ICTZINE 6th May 2010

Retaining power

In among the stories of electioneering in this week’s press, there was still room for tales whipping up moral panic over the dangers of mobile phones in schools, and “sexual predators” on Facebook.

On Wednesday May 5th, the Daily Mirror reported that it had uncovered widespread evidence that mobile phones were being used as “offensive weapons” by students in classrooms. Examples it gave included teachers being secretly photographed or filmed in class, then being posted on Facebook with crude messages attached. One teacher was featured on YouTube having his trousers pulled down as part of a prank. These sorts of stories are particularly poignant following the case of Peter Harvey of Mansfield who was recently cleared of attempted murder after bludgeoning a pupil with a dumbbell – he had also been secretly filmed in class while pupils goaded him.

My local paper, The Sevenoaks Chronicle, today (Thursday May 6th) carries a front page story of schoolgirls in the area being targeted by a man claiming to be a teenage boy. In this instance, the school worked with the police, who contacted Facebook to get the account removed. One parent acknowledged that her child was “streetwise”, but had a different attitude when it comes to Facebook.

It’s a subject that I’ve discussed at length here before. When I read these stories – particularly in the case of the Daily Mirror one – I feel as though the reader is expected to recoil in horror at how technology has degraded society. However, we must keep reminding ourselves that the situations behind these stories were the same as they were before the days of mobile phones and the internet.

One teacher in front of 30+ pupils can’t always be a friendly and trouble-free scenario, and it is up to the government of the time to ensure that more power is handed to schools and teachers to eliminate or control the disruptive pupils. Implicating modern technology and social networking sites only muddies the waters and diverts attention away from the real problems.

The Sevenoaks Chronicle story is slightly different because it includes an element of resolution. While the dangers of social networking were highlighted, the reader is left in no doubt that the villain is the ‘sexual predator’ and not Facebook.

This leads me nicely on to one of our stories this week [Read Story Here ] which demonstrates that advances in technology also come with their own checks and balances. In this case, Tibboh has launched a family friendly ISP which protects children against inappropriate content on the internet. It includes a ‘filtration system’ which is based on the British Board of Film Classification’s rating scheme (U, PG, 12, 15, and 18), and it has already been trialled in schools.

Back to electioneering, have a look at how the internet can strip away the personalities in an election, and help you to drill down to the policies [Read Story Here ].

Nathan Bushell, editor

'We need the technology'

School leaders attending last weekend’s NAHT annual conference in Liverpool called for better and faster IT support and equipment for Welsh schools.
Delegates at the conference heard Mick Brookes, general secretary of NAHT call for an inquiry into unscrupulous practice by some ICT companies whom he accused of ripping off schools by taking advantage of the lack of expertise that schools can draw on in sourcing ICT equipment. Mr Brookes also advocated the launch of a Which?-style list of reputable school suppliers of ICT which would help schools make the right choices.
NAHT member and head of Coedcae School Llanelli, Pete Spencer said: “We've been lucky. We've done a lot of the sourcing of equipment ourselves and benefitted from excellent advice from the local authority and our own business manager. Doing the work ourselves has saved a lot of money. Read More...

ISP with cinema ratings

Educational technology company Tibboh has launched a family ISP to offer safe, secure internet access supported by BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) ratings to deliver age-appropriate content for children and teenagers. 

Users of the Tibboh service will get internet free of the kind of content that worries children and parents, enabling age-appropriate access via a filtration system accredited by the BBFC, which has itself developed the policies for Tibboh in line with the UK’s  film and DVD classifications U, PG, 12, 15, 18.

The Tibboh service, costing only £19.99 per month, is being launched with high-speed (3G) mobile internet access and offers the CEOPS button on Facebook.  Tibboh is fully supportive of the UK Council for Child internet Safety (UKCCIS)’s ‘Zip It, Block It, Flag It’ campaign. Read More...

Award for RM
RM was recently awarded the title of Top IT Employer at the 2010 Top Employers United Kingdom awards, run annually by the CRF Institute.

Local strength, global reach
Focus Educational Software, based in Truro, is a BETT Award winning publisher of 22 interactive digital learning resources for primary and secondary education.

Free digital presenters for lucky schools
Ten lucky schools recently learned that they had been successful in their application for a free SDP-860 Digital Presenter.

RM announces strategic forums
'Inspirational and challenging'. That was the verdict on the Learning Spaces RM created at BETT this year, RM announced recently.

RM is taking the idea out on the road this spring. Under the banner, RM Strategic Forums - A Vision for Future Learning, RM is replacing its old and well-known conference programme with new engaging and hands-on events. Read More...

New maths practice software from DLK
DLK has just released a new suite of eight Maths software titles called MathaMax.

MathaMax complements its successful MathsWork suite, and the company is offering all schools in the UK one free title from the suite with a full site licence. Just send them an email to sales@dlk.co.uk asking for one. Read More...

Shared-resource computing
Shared-resource computing is an initiative that aims to bring technology into the lives of more and more students. Software developer NetSupport has teamed up with several technology suppliers to promote this cost-effective computing model.

The desire to provide as many students as possible with access to a computer at school is unquestioned but,

New catalogue from Phoenix Software

Phoenix Software has put its experience of meeting the needs of schools into a new catalogue.

To make it as easy as possible to make the right purchasing decisions for your school, Phoenix Software's new catalogue is refreshed at the beginning of each school term and presents products from all the big manufacturers and some of the smaller ones. Read More..

Web filtering from Brightfilter
BoundaryServer is a web filtering service that provides a high level of online protection to small primary schools and other institutions right up to local authorities.

It sits at the gateway between the school network and the internet to filter content that passes through, protecting pupils from

Making ICT management easy
The Manor Community College in Cambridge chose the Citrix Provisioning Server to manage the IT provision across the school.

The college is a mixed community school in Cambridge with 140 students. Read More...

Mobile messaging connects parents and pupils
London-based Breakthru Marketing has created a new platform that marries technology, classroom activity, and parental participation - a communication platform that connects parents and pupils with teachers via mobile text messaging (SMS).

School AV / Digital Media Technician

Our outstanding school is looking for a vibrant person to support both children and adults with moving forward in digital communication.

The ideal candidate would display a passion for ICT and the ability to motivate others in this area with particular emphasis on:
- Managing and developing communication within and from the school including MLE (Managed Learning Environment), website and display screen
- Using film/photography, including editing, display, supporting pupils and staff
- Troubleshooting on a daily basis ensuring effective and efficient use of technology across all aspects of school life.

Call 0208 502 4947
or email: info@edurecruitment.co.uk for more information

School ICT technician

Our Client, an ICT support organisation dedicated to supporting Schools ICT systems and Networks is currently expanding and looking for additional members of staff either contract or permanent with skills and experience of dealing with Schools Networks, SIMS, CC3 / 4 and possibly experience of installations and support of Whiteboards.

We look forward to hearing from you if you are located in the South / South West London area. We also have roles similar to this throughout the UK, call for more information.

Call 0208 502 4947
or email: info@edurecruitment.co.uk for more information

Education ICT Support Service is currently looking for a Field Based ICT Engineer

You will be working alongside Schools in maintaining and developing ICT in line with the Becta Frame Work.

You will be responsible for visiting Schools and carrying out hardware, software installations, basic administration, health checks, fault trouble shooting, minor repairs and maintenance of peripherals.

Applicants MUST have previous experience supporting ICT within an education establishment and possess an understanding of Windows hardware and software, networking, educational software and knowledge of RM CC3 / CC4 is highly desirable.

Call 0208 502 4947
or email: info@edurecruitment.co.uk for more information

notgoingtouni's mission is to help today's young people make informed career decisions and realise there are great opportunities outside of the traditional university route. We feature apprenticeships, training providers, distance learning, A level schemes, employer funded degree's, course listings, advice, jobs and more.

Cameron interview online

Leader of the Conservative party, David Cameron, recently answered a series of questions that were selected by the Student Room (www.studentroom.co.uk).

Questions included: “How do you plan to respond to the growing prevalence of unpaid internships?”; “Why should student finance depend on their income?”; “Will you reconsider the Digital Economy Bill considering the manner it was pushed through without proper scrutiny?”; and “How and to what extent will your party continue to fight for LGBT equality/issues?”.

The last question was: “Recent discussions with regard to the cuts that need to be made to recover the national deficit has highlighted (by all parties) the scientific research budget as one of the places where cuts will take place... Won’t this result in a brain drain from the UK?” Read More..

Liberal Democrats win online blind poll

An online voting website, with no political affiliation, has shown that the Liberal Democrats’ education policies are the most attractive to voters.

www.votomatic.co.uk is a not-for-profit site which asks participants to judge each party’s policies without knowing who the party was. Issues range from healthcare to housing, and from the economy to the environment. Read More..

Financial close in Wolverhampton

A Carillion-led Local Education Partnership (LEP) has achieved financial close on the £370 million Wolverhampton Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

Carillion has now been chosen to deliver BSF and Academy programmes worth nearly £2.2 billion. Read More..

Expansion plans for Frog

Halifax-based learning platform provider Frog has appointed three new senior roles to spearhead UK and international expansion.

Adrian Bantin joins as partner manager and Imran Ali as UK local authority sales manager – they have both come from school technology provider, Serco Learning (part of Serco Group). Read More...

Dynamic Learning – anytime, anywhere

Dynamic Learning is an online teaching and learning resource. Combining award-winning quality content with easy-to-use tools, it supports teachers and encourages students to develop, progress and achieve. Read More..


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