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BfT_techawayTech takeaways helping Bradford schools rise to the COVID challenge

Pupils and teachers in schools across Bradford have been learning new technology skills during the COVID crisis thanks to an innovative series of purpose designed video challenges.

The short films, under the #techawaychallenge banner, are the brainchild of digital experts from Bradford Council’s in-house Innovation Services team.

Each bite-sized tutorial hosted on YouTube is designed to make users explore a new programme, app or website in order to successfully complete different tasks.

They can be used by teachers to set class assignments or by individual pupils to try at home with their families. Each challenge is also supported by off-line materials for those with limited access to computer technology at home.

Curriculum Innovation Consultant Tim Bleazard explained: “In these challenging times we wanted to create a suite of resources that would provide a framework for children and teachers to explore and learn about new tricks and techniques.

“Each challenge has been curated to focus on a specific skill or task and each short film provides a background tutorial for going about it.

“Importantly we’ve tried hard to ensure that all of the content is delivered and accessed with all proper online safety protocols in place.”

Challenges in the series so far include creating a QR Code trail, filming a time-lapse clip, designing a map and holding a Google hang-out quiz.

Catherine Adams, from Bradford, who uses the challenges with her 9-year-old daughter said: “It’s is the highlight of our day doing the challenges and trying to master new IT skills -they are excellent and very user friendly.

“Technology-wise although my skills aren’t that bad but I like the way the videos guide us through apps and demonstrate their usefulness.

“My daughter isn’t that tech savvy but she is loving being able to complete the tasks. It’s making lockdown so much more fun for us. We are loving the challenges and really enjoy learning how to use the apps and features of the iPad/phones that we previously haven’t used.”

The #techawaychallenge project has generated international interest and the Bradford Innovation Services team were recently invited to present the initiative at a major international technology virtual conference in Germany.

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