for teachers in Wales.

“After considering Professor Donaldson’s report, alongside the findings of the independent review of ICT and early findings of our ‘Great Debate’, I have decided that an effective and consistent approach to teaching digital learning competence is too vital for both our young people and our economy to delay.”

– Education Minister Huw Lewis, June 2015

children learning about nature - digital competence

As a Welsh digital learning business, CDSM welcome the Digital Competence Framework, and agree that it should be implemented as soon as possible. We believe that Welsh Government’s approach to contemporary learning technology – in support of learning and development – is first class, and are excited by the appetite of both Donaldson and DfES for all things learning technology. When it comes to our own organisation, it is an absolute fact that our success in Wales is all down to our teachers, children and young people being digitally competent.

The Importance of Being Digitally Competent

At CDSM, we develop tools and technologies for teachers and students because we, like Welsh Government, believe contemporary learning technologies can only add to the learning and development process. After all, without the ability, skills, imagination and ambition to make full use of digital tools and technologies, how would our schools, students and education system keep up with the demands of this ever-changing digital world?

Row of schoolchildren studying in front of a computer - digital competence

But there’s more to this than just what happens in the classroom. Beyond the school setting, we also have a responsibility to ensure that our school and university leavers are equipped to perform in the workplace. According to the European Union, there will be an estimated 900,000 unfilled computing jobs across the EU in 2015, simply due to a lack of skills.

“According to The European Commission, more than 90% of professional occupations require some computing competence, but the number of graduates in computer science is not keeping pace with this demand for skills.”

– John Worden, Glyndwr University Lecturer

The Digital Competence Framework: An Opportunity for Wales

At CDSM, we work extensively with teachers in Wales, investing significant time and energy in developing meaningful and productive relationships. Because of this, we understand that our teachers are the on ‘front line’, developing and nurturing our children and young people. They are the ones who acknowledge and respond to the demands of a relentlessly changing world.

Friends in the Classroom - digital competence

We are committed to providing teachers with tools and technologies that support and enhance their practice every single day. Gone now are the days of sending the little ones to the ICT suite to ‘play’ on the computers, or scribble out wobbly drawings on the faithful old classroom Acorn. Computers (and, increasingly, handheld devices) now play a key role in learning and development, and digital technologies and their relevant skills are now core requirements.

After Donaldson, the transformed curriculum should inspire those who engage with it to make positive leaps in their learning, and fill the rest of us with a passionate sense of ambition for our education system. At CDSM, we believe that the Digital Competence Framework allows Wales to set out its intention and aspiration for the development of what is arguably our most important professional community.

You can stay up to date with what’s happening by following CDSM on Twitter, or by subscribing to our monthly e-zine.

CDSM Education Events News Wales

CDSM yn Dangos y Cerdyn Coch i Hiliaeth mewn Noson Gwis Elusennol

Roedd CDSM yn falch iawn o gymryd rhan mewn noson gwis ac ocsiwn elusennol yn ddiweddar. Julie James AC drefnodd y digwyddiad er budd Street Football Wales – elusen sy’n gwella bywydau pobl ddigartref ac sydd wedi’u hallgáu’n gymdeithasol – a Dangos y Cerdyn Coch i Hiliaeth.

Dangos y Cerdyn Coch i Hiliaeth yw elusen addysgol gwrth-hiliaeth y DU, sy’n cyflwyno hyfforddiant i dros 50,000 o unigolion bob blwyddyn. Roedd y ffordd yr oedd yr elusen yn cyflwyno’r negeseuon positif hyn mewn cyd-destun addysgol, yn ogystal ag ymdrechion Street Football Wales i fynd i’r afael â digartrefedd ac allgáu cymdeithasol yn rhywbeth yr oeddem ni yn CDSM yn dymuno ei gefnogi. Felly fe wnaethon ni anfon tîm o saith unigolyn gwybodus i’r digwyddiad i weld faint oedden nhw wir yn ei wybod o gymharu ag eraill o Dde Cymru.

Wrth i’r noson fynd yn ei blaen, roedd y tensiwn amlwg – ennill oedd nod pawb. Cawsom ddechrau da, gan nodi mai Rhyfel Cant Un deg Chwech o Flynyddoedd oedd y Rhyfel Can Mlynedd mewn gwirionedd, ac roedden ni 4 pwynt o’r brig hanner ffordd drwy’r noson.

Doedden ni ddim ar ein gorau yn yr ail hanner – boed hynny oherwydd y cyri blasus a gawsom ni yn ystod y toriad – neu efallai oherwydd y botel fawr o Cobra! Pumed oedden ni yn y diwedd, a doedd hynny ddim yn ddrwg o gwbl wrth gwrs, ac roedden ni wedi cael llawer iawn o hwyl hefyd.

Yna, daeth yn amser ar gyfer prif nod y noson: rhoi arian i ddau achos da iawn. Fe wnaethon ni lwyddo i ennill crys pêl-droed rhyngwladol Cymru wedi’i lofnodi, a oedd wedi cael ei wisgo gan y capten Ashley Williams, ac roedd hynny’n un o uchafbwyntiau’r noson i ni.

Charity Event - Wales Captain Shirt

Er y byddai’r crys – sydd bellach wedi cael ei fframio – yn edrych yn dda iawn ar wal yn swyddfa CDSM, mae gennym ni gynlluniau gwell ar gyfer y memorabilia chwaraeon yma, felly gwnewch yn siŵr eich bod chi’n ein dilyn ni a thanysgrifiwch i gael rhagor o fanylion fel y byddwn ni’n eu rhyddhau!

Awards CDSM E-learning Events News

CDSM Win Brandon Hall Group Bronze Award

CDSM Awards

Last night the Brandon Hall Group announced their 2015 Excellence Award winners, and we were delighted to find out that CDSM won Bronze for Best Advance in Creating a Learning Strategy.

Best Advance in Creating a Learning Strategy
Common Core Curriculum Project

Brandon Hall Group Bronze Award

“The high quality of work and commitment to driving business results among our award winners never fails to amaze me,” said Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program. “All of these winning programs deliver meaningful business results to their organizations. Winning an Excellence Award is a great honor, but the real winners are the organizations themselves and their customers and clients because of the innovation and customer focus they demonstrate.”

About Brandon Hall Group

Brandon Hall Group is a HCM research and advisory services firm that provides insights around key performance areas, including Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management.

With more than 10,000 clients globally and 20 years of delivering world-class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is focused on developing research that drives performance in emerging and large organizations, and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results. (

Tonight, we are also excited about attending the South Wales Business Awards 2015, where CDSM are nominated for Technological & Innovative Business of the Year.

Check out our Honda Case Study, and to keep updated with our news, follow us on Twitter.

CDSM e-learning EdTech Education Events Hwb Hwbdysgu Insights L&D Learning MySID Wales

School to School Collaboration with Hwb in North Wales

This week, Gemma from Marketing & Communications at CDSM went up to North Wales to check out the GwE Consortium Conference on School to School Collaboration.

Gemma tells us how it went…                              

I’m happy to say that 6 hours on the train was worth it!

The conference was a great day – everyone there was on exactly the same page, wanting to develop school collaboration and improvement in North Wales. Alex Clewett, a Digital Leader from Welsh Government, and I were both at the event representing Hwb, and primarily showcasing Hwb Networks – a tool which specifically focuses on school-to-school collaboration in a simple and cost-effective way. So when the keynote speaker Professor Mel Ainscow CBE did a talk on ‘Moving Knowledge Around – A Strategy for Fostering Equity in Education’, this really resonated with us, as we were demonstrating the ideal tool.

HwbMel talked about the City Challenge Programme, an initiative which ran in London and Greater Manchester over a three year period between 2008 and 2011. The programme recognised that if schools are going to improve, they need to improve themselves. The Government appointed ‘Challenge Advisors’, who had been successful school leaders in challenging circumstances, and these Advisors would “bang the drum” for the programme. Quickly, the programme realised that the most disadvantaged schools were the keys to success, and rapid improvement of these schools would have a ripple effect across the system. Of course, each school is unique, so each had its own Challenge Advisor to help plan and support improvement. The programme’s real game changer was when schools started working together – in almost all cases, a partner school was carefully brokered from another local authority, matching the relevant strengths. Mel gave some fantastic examples of polar-opposite schools working together and thriving, with head teachers raving about the scheme’s benefits, which included improved attendance and higher exam results.

“Seeing what someone else does is a mirror on yourself”
                                                                             – Mel Ainscow

Mel also emphasised that collecting evidence and comparing data leads to successful collaboration. It creates an interruption in the school by making you stop and think, asking the question: “Are we missing something?” Using statistical data strategically will ultimately lead to improvements in results, attendance and behaviour. Therefore, there needs to be a shared responsibility!

Time is the currency we use in schools to find out if something’s important, and there is untapped potential in each school to improve themselves – this can be realised through school networking and collaboration, additional partnerships and the understanding of where best practices are being used. Leadership also has to come from schools, with the idea of engaging the wider community to bridge the disadvantaged gap. From the City Challenges Programme, relationships continued beyond the funding, with the sustainability element being the key to continued school improvement.
CaptureInspired by the North Wales school collaboration talks, and the plenary session given by Mel Ainscow at the end of the conference, teachers were asked what they would like to see in the area, as well as what they felt was needed, in order to improve collaboration. Apart from Alex and I just wanting to stand up and shout “Hwb Networks is free!”’ (Alex actually put it much more eloquently over the microphone), the main insights into what teachers felt was needed included:

  • Schools taking the lead
  • A plan to create enough time to achieve school goals
  • Being aware of other schools’ priorities
  • A leader to know where good practice is happening
  • The ability to see which schools in their authorities are using best practice
  • A regional database to clearly show where the schools are in improvement
  • Cut down on travelling time
  • Database of schools showing the best – a cross section of schools from green to red

I immediately had alarm bells ringing in my head – at CDSM, we’ve already made many of these things available in a digital platform: MySID (My School Improvement Dashboard). MySID was created with the intention of providing teachers with a collaborative and challenge-based environment, where school leaders are supported in making their improvement and planning decisions.

Mel then concluded by giving us the most important factor needed: the collective will to make it happen.

It was amazing to see that CDSM were ahead of the game in the school improvement narrative, and we can’t wait to start helping and developing collaboration and school improvement further across Wales and beyond.

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