Coram Life Education (CLE) is the UK’s largest child health education programme. For the last 25 years, it has been teaching children the skills they need to make healthier choices through adolescence and adulthood.
Their “SCARF” toolkit is an innovative, interactive range of resources designed to equip and support busy teachers in providing the best personal, social, health and wellbeing education for their pupils. This growing bank of SCARF resources has been put together at the request of schools and in late 2015 CLE applied to the WCIT Charity for funding to develop and add a range of comprehensive bCyberwise resources for year 3 pupils (6-8 year olds). These resources are helping children to understand the public and viral nature of the Internet, to recognise its dangers and to know how to protect their information and themselves from potentially risky situations.
Digital technologies are playing an increasing part in today’s culture, especially for children, for whom schoolwork, online gaming and social networking are among the most popular activities. However, concerns about its harmful effects on the safety and wellbeing of children are rarely absent from the headlines. The aim of Coram Life Education’s bCyberwise programme is for children to learn how to be respectful and safe online, and to promote positive cyber citizenship.
Since the initial launch of bCyberwise, 300 sessions have been delivered by trained Coram Life Education (CLE) Educators across the country, benefitting over 3,000 children and offering teachers the chance to observe lessons and to develop tools and strategies for supporting pupils as they navigate the virtual world.
Thames Reach is one of the UK’s leading homelessness charities. Its vision is to end street homelessness and its mission is to provide decent homes, encourage supportive relationships and help people lead fulfilling lives.
WCIT Charity has backed Thames Reach’s new Digital Pathways project. It builds on their successful digital literacy i-Reach project, which we also funded. i-Reach has already supported 54 people to access one-to-one support, and helped ten of those individuals to secure an IT qualification, as well as providing social media training and Wi-Fi access across seven Thames Reach properties.
Delrina has been a regular user of employment services at Thames Reach. When she first started accessing support she was unable to use a computer and did not have an email address – a major hindrance when seeking employment. She needed her Peer Advisor to complete/support all her work. Delrina has used i-Reach on a weekly basis and in between has practiced at the Thames Reach Employment Academy. She recently sent her Peer Advisor away (quite firmly) as she was “perfectly able to manage”.
“Our service users are increasingly ambitious to raise their levels of IT literacy in a bid to find work,” says Jeremy Swain, CEO, Thames Reach.
“Our latest survey revealed that nearly half (46%) said they needed more support around information technology to meet their needs, and that 70% want to work but only 5% are currently in employment.”
“We were struggling to meet this demand with our current staffing levels and skillsets,” he adds. “That’s where the input of WCIT has proved invaluable. Their generous funding has helped get the Digital Pathway project up and running.”
IT4Arts, which is a programme of the WCIT’s Arts Panel with some 130 arts organisations as members, is from time to time asked for project help. The Royal Opera House (ROH), a member of IT4Arts since 2005, had carried out a major project to update their network, systems and equipment. With over 700 people connected across two sites, this had been a challenging task. Given tight budgets and relatively small IT, it is not surprising that large arts organisations find it difficult to execute what even for business-world organisations would be a big project. ROH wanted an independent, forward looking review of the project to identify the ‘lessons learned’ in order to inform the planning process for IT at ROH.
A peer-review of their report was completed and the next month IT4Arts presented the findings to the ROH’s Technology Steering Group. ROH commented afterwards, “IT4Arts valuably brings together best practice in the application and management of IT and digital from the business world and the arts. Thank you WCIT, for a well-informed and effective review of our project”
Gresham College upholds a four-century-old tradition of providing free public lectures within a London setting and, as lectures are now distributed online, to many viewers worldwide with viewing figures approaching 3 million views globally per annum, enabling access to information for the wider public. The College has been recording its lectures since the 1980s and there are now over 1,900 lectures freely available online in text, audio or video formats. The provision of this free online archive of lectures aligns with their founding principles of accessible free education for all.
The College has been recording its lectures since the 1980s and there are now over 1,900 lectures freely available online in text, audio or video formats. The provision of this free online archive of lectures aligns with their founding principles of accessible free education for all.
The WCIT Charity funds the IT Professorship within Gresham College. Information Technology was an area that was under-represented at Gresham College and the WCIT were minded that the Professor of Information Technology, Martyn Thomas CBE, would fill a gap in the current lecture programme and provide a planned lecture series on matters of substantial public interest in the area of IT.
Professor Thomas said, “In my Gresham lectures I will explore the state of software today, how we got to where we are, and what we shall need to do to shore up the foundations of a digital society that is increasingly built on sand. The lecture series is designed to inform, to entertain, and to stimulate balanced discussions that lead to effective actions. In this I hope to make Gresham College play a leading role in accelerating the transition of the craft of software development into a mature engineering profession.”