Thursday, 28 April 2011

Learnmeet 2011 - 1st July 2011

What is a Learnmeet?
"This year the Redbridge Games Network is running an event to celebrate the creative, inspiring and innovative work carried out in schools - but it has a slight twist. We are all used to teachers talking about their work, this time it will be the children in the classes showing off what they have done."

There is extensive detail about this initiative on the Redbridge Games Network website. I am very much looking forward to supporting this event and celebrating with schools the excellent work that is taking place across in Redbridge Schools.

Whilst the idea has come out of the enthusiasm of the Redbridge ICT team it is not necessary for the idea to be the result of an ICT lesson. In fact, some of the best innovatory practice we have seen has been when technology has been applied successfully to other subject areas. Technology can speed up or slow down time, allow students to model complex systems, to meet and collaborate with people on the other side of the globe, to become the author, the video editor, the presenter in their own learning.

On the RGN website the Learnmeet entries will be judged on the following:
  • Impact factor – Number of children who benefited from the project;
  • Innovation factor – The innovative way of using technology;
  • Learning factor – The quality of learning shown;
  • Inspiration factor – Could you inspire other schools to do it too?;
  • Wow factor – Make us go wow!
Could your class do that? Events like this provide the opportunity for students to experience and present learning in a situation they may remember forever! They will also be able to see and hear from other students and schools. I am pleased to be supporting the Redbridge Games Network in this initiative and am already looking forward to the 1st July!

Alex Rees

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Where are the resources now?

Becta is no more, the removal of the National Strategies website has left many members of the education community feeling more than a little bereft, and Teachers TV is soon to follow suit. In these changing times we can be reassured that electronic resources are rarely lost - simply relocated. This is a quick post to say where things are now.


The main Becta website was 'captured' by the National Archive service on 30th January 2011, a day before the website closed.

It will possible to access indefinitely by clicking on the image to right or using this link.

Becta also ran a second website - Next Generation Learning - which was known by some staff as their 'Wow' website. It was intended to provide information quickly about technology in schools to a wide audience. It was also promoted to parents in national newspapers.

This website was archived on the same day and is available here.

National Strategies:

This website was archived on the 5th April 2011 and is the latest archive available. All these resources are available here.

Teachers TV:

The current site is still live but "The Department [for Education] is making all 3,500 15min Teachers TV programmes and related content freely available on a non-exclusive basis" (DfE website). Whilst the twittersphere is talking about downloading the content to non-Governmental servers the DfE is clearly planning a method by which we can all maintain access to the majority of the content. When a URL for the new site becomes available this blog will be updated.

These archives will become a very interesting snapshot for historians in years to come of what education looked like by the end of the Labour Government 1997-2010. The technology schools used, the pedagogical advice teachers were provided with and the videos of how this then looked in practice will all be archived. What will be of tremendous interest to all is how much of this will all seem dated in this new world of academies, free schools and the eBacc, and what will stand the test of time.

Alex Rees