ICTZINE 20th May 2010

Uncertain times

And so this period of uncertainty continues. It was bad enough before the election, when we were waiting to see who would win, and which party’s policies would be implemented. Then there was a hung parliament, and we were none the wiser. And now... well, now, everyone is simply remaining tight-lipped.

All we know with any certainty is that the new government wants to cut spending by £billions. So where does that leave the technology in education sector?

The Building Schools for the Future could be in jeopardy, which could halt the current programme of school rejuvenation. However, both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats want to promote the idea of ‘academies’, run by organisations other than central government. This could, theoretically, encourage extra money to be spent in the sector, particularly since Michael Gove wants more money going to the more ‘attractive’ schools – modern ICT suites are crowd pleasers, no?

Michael Gove has also indicated that he favours smaller class sizes, which can only come about with increased investment, surely.

While not commenting directly about ICT in education, a recent profile by the Guardian newspaper on Michael Gove, paints him in a rather Victorian light, stating: “Gove has advocated a return to traditional values in the classroom, stating that he expects pupils to wear ties and would be in favour of ex-soldiers imposing discipline.”

Quoted by the Guardian, Michael Gove said that education is about "introducing young people to the best that has been thought and written ... The beauty of poetry and drama. The discoveries of science. They symmetry of mathematics. For me, it is awakening people to the glories to what humankind has been capable of producing over millennia."

Sure, this can be achieved and enhanced by ICT, but it remains to be seen if this traditionalist view is compatible with modern teaching methods. ICT is, afterall, an ongoing investment, and if Michael’s heart isn’t into it...?

And what of Becta? The Conservatives, while acknowledging that some quangos serve a purpose, also argue that many ‘unaccountable’ quangos are simply a waste of £billions of taxpayers’ money. Do the Conservatives consider Becta to fall into that category?

But, like I said, we are in a period of uncertainty. Hopefully, the situation will become clearer sooner rather than later.

Nathan Bushell, editor

Back to work

The newly renamed Department for Education is starting to stir into life.

It’s second announcement was: “The Department for Education has not yet made a decision on Building Schools for the Future (BSF) funding or any other capital programmes.

“The Government is committed to a full comprehensive spending review in the autumn and Ministers will shortly be considering their spending priorities, which will take into account all areas of spending including schools capital.”

Its first announcement, of course, was the full ministerial line-up:

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education (Con)
Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Schools (Con)
Sarah Teather MP, Minister of State for Children and Families (Lib)
Tim Loughton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families (Con) Read More...

Social networking more important than family

Facebook has become one of the biggest influences on the lives of girls, according to a recent survey conducted by National Family Week.

A study of 8-15-year-olds for National Family Week found 40% of girls identified Facebook as one of the most important things in their lives – compared with 6% of boys. Parents were found to underestimate the significance of technology.

The survey, based on 3,000 parents and 1,000 children across the UK, looked at the perceptions of children and parents of family life presents a picture of girls using social networking as something central to their social and family life.

Girls saw websites such as Facebook as much more influential than television, magazines, celebrities and even their own siblings. Asked to name the three most important things in their lives, the most popular choices for girls were friends, family and then Facebook and MSN. Read More...

Frog MD leaps to award nomination

Gareth Davies, managing director of Halifax-based learning platform provider Frogtrade, has been shortlisted as a regional finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards 2010.

Applied learning centre

Fakenham & Wells Times recently reported how Fakenham High School is engineering a deal to take over one of the town's empty factory units as part of a £1m investment in education.
Read More..

Online safety prize

Year two pupils from The Prince of Wales First School, Dorchester have won an online safety competition, Dorset’s ‘View Online’ has reported.
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..

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

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.

Making energy saving ‘cool’

Researchers from the IOE's London Knowledge Lab will be finding ways to make energy-saving cool, as they engage teenagers in using digital technology to change their behaviour, reports the Institute of Education. Read More..

O2 Media Awards reward young communicators

O2 has introduced a new award category in this year’s Media Awards for Yorkshire and Humber. Aimed at 13-25 year olds, the award will recognise the work of young people who are using communication skills to make a difference in their communities. Read More..

RM’s profits up 20%

RM has announced interim results for the six months to 31 March 2010.

Its operational headlines are:
Strong revenue growth in Education Resources, BSF and US
An “excellent project win rate” including seven BSF project awards year-to-date
Committed revenues at May 2010: £505m (May 2009: £425m)
Revenue is up 10% (£156.4m, compared to £141.9m for 2009)
Profit before tax is up 20% (£1.2m, compared to £1.0m for 2009)
Read More..

Dell evolves

Dell has launched a number of new services and products, as part of its Connected Classroom learning environment.

“These help provide schools and teachers with the necessary technology and understanding to transform the traditional classroom into an environment in which students can be nurtured and prepared for life in the digital age,” Dell said in a statement. Read More...



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