Thursday, 26 February 2009

Subject Leaders Meeting 12th March

Welcome to the Primary ICT Update

This week I simply want to post two items about Subject leaders next week, this takes place in rooms S2 and S4 on March 12th @ 9:00 am. It is hosted by Nicholas, Anthony, Holly Westow, Joskos and Mina Patel.

If you are coming, then please make sure you have booked on, we have record attendees this term, but we must be clear on numbers for Health and Safety and refreshment issues. So if you are coming and have yet to sign up, then you need to ASAP - visit Redbridgepdc or ask someone in your school to do it for you. Supply cover has already been paid to your school for this event.

Background Reading for Subject Leaders

It will be extremely helpful if you read through the DCSF publication, 'Beyond Engagement', before next Thursdays event. It is a short and very readable document, which will help inform our session and your job week to week.

It can be downloaded from here

Provisional Agenda for Subject Leaders
9.00 - Welcome and updates S2 - Anthony
9.30 - What does effective ICT Support look like - Colin Reed
10.10 - Coffee/Tea
10.35 - Introduction to the MLE - Anthony and Mina
11.35 - Beyond QCA - New documents from Islington. - Nic (Including 7min on National Expectations)
12.30 - Lunch
1.15 - Inspiring others and the role of ICT in Literacy. - Anthony, Holly Westow and Nic.

CPD Survey

It's that time again, when Maths, Literacy and ICT teams put together their support and CPD plans. in order to do this we need honest feedback from all our schools. Please take two minutes to fill in the form below. Headteachers, ICT coordinators or anyone involved in Primary ICT in school can complete the survey.

Teachmeetnel2,Asus feedback, Anithings and more

Welcome to another Redbridge Primary ICT update

In this issue:

  • Dates for your diary
  • Film entries
  • Asus in Review
  • Teachmeet North East London 2
  • Anythings - a software developer seeks your help
  • Siftables
  • Last Minute Links

Diary Dates
Don't forget the following :

12th March 2009 All Day- Redbridge Primary ICT Coordinators regular meeting - supply cover is paid of course- look out for the agenda here soon

23rd April 2009 Using the Whiteboard Effectively- Numeracy - this is aimed at intermediate users of either the SMART or Activ Primary boards and is hosted by Liz Gibbs, co-author of the Primary Strategy 'Keys to Learning' publication. Places are still available

Book now via Redbridgepdc

Asus in Review

Fairlop primary school have been using the first generation Asus machines for a range of curriculum applications. The following is a feedback from the school on how the project has gone.

Before you read on, please remember the following. The Asus was one of the first in a generation of 'netbooks', a sort of big brother to PDAs and younger brother to the laptop. These are an affordable computer but there are limitations, and the term 'netbook' is given quite aptly, as they are designed to be used on the net, rather than as a memory hungry multimedia suite. Also most Asus devices are Linux driven, which some teachers struggle with as it is an unfamiliar interface. There are newer Minibooks, which run Winows XP home, but these are difficult to network, remember most school laptops are Windows XP Professional, there is a difference.

This is how wikipedia define a netbook:

A netbook (a portmanteau of Internet and notebook) is a class of laptop computer designed for wireless communication and access to the Internet.[1]

Primarily designed for web browsing and e-mailing, netbooks "rely heavily on the Internet for remote access to web-based applications"[2] and are targeted increasingly at cloud computing users who require a less powerful client computer.[3]. Netbooks typically run either Linux or Windows XP[2] rather than more resource-intensive operating systems like Windows Vista[4]. The devices range in size from below 5 inches[5] to over 13,[6], typically weigh 2 to 3 pounds and are often significantly cheaper than general purpose laptops.[2]

Netbooks represent a "greener" alternative to larger laptops due to "lower power demands, fewer toxic components, and a resource-efficient approach to computing" and some models have achieved EPEAT

The Samsing NC10

The Asus was the machine of 2008, since then other machines have entered the arena. The ICT team are currently using the award winning Samsung NC10,as their machine of choice, this runs Windows XP Home, and has just the most amazing battery life.

It featured on the wall of netbooks at the Microsoft stand at Bett and was the clear winner. I am not sure though if the NC10 is the device of choice for pupils, as it doesn't seem to like being dropped. Whereas the Fizzbook Spin from Zoostorm is a far more rugged device. It is a Windows driven Netbook with a tablet screen and ruggedised outer case. All classroom laptops should look and be packaged like this !!

The Fizzbook

If you are thinking of buying a set of netbooks for your school staff or pupils, we would ask you to consider your choice carefully.

  • Think about what you will be using the device for - is it powerful enough to drive a SMART Board?

  • Can you load applications on this device? - LInux devices are difficult to add new software to

  • How long does the battery last for - this will enable mobile working by either teachers or pupils, my NC10 can last for almost 7 hours before a charge- that is incredible

  • Can you easily network a set of the devices you are buying - if in doubt then talk to and listen to your ICT support company, ask them what is working well at other schools. It may be helpful to visit a school where they are using netbooks and see them in operation.

  • Do you have the wireless infrastructure to support a number of these devices, and if so how many, again talk to your support company and ask for a wireless survey

Using ASUS minibooks in Year 5GR/Fairlop Primary

The ASUS computers were a welcome addition to my classroom. As a primary school teacher with 30 students and only an hour of ICT a week I hoped these laptops were going to make our lives so much easier. The students were excited about the extra computer resources.

The class were very mature and responsible with the computers, but there never seemed to be a safe way to get them out onto tables without it being a big production. An additional bonus for me was that the computers in class definitely helped me out as a teacher when I needed display work. All my students had their work typed up and just need to add pictures or change text size, saving me lots of time!

I was a huge fan of the ASUS computers if we could workout/ fix the problems that I have highlighted below. The computers added excitement to the students work. Students I believe tended to work harder and better if they knew they would be using the laptops. The students also enjoyed having their own computer. They felt like it was something they should be proud of. Although we cover word processing tasks in our basic skills lessons from Year 3 upwards, I was shocked at how much the children forget about basic wp features, when we used them for typing.

The students had a chance to use the Beebots, digital camera and laptops all on the same day. We had a technology day one day mid trial. The students were to use the beebots to tell directions, record themselves teaching a younger year group have to use the beebots on their laptops or using the digital cameras. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and made great instructions.

Overall my class really enjoyed this project and the opportunity to use the minibooks. They were previously used in the Year 6 trip to Glasbury and are transferring to Year 3 for the last three weeks of the term to be used to help re-inforce recently learned wp skills and inserting photos on Hindu, Romans and Literacy topics.

Frustrating points:

Classroom didn’t have many power outlets for charging purposes (solved by purchasing several 4-gang electrical leads to assist with battery charging)

Minibooks didn’t hold their charge for very long – 2 hours or so (students got very nervous when the warning sign appeared!)

1 minibook’s charger is not working correctly nor is 1 router charger

Unpacking & packing up laptops for security purposes – (solved by getting additional key cut to classroom, locking door at break or lunch time, if minibooks were left out)

Internet access only supported 8/9 users per wireless router – some children unable to gain access until another child logged out

Saving work for printing or future use in class means saving to a memory stick/somewhat time consuming

The students found a couple times that their work, which I personally helped them saved, was not there the next time we signed in.

The program on the computer which the students used for word processing didn't have spell check feature, this would have been a real bonus enabling students to see when they made a mistake and be able to correct it independently.


Film Entries

You will remember in the last addition, I mentioned th launch of the Redbridge schools film competion, well, so far we have over 16 requests for packs, but that still leaves quite a few of you, who are still without a free camera and out of the compettion.

Visit for more details


Teachmeet North East London 2

Do you want free CPD and Cakes?

Do you want to be inspired by some of the those on the cutting edge of ICT and those that are just naturally doing good stuff in the classroom?

Do you want to network, meet new friends and just generally have a great evening?

you do !

Then Teachmeet North East London is the night for you, proudly organised by Redbridge Primary ICT ( NIcholas and Anthony) and the Havering ICT Team, and building on the success of last years event

Why should you attend ‘TeachMeet ICT NE London 2’?
Held across the United Kingdom, TeachMeets offer the chance for teaching assistants, teachers, consultants, governors, bloggers and twitterers to share 'what is working' in ICT in education. ‘TeachMeet NE London 2 – ICT’ offers you:-

A variety of ‘real classroom practice’ ICT presentations that so far include a focus on the London MLE in Action, Visualisers in Art, Blogs and Wikis in the Classroom, Animation and the new LGfL Internet Safety Scheme of Work. A number of MiniNote presentations (15 minutes) will be presented by guest speakers including Teachers’ TV Star Tom Barrett and inpiring secondary teacher and blogger, Drew Buddie

The opportunity to either share what they are doing or to just listen (lurker) to what others are doing in ICT. Why not come and speak about what is happening in ICT in your learning establishment via a mini (7 minute) or nano (2 minute) presentation?

Free food and refreshments, as well as a free shuttle-bus from Dagenham East Underground Station to CEME and back throughout the evening and free car-parking. NO ENTRY FEE.

Terry Freedman, Former Chair of Naace and Advisor to Becta and QCA as host for the evening.

A raffle with excellent prizes, with proceeds going to help rebuild a Cuban school destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Sponsors include Joskos, The Visualiser Forum, 2simple, Moshi Monsters, AverMedia

Please give your support and come along as either a presenter or 'lurker' by visiting:

If you have any further queries, then please contact Anthony Evans or Dave Smith

...Sign-up fast though, as places are limited.


Red Plane Demo from Stripey Design on Vimeo.

This is your chance for your class to contribute to the design of a new software package.Anithings is a brand new children's creativity tool. It enables animated stories to be created simply and quickly, allowing children's creativity to run wild. It's desinger Steve from Stripey designs, tells us below what the software does:

What does it do?
Anithings contains a number of powerful features which are brought together in an innovative and easy-to-use interface. Features include:

  • Storyboarding. Start the process of creating your story with the storyboard tool. Add characters, props and set scene properties.

  • Tweening'. Simply drag the timeline slider to the required position and move your object. The object will now animate by moving to the new position when the animation is played. An object's properties such as colour, size, transparency and rotation can be animated in the same way.

  • Scene Animating. Scenes can be animated in the same way as objects. e.g animate the light levels to produce a day-break effect.

  • Recording Motion. As well as the tweening capabilities objects can be animated by pressing record and capturing movement directly. This allows animations to be created extremely simply, opening up the medium for a wide range of abilities.

  • Character construction. Objects can be snapped together to form characters and props (Anithings). Hinges are created to allow limb animation. These Anithings can be re-used by dropping them on the 'bank'. The bank also contains a number of pre-made Anithings for children to use in their animations.

  • Speech Bubbles. Speech bubbles which help to tell your story and bring your Anithings to life. This is just a subset of the features that will be included. Keep an eye out for the Beta version (coming soon) to discover more for yourself.

As mentioned above the product contains a bank of pre-made 'Anithing' characters for children to use as part of their animations. Steve at Anithings is looking for ideas for characters to include, if you would like to get involved then he would love to receive charater designs/ideas from your children. Any ideas that are used will win a free copy of the product when it is launched!
Simply contact Steve via the
email link here if you would like to participate


Last Minute Links


Are you studying adverts for Literacy ?- this site is brilliant it contains all the latest TV adverts, without having to scour Youtube, it also gives you the option of purchasing adverts as a DVD compilation.

Quite simply its a timer, you can change how long the timer runs and thats it - simplicity itself.



This piece of tactile tech caught my eye on TED Talks recently, would love to see a box of these on the shelf of nursery classes

Monday, 2 February 2009

Film Competition, Updates on Fronter,Nintendo DS and another offer

Welcome to the latest update from Redbridge Primary ICT.

Image uploaded byJellybeanz

Hello Again
I hope you have all been enjoying the snow. When the first flakes began to fall on Sunday night the blogosphere erupted with snow based activity on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. On all of these sites people tagged their snow pictures with the tag '#uksnow'. At 8pm on Monday I posted some of the first pictures on Flickr with this tag, three bland shots of the front of my house in a gentle blizzard. By Midnight tonight the number of pictures posted on Flickr with the tag #uksnow has risen to almost 4,000. Have a look at this growing stream of images, teachers could perhaps use some of these to inspire some writing or art work.

There is so much I could have fitted into this issue, which means inevitably some things will be left out. This is the nature of ICT and the information age we live in, so much comes to us, that it is hard to prioritise and sift out through the blogs and updates, well that's where this blog comes in. Its here we aim to pass on the relevant, interesting and exciting news in Primary ICT.

As usual please post your feedback in the comment box, or via email to Anthony Evans

In this issue:

  • Dates for your Diary

  • Film Competition Launched

  • DS in Review again

  • Sites mentioned at Headteachers forum

  • Special Offers

  • Its Fronter only a bit of a better Interface

  • Safer Internet Day

Dates for your Diary

Don't forget the following :
February 11th - Teaching the Control Element of ICT at Key Stage 2, this course will give you a through knowledge of LOGO and Lego Robolab software. It is run by Gary Stevens, a former inner London adviser for ICT and London Met Lecturer. This is one of best courses and guess what places are still available!! - Book now via Redbridgepdc

March 12th - Primary ICT Subject Leaders Meeting - I see the usual suspects have booked already and we welcome you again, but there are still some unfilled spaces. This is a supply cover paid event, which all ICT coordinator are entitled to go to, we'd love to see you!
If you can't or don't want to come, please let us know why (anonymously) in the box below, as we are trying to serve you, not just be in the business of running events.

Note Please bring your laptops to this event - agenda will be posted here soon
See redbridgepdc for other courses

LGfL Annual Conferences for Technicians
These information-packed and oversubscribed conferences for school ICT Technicians will again be held at the prestigious Auditorium, BT Centre, St Pauls. Further details will follow shortly but for now please note the date : 30th March am and repeated for a second sitting 30th March pm
Film Competition finally Launched

Are there any budding Spielberg's in your school, or better still teams of four Spielbergs. Redbridge Primary ICT and Alex Rees have launched a competition to create short films of up to 3 minutes on anyone of the fours suggested themes on the Film Competition website.

Children could win visits to the BBC and a Flip Ultra Camera of their own!!!

To register see the 'How to Enter' page of the Film Competition website:

All schools entering will get a free Flip Ultra camera for their school. So what are you waiting for.
Coming soon a Film competition blog containing entries and Primary films past and present.If you have done any films in the past please send me the links.

Please note an email or Facebook message to me is not registering

New Blogs on the block

Time to mention some more school blogs that are springing up like buildings in Google Earth:

Saint Bedes - there appears to be a lot of hard work gone into this series of linked class blogs, with each class contributing news, images and videos. Class 1l look like they have been particularly busy and active recently, while over on Mr Kirby's 5K blog, parents are kept up to date with class activity by a succession of short video clips, including biscuit making and an example of good interview skills.

The front page of the Saint Bedes Blog shows them proudly collecting thier ICT Mark @Bett, I am sure other schools in our borough will follow soon.

Saint Aidans blog is just getting going and the authors are already posting videos and images of class story telling and the visit to Kingswood by Year 6. I am keeping an eye on the work posted by the ICT Club.

More blogs next time
____________________________________________________________________ Nintendo DS - Feedback

The Nintendo DS mini consoles recently spent a term in Saint Peter and Pauls primary, where the teachers and students really enjoyed using them. Michael Corcoran, the deputy and ICT Coordinator has submitted this presentation, detailing the project.

Also-we hear that Luton ICT team have asked Dawn Halybone to go and present at their ICT conference on using the devices in the classroom. And she will also be at the Games Based Learning conference . this term.


Sites mentioned at the Redbridge Headteachers Forum
Last week I gave a short update to our Redbridge Headteachers. I mentioned a number of websites around online gaming and learning, these were: see a video made by Nicholas and I which explians this site


I also showed a tool that analyses text for the most commonly occurring words, before making a graphical represnetation of this - Wordle of course

I also mentioned Twitter and how some teachers are using this in Geography and literacy.We'll come back to this in another post.

Its Fronter only a bit of an easier Interface

While at Bett and the recent Redbridge Show and tell of Fronter Use, we saw the new Entrance Hall device for Fronter. In a nutshell this provides children with a far more visual opening screen, in place of the rather unprimary text screen that currently greets them when they login. This should arrive in March whne Fronter issues its next update. I laos look forward to visual mail, which is a similarly image based tool. Here users can click on an image of another pupil or teacher, they wish to email, rather than having to type in a long email address. This is very well suited to children in Key Stage 1 and Founadtion and for some children who need a more visual prompt.


Special Offer

Last week we brought you some savings on the Flip camera. This week I have a trial of Sherston’s Googlebox Key Stage 2 channels for four Redbridge Schools for Free until the end of the academic year.

Matt from the BLI group, who some of you will remember from Subject leaders has provided this offer in return for though he would like the schools to blog the channel experiences. Have a look at the Sherston Channels/ Gogglebox, and decide for your self whether you'd like your school to trial this product. According to Matt, you will have all singing, all dancing fully functioning content for school use, home use, parent use….. until the end of this academic year
If you are interested then you will need to:

  • Be a Redbridge school

  • Be ICT marked or in the process of completing the Self Review Framework

  • Commit to posting regular (fortnightly) blog posts on the use of the Sherston Channels in your school

  • Feedback your findings at Redbridge ICT Subject Leaders

Interested, then email Anthony.Evans by February 16th and I'll liase with Sherston to get the account set up for your school.

.) Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day Assemblies
To mark Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 10th February 2009, CEOP has made available two new short assemblies: original, thought-provoking films which, within ten minutes, incorporate the very latest online safety advice from the CEOP Centre.

The assemblies, which come with comprehensive guidance notes, suggested lesson plans and child protection information, are available to teachers registering at for both primary and secondary school audiences. They focus on children’s risk taking behaviour – particularly in social networking sites and the way their personal information can be manipulated by offenders and peers.

These resources have been developed in partnership with CEOP’s youth panel and a group of education professionals to ensure that they are relevant and up to date with the latest risks and technologies.

Safer Internet Day 2009 - file://
Please visit this link to view the Safer Internet Day area. In this area you can:

View the European Commissions film on cyber bullying
Check out the Virtual Fair
View the new parental webcast
Access the SID portal (below)

Safer Internet Day 2009 Portal - file://
Leading up to Safer Internet Day a number of key stakeholders have produced new materials and content for a range of target audiences. The portal aims to give the end user access to a plethora of resources and links to raise awareness of internet safely and security.
They have has over 3000 registration to Safer Internet Day through the TUK. CEOP have extracted the top initiatives across the country and these will appear on a map so people can search for activity close to their locality

Last minute links

  • Facebook safety - remember children under 13 are not permitted to us this service - more info here

  • Comprehensive video tutorials on maing animated videos from Kent TV - click here

  • Create a quick and easy checklist with this checklist geneartor - ok so I guess you could scribble it out by hand - click here

  • Create your own Mr Men or Little Miss - click here here is one I made earlier:

mr man