Lydia Niamh Davies, 24, is Primary School Teacher for Abertillery Learning Community. She graduates from the MSc Computing and Information Systems in December 2016.
What influenced you to do a postgraduate Computing course?
As a teacher I realised how important ICT is to this and future generations and with the introduction of the new Digital Competence Framework and ICT Skills framework, I saw the Masters as an opportunity to become specialised in a field I was passionate about. I chose to study in Pontypridd because I had friends that had previously attended the university and saw it as a fantastic, inclusive learning environment.
What have been the most valuable aspects of the course?
The course has provided me with detailed knowledge of network security and coding in different languages. It also provided me with the opportunity to run a project that was relevant to my career. I created a website that aimed to engage parents in the learning process and implemented the website with a test group. The project was the highlight of my experience as it allowed me to collaborate my learning over the year and apply it to a project relevant to my job. I intend to continue utilising the skills I have developed this year in my future career.
What have been the highlights?
The course has been filled with interesting modules, taught by talented lecturers and undertaken by a wide array of characters from all over the world. I have made lifelong friends from different continents and cultures and they, along with the university staff, created a strong support network throughout the year of study.
What are your future plans and how will this qualification help you with these?
I would like to continue with my career in education and ultimately I would like to gain promotion related to this area. I feel that this qualification will make me stand out and provides me with skills which will enable me to arise to future roles such as ICT coordinator. I intend to continue my studies and professional development in this field and hopefully apply the skills I have gained, in the course and used in my final project, in my practice.
How is the course already benefiting your work?
I feel the course has given me confidence and credibility in the workplace. Since beginning in Abertillery Learning Community I have taken on a role as Digital Leader co-ordinator. Digital Leaders are children who are appointed to offer ICT support to staff and pupils; are involved in testing and selecting ICT equipment and software; and who act as ICT and E-Safety ambassadors for the school. Through this role I am working with my digital leaders to create lessons and resources for the new Digital Competence Framework. I also run an ICT club after school, teaching children some of the skills I have learnt through my studies in the University.
How will having the qualification help your career?
Within education it is essential to show a lifelong commitment to learning and I have embraced this by pursuing my degree, my PGCE and now my Masters Degree. I believe this qualification gives me a strong, credible, relevant academic background and has provided me with a wider real-world viewpoint of how Computing is relevant not only in education but in an expanse of other working environments.
Would you recommend the course?
I would certainly recommend this course to fellow teachers wishing to become specialised in ICT and Computing but also anyone from any working environment that wants to gain a deeper insight into this subject area or is considering a career change into this field of expertise. The MSc Computing course has allowed me to gain in confidence, make new friends and expand my expertise into an area of study that is becoming increasingly vital today.