Following a Commons Education Committee call for a return to creativity in the classroom, the British Computer Society has introduced a "digital creator" qualification for school children.
Launched at this month's BETT educational technology show, the qualification is designed to open up the world of digital media to students at Key Stage 3. It encourages learners to create digital media projects through a blend of theory and practical activities that will build into a digital assessment e-portfolio.
Digital creator can be incorporated across the curriculum to support project work in any subject, including English literature, language, science, drama and maths, said the BCS. As a non-supplier-specific qualification, digital creator allows schools to make use of free support software, such as Quicktime.
BCS strategic marketing manager Pete Leavy said, "With digital devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and camcorders permeating our lives, the use of digital media is seen by students as exciting and relevant to their interests outside of school.
"Students in the pilot studies showed an incredible enthusiasm in learning how to use these devices and discover the creative possibilities. However, it is not just about creativity. Digital creator also improves literacy, problem solving and planning skills as students need to develop and write plans, storyboards and scripts to support their projects."
Many students in the pilot scheme worked outside their normal lesson hours to deliver a range of creative films with a portfolio of supportive work, including detailed written concept and design plans and online correspondence with their tutor and team members. Teachers using the qualification will be supported by a two day assessor course.
The course is divided into modules, presenting different aspects of digital media, allowing students to acquire complex knowledge in bite-size chunks. Through a series of creative activities and projects built into each module, the award also helps to develop learners' planning, problem solving, collaboration and literacy skills, said the BCS.
Leavy said, "The digital creator syllabus has been developed in conjunction with teachers to provide cross curriculum support and be suitable for students of all abilities, including those with special needs."
Digital creativity modules include:
● Digital audio
● Digital still images
● Moving image language
● Digital video
● Storytelling and animation
● File sharing with optical media
● File sharing on the internet.