Another what’s the best way forward? blog post where I try and dissect my own thinking on what IT provision should look like in a Secondary School in 2011. Continue the current mix of laptop trolleys and IT suites or move towards a 1 to 1 environment of tablets or laptops?
Are tablets the answer?
This year so far has been all about planning ahead for me. We’ve started the process of planning two completely new courses to deliver to our students in ICT, and I’m delighted that both GCSE Computing & Creative iMedia have enough students interested for me to run both courses next year.
Next on my hit-list is managing & planning our IT provision across the whole site for the next few years. Our school has always been relatively cash-rich for a variety of reasons. This is not the case going forward. Despite Michael Gove & the Conservatives’ claims that they would not cut school budgets we are receiving less money this year than we have previously. This is after we take into account the pupil premium (and being situated in Central Manchester we have an above average percentage of Free School Meals). All of this at the same time as costs are increasing thanks to the Government’s removal of the Harnessing Technology Grant. Historically the IT Support team has been given a fairly modest budget with which they maintain the existing equipment and add some provision each year. Replacement of entire suites / trolleys etc have then been funded by ‘Summer Projects’ funded from surplus school cash. I am acutely aware that the surplus school cash may well not be here next Summer and it is time we plan and budget ahead carefully for the next 2-5 years. And so I come to my current position where I am left impressed at the cost of continuing as we are, yet thinking there must be a better way…. Continue reading →
Google released their Parisian Love Story advert for the Superbowl earlier in the year – watch it, it’s ever so clever:
You can now make you own stories with 7 simple search terms. It couldn’t be easier, you just type in up to 7 search terms and then choose whether the video will show it as a normal search, image search, map search etc. Try it here: http://www.youtube.com/user/SearchStories
I knocked one up very quickly – took about 5 minutes, you’ll have to excuse the cheese factor of it!
Could be a great tool for pupils telling stories new or old, explaining topics, making revision tips, any other suggestions?
Progressive Education Network aims to engage with and challenge policy makers of every political hue by bringing the voice of experience and the wisdom of leading education professionals and school leaders to the debate. How do we best build on what’s working now to develop the education system that maximises the opportunities for the success of every child? Continue reading →
Well you can’t have missed the fact that Google has finally unleashed Google Wave to 100,000 lucky testers, and with it a tsunami of hype. I was lucky enough to be one of the 100,000 first wave. Enough of the puns, if you want a bytesize explanation of what Wave is then this video is the best start:
So today Google announced that they will be introducing their very own Google Chrome OS.
This follows in the wake of excellent the Google Chrome web browser which was released last year. Designed initially for netbooks, it appears that the OS will effectively be little more than a web browser. The beauty of this is that it will be incredibly quick and run on relatively underpowered/old hardware.
You can sign up to be informed about Wave, and hopefully get involved with the beta at the Google Wave website: http://wave.google.com. If you’re lucky the video might be working on that site too, it was temperamental at the time of writing.
This looks very exciting for school use. Many seem to have dubbed it the ‘new email’ already. The collaboration possibilities in and between classrooms look fantastic. I’ve been a big fan of using wikis as collaborative documents and this looks like it will take the concept of a wiki to a new level. The ability to drag and drop files into a collaborative document in a browser for instance lowers the technical skills required for working with these kinds of technologies considerably.
DownloadSquad reports that Google has finally released it’s new version of Jotspot as the rebranded and updated Google Sites, all part of the Google Apps suite. More to come when I’ve had a play around with it. could be a real contender for the educational wiki crown which currently sits with the excellent Wikispaces in my humble opinion.