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Help urgently needed with DIDA unit 4

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by basilicata, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. I am a maths teacher who has been asked to teach DIDA Unit 4 to some year 11 students. I have found it incredibly difficult to get any information at all on what exactly I am supposed to teach. Nobody at the school knows much about DIDA, no textbook or teacher guide has been provided and the handbook which Edexcel claims it sent to the school last year before I joined has gone missing. I find Edexcel's own website singularly unhelpful. I am technically quite proficient at ICT (I have studied computer science at post-grad level) but am really frustrated at the almost total absence of guidance I have received. I have a number of specific questions for any DIDA experts out there:
    1. Is there a textbook or (better) online guide or resource which is reasonably concise so that I can find out what it is I am actually supposed to teach for unit 4?
    2. Is it usual for teachers of DIDA to go on courses prior to teaching it? (I was told that it was, mostly for the purpose of getting to grips with the marking, assessment etc..). how important is this?
    3. What sort of guidance would it be reasonable for the school to provide? As I said above i am a maths teacher and we definitely don't treat people like this.

    Thanks Jay
  2. I've taugh DiDa since the pilot but never taught unit 4, however I can offer some general advice and help.
    A number of points need clarifying before you even start:
    1) Who else in your school is teaching DiDA units? The team leader should be helping you get started - Dida does take some getting in to, especially the assessment. See point 3.
    2) If you are just starting a unit to be assessed in the summer, how much lesson time are you getting with them? You will need at least 3 hours per week with them, preferably more, especially first time round.
    3) Unit 4 cannot be taught purely on its own - Unit 1 is compulsory. If the students haven't /aren't doing Unit 1 then you cannot enter them for assessment just with unit 4. The deadline for submitting marks for unit 4 is normally 15th June.
    4) As for books, have a look at Edexcel/Pearsons own for unit 4 http://www.edexcel.com/resources/pages/viewItem.aspx?item=88 . If nothing else it is worth having a copy for yourself.
    5) As for info, you should get some help from others here on TES. Keep asking!
    6) If you do go ahead you can use the September 2010 or September 2011 SPbs - I'd go for the 2010 because others will have been teaching it, some may well have already been assessed and so the raw grade boundaries will have been set by the board as a result. Each SPB page on the DiDA website has the SPB, walkthrough (which is effectively what you need to use to help assess the work) and the Support notes which you would need to refer to regularly (and share with students), even if theyonly give limited guidance for what is expected. See http://www.edexcel.com/quals/dida/spb/0910/Pages/Unit4.aspx and the grade boundaries would normally be here http://www.edexcel.com/quals/dida/results/Pages/default.aspx - but the ones from last summer aren't there yet for some reason.(Something I need to chase up for my own benefit anyway....)
    7) If you do go ahead, getting the eportfolio and assessment right is essential. Get back in touch with me if you do - do a direct message and we can exchange email addresses.
    Hope thats of some help to you!

  3. cj3


  4. Thanks for the reply: have ordered the book.

  5. Thanks for this reply. It would be great to correspond on this. I have three hours a week to teach unit 4. There is only one other teacher-not an ICT specialist-teaching DIDA at the school; he is repeating Unit 1 which he started last year. He seems to have very little expertise in this area. The HOD does not seem to have encountered DIDA before. Basically what I need most at the moment is a sort of cook-book or fools guide for unit 4. I have ordered a textbook but I have to start teaching this next Monday. Jay
  6. Check your TES inbox.

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