5 ways of improving ICT provision for pupils

January 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm (Headlines)

Here’s 5 possible ways (for no cost) schools could improve their provision in terms of ICT for their pupils and staff.
1. Check that their architecture fits the ISA model – and if it doesn’t, contact James or Ian for support – schools simply can’t provide basic pupil provision without this in place – we have two Independent school savvy consultants/practitioners just an email away! Let’s call this stage 1! Most of our schools are not at this level – oops – and where can you find these 2 likely lads, plus a whole load more ICT savvy people within ISA? www.isanet.ning.com – just a mouse click away.

2. Engage your staff as members of the ISANet for regular breaking news of what cool and happening in ICT for schools. Learn about the other Nings(etc) that exist for teaching staff, such as the http://englishcompanion.ning.com/, http://geographical.ning.com/ , http://isenet.ning.com/ and http://slners.ning.com/ (for school librarians) to name but 4. What is of particular interest is that the Librarians site has fewer members than the ISANet site but is far more active, indicative of their strong desire to find new solutions to school needs for research and resource.
3. http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/index.html takes you to the resources provide by google for schools and their communities. Given that they are free, why would schools without email etc. not make use of these – after all the Open University has decided to go this route for all of their student body! – http://sclater.com/blog/ carries the story, and make no bones about this, google offers educators this remarkable gift to their schools for free! And if you sort of know about google, but want to know what you can do – have a look here: http://www.teachhub.com/news/article/cat/14/item/323
4. Sign up as teachers for the Taecanet Springboard www.taecanet.com – not only will it take them to a vast array of web-scrubbed resources for use with their classes, but interactive white board stuff too. No cost remember – unless the schools want to make use of the managed service for pupils – and with 20+ ISA schools now involved with this lowest of costs subscription service, perhaps some encouragement to spend a small amount of budget that will go a long way to providing snow-day resources when school is shut. With both Bridgewater and Claires Court working with the Taecanet people and Nokia to use handheld phone devices to create new teaching resources, this work is pretty close to the new digital frontiers!
5. Find some teachers who blog and start following them, and get your staff room doing so too – obviously the ISANet is such a thing, as are the other networks, but it is amazing just how following teachers’ blogs or on Twitter can transform what we know and can do. I got the #movemeon Twitter book (http://www.lulu.com/product/download/%23movemeon-2009/6170010) – by following one such blogger, and here’s another – http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/06/30-alternatives-to-youtube… that can point teachers in the right direction. And if you have views you would like to give broader audience too, remember – www.isaonline.wordpress.com – a place where it seems sensible for me to publish for a wider audience the best ISANet blog posts.

James Wilding

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A Brave ISANew World

January 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm (Headlines)

One of the most inspiring activities I have engaged with in my professional career has been this engagement with social networking.  To date, I have tried to find a better way of describing this research, but in truth, the users have it – these social tools are part of the web 2.0 revolution and the name has stuck.  For good or ill, whether it be Facebook, eBay, Twitter or generic blogging, social networking software is here to stay!

Now the private side of ISA social networking is our ISANet Ning network, and it needs to be a private garden to assist newcomers to this activity gain their feet. Applicants apply to jtw@clairescourt.com for access, and providing all is well, ‘Ning’s your butler’ and they are being served straight away.

The trouble is of course that those not totally engaged with this private garden don’t and won’t get to read all the good stuff being published there. From Ian Nairn (the founder), Andrew Hampton, Chris Rowan, Rupert Fowke and Paul Cross to name but Five, those ISA friends deserve a wider audience.  And for those within ISA who would like to engage in this vanity publishing, seeing the ISANet Blog writ large and in public might just encourage a little extra activity.

So the way in to our public wordpress blog is through the ISANet Ning private network, but what follows below are January 2010’s best bits, and here’s hoping this activity continues and gathers pace.

James Wilding

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