We were honoured to be invited to talk at the Safer Internet Day in Wellington College, Belfast. We even appeared on a live TV feed streamed across the Internet! Here are some comments from the day about Go Berserk:
It's not all about the dangers, the internet also benefits. Hearing from @GoBerserk1 about teaching young people to build websites #SID2014
@GoBerserk1 Great stuff, really interesting to hear about your work :)
Parenting NI (@ParentingNI) on Twitter
We were the only company from Northern Ireland in the awards, and the only non multi-national company to receive nominations in two categories. The Learning Awards brochure gives more details here.
This is what the judges said about Go Berserk:
Go Berserk's mission is to create thousands of high-end computing jobs in Northern Ireland. The programme (which started as a conventional book but is now both an iPad app and an e-book) helps eight-year-olds to build websites. A comprehensive curriculum is being developed, and copies of the first book are in every single primary school in Northern Ireland.
The impact of the programme extends into the wider community. It works with all abilities and has been successful in a Learning Centre for excluded pupils. Often someone seen as a low achiever in the classroom can become an outstanding programmer.
Go Berserk landed in New York City and visited the following places:
Go Berserk landed in Boston and visited the following places:
The Stranmillis report about the effects of Go Berserk on 10 primary and secondary schools in Northern Ireland has been published online. You can see the full report here or an executive summary here.
The report revealed that:
For example, one school which used the book with 10-11 year olds said this:
"Students found that coding the pages provided the same sense of achievement and challenge that they often encounter when playing computer games at home... One student in this class excelled beyond the expectations of his the teacher. He was on the autistic spectrum.. The experience helped his confidence greatly, to the extent that he was soon known as the class 'IT consultant'....Even though the teacher had not used HTML code before she felt at ease alongside the students as they all learned together. She said that 'she became a participant in the learning rather than just the sole provider of the knowledge'...The development of web sites raised the aspirations for career opportunities in computing. The school plan to develop and expand the work started in this pilot for future years and with additional year groups"
Go Berserk landed in Seattle and visited the following places:
Go Berserk landed in Washington DC on the EdTech Ireland trip sponsored by the US State Department. We visited the following places:
Go Berserk's Gareth McAleese has been selected to go on a tour of the United States sponsored by the US State Department and run by Cultural Vistas to see how US schools and educators are implementing technology in schools. The tour will take in the following cities:
St John the Baptist Primary School blogs about their experiences with Go Berserk:
St. John the Baptist are the youngest coders on the island and UK with some students as young as 8 years old! Well done superstars!
image: from Debra Lilley's blog
Ian Simons and Irene Bell have been awarded the Teaching Tech Award at the Blackboard Awards, in part for work with Go Berserk.
Go Berserk is up for an Irish Times Innovation Award. The judging will take place soon.
Worcester STEMNet encourages schools and clubs to use Go Berserk for computer science activities.
Go Beserk have written a book to teach both primary and secondary school children how to make their own websites. Go Berserk making websites with HTML and CSS . Alongside the book they have created an e-book version, an iPad app Amelia Earhart's Flight Code Challenge, and online code checker. These resources are not free, but have received great feedback including recently been chosen as the Talk Talk Digital Hero for Northern Ireland.
from the STEMNet brochure
Irene Bell and Ian Simons from Stranmillis University College presented an academic report on the effect of Go Berserk in primary and secondary schools in Northern Ireland.
6 primary schools, 3 secondary schools and 1 Learning Centre (which were chosen to be representative of all socio-economic groups in Northern Ireland) were given copies of the Go Berserk book to teach to classes. A summary of the day is provided by Debra Lilley, Director of the UK Oracle User Group, here.
The report concludes:
School managers and teaching staff involved unanimously agreed that the project was effective. It provided them with a unique and successful experience across a range of areas and delivered the school with a boost and a different perspective on thinking in developing ICT within their school planning....Frequently staff were amazed at the achievements of the pupils, their creativity and level of engagement. The web pages produced by the pupils demonstrated not only comprehension of the work undertaken at a surface level but at a level sufficiently deep that pupils applied transferrable skills and knowledge. The majority of pupils were able to understand the learning within the resources and apply it to their own chosen theme. This research has demonstrated that learning to code unlocks creativity and builds confidence in pupils regardless of age, gender or background.
In attendance were Naomi Long MP, Mervyn Storey MLA (chairman of the Education committee at Stormont), and Máirtín Ó Muilleoir (the Lord Mayor of Belfast) and the Deputy Lord Mayor. Citi's Director John Healy also gave his feedback on the report.
Other findings from the report included:
Pupil responses to participating in the project were overwhelmingly positive, expressing difficulties in coding that demonstrated understanding and learning. They recounted an experience that raised their confidence and opened new avenues of knowledge and career exploration. This generation that cherishes instant feedback and affirmation of their actions responded positively to a coding system that gave an instant response when the 'refresh' button was hit.
Responses from the staff indicated that 'relatively speaking', the attainment of the lower ability pupils was particularly strong. Work from the pupils in this category clearly demonstrated that coding is feasible for all academic levels. Pleasing results were also achieved in an 'Education other than school' setting with staff there expressing support for the outcomes of the project very positively.
Findings indicate that the pilot study not only raised career aspirations for the children but in bringing their work home also engaged the parents and triggered their own aspirations for a career in IT ...Schools fully understood how this work was integral to the CCEA (2012) UICT, Desirable Features element within the curriculum. They reported their intentions to re-evaluate their planning with a view to incorporating this aspect of coding and more.
Go Berserk has been nominated in two LPI Learning Awards:
We'll see who wins at the Dorchester hotel in London on 6th February.
Go Berserk appeared at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, where Gareth McAleese was presented with the TalkTalk Digital Heroes 2013 Award for Northern Ireland.
Congratulations to CyberSmile who won overall.
You can see the video we made for the awards here:
Go Berserk exhibited at the Arts Council's Thrive event at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. We had a great time talking to lots of people and hearing an inspiring talk from Eric Huang.
It looks like our dog enjoyed himself too, getting dressed in Leonora's hats and scarves.
VCCP flew into Belfast to record our video presentation for the Talk Talk Digital Hero Awards later this month.
The stars of the video were definitely the web geniuses at Stranmillis University College from:
and the web geniuses of Mr Melin's class at Longstone School.
We were really impressed with your coding skills, and how clear and calm you were on camera.
We got a great review from Inkpellet.co.uk:
Coding is the language of computers and will put students who understand it in the driving seat; able to programme, create software, and speak the same language.
Step forward Ian Simons, Will Moore and Gareth McAleese, the co-authors of Go Berserk, a colourful step-by-step guide to making websites using code.
By the end of the book, they promise, users will be able to make their own websites...To get coding, visit www.go-berserk.com, where you can order the book
You can read the full review here.
Go Berserk was nominated in the Research and Development company of the year category of the UTV Business Eye Awards 2013. We were nominated in the same category last year! Let's see what happens on October 10th this time.
Go Berserk's Gareth McAleese has become the TalkTalk Digital Heroes 2013 for Northern Ireland category. We're very grateful to everyone who voted for us, and we're looking forward to see who wins the UK title at the House of Commons on 29th October.
We demonstrated Go Berserk to the children and adults at the Derry-Londonderry Culture Tech Monster Coder Dojo event in The Venue.
Lots of people tried out the Experiment with Code, and some even produced their own websites!
Go Berserk gave talks to primary school teachers at the Te@ch ICT event at Ashfield Girls High School. Thanks to all the teachers who attended and gave us some great feedback and ideas.
Go Berserk was supported by EJH Design and Print, and by USEL and OCN NI who also attended the event and promoted the new certification which children can earn by studying a Go Berserk book.
Go Berserk has been certified by OCN NI - you can now earn an OCN Level 1 certification by studying a Go Berserk book. This is the first time ever that a certification usually reserved for 14 year olds has been made available to children aged 8 and above.
We always knew you were web geniuses, and now you can get the certificate to prove it.
Details of how to get certified through USEL and OCN are here on USEL's Aspire Training certifications website.
OCN NI Level 1 Award in Introduction to HTML and CSS (QCF)
Ofqual code 601/0949/X
Go Berserk's Gareth McAleese has been shortlisted in the TalkTalk Digital Heroes 2013 in the Northern Ireland category. We're looking forward to see who wins the category and goes on to represent Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom finals.
Voting is open to the public until 14th September.
To vote in the Northern Ireland category, follow these steps:
buy Go Berserk making a complete web page from the iBookstore
Rated: Ages 8 and above
By: Go Berserk
"Go Berserk making a web page" is an interactive e-book which is an introduction to Go Berserk hard copy and ebooks, and which gives all the code and hints to complete Amelia Earhart's Flight Code Challenge iPad app.
Find out about Amelia Earhart's flight to Derry and learn how to make a web site along the way.
Go Berserk has been nominated in Digital Advertising Northern Ireland Awards 2013 in the e-Learning category. We're looking forward to see who wins on 13th September in St Columb's Hall, Derry-Londonderry.
OK, so I kinda have been using this book myself!
I love to see all the tips and explanations for building a website! As my boys get older they are going to love creating a website on their own. They want to have a blog like Mommy, so this book will prove to be very valuable!
For kids 8 and older this book breaks down the know how into an easy to follow and easy to read format. It helps how many pictures accompany the instructions because we know that we learn so much faster with visual cues!
I cannot wait to create a website with my boys!!!
and on Amazon.com:
We launched our game for the iPad, called Amelia Earhart's Flight Code Challenge:
Size: 62 MB
By: SilverFish Studios
This is makes HTML Website Coding really simple, if you don't get what HTML is then please click here.
The one thing I will say is that even though it works with any windows version, the authors use Windows XP in the book while the newest ones are obviously 7 and 8. The code used is HTML 4 and CSS 2, The newest out however is HTML 5 and CSS 3. So apart from a few program updates this book is great!
Go Berserk visited the Creative Learning Showcase in Detling, Kent.
We had a great time meeting everyone: special thanks to Emma Jenkins for inviting us, and to News for Schools and their reporters who helped produce some websites in record time.
pupils at Markethill High School
Go Berserk is one year old.
Check out the new Match Game we got as a birthday present:
Go Berserk resources can now be bought online in the UK from Help Me Teach.
Go Berserk showed our book and new e-book at the Stranmillis Resources Day
A well-behaved dog at Stranmillis
We were a finalist in the Ulster Bank Business Achiever Awards in the Innovation and Emerging Technology Category.
Go Berserk was mentioned in the latest edition of the US-based Computer Science Teachers Association newsletter. Teacher and CSTA K-8 representative Patrice Gans used our book in classes of 8, 9 and 10 year olds. She writes:
"As a K–8 computer teacher, I recognized early on the importance of tapping my students' personal interests as a way to ensure their engagement in CS.
At the beginning of the 2011 school year, I introduced them to the basic concepts of programming via Scratch. As the school year progressed, I decided to include other CS methodologies.
With this goal in mind, I spent the last few weeks of the 2012 school year teaching HTML. I was amazed at their enthusiasm. The fact that they could create a website and then share the information with their families, friends, and even virtual strangers via the Internet, was a very powerful motivator. They couldn't wait to get started. And even when they encountered challenges along the way, their sense of accomplishment never wavered.
I used the Go Berserk material as a guide to teach my students the fundamentals of HTML... I used their book with my fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students."
We held our second training session for Go Berserk tutors on 2nd March at Stranmillis University College. Thanks to everyone who came along, including Basil McCrea MLA.
Go Berserk tutors
We held the first training session for Go Berserk tutors on 8th December at Stranmillis University College. Thanks to everyone who came along.
Ian Simons and two Go Berserk tutors
We were very excited to teach some web geniuses from Laurelhill Community College how to make their own websites at Stranmillis University College. They were brilliant! You can read more about it here.
Ian Simons and the Laurelhill Community College web geniuses
Are you a NI PGCE graduate without a current post? Do you want to be a Go Berserk tutor? We are looking for PGCE graduates in Northern Ireland who would like to help introduce pupils in local schools to the Go Berserk book. Click here to sign up.
Photos are here
Go Berserk won the Best Business Innovation (for a private company) at the Belfast Business Awards held in the City Hall on 8th November.
We were also highly commended in the Best Creative Business category. Here are some of the press comments from Belfast City Council and the Irish Times
Go Berserk exhibited at the TeachMeet Belfast 2 in Stranmillis University College.
Go Berserk was proud to be one of the exhibitors at the Integrated Education Fund's Digital Media Conference in W5, Odyssey, Belfast.
We held 5 Go Berserk roadshows in Derry, Enniskillen and Belfast. Thanks to all the teachers who attended, and also to Dr Stephen Farry MLA (DEL) and Robert Byers (LibertyIT) who came to one of the Belfast events. We are especially grateful to Stranmillis University College, Northwest Teachers Centre and Southwest Teachers Centre who hosted the events.
Ian Simons, Irene Bell, Robert Byers and Gareth McAleese at Stranmillis
Go Berserk launched on 16th May at Stormont Parliament Buildings, Belfast.
We were sponsored by Judith Cochrane, an MLA for the Alliance Party who spoke at the launch. Peter Robinson, Northern Ireland's First Minister and Stephen Farry, minister for the Department of Education and Learning also spoke.
Some web geniuses from these schools showed off their web skills:
Our sponsors were also there, along with lots of teachers and representatives from Business in the Community's Time to Compute program.