ICTzine.com visited BETT 2010 to see what what was hot, and if schools were investing in the latest technological equipment.

Nathan Bushell, editor

Free laptops for poor families

The government is handing out free laptops and broadband to 270,000 families across the UK, in a bid to close the digital and educational divide between the rich and the poor, and to help parents keep in touch with their children.

Government research shows pupils could improve by two grades at GCSE with a computer at home, and that unemployed parents say having the internet has helped them apply for jobs and get better skills.

The £300m investment in the Home Access programme will help make England one of the first countries in the world to ensure young people can use a computer and the internet at home for their education, and get parents better involved and understanding more about what their child does at school, the government claimed recently.

Families with children in years 3- 9, who are entitled to free schools meals, will be able to apply for a grant to buy a computer and broadband connection from an approved supplier, after meeting strict eligibility criteria. Read More...

ICT investment beats snow chaos

Virtual lessons were posted online by staff at Wycliffe College in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, to enable its snow-stricken students to keep on top of their studies, the Stroud News & Journal reported this week.

Teachers uploaded sessions on the school’s intranet site to benefit its day students while the college shut for three days due to the snowy conditions.

Headteacher Margie Burnet Ward told the local paper: "Everyone loves the snow but I think even children have a natural threshold after which they get a little bored with it and we must ensure that, with important exams coming up, all our children keep up with their studies.

"Our massive investment in ICT in recent years, which we believe to be the largest per pupil in the region, has been crucial for keeping our students in touch and on task and teachers have provided on-line materials all week to ensure that no one misses out." Read More...

The Right Gear for the Net
will be promoting its wireless networking on stand M16 at BETT next week.

The company will be showcasing its award-winning ProSafe, ReadyNAS and ProSecure education solutions and providing advice on how to successfully select and implement cost-effective ICT systems.

Redstor launches Protector
Redstor, a managed services and IT solutions company, has announced the launch of its new backup and security service, Redstor Protector.

Specially designed for the education market this service secures and protects

Ambitious ideas
e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology recently launched a new programme.

Smart learning at BETT
Designed to engage and motivate learners from Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 3 in Phonics, ICT, Literacy, PSHE & Citizenship and English, Smart Learning’s resources are tailored to meet the needs of each independent learner.

Real-time school data management
Hyperspheric Solutions has launched Stars 4 Schools — School Tracking, Assessment and Reporting System – at BETT 2010. Locally launched in July 2009, Stars 4 Schools enables the flow of data from mark sheets to students’ reports and whole-school statistics.
The ease of embedded software
De-LTA is the new software from Empowering Confidence, which allows teachers to create re-usable learning objects from video material.

The company claims that 40% of students have a visual learning preference, which is usually satisfied by videos.

Flexi-neck Visualiser launched
AVerMedia has released a new, high specification, autofocus flexi-neck Visualiser for Education.

These will be launched at the BETT 2010 Exhibition. The new CP range consists of Read More...

Software update
Crick Software will release a new feature in its WriteOnline software, in 2010.

WriteOnline is an online word processor for education that provides support features for learners of all abilities from upper primary pupils to .

Projected learning
Epson has launched its first range of ultra-short-throw projectors designed to meet the growing demand for easy-to-use ICT equipment in classrooms.

The company said the new models are ideal for use with

Putting education on the map

ESRI has launched ‘GIS for Schools’, a new programme offering improved access to GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in the classroom.

Designed to help students learn more effectively, the

School Business Manager

for a busy school in Swindon. The ideal candidate would have worked within a school but not essential transferable skills welcome. You will be CCAB qualified and would have knowledge and skills in the following: Finance and Budget management, IT and SIMS
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ICT Manager

required for Secondary School based in Surrey to support the entire Schools network infrastructure, servers and workstations. Manage the Schools ICT staff, including training and appraisal. Provide advice on networking, purchasing and any relevant contractors. Develop, implement and monitor the
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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,
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Offline adults set to get online

Thousands of offline adults are set to take their first steps with computers and the internet by learning Online basics with a new, free course designed especially for beginners.

Launched by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson at the recent Learning and Technology World Forum, the Online basics course has been created as part of the government's response to Baroness Estelle Morris' Review of ICT User Skills, published in June 2009. Read More...

Encyclopedic knowledge

Every primary and secondary school in County Clare is to get free access to online versions of the popular Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book as part of a nationwide e-Learning initiative announced by the Republic of Ireland’s Department of Education and Science.

The online encyclopedias use text, video clips, three-dimensional simulations, research aids and other new media in presenting information to students. Read More...

Learning vision

Creating Careers is discussing its new online vocational courses, delivered through www.vision2learnforschools.com, at BETT.

The new Functional Skills, due to be rolled out across schools in England in 2010 as part of the 14-19 reform, are practical skills in English, ICT and maths, built into each of the four qualification routes of education: GCSEs, Diplomas, Apprenticeships and Foundation Learning. Visitors will also have the opportunity to talk to experts from Creating Careers about successfully developing personalised learning using vocational courses and online and blended study. Read More...


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