Thursday, 23 July 2009

Fronter Ideas and Updates

Just a couple of updates from my Fronter dabbling that I feel maybe of value.

Ideas - or things to stick in Fronter

In a bit of a break from the norm, why not try these sites for custom web 2.0 buttons and headers, rather than the now cliche and very annoying sparklee text that lingers on many a bad Fronter page. - allows you to create buttons rather like those seen on blogs. This Web 2.0 graphic generator enables the user to create neat text boxes for headers or buttons, these can easily be re sized to fit a page or blog header.

Here is an example where the web 2.0 badges have been used as buttons and the graphic generator has been used for the header. I must add this has all been done using the insert image container for each image, rather than the more cumbersome mode mentioned in training, which involves the creation of a text container followed by the creation of a table and then the insertion of images. The use of picture/image containers leads to a lot more aligned look and feel and it means things can be moved around a lot more easily.

The Ceop -Report Abuse Button - I got this idea from @ebd35 via a phone/twitter Fronter sharing session today. In her Fronter rooms she has the CEOP button displayed clearly. I think I'd like to promote this for pages that involve un moderated forums and as a way or reminding children about its existence and function for when they are on other site such as MSN, Beebo or Facebook.

Flickr slideshows - for showcasing images - other tools do exist of course but this is my personal favourite a si have so many pictures on Flickr. It is also worth looking at Photopeach and ... ( let me know of any others that work nicely in Fronter.

Teachmeet 08 on PhotoPeach

Monitor Resoloution

Many of us work on 1024 x 768 resoloution and build our rooms in this size, yet many schools set their resoloution at the old 600 x 800 size. I can see why this is done, but it does make for a very squashed up Fronter Room and means users have to scroll along and up/ down to see the full extent of the content.

Fronter Rules

Anca Pauwells from Highlands Primary has been one of our stars of Fronter this year and earlier last year she created some Fronter rules to help teachers and children use the site safely.

These are quite simple and obvious to some, but others may want to use and adapt these.

Fronter Forums

Other Fronter Rules

Verison 92 Updates

I am looking forward to the updates that we'll see in Fronter 92. It will be particulalry interesting to see just how customisable the new Webfronter template will be,as currently there are just a few significant niggles with RSS and arranging things into a layout that suits you. Also looking good in v92 is the room copy tool, this should make things a whole lot easier.

Here is the document that you can also find on LGFL and the Fronter support site that outlines the changes coming.

London MLE F92 (2)

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Just love this and see lots of potenrial for the classroom

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Tidy Up Time and ICT Room Display

Photo from David Muir

It is that time when many teachers should be on holiday, but in actual fact they are in school tidying up their classrooms and if you're and ICT Coordinator then you've got to tidy up the ICT Suite as well. Though I'd hope you have a brilliant technician/ network manager who has been keeping the place organised for and with you throughout the year.

Once you have wound up the headphone wire and arranged the mice just so, its time to think about the walls. I have come across a number of sites that offer free posters that could sit in between examples of children's work. Here is a short list, and if you find any more please write a comment:

Google Educators Posters - more of a learning resource than a poster - these sheets give top tips on searching and explain how to get better search results:

Find them here:

Futurelab Games in Learning Poster - A poster exploring the possibilities of Games in Learning - quite a lot of text here - probably best to put on the staffroom kitchen cupboard near the tea urn to ensure its read and understood.

Download it from here

Order a hard copy from here;

Fresher Schools ICT Suite Posters - there are some great posters on this Sparklebox site, highlights include a breakdown of keyboard shortcuts, a poster illustrating 'Control Devices in the Home' and various colourful illustrations of software and hardware.

Find them here:

Heres an unusual one - a set of thought provoking posters created by RogerDis and bookmarked by my good friend John Sutton . i say unusual just because i have not seen anything quite like these before, but they are very good thought provokers. I think I'd download the set and alternate them or show them at the start of training sessions to create debate.

Find them here:

SERC Newsletter

Garry and Clare have sent me ( and many of you ) the latest edition of the SERC newsletter. These newsletters are always an abundance of tried and tested links to pore through and amongst them I often find some real gems for my work with ICT and SEN. I have embedded the newsletter below to make it eaiser for you to follow the links.

SERC Newsletter - July 2009

Monday, 6 July 2009

Primary ICT TA Course


Developing Skills to Support Learning

September 2009 – July 2010
(6 days )
This course will be run by Anthony Evans, London Borough of Redbridge ICT Consultant and Nicholas Hughes, AST for ICT, at Redbridge Teachers’ Centre. It will be across the year, one day per half term, totalling 6 days. This course is designed for staff who wish to enhance their skills to support children’s learning. They should have some knowledge and skills with ICT, not complete beginners.

Participants will receive some free hardware and materials to support their learning.
There is no cost for this course, lunch will be provided.

Venue: Teachers' Centre

Day 1 Thurs 8th October 2009

Day 2 Fri 11th December 2009

Day 3 Fri 15th January 2010

Day 4 Thurs 4th March 2010

Day 5 Thurs 3rd June 2010

Day 6 Thurs 8th July 2010

Due to space limitations in the ICT suite at the Teachers’ Centre, places are limited to 18 participants only. All participants will need to commit to the year’s course.

Participants will be contacted via email so that the course can be tailored to their individual needs, providing bespoke learning for this cohort.

To book a place please email with the names and email contacts for the members of staff by September 21st 2009.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Summer Update -or 'What I would have said if I was @ Heads Forum'

Welcome to another update from Redbridge Primary ICT.

The old and new ; the big and the small, but both do the same job
Children at Nightingale are using both traditional Laptops and Nintendo DSI for Internet research. If you'd like to know more about how these devices are shaping up, follow this link to Nicholas Hughes's blog.

Here a few important pieces of essential ICT information:


All Primary ICT Course organised by Redbridge Primary ICT Team - Anthony and Nicholas- are now open and all contain descriptions and embedded evaluation forms - see Redbridgepdc for details and get booking. Any problems, email me straight away

Subject Leaders

Last week we had a very positive and interesting Subject Leaders day, we now inhabit the hall and then split into afternoon workshops, simply because there are so many of us and so much to get through. Do remember that Supply cover for these events is paid

see the montage below

This term we looked at:

Assessment for ICT - we discussed effective work using Assessment for learning and introduced (non statutory) APP for Primary ICT - details and resources for this are all accessible via our Fronter room. This supersedes the tick sheets that many schools draw upon, as these focus on low level skills or outdated QCA expectations, rather than the broader spectrum of knowledge skills and understanding that forms ICT Capability.

This version of APP brings together upon the work already in place for Key Stage 3 and we are one of the first LAS to begin to modify and implement such a system. Though we are now not the only LA following this path. We thank Julian Nietrzebka , who worked with us to develop this guidance. Subject leaders are going to be focusing on this are over the coming year, as we switch our priority from film to assessment. We will be moderating work during each of our termly meetings in 2009/10, in order for us all to be clear on levelness and ICT Capability.

Sketchup from Google- I took a class on how to use this powerful 3d modelling software which is ideal for Key Stage 2 and gifted and talented pupils. I am currently working on this with Year 5 pupils and I am continually surprised by how easily they get to grips with theses initially daunting tools. Sketchup allows you to create 3d models of buildings and shapes, these can be dropped into Google Earth or saved as 2d picture

thank you to Simon Houghton who made this video for me

Anithings - we had a visit from Steve Taylor a software developer, who showed us his creative tool that allows children to create their own Flash animations in a way we'd not seen before. Stve was not here to sell but to find schools to work with on developing this exciting and creative product. We hope to see him back in September to work alongside teachers to create Animations and jointly develop his software- what a great opportunity for Redbridge schools to be part of product development.

Ball game from Stripey Design on Vimeo.


We were very fortunate to have a workshop run by Brian Molloy from Glade Primary, Brian helped us to think beyond just pointing and shooting with a flip. He went through the different types of camera angle and gave us some tips on how to create filimic greatness in under 10 minutes. You can see his presentation in the Fronter Room.

The Film Competition

By now I have received over 25 films from all phases as entrants in the Redbridge Film Competition. If you haven't sent yours in, then I am afraid you have missed the deadline.

I am posting all the entries on a blog, please have a look and post a comment or just give a rating, I am sure you will be inspired by what you see.

One such film is the Empty School, created by children in Aldersbrook Primary. You can watch this rather spooky film below and then gain an insight into its creation by watching the an interview with Maria Dennis Y5.

And finally

We asked Subject Leaders to list particularly good points from the day- we entered their comments into and the results are shown below: