2.0 is here! When I first heard about it I thought it was some sort of
new software or browser but no, it's all about interactivity. Web 1.0
was static content in websites but Web 2.0 is about social
networking and sharing the lurve.
I got asked a question via email the other week:
"I would like to start a web blogging
project in my primary school and intend to use the year 5’s as guinea pigs.
There are obviously a lot of
security issues to consider, so do you have any recommendations as to software
or websites that are suitable for primary school
I suppose it depends on
how wide an audience you anticipate the blogs are seen
The danger is around
children allowing more information out about themselves then is good for them
but this has to be balanced with your work load, do you really want to read
everything the children put online?
You may be interested
in listening to this recording/presentation where a colleague discusses these
issues among others.
I would also urge you
to take a look at www.think.com which is free. It is a walled
garden only for the children and whoever they allow access to but it may be too
restrictive in that the joy of blogging is the response you get from a wider
Have a look and see
what you think, I’d be interested in knowing. As you may know we have a
newsletter and it maybe something you can share with
Web 2.0 is here, but are our
schools geared up for it? How can schools like ours, a construct of the
Victorian era, cope with the fast moving, blue toothing, mobile
videoing world of today?
Answers on an email please to...!
Bridging the gap: using ICT to support mobile Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children
Ken Marks firstname.lastname@example.org
Schooling in the UK
became compulsory in the 1880s and the pattern of local schools which has
developed since is now firmly part of our mental and physical landscape. We have all come to take the infrastructure
of schooling for granted, along with the notion of ‘attendance’. However, attendance and compulsory schooling
have always remained issues for our traditional travelling communities, the
largest of which are Gypsies, Irish Travellers, Showmen (the Fairground
community) and, north of the border, Scottish Travellers.
One fundamental issue is, of course, the mobile lifestyle itself. Most Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children can
attend what they normally call their ‘base-school’ during the winter months
when their family is likely to be on a fixed site. Many families, however, follow mobile work
patterns and travel extensively for part of the year, especially during the
period April-October. This means that
schooling is severely disrupted with a cumulative year-on-year impact on pupil progress. Many families do try to link up with local
schools whilst travelling, but this is all too often impracticable and sadly
they don’t always get a positive welcome.
ICT has emerged as one way of beginning to bridge this learning gap by
creating and supporting internet-based links between the families and their
base-schools. A series of e-learning and
mobility initiatives (E-LAMP) has developed since 2003 with a research phase
funded by the Nuffield Foundation followed by a series of important pilot
projects mainly funded by the DfES and with recent parallel developments in Scotland.
Something of the order of 300 Traveller pupils, drawn form about 30 LAs,
are now using laptops and datacards to link back to their schools and these
young distance learners are able to exchange messages and work with teachers as
well as keeping in touch with friends.
They also, of course, have access to the broad range of learning
materials and resources available on the web.
The projects have proved very successful, especially in the primary
sector, and the signs are that this approach can be consolidated to provide a
firm inclusive basis for supporting children with a mobile lifestyle. It has also proved a major learning exercise
for teachers and schools as well as for the families, but the current emphasis
on learning environments will hopefully mean that, over time, teachers will
find the challenge of supporting independent and distance learning closer to
their own (developing) school-based expertise.
Hopefully such school-supported developments will also become the norm
for many other children whose schooling is temporarily interrupted.
These initiatives have also been important as they raise questions about
the concept of ‘attendance’; currently, of course, also a focus within English school
league tables. The success of many of
the children within the E-LAMP projects demonstrates that the essential issue
is effective access to schools as learning communities, rather than
physical presence. Just possibly Traveller children are playing a small part
in blazing a different kind of trail; helping to lead the way towards some more
radical thinking about the balance of face-to-face and e-mediated
interactions between schools and
pupils. The equation of compulsory
schooling requirements with ‘attendance’ has been around since the 1880s. Perhaps it is time for some more creative e-thinking?
The projects have been coordinated by the National Association for
Teachers of Travellers (NATT) which is the professional body supporting
specialist staff who work in LA-based Traveller Education Support Services (TESS). Local TESS staff have also played a key role
in supporting the base-schools which have been involved with the pilot
activity. Details of local TESS
contacts can be found on the NATT website
The DfES has recently (December, 2006) published a guide for schools
E-LAMP experiences of supporting young distance learners. This is available at
The author of this short article is based at the
and has been responsible for evaluating the E-LAMP projects. You can find further details about progress
via the university website. This is
updated about once a term. The latest
version (February 07) is available at
DfES policy adviser for the education of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller
children can be contacted at email@example.com
. You can find out more about what the
DfES Ethnic Minority Achievement Unit are doing to improve the achievement of
minority ethnic pupils and those for whom English is an additional language at http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/ethnicminorities/
Free online safety CDs from Childnet for parents, volunteers and young people.
(This is a CRACKING resource, do NOT miss this - Ed)
Many of you will know that as part
of the DfES 'Computers for Pupils' initiative launched last autumn, Childnet
produced a special 'Know IT All for
At that time many schools told us
that supporting parents on E-Safety issues was becoming increasingly important.
Many also asked why this resource was not more widely available to all schools
free of charge.
Well, the good news is that DfES
have supported Childnet in updating this resource and from Wednesday all
maintained schools in England (both primary and secondary)
can order bulk quantities of this CD-ROM FREE OF CHARGE for their parents and
for use in schools from the DfES publications unit.
Childnet has uploaded all the content onto the Childnet site at www.childnet-int.org/kia
In updating this resource we have
made 3 important quality improvements:
a) There is new content presented by
children and young people especially for their peers which both parents and
teachers can show and children can use by themselves. See http://www.childnet-int.org/kia/parents/CD/
(click on 3).
b) There is a quick overview and
summary of the E-safety advice for parents in 7 different languages including
Arabic, Mandarin, Polish, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali and Urdu and British Sign
Language. There is also a ‘text only’ version of all content. See http://www.childnet-int.org/kia/parents/CD/
(click on 4)
c) We've produced a separate section
for Teachers on how they can use this resource with Parents, what other
resources and advice is available (including from BECTA and CEOP) and how to use
the sections for children and young people as 'stand alone' resources in the
classroom or in an assembly. See http://www.childnet-int.org/kia/parents/CD/
(click on 5)
The press release will be uploaded
onto the Childnet and KIA microsite on Thursday and this will give further
details. However we thought that you might like a chance to review the content
on the site in advance of this release. If you would like a complimentary copy
of the CD-ROM please let Tamara know at the Childnet office at
firstname.lastname@example.org and we will dispatch ASAP.
Finally, we are committed to
evaluating the impact of this resource and working with other organisations to
help ensure that this information is accessible to all parents, both in the
UK and elsewhere. There is
information about this at http://www.childnet-int.org/kia/about/promote.aspx
If you have any immediate questions
at this stage, do come back to me.
With very best
Chief Executive Officer
Dave Kitching, head teacher, cycles up Everest for Charity and needs you cash!
In August this summer Dave K has set himself a very big challenge
“In the tyre tracks of champions…”
August 2007 GUIDE DOGS for the BLIND Challenge
500kms – 13000 mtrs of climbing – 6 days – on a bicycle
YOU EVER SET YOURSELF A PERSONAL CHALLENGE – a personal Everest?
I have set myself a personal Everest next summer and I am asking
if you would be willing to support me in that endeavour.
I have not raced for about 10 years but like all racing cyclists
wish to emulate the exploits of cycling heroes and to ride the difficult roads
where legends are made.
To ride the course of (or a small part of) the Tour de France is
an ambition of many that enjoy cycling. Last year, in July 2006, over 3 days
the Tour de France rode through the French Alps, over many high mountains, from
Gap to Morzine. This summer it is my ambition and intention to follow that
exact route but over 6 days.
I know that I have set myself a daunting and enormous task, I know
just how much of a challenge, both physical and mental this will be. I have
already started to prepare myself for this challenge, hence the recent
participation in the early races. I know that it is very possible to fail in
this endeavour and that I will be pushed to my limit.
This is not an entirely selfish venture. It is my intention to
fulfil this ambition and to meet this challenge not just for my own
satisfaction and vanity but also to raise money for a worthy charity at the
same time. I have paid £100 to register with the charity GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND for this event and paid for my
flight to Geneva,
and part of my challenge to raise £1500 for the charity – in return they will
organise this challenge for me and no doubt a fairly large group of other
I am therefore asking if you would be willing to sponsor me in
this huge challenge.
If you think that this venture is one that you could support I
would be very happy to hear from you.
500 Kilometres (300+ miles) in 6 days. ……..not a particularly long
distance but it includes……….13 major mountain climbs. A total of 13.195 metres
of climbing (about 38.000 feet of climbing)
Gap to Briancon 105 kms, 1 mountain climb the Col d’Izoard, an assent of 1575 metres
Briancon to L’Alpe D’Huez, 82 kms, 2 mountain climbs the Col du
Lautaret and L’Alpe D’Huez, a total assent of 1943 metres
Bourg D’Oisans (at the bottom of L’Alpe D’Huez) to St. Jean de
Maurienne, 93 kms, 2 mountain climbs the Col du Galibier (a hill 42.8 kms long
and rising from 735 metres to 2646 metres!) and the Col du Telegraph, a total
assent of 2071 metres.
St. Jean de Maurienne to La Toussuire, 89 kms, 3 mountain climbs
the Col de la
Croix de Fer, the Col du Mollard and the climb to La Toussuire, a total assent
of 3084 metres.
St. Jean de Maurienne to Le Grand Bornand, 122 kms, 2 mountain
climbs the Col des Saisies and the Col des Aravis, a total
assent of 2542 metres.
Le Grand Bornand to Morzine, 78 kms, 3 mountain climbs the Col de
la Colombiere, the Cote de Chatillon sur Cluses and the Col de Joux Plane, a
total assent of 1981 metres.
A small comparison for you to consider in order to appreciate the
scale of the hills involved in this challenge……………On the Isle of Wight the steepest (perhaps) hill is from Ventnor Sea
front to the top of St. Boniface Down - a hill some 5 kms long and rising to
230 metres. Steep but not very big.
If you think that you could support me I would
be delighted to hear from you.
Cheques (made payable to GUIDE DOGS FOR THE
BLIND could be sent to my school address (and will be
The official Guide Dog for the Blind sponsor
forms ask for:
Tick here for GIFT AID
if you want to send that information with the
If you would like more information I would be
happy to send it to you.
Dave Kitching, Headteacher, Shanklin
CE Primary School, Isle of Wight,
38 Fairfield Gardens, Sandown, Isle of Wight, UK
Tel and FAX 01983 408842
(I had an email after the last newsletter recommending this product and I
challenged the person to say why it would be worth looking at.
Here's her reply. See what you think. Worth a look maybe? - Ed)
I am an ICT coordinator at
Sinai School in Kenton.
About a year ago I attended a course on ICT assessment. I came away from
this course and thought there is no way I want to do this manually, nor do I
have the time as I am sure you will be all too aware how overworked teachers
are. I looked at some packages that were available at the time and found that
they were very difficult to use, very expensive and didn't quite do what I
My Husband, Marc is an IT Consultant who specialises in database
solutions. I mentioned the problem to him and within a week or so he showed me
a prototype. It took several months to turn the prototype into a user-friendly,
secure, expandable system that has become RightLevel.
Last July I was asked for the levels for the year 6 pupils, I used
RightLevel. I imported the pupil data from SIMS into RightLevel. It took me
less than two hours working through the units for Year 6 to level each pupil.
When assigning a level to a pupil a help screen shows the task that had been
covered, the expected attainment and level required. Once complete the data was
sent electronically to Brent.
The final reports are very informative ranging from results of
underachieving/overachieving pupils to whole year results. There is another
facility, which Ofsted were very impressed with when we had an Ofsted in
February 2007, whereby one can search for an individual pupil to see a full
details of the level they are at and what tasks they have done. This report can
be copied to word and discussed and edited with the pupil. One feature that is
very useful is that when levelling a pupil, the teacher and the pupil can
include a feedback for each unit to show whether the pupil found it easy, OK or
RightLevel costs £250/year for a single licence or £600/year for a school
(site) licence. This incorporates upgrades and support. There is no per-pupil
cost unlike some other packages.
So that is the story. and although RightLevel is being sold via Imaginize,
being ICT Coordinator and using the system for levelling pupils has proved
beneficial to the school
Please let me know what you think.
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Good sites for blogging
courtesy of Stuart Sutherland:
Use of one
of the following:
Wordpress - http://wordpress.com/ - is free has gorgeous
templates and probably supports moblogging
Blogger – https://www.blogger.com/start - the
Daddy – basic and free and supports moblogging -
Vox - http://www.vox.com/ - good photo album
integration – also free
LiveJournal – http://www.livejournal.com/ - basic,
decent and free and supports moblogging
TypePad - http://www.typepad.com/ - $4.95 a month for a
If you want to send files to yourself or others via the internet then use this free service: