Monday, 27 October 2008

Follow Up - How to remove the Navbar in Blogger

Many of you asked about how we remove the 'next blog' button in Blogger, or is it sometimes called the NAV bar. Here is a short video explaining how this is done.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Redbridge @ HHL and Perspectives on Subject Leaders Meetings

Welcome to another Redbridge Primary ICT Update

ICT work from Year 1 in Churchfields Infants.

In this issue:

  • Subject Leaders Meeting (in case you weren't there)

  • Redbridge @ the Handheld learning Conference

  • Diwali Resources

  • Home Access for all launches and Next Generation from Becta

Welcome to this ICT update, I do hope you all have a very restful half term and that you spend at least some time online in Club Penguin or losing pounds on your Wii Fit.

It was great to see many of you at Subject Leaders last week, I counted 34 in the room at one point, there was hardly room to move! But it was certainly a fantastic atmosphere and the feedback was very good.

october08 009

We used Google forms to collect our evaluations and then fed the feedback comments from the evaluation form into a free tool called, this analyses the text and enlarges the words which are used most frequently.

This representation of text would be a great way into a story or poem. Try it and let me know what you did with it. Find it at

More on Wordle in a future edition.

If you scroll down, then you can find a summary of the day, written by Sandra Lee from Mayespark.


DIWALI Resources

IBoard resources that are hosted free on the LGFL have some lovely animated retelling and story creation tools for Diwali. These are great for Foundation and Key Stage 1, they are also a good alternative to a paper copy of the story which may be tired and difficult to see. Click here and choose the Green activities. Further and more detailed resources are available for a trial period here:


Redbridge at the Handheld Learning Conference

Last week two Redbridge Teachers presented at the international Handheld Learning conference at the Barbican. Nicholas shared with us his work on Robosapiens, this was part of a wider collection of schools who were all showcasing excellence in ICT. Robosapiens count as an example of excellence then!

Nicholas presents on his Robo Project

In another session Dawn Halybone from Oakdale Junior talked to the assembled crowd about how she used Nintendo devices across the school. This was a great session, which received a lot of interest. I have embedded Dawn's presentation below, anyone wanting to develop work using gaming and consoles should follow the work of Derek Robertson on his Consolarium blog, part of Learning and Teaching Scotland, the Scottish equivalent of our BECTA.

More Dawn @ HHL

Dawn Hallybone

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: handheld learning)


Government launches the first Pilot on Access for All

This week we learned of the two authorities which will be piloting the government's new programme which is aimed at bridging the 'digital divide'. Two pilots start next February in Suffolk and Oldham, a rural context and an urban environment. Becta are key players in the delivery of this programme, and it was good to hear their director, Andrew Pinder, speaking on the matter last week at the Barbican. Pinder is passionate about ensuring that all children have affordable screen access and the ability to get online.

The pilot programme was reported on this weeks BBC news website. where it was reported that Jim Knight said, that the scheme was not just about providing computers for those who could not afford them, it was also about selling the wider educational benefits of IT and the internet to those who were not convinced.

He said: "There has to be a culture where families see home access is as important as making sure their children have pen, paper and calculator at school.
"The bottom line is that having home access to the internet or a computer is no longer an optional extra for school work – it is fast becoming essential.
"Schools are revolutionising how they educate faster than many families realise.

This programme also coincides with BECTAs drive on the use of effective use of technology, 'Next Generation Learning'. Their new website reminds us of the huge sums that have been invested in technology, but despite this BECTA urges that we must do a lot more. We need to make sure that everyone understands the positive impact that technology can have in education, how it can help all learners fulfil their potential and build a better future for the nation

An explanation of Next Geneartion Learning is given in the Video Below. Look out for the very unusual technology that appears to be advocated in this filem, I am sure it will be within all our classes within the next 5 - 10 years.

Subject Leaders Event on the 16th Of November

Sandra Lee from Mayespark has blogged her observations and comments below:

Weekly subject leader’s blog

This is updated weekly and covers a range of news and upcoming software/ resources etc. This is read by a range of ICT subjects Co-ordinators and many found it very useful way of keeping up to date with current news and innovations. Some head teachers were even reading regularly!
Last week included updates from BECTA including widening access to Internet and Online learning as well as closing the poverty gap.

ICT consultant’s blog and AST blog also available- updates not quite as frequent.

Handheld Learning Conference

Handheld learning conference took place last week at the Barbican. There was a great buzz and interest around a range of handheld leaning. There were presentations from a range of major products and companies.
We were very proud that 2 delegates from Redbridge presented at the conference. Nic Hughes presented his work on the use of RoboSapien and Dawn Hallybone presented her work on the use of Nintendo DS in class.

Picture of ICT across Redbridge.

Anthony gave an overview of current ICT provision across the UK. He showed us information from the recent BESA report which showed statistical analysis of ICT resources and provisions.
Most Schools are now more equipped with IWB. There is a national trend towards more and more laptops in class. More and more schools becoming Wi-Fi enabled.

We then used Google docs to create a survey of ICT provision for the 30 schools represented within the room. The spreadsheet is a very powerful way of creating surveys. They can be used to complete a range of tasks such as staff skills audits, discovering information from your pupils etc. The link to the survey can be saved as a shortcut in shared space/drive or embedded as a link in a blog or web page.

Note the graphs below answer the following questions, based on the representation of just under 30 schools.

1. Is your school completing the BECTA SRF?
2. Is your school innovating with any exciting ICT devices?
3. Which of the following provide the best IT support services
4. Do you have an on site technical support person?
5. How much ICT Inset are you providing this year?


E-safety Sessions
Penny Patterson- ICT advisor in Havering is highly recommended- will run E-safety meetings for parents however does charge a fee. Anthony may be available to provide these. Children are spending more and more time on immersive environments such as gaming and club penguin. Are teachers aware of how their children are using the Internet?

SRF news

Fairlop has just achieved the ICT mark. This was hard work but felt worthwhile in the end. If there is already good practise going on and staff are engaged in this, then preparation does not need to be stressful. Assessors have been approachable and supportive so far. Evidence needs to be available to support your application but most of this should just be day to day work. When teachers were confident in discussing ICT this came across well.


Protecting yourself - do not upload pictures of children in your class to your profile. If you are found to have photos of children on your own personal computer then you could leave yourself open for prosecution in event of an allegation- whether true or not. Professional responsibility also includes not discussing school/ confidential issues on your status or in public areas.


Mina Patel shared some new updates to the content grid. Any questions or queries she can be contacted through the curriculum

consultant link on Lgfl.

  • KS2 French will be available in the next few weeks. A complete scheme of work, flashcards, activities etc will all be available to download.
  • Weather stations- All boroughs will have weather stations and all data will be updated regularly to enable schools to compare weather data across boroughs.
  • E-library. Lgfl is currently linking together many London libraries. There are also online reference sources such as Britannica etc.
  • Artisan Cam –This allows you to look at plants and how they react to their environment.
  • British Pathe- History key 2 – Newsreels 1920-1970. The license has been extended till December and negotiations are underway to extend this license for another 3 years. These videos can be embedded into flipcharts, blogs etc
  • US Onlne – E safety. Children can complete a range of E-safety activities, upon completing each section there are rewards available. This is part of the ‘Celebrating US’ unit from KS2 citizenship.

New E-mail accounts for all staff LGFL Mail

There is a new e-mail roll out for staff based upon Outlook and can be configured to link with laptops, PDAs etc. An Atomwide (USO) account is needed to create accounts. Pupil versions of this are coming soon- if you want to access these sooner please contact Mina Patel. Gary jelks is currently creating accounts for all staff in schools and you will need to contact him for accounts for your staff. If any problems e-mail Gary.

E-mail in Lgfl will not exist following 2010. This is the new roll out and staff are recommended to begin looking at moving over to this new system.

Black History Month on the LGFL

Lesson plans are in the process of being completed and hope to be available from November onwards. These are based on the video conferencing activities that happened across Redbridge on Oct 1st including the Redbridge museum, DJ Spoony, Dr Funke Baffour and contributions from several schools -Uphall, Woodlands Junior and Aldersbrook. This was streamed live for schools across London and the country to see. There was a forum available to ask questions as well as schools which joined the live video conference.

Video conferencing equipment is available for loan to schools. Contact Gary Jelks.

School Websites

There needs to be a showcase first area but then a collection of blogs can be linked to this area to develop interaction and keep updates dynamic. Class blogs can be linked to your website as a means of providing up to date information to the wider world. You must ensure that it continues to look professional, but is a quick and easy way to keep your website fresh. All staff can access and update their own blog, sharing the workload of the updating the school website.
Clubs and activity groups can also have their own blogs. This allows parents to be more connected to their children’s activities at school.

Blogs can be just one photo and a paragraph per week- they can be as large or a small as the teacher wants to make them.

Setting up blogs

• Have one school account for all teacher blogs. This allows one person to maintain an overview of all blogs as well as maintain control if necessary.
• There is an excellent how-to guide on the Leading teachers how to-blog.
• One template can be used for all blogs to maintain a school image.
• Some schools copy and paste newsletters to parents straight into the blog.
• You can add links to pictures and movies by using gadgets. Be aware of the images that you choose and where they are saved.
• A list of blogs can be showed down the side using the gadget application. This can be used to navigate between school blogs.
• The use of comment boxes should be carefully considered. Comments settings should be set to ‘moderated’ in order to prevent inappropriate posts.
• Next blog button on a blog page should be removed as it can take you to any other blog at random. These may or may not be appropriate. Instructions for this are again available in the leading teacher’s How-to guide. Copy and Paste the HTML code from the How-to guide into your blog page to remove the header bar.

TAG Learning

Sherston, Black cat and several other companies now under the same umbrella.

Film Awards- Tag has created its first annual film award. Some LEAs have internal film awards and are now looking at sharing these with a wider audience. Redbridge are now holding their own film awards at the end of the year. To learn from their experience Matt gave us some pointers.

Floella Benjamin has chaired the judging for the awards. They looked for storyboards then looked for the stories unfold. They looked for a beginning, structure and end. They looked beyond the ICT skills and were more interested in the film making process as well as the end product.

Film provides the access for all children. Children can be motivated and engaged which allows for ease of classroom management. All children can take roles both in front and behind the camera.

Flip Cameras

Flip is a new camera available from Tag.
• Superior sound quality and ease of use are key features of this camera.
• Will store up to 60 minutes of films.
• 2 Gb hard drive. 2x digital zoom.
• One button to start and stop.
• Films can be saved in a high quality version and a lower quality version for e-mailing.
• Very simple editing software. But clips can be saved into Microsoft movie maker and edited easily then.
• Software carried on flip so no issues with software on networks. – information and reviews of the camera.

£ 84 each
5pack at £400
10 pack at £ 750.
Schools can get together to make collective orders to increase bargaining power- contact Matt for details.

DMC 3 £ 99 (New digital blue)
Stop animation, web cam and editing facilities are better in digi blue.

Fizzbook – Windows XP sub laptop.

For less than £250. Only available with XP home which present issues for networking these.
Dawn spoke about Handheld learning conference. Spoke about her experiences using a Nintendo DS. Schools are using only a few copies of software and hardware and still getting excellent results. Whole class equipment not always necessary.

• Wii Endless Ocean – Using games as contextual basis for writing and explorations.
• Nitendogz on the DS- can be used for whole units of work.
• Mind your language and other software is becoming more available.

The children will be engaging in these games for short periods of time and work then branches off from there. Some schools are using hand helds which the children bring in or using just one or two pieces of hardware which are provided by schools.

Website for these examples include LTS Scotland Home.


Recently blogged about by Anthony. Leading teachers created a photosynth which can be accessed from the photosynth website.

Photosynth is a piece of software that can be used to mesh together photographs to create an immersive environment. This can also be used as a stimulus for writing and for beginning many projects as well as exploring unknown environments. Shared visualisations are an excellent context for the beginning of a unit.

• Take lots of photographs that overlap.
• Stand in the 4 ‘corners’ of the environment that you are working in can take lots of photos around that point. Then stand in the mid point between these points


A multimedia word processing tool that can be used at home and at school was shared by Val at Gearies. Work was done at home by year 2 with a member of their family. Some children worked with older brothers and sisters as well as adults in their family. Pictures and other objects can be included.

Allows on-line collaboration- very powerful tool which will be available soon.


By 2010 all schools need to have a MLE (Managed Learning Environment). All schools currently have a VLE (Virtual LE). MLE will integrate information from SIMs as well as allow access to documents, files etc. Fronter has been chosen as the favoured MLE provider. If schools are interested they need to contact Alex Rees on

Some schools are beginning to use Fronter and the roll out is going to be step by step in Redbridge. Redbridge Primary ICT room is now available to ICT co’s. This will now be used as a central resources area for all documents, files, videos etc.

Subject co’s contributed to the forum to share ideas and questions.

Film awards

Listening task

We shared the soundtrack of a film and created a word bank and time line. Using this task we created a sense of anticipation as well as an appreciation of how sound and music can be used to create atmosphere and contribute to a film.

Film is a powerful tool through which to teach and engage children. has many clips to engage and inspire children to create film. Films can be used as a stimuli as well as an end product. Film is mentioned as an outcome in several units across the new framework.

Redbridge will be holding their own film awards at the end of the year. The criteria for which is available …….

We then used a range of film clips to create our own live action film. gave us a range of music to search and use for our film. (This is only available in school or the teachers centre).

Doctor Who trailer maker and High school musical trailer makers are also really useful.

Evaluation of todays Subject leaders Course

Monday, 13 October 2008

Subject Leaders Agenda

Warholed Leo

16th October 2008

ICT Subject Leaders Provisional Agenda

9:00 Welcome and Activity
9:15 Session 1 - LGFL News - Mina Patel 'from the LGFL'
9:35 Session 2- A school website - should look like this- Nicholas Hughes
10: 45 Tea and Coffee
11:00 A New Tool - the leading Teachers
11:20 - The Flip - Matt Williams - Tag Learning
12:00 - Lunch and Networking
12:55 Session 3 - TBA - Anthony Evans
2:05 Session 4 - The New Room - Anthony Evans

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

DJ Spoony/ Spreadsheets in Numeracy and J2E

Picture 039

Last week we worked with the London Grid for Learning and the EMAT team to launch Black History month. It was great to be joined by DJ Spoony, Sandra Agard and Dr Funke Baffour. All three guests were living examples of 'people of achievement', our theme for the morning.

Muna Brown, from the EMAT team has been working with a number of schools over the last term in readiness for the day. These schools joined us on the morning with lively performance on the lives of figures from Black History. Well done to Uphall, Woodlands Junior and Aldersbrook for their presentations.

Our guests and school performances were webcast to schools all over London via a live stream and to some schools via Video Conference. Schools from Wandsworth, Redbridge and Sutton were able to ask questions after each performance either via video link or through the live web forum.

The video from the event will soon be able on the video area of the LGFL, but in the meantime, here is a short film of DJ technology in action.

In our last edition we mentioned the OFSTED report on Maths, which made mention of the role of whiteboards. A resource for the whiteboard which is rarely used is Excel, often perhaps because teachers are put off by its functions and formulas. The Primary Strategy Website has a range of pre-made spreadsheets within the library area for immediate download. Many of these resources are similar to paper based items that we have all used in our Oral / Mental Starters, e.g. target boards.

However the advantage of these spreadsheets is that the numbers can be changed very easily at the push of an icon, saving the teacher time and providing a structure and organisation of numbers to analyse, add together, subtract, multiply, divide, compare and just generally be challenged to think about.

Most of these spreadsheet resources has an accompanying guidance sheet with probing questions which can be adapted for the lesson.

Colleagues using these resources will find they have to set the macro settings within Excel to allow them to function fully. Details of how to do this can be found here

Find the Spreadsheet resources here

I have created a short video capture of using the Number Boards

On the Blogs

Gearies Infants have been sharing their exploration of Control Toys on their ICT Blog. They have also been experimenting with the free word processing tool from Just too Easy -J2E- hosted via LGFL.

Kiran aged 7 writes in the Gearies blog that, last weekend i should my family the lgfl that has a multimedia word document on it. Mrs Barker asked if any of the children in Y2 would like to share and create stories with their families.
My brother helped me type the Pied Piper story and my dad helped me put the picture on the story i loved typing on lgfl it took a long time to do it but i still liked doing it and I'm looking forward to record it and put some sounds on my story.

This is indeed a very nice application, though last Saturday Nicholas and I met with the creator of J2E and saw it in operation.We then realised its true potential. Yes J2E allows users to word process documents and embed html code like youtube videos within that document. But the true power comes in the form of the collaboration between users. Nicholas, myself and Danny the creator of this software were able to collaborate in real time on a document together, rather like using a wiki or an online whiteboard. However the LGFL version does not currently do this collaboration and I hope a time will come soon when the this option will work as it makes the software a million times more powerful and means that groups of children can create and collaborate on a shared project.

Some of you may have tried to collaborate on a word type document in Google Docs, but this gets quite frustrating when any more than two users work together in real time. We tried this in our assessment forum 18 months ago and we found it quite annoying. J2E did not behave in this way!

MLE News
Those of you who are using the London MLE, may be interested to know that new support document have been added to the support site. These can be found @

I have been looking for content and tools that can be embedded and run within Fronter and here is a short list of items, if you know of any more, do let me know.

  • Maths ITPs- these can be embedded within pages and tests- this has got huge potentials as children then have a digital tool which they can use to visualise shapes, number grids, graphs etc - download the SWF version form the Primary Strategy site here

  • Flash slide show maker - this free tool (often promoted by Mina Patel) allows you to bundle a set of pictures into a Flash File which can then be imported into either a Digital Brain or Fronter page- download for free from here

  • 2Simple -2create files and 2Create a Story files- what is nice about these programmes is that you can export your finished story/ebook as an SWF file which again could be embedded in Fronter and I believe Digital Brain- what a great way to showcase work or stimulate children to produce more.

more to follow I am sure

ICT in the News

Pupils at a school in Italy are replacing all their text books with computers for a year - in what is being described as a unique experiment Read more..

School Budgets set to rise for ICT next year - an interesting article from last weeks tells us:

Primary schools have continued to invest heavily in IT this year, with a total spend of £644m in 2008-09, an increase of some £40m on the year before, according to a report by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA).

Primary school ICT budgets are estimated to increase by 8.4 per cent in the next year, while secondary school budgets indicate growth of 5.1 per cent. But many schools still do not have a learning platform, according to Ray Barker, director at BESA.

"One of the key findings of the BESA research is that many schools still do not have a learning platform, or are not using them properly, despite the fact that the government 2010 deadline for learning platforms in all schools is nearing," he said.

Read more here...

Bridging the Digital Divide
DCSF announce new programme allowing access to ICT for poorer families. The recent press release tells us children from jobless and low income families will receive a free computer and free broadband access under major plans to close the digital divide amongst young people. Schools minister Jim Knight stated that:

- A computer with Internet access is now as essential as a pen and paper in modern learning’ –

Pilots for the project are due to begin soon and I look forward to seeing how this might affect Redbridge children.

See the official Press Release here

See BECTA reaction here

Don't forget ICT Subject Leaders Meet on the 16th of October and...
  • yes it is all day and
  • yes supply cover is paid

Expect to see an Agenda posted here very soon.
In the meantime, please take a minute to complete our survey: