In from the cold

I visited one school recently, during the period of heavy snowfall, and the headteacher was determined to keep the school open – despite the widespread national closures. Most of the teachers were local, so this didn’t prove to be a problem. Safety, however, was another concern, and the headteacher rounded up parents and governors to patrol the the school’s paths to keep them free of the offending white stuff.

This wasn’t as bad a chore as one might at first think. Since the school had been refurbished with a new roof and new double glazing (the building itself is Victorian) classrooms warmed up quickly, yet the teachers had no control over individual rooms, and opened windows to prevent them from overheating. Those scraping snow and ice off the paths soon gravitated to these windows to keep warm.

This is certainly not environmentally sound. However, my concern is one of cost. Budgets are squeezed enough already, and the talk at BETT was that they could be squeezed further, so it doesn’t make sense to see the school’s money disappear out of an open window.

Which means that the new government initiative to monitor energy use in school is a sensible one (read story here)

The growth of technology in the classroom, and the increasing environmental awareness needn’t be two separate developments. On the one hand, technology – computers, whiteboards, etc – need to be powered responsibly (including turning them off), but technology can also monitor and help schools shrink their carbon footprint.

Therefore, while our children should leave school clued up on ICT, this shouldn’t be at the expense of the environment.

One last thing. From what I understand, Microsoft has a greater presence in schools than Apple, do you think the balance could shift with the launch of the iPad – which was launched by Apple yesterday

Nathan Bushell, editor

A taste of BETT at the Education Show 2010

If you didn’t get a chance to make it to BETT this year, or didn’t get your fill of the latest in educational technology at the show, the technology in education show is hosting a brand new feature at the Education Show at the NEC in Birmingham on March 4-6.

The BETT Boulevard will be host to a selection of exciting and innovative exhibitors from the world’s largest education technology show, who have been chosen to showcase their resources at the Education Show 2010.

Richard Joslin, exhibitor director for Emap said: “The potential that technology offers education is unparalleled, a fact reflected in many of the exhibitors at the Education Show, which brings together every resource imaginable in education today. BETT Boulevard enables us to showcase some of the most innovative BETT exhibitors alongside some of the most established and trusted educational suppliers in the industry.” Read More...

Safer Internet Day

The 7th ‘Safer Internet Day’ will be celebrated on 9 February 2010 in more than 60 countries across the world and this year will focus on the theme Think before you post ("Think B4 U post!").

New technologies have turned all of us – mostly young people – into publishers of information, pictures, and videos. In addition, we can manage our online identity in a way which may turn us into ‘celebrities’.

While bringing about new opportunities for personal expression and creativity, new technologies may also lead to embarrassing or even traumatic situations. For example, photos, once posted online, remain online and can be seen by anybody, even years after they have been posted.

Therefore, children and teenagers need to be empowered to manage their online identity in a responsible way, to be in control of their own online identity, and at the same time respect other people's choices of posting or not certain information or photos online. Read More...

Filtered out
Brightfilter, provider of web filtering solutions to the education sector, demonstrated its latest range of products at BETT 2010. Visitors were invited to stand B59 to experience the range of solutions for protecting pupils online, including:

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.

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

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Free Energy Display Meters for schools initiative launched

The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, the Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, today saw the first school Energy Display Meter in action as part of a £12 million energy efficiency initiative to help schools and pupils to become more aware of energy use. Read More...

New ICT competition

ICT Register schools has announced a new competition – the ICT Register Showcase Awards – jointly sponsored by Toshiba and Brother.

The awards are designed to highlight innovative approaches to the effective use of ICT by Register schools and learning centres, while also celebrating the sharing of this practice with other schools locally, nationally and internationally. Read More...

Travel subsidy to the Education Show offered by Besa

The British Educational Suppliers Association (Besa) is offering schools a group travel subsidy of up to £150 for those heading to The Education Show at the NEC, Birmingham, which runs from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 March 2010.

Ray Barker, director, Besa said: “Celebrating its 20th anniversary with plenty of new feature areas and a brand new design, the Education Show 2010 is an opportunity not to be missed. Read More...

Never too young

The next generation of IT entrepreneurs will be starting even younger than ever before, thanks to companies such as ComputerXplorers, which is teaching ICT skills to children as young as three.

For example, the nursery pupils at Bruntsfield House Nursery in Edinburgh are being taught to use interactive software packages with popular cartoon characters such as Bob the Builder. Read More...


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