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  • Blog Post: Parental Engagement–from vision to practicalities

    Last year we worked with the DCSF and a group of schools to record their stories of parental engagement, and what they were doing to build a stronger relationship with parents in their school community. As well as the written case studies on three secondary schools ( Blatchington Mill School , Monkseaton...
  • Blog Post: Are teachers really losing confidence with ICT?

    Earlier in the year, BESA reported that teachers confidence with using ICT had fallen by 10%. Which sounds dramatic, and was described by some writers as ‘alarming’. But is it? Well, here’s the data for the last 11 years – from research done by the old DfES until 2004, and data from BESA from 2002...
  • Blog Post: £750M of savings in schools – and some ideas to get started

    Yesterday, at the SSAT Conference, Ed Balls took to the stage to talk about the need for more efficient resource management in schools. The Guardian kicked off the coverage this morning, with their dramatic headline “ Ed Balls tells schools to make £750M savings ” ( probably NOT the headline he wanted...
  • Blog Post: Schools wasting money on ICT – phew, not true

    The Guardian today wrote an article about school funding, which was prompted by a new Audit Commission report ‘Valuable lessons’. The message was that “hundreds of millions of pounds are being wasted”. I was a bit alarmed to see that amongst the savings, they were quoted as saying that there’s a potential...
  • Blog Post: The Home Access pilot starts

    You may remember that in January, I wrote about the DCSF’s Home Access Programme – providing free home computers for students from disadvantaged families - and reinforcing to all families the importance of access to an Internet-connected computer to support learning. Just in case you missed , here’s...
  • Blog Post: Analysing data in excel

    Here’s a way to help your senior leadership team find out about some of the interesting things you can do in Excel. I used Office 2007 for this, but I’m sure you can achieve the same in Office 2003. I find these kind of training examples are sometimes tedious, unless there’s a real purpose. But this...
  • Blog Post: Next Generation Learning for 30p a year

    Every now and again I come across a bit of information that I’m not sure about. Like this from a written answer in Parliament : The Next Generation Learning campaign sponsored by Becta is designed to raise the awareness of parents or carers, employers and learners of the benefits of the use of technology...
  • Blog Post: 9 out of 10 children have Internet at home

    According to government research for the DCSF, 90% of pupils have computer and internet access at home. Even amongst primary school children, it was 88%. The research was part of the “Parental Involvement in Children's Education” report , published in 2007, and page 25 gives the statistics for Internet...
  • Blog Post: The first day of BETT

    Phew, what a day. 6 months of planning, 90 people to co-ordinate with, and suddenly, it arrived. The first day of BETT. As I mentioned earlier in the week, we had a number of exciting things at the show, including a demonstration of the Surface, and a netbook Wall of Cool. I’ll have a few pictures to...
  • Blog Post: Home Access Programme – the basics

    I was just starting a blog post to update everybody on the Home Access Programme, and the latest news. But then I stopped. I wondered “Well, do people know what the Home Access Programme is?” – and a couple of quick phone calls to schools and I realised that there’s a big gap between what most people...
  • Blog Post: Home Access Programme Approved Suppliers

    This post refers to the pilot of the Home Access Programme, for 2009, which has now finished. There's now an updated blog post all about the Home Access Programme Suppliers for 2010 , which is much more useful to you! A little earlier I got my “Dummy’s Guide to the Home Access Programme” done,...
  • Blog Post: BBC website makes Orwellian changes

    Yesterday I wrote about the Rose Review of the primary curriculum, and made mention of the BBC’s website headline “ Lessons in being happy proposed ”, which I linked to the full article . Of all of yesterday’s headlines, the BBC article seemed to be the most combative. Well, no longer. Although the link...
  • Blog Post: Fun with statistics – Building Schools for the Future

    “Fun with Statistics” doesn’t sound like a bright Monday morning blog post subject, but bear with me a while.   The minimum cell space allocation for each prisoner to avoid torture or degrading treatment, as recommended by the Council of Europe "European Committee for the Prevention of Torture...
  • Blog Post: What have Microsoft ever done for us?

    All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have th e Romans ever done for us? If you’re looking for nostalgia, take a look at the Life of Brian script – which doesn’t start with the question...
  • Blog Post: Last week at BETT 2008

    Last week I was very quiet on the blog - mainly because it was BETT week, when 29,000 of the UK's most enthusiastic educational ICT people gather at Olympia for a few days. Most visitors only come for a day, but those manning stands are there for the whole week, including Saturday. Perhaps next year...
  • Blog Post: Talking about "Today, Next Week and Next Year" with the DCSF

    Earlier in the year, a small group from the DfES (as it was then) visited a number of high-tech companies in the US, in order to evaluate how technology would impact and support learning in the future. As a follow on from that, Microsoft were invited this week to present a summary of that information...
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