Disapplication – End of ICT – Not at all

13 Jun

We have been following the Government consultation on the future provision of ICT and that stage has now concluded with a report.

The source document can be found here on the DoE site.

In the Overview section two key statements are made

Having carefully considered the responses to this consultation, the Government has decided to proceed with disapplication of the ICT Programmes of Study at all key stages from September 2012, and of the associated Attainment Targets and Key Stage 3 statutory assessment arrangements from the same date.

So that leaves schools free to deliver the kind of ICT provision they wish, but only up to September 2014.

The second extract from the document states

The Government has made clear that it considers ICT to be an important subject that should be taught to all pupils. As a clear statement of the importance that it attaches to ICT education, the Government has decided that ICT will continue to be a National Curriculum subject, with new statutory Programmes of Study at all four key stages, from September 2014.

So ICT provision will remain statutory, with a bit of leeway in the period up to September 2014, then a new formal PoS comes into force.

In order to create the new PoS the document states

The Department for Education will look to work with experts from industry, IT organisations and the teaching profession to develop the new Programmes of Study as a national standard for all schools, whilst providing sufficient flexibility and scope to meet the changing demands of the subject.

It will be interesting to see how this new Programmes of Study will develop of the next two years or so.




Comments Off

Posted in Uncategorized


Adobe Generation free online coding course for students

12 Jun

Adobe have started a free online course for young, creative students. Aimed at students between the ages of 14-19 who would like to be games designers, animators, video artists, or photographers.

The course is 2.5 hours a week for 10 weeks and students receive Adobe certification at the end. They also get a 90 day free trial of the Adobe Creative suite.

Find out more here:

Comments Off

Posted in Computer games, programming


New features in Scratch 2.0

18 May

Scratch is rapidly becoming the application of choice for introducing the basic ideas of programming in the form of creating animated games.

The team at MIT have now released details of the next version. An interesting one is the ability to create your own blocks – i.e. creating your own functions or subroutines. Have a look at the You Tube video below for more.

Comments Off

Posted in Animation, Computer games, programming


Inspired ICT

15 Jan

After the tribulations of the Gove announcement this week, I came across this great example of what students can really do with ICT with the guidance of an inspirational teacher.

She is an AS student at Wallace High School and is obviously very talented. The equipment used is a Wacom Bamboo tablet, along with Photoshop Elements that came with it and After Effects to compose the film. The background music really complements the work.

The technique is called rotoscoping and it takes a LOT of work. This one took around a thousand drawings to complete.

The Sketchbook from Wallace High on Vimeo.


Comments Off

Posted in Animation, Education, Video editing


Teaching teachers

28 Oct

There has been plenty of efforts to create virtual environments for students. But what about making an environment where teachers can learn and practice the skills they need for the classroom?


Teaching teachers virtually

Enter an University of Central Florida project called TeachLivE™. This is a virtual class room in which a teacher can practice new skills. It is used by pre-service and in-service teachers in ten Universities across the United States.

“We developed a synergistic research agenda across the ten  universities, with a focus on supporting new and practicing teachers; using our “virtual classroom” to target effective teaching behaviors.  ”

A research project called ‘Measures of Effective Teaching’ supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is used to help create a template for the environment.

Maybe we will see it travel to the UK sometime.


Comments Off

Posted in Education, Virtual & augmented reality


Using iPads and wireless in the classroom

20 Apr

Gradually, many schools are taking on board wireless technology. This may change the way students interact in the classroom and with each other.


Article here

Changes include

  • Portability: Instead of the traditional rows of students facing a whiteboard, wireless devices encourages the classroom to be more group orientated, with clusters of students carrying out work and research in small teams
  • Less paper: These devices can easily hold a complete set of e-Textbooks. This will cut down on storage, having tatty dog eared books to use and perhaps less printing
  • More convenient: Textbooks are heavy to carry, thus tablets will lighten the burden
  • Multi-purpose: A tablet machine can hold many useful applications, including e-reader, calculator, organiser and so on.
  • Multi-media: Creative applications include painting apps, video editing apps and so on. Thus offering a chance for classes to make exciting new ways of learning
  • Electronic marking and submission: Many schools now use electronic marking. So why not complete the whole workflow by having students submit their work wirelessly as well.

That is the theory. But how does it work out in practice? Well, have a look at this pdf article about how Broadclyst primary school has been using wireless technology including tablets.


Comments Off

Posted in Uncategorized


Novel use of Google Apps in education

26 Mar

Many of us know about Google apps in terms of shared documents, spreadsheet, calendar, gmail and so on. But Google Apps goes much further than that in terms of what it can be used for in education. This presentation is put together by Google to show some interesting and unusual ideas

Presentation here

Google Apps for education

Features include

  • Built in Flash cards
  • Motion Graphs to show things changing over time
  • Specialised forms to be used for plenary creation
  • 66 interesting ways to use Google Forms
Comments Off

Posted in Education


Time to retire IE6

09 Mar

Internet Explorer 6 is now ten years old and yet almost one in four of people using Internet Explorer are still using that version.

We read about exciting new technologies such as CSS3 with its gradient and shadow commands, HTML5 with its animation and video tags and yet many users cannot take advantage of them. Moreover, web designers keep having to compromise their designs just to render their pages in IE6.

Microsoft have put together a site called ‘The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown‘ site to try and encourage people to leave the ancient browser behind and start using the latest standards comliant IE9

IE6 countdown

We wish them all success in retiring the old browser.

Comments Off

Posted in Internet, Web design


The Drama Button

22 Feb

Ok, this probably isn’t the most useful resource that we have brought to your attention.  But when you are having one of those teaching days that just goes from bad to worst and all you want to do is get your ‘wonderful’ year 9 group to be quiet, you might just find a use for this little tool.

Give it a go, it is bound to make you smile. 

 Click here to access The Drama Button

Thanks to Mark Clarkson for the heads up about this.

Comments Off

Posted in Behaviour


Computers: From 1939 to 2010

16 Feb

Students are usually fascinated to see how computers have changed over just a few decades. 

It always amuses me to see their faces when I show them a picture of my very first computer, a BBC Micro, and tell them about the amazing new games I could play on it such as Pong and Space Invaders.  I was well ahead of my time back then, being the only person in our village to own a computer.  For a long time we were one of the most popular destinations for after school visits from my son’s friends.

However, if you ask students nowadays to tell you a bit about earlier computers then they will most probably shrug and get that familiar glazed look which tells you that they don’t have a clue what you are on about. 

Now they will have no excuses for the next time you ask because the people over at the techking site have put together an amazing infographic detailing the history of computers from 1939 all the way up to 2010. 

The infographic is broken down into decades and contains clear images, dates and a short text snippet about each type of computer.  It would look great split into the different decades, printed out perhaps on photographic paper and used as part of an informative classroom display.

Access the infographic from here

Comments Off

Posted in Classroom displays, Hardware, Infographic