Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Enhance your pupil voice strategy with your learning platform

This video clip (5 minutes) shows how one primary school got the whole community engaged with a multimedia 'newspaper' developed online. It goes on to outline how the student council took advantage of the learning platform to involve the whole community.

Alex Rees


Thursday, 17 December 2009

CPD opportunities in Redbridge

The following events are all confirmed to be running during the Spring term 2010.

If your school is committed to ICT then the "Whole School ICT Issues" workshops will be focused on Learning & Teaching (element 3) and ICT resources (element 7). You can register your school formally as "committed to ICT" by digitally signing the Next Generation Learning charter at https://selfreview.becta.org.uk/.

The last Redbridge Technicians forum was a tremendous success and the programme has been put together to make the 11 February 2010 a valuable day for all those involved in managing or fixing the technology that is in use within our schools.

The Primary ICT Subject Leaders/Coordinators meeting will continue next term, ably led by Nic Hughes (ICT Coordinator – Nightingale Primary / AST ICT) with some supporting acts. This meeting will now be for the morning of the 11th March – not the whole day as originally advertised.

Fronter are also running three courses aimed at those members of staff who administrate either the Fronter system or the school's website.

Central training events run by Redbridge ICT team:

Getting KS2 NQTs off to a Good Start in Primary ICT

13 January 2010

ICT for Primary TA's Day Cohort 2 day 3

14 January 2010

Whole School ICT Issues Workshop - Element 3

26 January 2010

Whole School ICT Issues Workshop - Element 7

26 January 2010

Redbridge Technicians ICT Forum 2

11 February 2010

ICT for Primary TA's Day Cohort 2 Day 4

04 March 2010

Primary ICT Subject Leaders/Coordinators Termly Meeting

11 March 2010

Teaching and Learning using the MLE

24 March 2010

Courses run by Fronter trainers:
(there is a charge for these courses)

Fronter Adminstrator: Intermediate

06 January 2010

Fronter Administrator Advanced

27 January 2010


03 February 2010

All these can be booked on http://www.redbridgepdc.org.uk/. If there are bespoke courses you would like to set up in your school do get in touch to discuss possibilities.

If you are not in a Redbridge school and would like to take advantage of these training opportunities we are happy to put you on a reserve list and will contact you nearer your chosen course if places are available.

Alex Rees

Home Access Grant: update information

Becta have released further information on schools who may want to aggregate the grants.

"Schools and academies who are interested in applying to run an aggregation scheme can request a form by call 0333 200 1005 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. The deadline for applications is 28 February."

Within this pack is the statement that "Running a scheme requires a signifi cant amount of administration work, so running it for a very small number of pupils may not be worthwhile." Since the agreggation scheme involves additional work for your school we recommend all schools do the following:

1. Ensure parents are aware of the HAG scheme via newsletters and other school communication systems. (Home Access grant application forms are expected to become available in January.)
2. Where you feel many parents may be able to take advantage of the HAG scheme consider additional support you may be able to offer to ensure your parents take advantage of the grant (e.g. checking application forms for parents, setting up after school meetings for parents interested in the scheme but wanting to know more about new technology, eSafety events...)

All eligible parents can apply directly for the grant - schools who choose not to aggregate are not preventing their families from being successful.

If your school already encourages student use of personal IT devices like laptops as standard, or this is something you are considering, then you could consider aggregating and 'piggy-back' the administration of the Home Access Grant on to your own project. There are further pdf advice documents that are available if you are considering aggregating - please get in touch if you would like me to email them through.

Latest information can be found on: www.becta.org.uk/homeaccess (target audience: schools) or http://www.nextgenerationlearning.org.uk/homeaccess (target audience: parents).

Alex Rees

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Storytelling VC Challenge


To celebrate National Storytelling Week, three professional Storytellers

working for ‘Everyday Magic’ present an exciting videoconference

challenge to Primary schools. The challenge is discovered through three

short story films that can be found on the Home Page at:


As an added incentive there will be the opportunity for some

outstanding young storytellers to be invited to represent "New

Voices 2010" and perform their stories at the "AROUND THE FIRE

STORYTELLING FESTIVAL" on March 12th/13th 2010.

We are looking for a maximum of TEN responses to the Challenge with

ONE story from each school. We suggest that staff look at the films

BEFORE they volunteer their pupils for the challenge. We shall offer

‘dress rehearsal’ videoconference time to challengers on 08 and 09


‘Challenger’ places are limited on a first come, first served basis –

there is no limit to the number of schools that can watch the

videostream. To book a ‘Challenger’ place, contact Roger Bloxham via

email at the address below no later than FRIDAY 15 JANUARY.

Remember, we can only accept challenges from TEN schools.

Roger can be contacted via: roger.bloxham@heartoflondon.org

Mina Patel ( London Grid For Learning)

BETT Awards - who do you think should win?

BETT always run their own awards for ICT in schools and it's alway useful to see who are on the short list. The full listings are available http://www.bettawards.com/ but it is good to see companies who do a lot of work in Redbridge schools being recognised on this stage. If you are thinking about where to spend your ICT budget then it may be worth looking at listings like this to work out who the industry trusts.

The categories are:
  • Early years Solutions
  • Primary Digital Content (with beebot material listed)
  • Secondary, FE & Skills Digital Content
  • Digital Collections and resource banks
  • Leadership & Management solutions
  • Special Educational needs Solutions
  • Tools for Learning and Teaching (with our friends at 2simple, LGFL's j2e and Fronter's partner Creaza all getting a nomination)
  • Digital Devices
  • ICT Exporter of the Year 2010 (Education City are nominated here)
  • ICT Service and Support Award 2010 (Joskos are nominated here)
  • ICT Education Partnership Award 2010
  • ICT Company of the Year 2010 (Education City are nominated again here)
If you get a moment to look at the full listings feel free to comment on any favourite suppliers that you have worked with. If you are not yet booked to visit BETT then it is well worth the visit to see the ICT education landscape and you can book for free at http://www.bettshow.com/. Be warned - you should be prepared to be given many branded freebies and to be enitrely worn out after a day of presentations and discussions with potential suppliers.

Alex Rees

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

News! 2simple feedback! Up and coming products!

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to the 2simple advisors day in Hendon. It was a great day and we where show some great new products. I was also there to see Anthony in his new role.

Below are a number of videos of the day, but the highlights where:

2simple online tools along with 2lasso.
a new version of 2investigate that is online.
2? (it doesn’t have a name) – an amazing new version of 2create a story, but that is selling it short. Watch the videos and you’ll see.
more on Augmented reality in online tools and 2?
2assess case study feedback.
2start English – a new EAL programme for new speakers.

Introduction from Max - Online Tools.

Online Collaboration and 2assess - lead by a familar face ;o)

2? - New 2simple software

My thoughts and feedback.

The online tools look great and are worth considering for both key stage 1 and 2. they give children home access to a number of 2simple great software, including 2design and make which is very nice. 2lasso is an answer to issue with Fronter school within the LGFL network. That’s us in Redbridge sadly, but 2lasso is a really nice work around that has some bonus features that if you access other ways you don’t have.

2? is simply amazing – there are some examples below that Max gave me. Keep your eyes peeled for this at Bett. Children can make stories, but add moving and animation to them in such a simple and effective way.

2investigate online? is a really nice collaborative programme that all for data collection. Click this link to check it out. Click open and choose Samples or Collaborative.

The Augmented Reality plugins are really cool, children will love them. Check out the video to see those highlights.

2start English looks to be a excellent EAL resource. Its due some time in the 2nd quarter of 2010. It is a programme that takes new English speaker though what school is like and the basic language around that. Its looks great and a number of EAL children have had input into this to make it as relevant as possible.

Examples from 2? - Just look what is possible!!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Redbridge Games Network gets Nominated!

Hi all.

The Redbridge Games Network has been nominated for the 2009 Edublog Awards for best group blog. If you haven't checked it out click here - http://redbridgegamesnetwork.blogspot.com/ - it contains posts on all the work being done by the network.

If you like what you see please click this link and vote for us. http://edublogawards.com/2009/best-group-edublog-2009/

Nic and the Games Network. :o)