Thursday, 25 September 2008

Leadership Model /Updates/ Teachmeet & News

South Park in the dark

Welcome to another ICT Update
In this issue:

  • Flickr pool of Redbridge Images
  • HMI validate Nintendo research
  • A different model of ICT Leadership
  • Feedback
  • TeachMeet Scotland

Welcome to another entry from Redbridge Primary ICT. This week (amongst other things) I have spent an evening at a secondary school in Havering where Penny Patterson from Havering, gave a very interesting talk to parents on E Safety. 

Penny's talks are always excellent, using just the right balance of practical advice, warnings and an emphasis on the positive benefits of the Internet for today's children. Some Redbridge Head teachers will have been along to the LGFL E Safety Conference, which Penny organises each year. These events feature speakers from BECTA and CEOP and are a good way to get a balanced picture of the issues around ESafety. Watch this space for the date of the next Esafety conference.

I have also spoken to Headteachers this week at the forum meeting. We looked at Photosynth, AB tutor, policys, IWB use and I mentioned the Redbridge Film awards, which will be launched next month. Heads were shown a brief overview of Windows Movie Maker

One site not mentioned, that enables teachers and pupils to grasp many of the more technical aspects of cinema and how this is aligned with the curriculum is Film

Leading Teachers have also looked at Photosynth this week and have created an Ilford Synth. We looked again at the work of Tim Rylands and his work with Myst. It struck me and others, that what using an on-screen 3d environment does is it gives the class a shared vocabulary and experience that they can use to write from, without having to rely on memory. 

Surely Photosynth is an excellnt visual tool for both many EAL and SEN children who need a big visual scaffold to kick start their writing.

This was a clip we watched of Tim Rylands using Myst,originally shown on Teachers TV:

Flickr Pool of Redbridge Images
Flickr is a community of photographers of all abilities, who share their photography online. Users who share a similar interest or location often form groups to share their images in a group 'pool'.

We have such a pool in Redbridge, and it contains a diverse range of photographs, everything from fly tipping to spooky forest landscapes. Many of these images could be used in Literacy or Geography.
(please note I would not recommend children search for images on Flickr)

Nintendo Brain Training HMI work with LTS Scotland to validate research

Our own small scale work with theses devices has moved onto another of our shools, and we look forward to hearing about how this has had impact on learners. While in Scotland, HMI and Learning and Teaching Scotland have worked together to evaluate the impact of children using these devices. The BBC carried the story today and we are told that in the study of 600 pupils in 32 schools:

  • There were improvements in concentration and behaviour
  • The children who played Brain  Training for 20 minutes each day improved their Mental Maths score by as much as 50%
  • The time taken to complete the tests decreased
  • There was no difference or benefit in using the game at home
  • Less able children were most likely to improve 
  • The study also found an improvement in attendance and a decrease in lateness

Another model of ICT leadership

One of our leading teachers is able to manage the huge role of ICT coordinator in her large  busy primary school in an interesting and effective way. Anca at Highlands primary leads ICT, and a team of advocates or representatives of the subject who champion and promote ICT enthusiastically in their year groups. This model definitely works and the impact and innovation don't just stay in the hands of the ICT Coordinator. Anca told us about her work this week in leading teachers, see the video below:

Feedback - Using Google Forms

This week in Leading teachers we looked at Google forms, part of Google documents. They offer the teacher a very versatile tool as they allow the creation of quick and easy surveys. Once created, the webaddress for the survey can be shared and dat can quickly be captured by a teacher for:

AFL - asking children how well they understood or what they would like to know next
CPD evaluations following staff insets or for just generally gauging staff opinion on an issue or school based initiative
Literacy units in Key Stage 2, which ask children to survey their peers about significant authors

I am using a Google form this week to find out about the Internet habits of a class I am working with on Internet Education.  I am sure we can think of many uses for this new tool, however by far the greatest thing about Google forms is that they can be embedded in a blog, see below.  

Please take 2 seconds to complete the survey below and we will display the results in next weeks blog post:

Note this is anonymous

Teachmeet Scotland
Last night was Teachmeet @ the Scotish learning Festival, which had echoes of the last Teachmeet which we held at the Teachers Centre back in Summer term. Teachmeets are gatherings of teachers who come to share about how they are using technology creatively within Teaching and Learning. They are usually organised by both word of mouth and social networking tools.

Unfortunately I was not able to fly up to the event, but our own John D'Abbro was there presenting his work with Becta, and Nicholas attended virtually through Flash Meeting. ( A  sort of video conference) 

The great thing about Teachmeets is the sharing and equality, you can attend and speak or just come and listen, or attend online. Either way you come away with a head full of ideas and web links. 

Nicholas has written an article of his impressions of Teachmeet here and if you want to watch the whole event you can see a playback here.

News you might have missed:

This from BBC news:

Low-income homes to get net links

Parents on low incomes who have not provided their children with computers and internet access will get "vouchers" to do so, the government has said.

The scheme to tackle England's "digital divide", available nationally in a year's time, will cost £300m.

It will cover broadband access, software and computers if necessary.

read more here

Teachers' details on missing disk

A computer disk containing the names and addresses of more than 11,000 teachers has gone missing in the post.

The General Teaching Council (GTC) said in a letter to teachers that the disk went missing after being sent via Parcelforce to its Birmingham office.

read more here

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