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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Laptops but no textbooks

A school in Tuscon, Arizona is buying laptops but no textbooks for its students.
See a none to enthusiastic article 'Sims school' abandons books for laptops on The Register
(That's Sims as in the simulation game not the school management software!)



Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Broadband TV Trial

TV coming soon to your Broadband connection.
See details of the TeleWest beta trial . The actual service is here

More background in this ADSLGuide story

I wonder how many simultaneous 'broadband super-hi' sessions you can run over your SWGfL connection?



Monday, June 06, 2005

Just a dot in the sky

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity snapped this picture of Earth as is paused while trying to escape from a sand trap.



Wednesday, March 02, 2005

British Library launches online dialect collection

Collect Britain: The way we speak
The British Library's biggest digitisation project to date contains over 30 hours worth of recordings of English accents and dialects from some 600 locations.
Recordings from dorset include John talking about the amount of cider drunk by farm workers and wages when he first started work.



Sunday, February 20, 2005

Online mapping & routeplanner

Excellent maps & routeplans at http://www.uk.map24.com/
(plus adverts! - but fewer than multimap and streetmap)
but Multimap does have aerial photos (+ pop-ups!)



Monday, February 14, 2005

Internet Policy Template

From Kent LEA "The Kent Internet Access Policy is a collation of good practice from schools and advisers presented in the form of an editable template with questions and a range of policy statements. Schools may download the Word document and delete, edit or add their own statements so that the policy fits their educational approach. A template parent’s letter, permission form and posters for classrooms complete the set"
See www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/ict/policy/index.htm

Photography in Schools

Information from the Information Commissioner re the data protection issues surrounding use of photographs and videos taken in schools. See pdf here www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/eventual.aspx?id=7303



Wednesday, January 05, 2005

EasyMail upgrade info updated

Over 4,500 Dorset teachers have EasyMail accounts!
Updated info (5/1/05) on the upgrade to EasyMail Plus is here

10 x 10

To quote the Guardian :
"Every hour, the 10 x 10 website gathers the 100 most important words and pictures in the world, based on what's happening in the news, including repetitions. The site arranges the images in a 10 x 10 grid, so you get a visual impression of what is happening. (You can also get a 10 x 10 of the day, month or, eventually, the year.) Click on any of the pictures to get a slightly larger version plus a list of the headlines used with the image. You can then click on a headline to get the original story from the BBC, New York Times or whatever. 10 x 10 was created by Jonathan Harris while on a one-year fellowship at Fabrica, Benetton's Communication Research Centre in Treviso, Italy. It's a simple but powerful idea beautifully done. " (how it works)

Guess what the word of the day is? - ts****i

Happy Birthday Rover

NASA are celebrating a year on Mars for the Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
(sorry - no link to anyone celebrating a burnt up Beagle 2!)



Saturday, January 01, 2005

Aren't PCs wonderful?

Viruses, Trojans, Spam and Phishing
Info on how not to let the PC ruin your New Year in this The Register article.



Thursday, December 30, 2004

We are All EasyMail Plus now

On December the 24th all Dorset schools still using EasyMail were moved to EasyMail Plus.
Users can find more information here.

The Blog is Dead - long Live the PodCast

According to BBCi news, the latest craze is Podcasting (named after the Apple iPod but works on any player). Thousands of items appear daily as mp3 files (see Podcast List). The keen (nerd?) can then install software and set up their system to automatically download and update their iPod with the selection of their choice.
The less keen (& those who can't afford an iPod) can just listen to items on-line via mediaplayer and the websites (e.g. CBC Radio's Technology Column)



Tuesday, December 14, 2004

'Right to Roam' in Dorset

For on-line maps showing the access land areas see http://www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk/where_you_can_go.php
New Ordnance Survey maps have been published today showing the access land - see http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/media/news/2004/nov/accesslandarea3.html



Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Study: PCs make kids dumber

Or so says a report on The Register about a re-analysis of the data from the 2000 PISA study - see The Register report or the same item covered a few weeks ago by BBC News

Rat brain flies jet!

Better than a computer for an unmanned aircraft? See the item at The Register



Thursday, November 25, 2004

Highcliffe School wins prestigious award for web portal

Highcliffe School's portal myHighcliffe has won a first prize for best use of ICT in education in the European Schoolnet 'eLearning Awards'. Mat Downs had the onerous task of going to Prague to received a cheque for 5000Euro and a crystal trophy . The MyHighcliffe web portal allows parents and students to see information such as attendance, reports, achievements and merits. More info on the eLearning Awards website.



Wednesday, September 01, 2004

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish...

As you may be aware, Martin Graham retired at the end of August 2004.

The current content of "Martin Graham's News of the World Wide Web" will be left on a link from this URL as an archive.

Hopefully a similar service will be resumed soon...



Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Three new OfSTED case studies of ICT in schools

Three new ICT case studies have been posted on the OfSTED website
ICT in schools 2004: The impact of government initiatives: ICT School Portraits - Cramlington Community High School (12 pages) Cramlington is a specialist Science college in Northumberland.
Eggbuckland Community College (12 pages) Eggbuckland is an 11 -18 comprehensive school in Plymouth.
Lent Rise County Combined School (Primary) is an outer London Primary school.



Friday, August 20, 2004

Science Museum resource for "A" level students

A "groundbreaking initiative in web learning", based on the Science Museum's landmark gallery Making the Modern World, has been launched in time for new school term, following a unprecedented collaboration between the museum, an education digital publisher and Peter Symonds sixth-form college in Winchester. www.makingthemodernworld.org.uk examines our lives through the things people have made, invented and used. It includes over 500 hours of learning activities, interactive education modules and gives an unrivalled perspective on the impact of science and technology on our daily lives. The Science Museum has been able to use its vast collection and knowledge to develop a unique virtual learning world for sixth form students, as well as anybody fascinated by the making of the modern world. Learning modules complement A Level subjects - particularly general studies and include topics on the Age of Enlightenment, DNA, psychoanalysis, textiles and industrialisation, as well as the birth of environmentalism and the rise of the consumer age. The online resource encourages further exploration though demonstrations, activities and rich media experiences, which combine photography, diagrams and primary sources with text to offer in-depth understanding.”



Sunday, August 08, 2004

ICT in Schools DfES statistics published

This Statistical First Release presents information on the numbers of computers used mainly for teaching and learning, numbers of pupils per computer (used mainly for teaching and learning), percentage of schools with electronic interactive whiteboards, average number of electronic interactive whiteboards per school, expenditure on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and teachers' confidence in the use of ICT, in 2004. Figures for 1998-2004 are shown in the table. The figures were derived from a sample survey of maintained primary, secondary and special schools in England.



Monday, July 26, 2004

WEBSITES OF THE WEEK
Here are the latest websites to have been approved by the National Grid for Learning.
PortCities London
The PortCities London website contains a collection of over five thousand digitised items from museums, libraries and archives, which together trace the history of maritime London from Roman settlements to the present day. The site can be browsed by time period or topic, and includes interactive games, video clips and animations.

Burnt Cakes
The Burnt Cakes website offers information and resources for Key Stage 3 to 5 (AS and A2) history teachers. It includes free and priced materials, as well as news, teaching hints and tips, and reviews of historical books and places to go. (Links to online purchasing.)

MAY DAY at school

MAY DAY at school - coastguard deliver schools pack
Children and teachers met the crew of Whiskey Bravo, the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Portland and volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew from the Exmouth lifeboat station to try out the new MAY DAY educational pack from the MCA and the RNLI. The visit at St Peter's School near Exmouth involved local school children and their teachers who were able to find out more about the work of the Coastguard and the RNLI and about sea safety at this crucial time just before the school holidays.
See here for more details of Mayday and how to obtain copies.

'Wide variation' in school costs'

Spending per pupil in England's state schools varies by as much as £3,800 a year, a study suggests. The GMB union found that Islington, in north London, used up the most money for each child - £6,064 – while Norfolk spent the least - £2,206. The figures cover spending on staff pay, school buildings and teaching and other materials.
The union also found that spending per pupil in the private sector ranged from £5,000 to £9,000 a year. Its report described a "yawning gap" between independent and state schools. Top five spending authorities: Islington - £6,064, Hackney - £5,881, Lambeth - £5,305, Westminster - £5,071, Southwark - £4,891 Bottom five spending authorities: Norfolk - £2,206, Dorset - £2,465, Stockport - £2,550, Sheffield - £2,635, Wiltshire - £2,647

The 'Young Travel Photographer of the Year' competition

Open to photographers aged 16 and under. Entrants are invited to submit four images on the theme of 'My World, My View', and prizes include digital equipment and training from a professional photographer. The closing date is 17 September 2004. Over 60 of the best images from the 2003 competition can be viewed.

OfSTED at a glance

17 publications provide data and main findings from OfSTED school inspections 2002/2003 in a succint 2 page
At a glance - 2002/03 - Special schools and pupil referral units

At a glance - 2002/03 - Secondary schools

At a glance - 2002/03 - Science

At a glance - 2002/03 - Religious education

At a glance - 2002/03 - Primary schools

At a glance - 2002/03 - Physical education

At a glance - 2002/03 - Music

At a glance - 2002/03 - Modern foreign languages

At a glance - 2002/03 - Mathematics

At a glance - 2002/03 - LEAs

At a glance - 2002/03 - Information and communication technology

At a glance - 2002/03 - History

At a glance - 2002/03 - Geography

At a glance - 2002/03 - English

At a glance - 2002/03 - Design and technology

At a glance - 2002/03 - Colleges

At a glance - 2002/03 - Art and design



Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Shaftesbury School and Sports College

A new "URL" and a striking new website design for a new school. http://www.shaftesbury.dorset.sch.uk/ Shaftesbury School and Sports College reopens its doors in September as part of a two tier system - 11-18
The school was formerly a 13-18 upper school and part of a three tier system.



Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Teachers’ TV to launch in 2005

Following a successful pilot, School Standards Minister David Miliband has announced a new digital television channel is to be launched early next year.

The DfES funded channel is Europe’s first channel dedicated to those who work in schools. Teachers’ TV will be used to raise standards in the classroom, and will be a key part of the Government’s drive for personalised learning.

 The channel is editorially independent and will carry programmes on training and development, resources for the classroom and education news. The channel will be on air 24 hours a day, and will be supported by an extensive website and interactive service.



Monday, July 19, 2004

WEBSITES OF THE WEEK

Here are the latest websites to have been approved by the National Grid for
Learning.


How to find locally produced food, open farms and food news Type in your postcode and see a map featuring icons representing some of the 5,000 producers listed UK wide. The site also features recipes, food facts, daily commentary, videos, food forums as well as a facility to receive monthly local food newsletters. BigBarn was set up to reconnect consumers with local food producers. Local food is fresh and accountable and local trade increases food knowledge and a sense of community. BigBarn wants to help schools procure food from local farms, get kids interested in food, and encourage locals to take an active interest in their local countryside. Register for a local newsletter.

National Geographic Society's "MapMachine"
Redesigned "MapMachine" gives students a new set of geographic tools The National Geographic Society's newly redesigned "MapMachine" web site is a powerful resource for students and teachers that enables users to find and view nearly every place on Earth, with supplementary charts for population and climate. Users can explore antique maps or find country facts by browsing through the organisation's vast repository; tap the site's database to locate places of interest in the news; examine areas of conflict in the Middle East and other global hot spots; and learn how to read many different kinds of maps, from topographical climate references to intimate, street-level guides marking major landmarks, environmentally protected areas, and other historically significant places around the world.

Apple Source - This site provides cross-curricular resources for Key Stage 2 pupils and teachers about Bramley apples and how they can contribute to a healthy diet. It includes experiments and online activities, as well as printable worksheets and recipes for use in the classroom or at home.

eChalk - eChalk offers free online tools and applications which are designed specifically for use with interactive whiteboards, tablet PCs or data projectors in whole-class teaching. The resources cover maths and science and include number grids, a graph generator and a natural selection simulator.

Museum of London: online teachers' packs
The Museum of London has added a range of teachers' packs to its website, aimed primarily at Key Stage 2 teachers and covering art & design, citizenship, literacy and geography. The packs include class activities for use before, during and after a visit to the museum, as well as background information, advice on ways of using the museum,curriculum links and suggestions for supporting resources.

National Archives: Citizenship
This online exhibition presents a digitised selection of documents from the National Archives and Parliamentary Archives, exploring what it has meant to be a citizen through a thousand years of British history. Aimed at lifelong learners, the site offers four themed galleries, document studies, local history pages, quizzes and a glossary.

UK Observatory for the Promotion of Non-Violence - The UK Observatory is a national initiative which has created a network of experts in research, practice and training from a range of disciplines, all committed to addressing the key issues of aggression, bullying, and violence amongst young people. The website provides information for teachers, local education authorities, policy makers, government and voluntary organisations about the activities of the Observatory.

British Red Cross: Children in Conflict - This website offers a set of downloadable, cross-curricular teaching resources for upper primary and secondary schools, including include lesson plans, briefing sheets and pupil activities, designed to introduce the topical issue of children in conflict. The material is suitable for use in citizenship, media studies, geography and history classes.

Becta's ICT Research Network

Interested in research in ICT and education? Why not join Becta's ICT Research Network? Share your ideas with other members and ask questions online. Take a look at past discussions. Topics in July 2004 have included interactive whiteboards in secondary practice, extracting data from SIMS and using ICT in geography. Becta's ICT Research Network is free to join and open to anyone with an interest in research in ICT and education. Look here for information about how to join the network.

Governors' Guide to ICT

Becta has been commissioned by the DfES to produce a series of short publications relating to the use of ICT within Schools specifically for Governors. In the past little information/guidance/support on ICT in education has been directed specifically at Governors. The first issue has arrived in schools and provides an overview of the series to follow with each publication providing specific information regarding an aspect of ICT together with appropriate case studies and support routes. Chairs of Governing Bodies in English Schools have received a direct postal mailing in July inviting them to register for this free initiative. Each publication is available online.

Your website could take you to Jamaica!

Children's charity Childnet International has launched its global Childnet Academy programme for 2005. The Academy competition is for young people 18 years and under who have developed online projects or have a new idea which will benefit other young people around the world.

BECTa 14-19 e-newsletter

A new publication by the Specialist School Trusts 'Beyond study leave: personalised approaches to preparing students for GCSE examinations - a guide for school leaders and teachers' recommends that there should be a new approach adopted for revising exams, as study leave is not appropriate for some students. The guide can be downloaded.

ICT in Practice Awards 2005

ICT in Practice Awards 2005 - closing date for entries.
Using ICT effectively within teaching, learning and leadership is essential in enhancing the learning experience. The closing date of 23 July is fast approaching for entry to Becta's ICT in Practice Awards 2005 which aim to identify models of exemplary practice and allow practitioners to share their expertise with the wider teaching community. The awards cover all sectors from early years to adult and community learning. Nominations which are received by the deadline of Friday, 23 July will be entered into a free prize draw with the opportunity to win a PDA. Each award winner will receive a total of £5,000 of which £2,500 will go to their institution, while each runner-up receives a total of £1,000 with £500 going to their institution. To find out more information about the awards categories, and how to nominate online, visit the ICT in Practice Awards website.

Teachers Online Newsletter

July's newsletter explores the use of ICT outside of the classroom with some suggestions from Icknield High School and from the NASA website.

Writers for the Future in the Classroom

Hand-on Literacy - the eTeachers' Portal is a free resource with curriculum-focused resources showing how to use the internet in teaching literacy. It is part of Writers for the Future in the Classroom, a NESTA-funded project of Kids on the Net at the Nottingham Trent University.

Take a visit to the Pi factory

The Pifactory gives details of mathematics homework as well as other resources used in the classroom, revision notes, boardshots, a dictionary and useful links to other interesting Maths sites, particularly Maths and history and Maths and art sites. Parents should read Parents stuff. Other teachers and students are welcome to use materials on the site for their own use.



Wednesday, July 07, 2004

WEBSITES OF THE WEEK

Here is the latest website to have been approved by the National Grid for Learning.

GEsource
Part of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN), GEsource provides a database of internet resources on geography and the environment, aimed at lecturers, students and researchers in higher and further education. It includes a comprehensive World Guide, containing country fact files, images, maps, statistics and satellite photographs.

European Youth Portal

The European Youth Portal is an initiative of the European Union, and aims to offer quick and easy access to relevant youth related information on Europe. The objective of the website is to enhance young people's participation in public life and to contribute to their active citizenship. The main target group is young people between 15 and 25 years of age, but it also caters for the needs of those working with young people.

Stunning historical BBC archives go online

The BBC has launched an online Motion Gallery which features thousands of short video clips from the archives of the BBC and CBS (USA) television companies. This footage is made available on a commercial basis, but any user can register and search the archive for media clips in their area of interest.

Headteachers choose technology to improve teaching - new NFER survey

Almost all primary headteachers feel that interactive whiteboards and the internet have the potential to improve teaching and learning, according to a new survey by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). However, less than half the headteachers perceived video conferencing or integrated learning systems as having similar benefits and very few schools have access to these technologies. These were some of the findings from NFER's latest Annual Survey of Trends in Education, which has compared the views of primary headteachers on current educational issues over the last ten years. The report can be downloaded.

Other key findings:
*Although half the headteachers reported that computer provision was at
least satisfactory and 20% of these described it as good, 17% felt their
ICT equipment needed updating and 12% commented that their facilities
were not of an adequate standard because of budget constraints.

*Over half schools reported having interactive whiteboards, compared
with less than 10% in 2000. Almost all schools have access to email and
internet and nearly a third have broadband access.

*For over 80 percent of primary headteachers budgets are their main
concern, the highest figure ever recorded since the NFER started its
annual surveys ten years ago.

*Headteachers' concerns about school buildings were also the highest
ever recorded, and worries about staffing and inspections have risen.

*Almost three quarters of headteachers (72%) felt that their job is more
stressful now than three years ago, blaming initiative overload,
increased paperwork, pressure to improve, sheer volume of work and
parental pressure. Staffing is a major concern, with nearly all
headteachers reporting that staff workload is an issue, for the third
year running.

New on the NGfL and News on your school website

New on the NGfL and News on your school website There have been a range of new NGfL guides published to help you find resources on particular themes. The guide to citizenship looks at the websites that help teachers and pupils get to grips with the subject. There are guides covering National Sure Start Month and Adult Learners' Week. There is also a guide to RSS news feeds, which will help you use news from the NGfL on your website.
You can see a nice example of a local Dorset news feed at the Highcliffe School website

Behaviour 4 Learning website – New from TTA

A new website to help trainee teachers and their tutors share best practice on managing classes and pupil behaviour. Articles and expert papers have been collected together on the Behaviour 4 Learning website, which eventually will include video clips and access to personal advice. Key areas include advice and guidance on how to promote good behaviour, demonstrate positive values, attitudes and behaviours, identify and support pupils working below their potential and how to challenge bullying and harassment.

The BBC Newsround website also has an article on how children at one particular school deal with bullying and links to other sites to help children who may be suffering from being bullied.

A treasure chest of One Hundred and Thirty two web based resources

When Ian Brewer (Dorset ICT team) runs inset sessions in school he places all the web references where teachers involved in the session can find them and return to them. Although it is better to have been at his session you can follow up the leads. There are links to fifty six school based Inset sessionsTwenty from this year, twenty seven from 2003 and nine dating back to 2002.
The two latest pages are “Developing an Assessment Strategy for ICT” and “Developing and Maintaining a School Website”
The Assessment site provides links to 22 key web based resources. A small pop up box provides more information about each resource. The website design page provides a quick link to 54 key resources. Good stuff and strongly recommended.



Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Four more Dorset schools gain Specialist College status

“In the largest round of designations ever, 268 schools have successfully gained specialist status in the ten subject specialisms. This means that 62% of all secondary schools and 2.1 million pupils are now part of a programme promoting and delivering school improvement. In 1997 there were just 257 specialist schools.” In Dorset 18 out of 20 secondary schools (90%) and one special school have achieved Specialist college status.

The new Dorset designations are:
All Saints' Church of England School, Weymouth - Science
The Grange School Christchurch - Sports
The Gryphon School School Sherborne - Business and Enterprise
The Purbeck School - Science

Further information and lists of the specialist schools by Government Office region can be accessed via the specialist schools website.

Press release http://www.dfes.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2004_0126

The Chesil Education Partnership

The Chesil Education Partnership is a collaboration between 29 schools and colleges in the Weymouth and Portland area of South Dorset. The Chesil Education Partnership website is now live. At the moment it simply contains links to all 29 of the Chesil Partnership school and college websites. Watch this space for the launch of the website in September 2004. You can find information about all the Chesil schools including links to their websites from the Dorset Schools Information system. (Use the “By Pyramid” link on the right hand side of the screen.)



Monday, June 28, 2004

Blandford St Mary win national Digital art award

Blandford St Mary have just won joint third prize in a prestigious National photography prize for under 10 year old pupils- the Chrisi Bailey Awards. The project was set up with year 4 pupils using photography to explore the school surroundings from unusual view points, creating imaginative art pieces and literacy work.

You can see all the winning pictures here. and those from Blandford St Mary here.

The Marshwood school website has some lovely examples of Digital Video see Phanto and George's Magic

The BECTa digital video awards have been broadened this year to include Digital music, still digital images and digital video. Please visit the awards website

WEBSITES OF THE WEEK

Here are the latest websites to have been approved by the National Grid for Learning.

Postal Heritage Trust - The Postal Heritage Trust is responsible for managing the archives of the Royal Mail, which cover more than 360 years of British postal history. The website provides an introduction to the collections, highlights of the postal service through the ages, information for visitors to the Archive Search Room, and a selection of teachers' resource packs to download.

LTSN Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies - The Subject Centre for Languages. Linguistics and Area Studies is part of the Learning and Teaching Support Network, an initiative to promote, support and develop good practice in higher education. The website provides access to relevant teaching and learning resources, information about professional development activities, news and links.

Nuffield Mathematics For All Post-16 - This website from the Nuffield Foundation provides information and resources to support the teaching of Free-standing Mathematics Qualifications (FSMQs) and AS-level Use of Mathematics. It includes downloadable foundation, intermediate and advanced activities, as well as an overview of courses and assessment information.

BBC School Radio - BBC School Radio provides programmes to support teaching across the primary curriculum, from English and maths to religious education and collective worship. The website includes details of supporting resources as well as programme and transmission information. From autumn 2004, the majority of the programmes will be accessible on demand via the site.

VSO: Voluntary Services Overseas - VSO is an international charity that works through volunteers to help fight against global poverty and encourage sustainable development. The website provides information about volunteering opportunities for professionals and graduates in a range of employment sectors, from education to management. (Links to online donation form.)

Play and learn about the European Union with EuropaGO

Young European citizens aged 10 to 14 years old are invited by the European Commission to learn more about Europe with a brand new set of fun and educational online games. The set of games test knowledge of European culture, history, geography and much more. On the website, pupils can create a login and password to be able to save games and high scores, and if they are lucky, to be in the top 20 winners list! The games are available in 11 languages, and can be a great summer activity for pupils.
The Euro Game - all about the Euro and its different coins and notes in this game Europe Puzzle - a fun game to learn more about where European countries are located on the map Quiz - to test knowledge of European history, geography and life in general, as well as a general category involving all of them
The Time Machine - Pupils travel back through European history in a space ship, to link events in history with dates, names and place. Over the next school year, the games will evolve, with extra questions and new games also in the pipeline.

'Children in Conflict'

'Children in Conflict' - The British Red Cross has launched 'Children in Conflict', an online educational resource for UK primary and secondary schools. This is a series of free teaching resources to introduce topical issues on the theme of 'children in conflict' in primary and secondary schools. Each lesson plan includes background information for teachers and briefing sheets with activities for students. The resources are cross-curricular and suitable for citizenship teaching and other subjects such as media studies, geography, history and drama. The materials offer flexible lesson plans for individual activities, discussions and project work.
If you like these activities, you can also order Global Lines, a citizenship teaching resource designed for secondary schools (£25.00+p&p).

Immersive Learning Project

Immersive Learning Project – The Immersive Learning Space: 360 Degrees of Evaluation please join in the Development of the Immersive Learning Space.

For the past year Paula Briggs and Sheila Ceccarelli, graduates of Royal College of Art, have been guiding an active and in-depth conversation with teenagers and visual practitioners about inspiration. At the centre of this discussion is the question, "When, where and how does learning happen best?" The project explores and promotes opportunities for teenagers who respond best to visual and active learning. Working as a team, members of AccessArt, together with teenage "explorers" and adult "inspirers" have been working towards the creation of the Immersive Learning Space through practical workshops, brainstorming sessions, one to one conversations and finally the creation of digital space itself which is being treated as a sketchbook space - an evolving web arena where ideas are explored and a visual conversation can be shared with a wider audience. AccessArt is now opening evaluation, and welcomes feedback from teachers, teenagers, creative practitioners, youth leaders, parents, and government and strategic organisations. This will be a rewarding opportunity for you to contribute towards the shape of the finished resource, and at the same time to stimulate your own thinking about how we might best learn, and how we might use ICT to inspire and enable creative activity. Interested parties and individuals should visit Access Art and click on The Immersive Learning Space.

Microsoft and NAHT launch guide

Microsoft and NAHT launch guide to help school leaders/teachers use ICT to personalise learning
Microsoft and the NAHT have announced the launch of a new guide to using ICT to personalise learning. The My Learning, My Way guide is designed to help school leaders understand the potential of technology in personalising learning. It contains practical ideas and tips for using technology in innovative, inspiring ways which address different learning styles.
Research from Microsoft has found that almost two thirds of adults (62 per cent) think that lack of motivation held them back at school. Personalised learning acknowledges that each pupil is motivated and engaged by different factors - for example, a pupil might be a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learner - and ICT opens up ways in which teachers can tailor learning to the unique requirements of each pupil. The motivational role of ICT is widely acknowledged, as eight out of ten of adults believe that using technology motivates and engages children to learn.

Microsoft found that 78% of adults would turn to computers and the Internet to help them learn a new skill or hobby. In schools, ICT is being used in innovative and exciting ways, and the My Learning, My Way guide, includes examples of creative lesson ideas which address personal learning styles, such as: A visual learner might find using film-editing software such as Microsoft Movie Maker 2 highly motivating they could for example make a time-lapse movie of a plant germinating and growing. Sounds, speech or music can be embedded into PowerPoint presentations, which would be particularly engaging for auditory learners. An interesting way of teaching geography is to use a PC with Microsoft Flight Simulator pupils can, for example, learn about navigation, topography, maps and weather
systems. The hands-on approach is ideal for kinaesthetic / tactile learners. Microsoft OneNote can be used to help pupils organise lesson notes containing text and pictures, and is particularly useful when it comes to reviewing notes for revision.

Every school in the UK will receive the Microsoft and NAHT My Learning, My Way guide and a poster on personalising learning with technology.
Microsoft has also launched a new website about the use ICT in schools to personalise and accelerate learning.

Ask an Expert - Out of school?into the club

What makes a successful computer club? From June 25 to July 23 share experiences of setting up and running good clubs. Tap into the advice which should help you successfully increase access to ICT in out-of-school hours.

Is computer gaming in school a waste of time? - Experts are still on hand until 16 July to answer any queries you might have about computer gaming and its potential uses in school.



Sunday, June 27, 2004

DfES Online publications for schools

The online service is designed to replace the monthly paper mailing of publications currently sent to schools and to open information to all staff. The Online Publications for schools service links directly into the Department for Education and Skills' ordering hotline and distribution centre. An email will be sent to all schools in England, to their prefered email address, alerting them to essential publications for this month linked to the ‘Management esssentials’ area of the site. Individuals registered on the service can select to receive regular emails that will include a summary of news and recent publications, with links straight to the information. All registered users can choose to read, download, or order hard copies to be delivered to their chosen address. Register today! http://publications.teachernet.gov.uk/



Friday, June 18, 2004

WEBSITES OF THE WEEK

Here are the latest websites to have been approved by the National Grid for Learning.

John Malam: Children's Non-Fiction Author
John Malam is a children's author who writes non-fiction books for 7-14-year-olds. His website provides information about the process of creating a non-fiction book from idea to print, interviews with other authors and details of the workshop sessions he runs for schools and libraries. (Links to online purchasing.)

Art-student.net
Art-student.net is a subscription site that has been designed for use in the art departments of secondary schools and further education colleges. It provides resources to help teachers to create a customised visual literacy database, as well as guidance and material to assist students with practical and theoretical tasks. (Links to online purchasing.)

What's on at the Science Museum

To mark last weeks passing of Venus across the face of the sun, a mini exhibition takes a look at expeditions of the past. Items on display include a telescope thought to be carried on board Captain Cook's ship 'Endeavour', which sailed to Tahiti in 1769 as part of the transit observations. The Science Museum has commissioned a 'transit of Venus' model, which demonstrates why transits are so rare. There is also a modern telescope with solar filter for safe transit viewing.
Visitors can test their reflexes, reactions and muscle power using simulators and interactive displays. They can even check the accuracy of their tennis shots and compete against friends in a quick sprint with action replay to check technique. For the less energetic there's a chance to learn about how our bodies can power us to sporting success. Showcases highlight the latest developments in sporting technology including a hydrodynamic swimming suit, leak-free swimming goggles and a breathing device used by Jonny Wilkinson to increases his lung capacity.
For a full programme of events visit here.

A New Primary Strategy website

Starting on 25 June 2004, the Primary National Strategy will be making several changes and improvements to all of the websites that support the Strategy.
A New Primary Strategy website . This site combines the successful Literacy and Numeracy areas of the Standards Site into one unified site. It will have the same content you're familiar with, but expanded to cover all dimensions of the Primary Strategy and with new features for added convenience. There will be:
- pages for different types of users (for example, KS2 teachers,
Foundation Stage practitioners, NQTs);
- Literacy and Mathematics areas;
- areas for new initiatives such as the Primary Leadership Programme and
Foundation Stage;
- a 'search wizard' to help you gather content related to the Frameworks
for teaching;
- searchable library of publications from the Strategy.

The Laptops for Teachers Initiative.

New funding (within grant 31a) may lead to uncertainty. To try and bring clarity into this situation for Teachers, ICT Coordinators, Heads and other interested stakeholders, the Becta LfT website has fresh Guidance and up to date frequently asked questions.

The Big Lottery Fund

Schools, museums, libraries and archives  are being invited to register their interest for this new funding scheme from the Big Lottery Fund. Grants will be available to support education and learning schemes focused on the Second World War.  The funding will enable young people to participate in key commemorative events both abroad and at home in the run up to the 60th anniversary of the end of the war?.



Thursday, June 17, 2004

Electronic whiteboards 'live' online discussion

ICT Co-ordinators' Network: Electronic whiteboards - The REVIEW Project. A 'live' online discussion will be taking place in the ICT Co-ordinators Network (http://www.ictadvice.org.uk/thenetwork) on Friday 18 June 2004, 3.30pm - 4.30pm and 25 June 2004, 12.00pm - 1.00pm. The discussions will be facilitated by Ros Walker - Manager for The REVIEW Project(http://www.thereviewproject.org/) focused on the effective use of electronic whiteboards. She will be available online to discuss the work and the latest CD ROM guide (http://www.thereviewproject.org/news/cdrom.htm) You can join in discussions at these times and put your questions direct to Ros, or if you can't make it online at these times, you can leave you questions anytime before the live sessions.



Monday, June 14, 2004

What I saw made my jaw drop - seven-year-old bloggers

You are reading a “weblog”.
Authors, in the language of this online world, are sometimes called “bloggers”
Children as young as seven in one British school are using weblogs as part of their normal routine, and are doing better than non-webloggers as a result, their teacher says. See what seven-year-old bloggers are doing in this BBC article. Start your own weblog at http://www.blogger.com/start



Thursday, June 10, 2004

'Father of the computer' honoured

'Father of the computer' honoured -
The father of the modern computer is being honoured, 50 years after he died. Alan Turing was one of the pioneers of computer science, and his work helped make the modern PC a reality. Turing may not be a household name, but his achievements have been recognised. A road has been named after him in Manchester, where he lived for the latter years of his life when he joined Manchester University. There is a bronze statue of him in Sackville Park where he sits on a bench, apple in hand. He has even featured in a Doctor Who book. And the home of his birth in London also has a blue plaque outside, which will now be joined by a plaque outside the place of his death on Adlington Road, in Wilmslow

New and Revised Documents on the Superhighway Safety Site

A new document has been added called 'Using images and digital video on school websites' which replaces the two documents, 'Images of pupils on school websites'and 'Using digital video in teaching and learning - advice on safety issues' - which have now been deleted from the site.

There have been a number of enquiries about consent forms - the digital video parent consent form has been revised and a new form called 'Parent consent form for use of pupil images' has been added.

Parents Online Competition

Are you held back by the lack of ICT facilities in your local area? Or do you feel you have something to offer your community in terms of computer expertise but don't have the cash to set up your own Internet resource? Then maybe the Parents Online HP Innovation Competition can help! We've got five mini suites of computer kit to give away to deserving causes, and community projects. All we need is for you to tell us if you think your community deserves one. More details and the entry form are available now.

Barriers and enablers – 2 new research reports

Becta has commissioned two new research reports which investigate the factors that prevent or encourage teachers' effective use of ICT, and these reports are now available on the Becta research website.
The reports review the research literature on ICT barriers and enablers,and seek to analyse the relationships between the factors which areidentified as having a significant effect on the extent to which teachers use or do not use ICT in their work. Advice is offered to schools, based on the evidence, on how best to encourage teachers to integrate ICT in their teaching.Both reports are only available on the Becta Research website.

Inspecting Your School - New from OfSTED

This guidance provides an overview of current inspection practice and highlights changes to the framework for school inspections from September 2003. It is intended primarily for headteachers, but is likely to be of interest to a wider audience, including teachers and governors. The main aim is to provide a step-by-step guide to the inspection process. The full document can be downloaded.

WEBSITES OF THE WEEK

Classroom@Sea
School pupils are able to share the excitement of discovery and routine of daily life on board the scientific research ship RRS Charles Darwin,through an interactive website. Two teachers from Hampshire have joined the ship to explore submarine canyons off Portugal, and until 12th June the teachers will share their experiences by sending daily diaries,reports and photographs to the website.

D-Day - Reflect on 60 years ago by visiting the D-Day Online Resource of the National Archive:

Engineering Interact - This site offers interactive science and engineering materials for upper Key Stage 2 pupils (9-11-year olds), aimed at teaching scientific key concepts and promoting the subject of engineering. The resources cover the Physical Processes area of the National Curriculum and include modules on light, sound, forces and motion.

AS Level Curriculum -This website,created by Rhondda-Cynon-Taf Ednet, provides interactive revision resources for AS-level students and teachers across seven subject areas: art and design, law, electronics, geography, physics,Welsh history and religious studies.

mikejubb.co.uk -This site has been created by the poet Mike Jubb to support Key Stage 1 and 2 teachers of creative writing. It contains tips and ideas forlessons and activities to encourage children to write poetry, a selection of poems and details of the workshops available for primary schools. (Links to online purchasing.)

Talking Point -The Talking Point website offers information and resources on speech,language and communication difficulties in children, aimed at parents and carers, and education and health professionals. It includes frequently asked questions, case studies, directory of resources,glossary and news.

Teachers Online Newsletter

The June 2004 issue of the Teachers Online newsletter is now available online.

Highlighted this month is how computer clubs can help improve ICT skills. Later this month the ICT Advice Ask an Expert panel will be asking "What makes a successful computer club?" They will be available from June 25 to July 23 to share their experiences of setting up and running good clubs.

The two features are; Chipping in to help with ICT, explains how three parents started off with the idea of an after-school club, which turned out to be much more; A club for girls, suggests that computer clubs for young girls are powering up girls' interest in technology.

Survey of LAN infrastructure and ICT equipment in schools

Survey of LAN infrastructure and ICT equipment in schools
Network technologies are an essential element of ICT provision. Whether connecting computers within a school via a school network, or connecting a school network to the internet, these technologies are essential to realising the collaborative and communicative potential of ICT.
In 2003 Becta was commissioned by the DfES to carry out a detailed survey of local area network (LAN) infrastructure and ICT equipment within schools. Becta-appointed qualified engineers visited every school in the survey to gather data and conduct interviews. The survey encompassed primary and secondary schools, special educational needs (SEN) schools and pupil referral units (PRUs). The schools who took part were located in both rural and urban areas and in LEAs throughout England. Most importantly, they represent a statistically significant sample size.
In addition to recording current levels of network and ICT infrastructure in schools, the survey also looked at other areas of equipment and practice, including: internet access speeds, wireless technology, video conferencing, interactive whiteboards and future upgrade plans.

See here for a 24pp copy of the report in PDF format.


Becta research report

Connecting with broadband: A pilot investigation of broadband technology impacts in schools Between October 2003 and January 2004, researchers from Nottingham Trent University, The University of Birmingham, Manchester Metropolitan University, The Open University (UK) and Staffordshire LEA undertook a pilot study evaluation of the impact of broadband technology in schools. The study was produced in conjunction with a Broadband Literature Review, which was delivered to Becta in December 2003.The purpose of the pilot evaluation was to provide a largely qualitative snapshot of attitudes and practices following the introduction of broadband connectivity in a number of sample schools. In addition,quantitative benchmarking of individual schools pre- and post broadband using standardised performance data was undertaken.
The three key points of interest to come out of the research are:
- the provision of a fast, reliable and stable connection through broadband has helped increase enjoyment, motivation and interaction amongst teachers and learners.
- broadband is essential in the effective use of a range of complementary ICT.
- participating schools demonstrated both a high level of use and positive attitude toward their broadband connectivity.
A 2 page summary document and a full 132pp report on Connecting with Broadband: Evidence from the Field is available together with a summary and full report regarding Connecting with Broadband Literature Review.

Computer Based Assessment

The NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research) has launched a new online guide to computerised assessment. The new pages bring together a wide range of national and international research, useful information, and a database of 50 sites covering computerised assessment.

Key Web Sites

Key Web Sites – Curriculum, qualifications and guidance materials New on “Building the Grid” is a valuable and time saving list of ICT-related qualifications, links to QCA guidance materials for teaching ICT and ICT national qualifications.

BBC Digital Curriculum

The BBC has published a notice detailing its intentions for the launch of the digital curriculum in January 2006. Details of the subjects to be covered are provided.
“This will be an imaginative, multi-media resource structured around, and based on, current UK curricula and designed to stimulate learning both at school and at home. It will be available free to anyone with an internet connection, although the benefits of the rich media on offer will be felt most fully by the increasing number of users with broadband access.
The intention of the BBC is to provide resources that will complement what is used by teachers in schools and to allow individual learners, or anyone involved in bringing up young people aged 5-16, to access useful and relevant content which will complement and enrich learning experiences.”
The notice can be found here.

Job Evaluation

Job Evaluation information is available at www.dorsetcc.gov.uk/jobevaluation for sensitive information schools log on to the Schools Intranet



Tuesday, June 08, 2004

How to evaluate software - Free training for schools

Schoolzone is funded by the Department for Education and skills to provide an independent evaluation service for educational resources listed on Curriculum Online. We are currently offering free training for schools on how to evaluate software so that they can make informed purchasing decisions and make best use of resources. These are in July and places are limited, so early registration is essential. For more details of these courses and to register for a free place, please see www.schoolzone.co.uk/training



Thursday, May 27, 2004

Another Ofsted Dorset school report goes live

Highcliffe School was inspected in February 2004. You can find the report on the OfSTED website You can find all Dorset school OfSTED repots via the link on each school page of the Dorset Schools Information System. There is also a link to each school's website. The Highcliffe school website is at http://www.highcliffe.dorset.sch.uk/

Digital video awards expanded to include music and still images.

Becta have launched their Creativity in Digital Media Awards, replacing the Digital Video Awards. The new scheme recognises the increasing use of a variety of digital media within schools and colleges. There are now categories for digital music and digital still image. The Creativity in Digital Media Awards are open to all students aged between 5 and 18 across the UK. The Awards aim to celebrate excellence in creative use of digital video, the digital still image and digital music and to inspire students and teachers to exploit the full potential of this exciting technology. Submitted work should be highly creative, imaginative and linked to the curriculum. All categories are divided into the following age groups: 5-7, 8-12, 12-16, 17-18. In the digital video category, schools can submit two entries of films up to two minutes in length. For the digital still image category each school can submit up to two entries and each entry can comprise up to five images. For the digital music category Schools can enter up to two pieces of digital music. Find out more on how to enter and apply online at http://www.becta.org.uk/creativityawards

ICT in practice awards - Finding a Dorset nominee.

Are you aware of a colleague who is transforming teaching and learning using ICT are invited to nominate them for an award under the ICT in Practice scheme.
The ICT in Practice Awards aim to identify models of excellent practice and use these to develop and promote effective practice in the use of ICT in teaching, learning and leadership. The Awards allow the sharing of this information with the wider teaching community while rewarding individuals who demonstrate exemplary practice in ICT.
Each award winner will receive £2,500, with an additional £2,500 going to their school or organisation. Each runner-up will receive £500, with an additional £500 going to their school or organisation.
The ICT in Practice Awards 2005 are open for nominations until 23 July 2004. There are eight categories, each with their own criteria, and members can choose which one is most suitable for their nomination. Read the How to nominate page for useful advice. Nominate a practitioner or team, and you could win an ICT product in the BECTA free prize draw!





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