Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Visualisers - have you tried one?

I have been invited into this blog by Anthony Evans. Anthony and I are currently collaborating on a number of cross-LA ICT projects and ideas between Redbridge and Havering. One of these is video-conferencing, of which I am sure Anthony will tell you more soon.

In Havering, we have been working to develop the use of visualisers in our schools. Above is a recently-created video extolling the virtues of visualisers from the point of view of teachers and pupils.

If you haven't seen a visualiser in action then watch the video above and find out more...

Dave Smith - ICT Consultant
Havering Inspection and Advisory Service

Friday, 21 September 2007

Subject Leaders Evaluations

Thank you for your evaluations of yesterday's meeting. It seemed many of you like the introduction to Bloggging and RSS. We will spend more time on this on December the 5th when we meet again.

I do hope the progressions material and the Renewed Framework skills list documents were helpful to you. Let me know how and if you are using them.

Cyber Bullying News

Two news stories caught my eye this morning:

Firstly this from the Guardian

Ministers are urging schools to involve police in the most serious cases of cyberbullying of pupils and staff in a new crackdown on the "unaccceptable" and "insidious" use of new technology

Read more

There is also further advice from the BBC Click programme on how to use sites like Facebook safely

Read more

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Bugs fixed

Anoymous commenting now allowed

September 07 Subject Leaders

Tizzy's First Tools

Tizzy's First Tools

Publisher: Sherston

Age Group: Foundation and KS1

Cross Curricular Some aspects are better than others Decide (better than 2simple) Not particularly user friendly. No implications for classroom or play space layout. No underlying values reflected.
Voice/speaking ability useful for SEN pupils
Graphics are good.

7 Applications in total, which can be used within any subject, similar to Early Essentials and 2simple toolbox


Review: Flobot by Sherston Software

Audience:5 to 7 Years Old

Subjects: ICT, Maths and Basic Skills

Main Learning Objectives:
Watch and learn sequence of activities
Choose appropriate responses to overcome obstacles
Control a simulated robot to go back, forward etc.
Test instructions
Plan a sequence

In comparison with Turtle and Beebot it is not as hands on or stimulating. There is a story to follow and the activities link with the story, which puts the sequencing in context, however it cannot be fitted into cross curricular links.
However, it does record individual progress for each pupil and their success at each a
activity and the teacher can set differentiated levels for pupils.

Is a stand alone activity although directional instructions could link in with maths or geography lesson


Mainly individual or paired activity, depending on number of pupils at the computer.

Classroom implications: would need individual pupils to record using the system on the software. Some pupils would need support with the reading content of the story.
SEN : Can be differentiated by pupil controls.

Strongest Features: Adventure story setting, colourful animation with robotic character which might appeal to pupils, particularly boys.

I would not recommend this software, would rather pupils used a hands on robot to program which integrates with other curriculum areas.

At The Cafe

Application Review
By Daniel & Wendy
20th September 2007

At The CafĂ© – Granada Learning


· CD
· Guide – Covers installation, planning grids & credits
· Support Material - Large book of copyright-free sheets

1. Objectives
· Extend role-play
o Offer choices from food/drink menu
o Develop scope for conversation in different roles
o Encourage expression of preferences
· Draw-out mathematical language
· Support understanding of money (totalling bills)

2. Comparison with other software
a. Clear and concise
b. Many set-up options for personalisation

3. Integration
a. Numeracy development – Money
b. Printed Receipt to extend exploration

4. Collaboration
a. Making menu choices

5. Implications
a. To be run next to role-play area where actual items can be manipulated

6. Underlying Values
a. Food choices limited to ‘western’ menu options
b. Healthy food options available

7. SEN
a. Support would be required to understand coins

8. Strengths
a. Clarity
b. Sound effects & animations
c. Planning grids enable integration into existing schemes
d. Teacher support material

9. Summary

Simple City

Title: Simple City
Publisher: 2 Simple
Supplier: 2 Simple

Age Group Suitability: FS and Y1

Main Learning Objectives:

Potential for integration with other activities
KUW: Could be used as introduction to a topic or a role play (videos, exploring areas)
or as a follow up activity (questions, simulations)

CLL: Letters can be dragged onto screen. Sounds are pronounced when clicked on screen.

Potential for collaboration / sustained dialogue
Children are encouraged to make decisions. Vocabulary is introduced.

Comments related to SEN:
Very useful for visual and auditory learners.

Can Text be Spoken: YES
Child’s Control over the activity: HIGH
Quality of Sound / Images: GOOD
Can you print out: YES
Adult support required: SHORT INTRO

Leaps and Bounds Review

Application Review – LEAPS & BOUNDS (3-6 years)

Granada Learning

Main Learning objective – as back cover: Sensory awareness and response, prediction and coordination skills, lengthen concentration span, develop decision making skills and encourage tracking and left/right orientation.

Easy and fast to load. No need to leave CD in.
Response (to child’s action) fast
Music, sounds, animal sounds (option to turn off)
6 types of activity, including musical keyboard, animal sounds, matching pairs – differentiated 3 levels.

Activities involved simple cause and effect, mouse control, colourful images
Some sounds and images were inappropriate e.g. when wrong monster poked tongue out and blew a raspberry!
Adult support not required

Teddy Bear Tools

Easy to set up
We think it is suitable for Foundation Stage – particularly Nursery. Would need some support or children could get ‘carried away’, especially on the ‘stamping’!
Child can move around areas easily – maybe too easily.
Sound and images were clear and bold.
The writing on Big Ted level was too complex. There was no sound on word bank - only in finished document.

2Simulate evaluation

Title: 2Simulate

Publisher: 2Simple

Supplier: 2Simple Software Ltd

Age Group Suitability

Year 2:
Unit 1 Narrative Stories with familiar settings

Year 3:
Unit 1 Reports
Unit 1 Narrative Stories with familiar settings
Unit 5 Narrative Plays

Year 4:
Narrative, Issues, Dilemmas & plays
Non-fiction Unit 1 Recounts and Reports
Unit 2 Narrative Set in Imaginary Worlds

Year 5:
Unit 3 Persuasion
Unit 2 Recounts

Year 6:
Unit 3 Arguments
Non-fiction Unit 2 Journalistic Writing

Integration with other areas of Curriculum


No reference to SEN support materials or differentiation.

Better used for whole class and group work using the interactive whiteboard or the pc.

Good sound and images.

Clicker Phonics

Clicker Phonics

Main learning objectives:

Teaches Phonic awareness

Red Level – discriminating between environmental sounds

Yellow Level – Id patterns in words – Develop awareness of sounds within words

Blue Level – Systematic synthetic phonic word.

Compare to alternatives – Goes above and beyond clicker, Jolly Phonics and Ruth Mishkin

Integration – Literacy, Music, ICT - KUW

Potential for group work / collaboration – High group work possible for all activities. Could be used individually or whole class.

Implications for class use – Need good speaker and microphones. Check works before use with class/groups

SEN issues – Use with Clicker 5 For use with any child with reading difficulties

Strong features – very visual, links to new letters and sound.

Summary - Great ticks a lot of boxes in terms of phonic provison and activities.

Hardware – Needs Clicker 5, Win 98, Mac OSX



Wednesday, 19 September 2007

New Term - New Look

Welcome to the new home of the Redbridge Primary ICT community. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible @ tomorrows Subject leaders event. If you haven't booked yet, remember you can do so online @ Redbridge PDC. If there are other courses that you want to book consider then the revised course booklet can be downloaded from the widget in the sidebar.

I hope that I wont be the only author of this blog and I am therefore inviting contributions form as many of you as possible. See you soon