Tuesday, 26 August 2008

ICT Updates from Anthony and Nic

Welcome back, after what I hope has been a very good break, and if the Facebook status from some are anything to go by, then many of you have rested and relaxed very well indeed.

Image from Flickr- Felix-Le-Chat

In this Issue:

Courses and Events:

  • New TA Course
  • Black History Month
In the News:

  • Face Recognition Software

  • Youtube content questioned by MPS
Planning Support:
  • "Redbridgized" Newham Plans including SMART Notebooks now Ready!

Focus On:

  • Flip Video

  • Usonline Esafety Resource

New TA Course

Redbridge Primary ICT recognise the huge role that Teaching Assistants play in both enabling children to overcome barriers to learning, and the many tasks they carry out to relieve teachers admin burden. Proficiency in school specific ICT can greatly improve the efficiency and efficacy of a Teaching assistant and experience shows that these skills and confidence spread quickly.

With these considerations in mind, we have put together a course for Teaching Assistants on school based ICT, aimed at those who have moved just beyond beginners stage in using computers in school. The course will involve one day of each half term from 08/09 and participants will need to complete a school based gap task. We will also require TAS to complete an ongoing electronic portfolio of their work, leading to the award of a certificate. There is an expectation is that delegates attend all six sessions, a charge may be incurred if sessions are missed.

Details of this course has been emailed to all Primary Head Teachers this week and we have already had interest. Please speak to your Head Teachers/ CPD coordinators about the course, which is not available via redbridge PDC.

Black History month @ Redbridge

BHM Primary School Video Conference – October 1st 2008

The London Grid for Learning, working in partnership with Redbridge Ethnic Minority Advisory Team and the ICT team, would like to invite primary schools to take part in a video conference during Black History Month showcasing People of Achievement past and present – on October 1st from 8.50 am - 12.45pm.

To find out more about the recently updated programme go to www.blackhistory.lgfl.net
LGfL are streaming the morning event live via the Internet too and pupils will have the opportunity to ask questions via an online forum – so all schools can potentially take part! Register now at: www.events.lgfl.net

If you want to be involved - that is if you want to watch the live stream, then you have to register on www.events.lgfl.net- you will then be sent a URL. Please also note, you do not have to have Video Conference Equipment to take part as viewers of this event, just a projector and the URL from Mina Patel!

In the News

New Report on Youtube and Inappropriate Content

MPs are calling for sites that host videos and images, such as Youtube to improve the way they deal with inappropriate and harmful content. They do not accept that it is not possible to screen all of the videos that are posted and want the speed of 'taking down' of a violent or pornographic clip to be greatly increased. They also say there should be clearer guidelines for user on what is acceptable for them to publish.

Lets watch this space to see how the UK Council for Internet Safety responds.

You can read the report from the Culture Media and Sport Committee here

Though if you are in a hurry, then read the Telegraph article here

ICT in the world around us - have you seen?

Face recognition @ Airports - a good example of an ICT Control System, which 'monitors events and responds to them'- see Key Stage 2 ICT Curriculum

Direct Link to video here

Planning Support:

Newham Updates and adaptions

Over the summer we have worked very hard to adapt and change the Newham Scheme of Work into a Redbridge friendly format. Thanks to Gill Web at Chadwell Primary for her initial hard work on these conversions. Detailed below is a breakdown of the changes that have been made to the scheme. Should you wish to obtain the Smart Notebooks and adapted plans then please email tina.pennells@redbridge.gov.uk for a DVD. If you have any queries about the plans please email Anthony or Nic.

  • Conversions from Activ Primary to Smart Note Book - All units from year 1 to 6 now have a Smart Note Book File. Please note you will need Notebook 10 and an updated gallery including Lesson Activity Toolkit to use these files. To download Smart Notebook 10 click here.

  • All Creating Pictures units have been updated to use 2paint and picture and Artrage. Artrage is free and was recently demonstrated by Ian Connor and Subject Leaders. Click here to download.

  • All Giving Instruction units have been updated to use Focus on Beebot and FMSLogo (MSWLogo). FMSLogo (MSWLogo) is free, click here to download.

  • Handling Data in year 1-3 have been updated to use 2Simple programmes such as 2count, 2graph and 2investigate.

  • Please note that we do not entirely endorse the Newham Scheme of Work or the software listed above. However we feel that many of the units are worth using as they present ICT in a meaningful context, and have clear progression. Furthermore for the busy coordinator there is ample support material, such as help sheets and videos.

  • Please remember there are the Internet units created by the Leading Teachers which have been tried and tested in schools as an additional resource.
Focus On
Flip Video Recorder

The Flip is one of a growing number of budget pocket sized video recorders. The name flip comes form the pop out USB plug in the base, which makes plugging in and retrieving the video a doddle. I had a play with one of these recently and was very impressed with quality of the video and ease of use.

What makes these ideal for Primary is their simplicity, it has been described by Web User as 'possibly the easiest Camcorder to use'. My own experience and anecdotes from friends who own this device would bear this out, comment like 'even my mum could use it' prove how intuitive this device can be to operate. On the back of the device is a large red record button, press it again to stop. Press play to view your work and bin to delete. Sound Familiar - yes this simplicity is a similar claim made about the Digi-Blue some some time ago, but with this device there is no awkward plug and play issues or device not found errors. Its similarity to an Ipod or mobile phone also gives it that Year 6 appeal and therefore gives progression and credibility to film work in upper Key Stage 2, as by this time using the same blue camera you used in nursery is slightly embarrassing!

Powered by two AA batteries
Cost: Around £84
Capacity: 2GB Memory meaning
Software- pre-installed simple editing software (though you could of course use Movie Maker)that allows output to the computer or Video Sharing Sites like Flickr,

Where do I buy this?
Tag Learning

During Next Subject Leaders Meeting I have asked Tag Learning to bring along a number of these Devices to show us.

Other Cameras similar to the Flip do exist and are being released all the time, one such camera is the Creative Vado


This is an excellent Esafety Resource by ROAR education, which is hosted on the London Grid for learning. Subject Leaders voted this the best ESafety Resource during the July meeting, this was based on ease of use and clarity of message. I recently taught some classes with these activities and it really made the children think about how they present themselves online. The only downside of this resource was that in order to use it, you need to log on with your LGFL user name and password. Also at times the computer suite I was working in struggled to cope with all 30 children using the website, we have not got to the bottom of why this is yet. A way round this might be to use this in groups or as a whole class whiteboard discussion activity.

Here are Nicholas and I talking about USonline

Visit http://www.usonline.lgfl.net/

or http://www.roareducate.co.uk/

Last Minute Links:

We tell Stories- a Penguin Books site, where six popular authors have created story interactive story frames that make use of Internet technology to create narratives. The Fairy Tale story looks like the most Primary Friendly. - Thanks Simon for this link!

My.Deco.com This site allows you to plan a room in 3d in the way that you do in the Graphical Modelling Unit for Year 5 - see Unit 5A to refresh your Summer weary memory. What I like about this site is that the furniture cost can be calculated and the site uses products from IKEA, John Lewis etc.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Changing Rooms

As always the summer is a time for tidying up, clearing out and getting things fresh and new for the the year ahead. We have chucked out a load of unimportant material from S4 this week and put up some fresh display, thanks to Highlands Primary for their ICT across the curriculum posters that now adorn the dsiplay screens.

The biggest transformation though, has been the whiteboard, many of you will know how frustrating it has been to work with the wobbly SMART board and its trolley over the last few years, well now at last we have lost a few cupboards but gained a new fixed position for our board and brought it up to date with Notebook 10.

I am looking forward to courses and meetings in the new improved S4.

And here is the new board


Board off the Wall 2