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  • Blog Post: Little Harrowden Primary School–small school, big improvement with technology

    A Northamptonshire primary school reaps the rewards of investing in a whole-school improvement strategy which puts technology at the heart of children’s learning and shows that these 21 st Century approaches are both effective and essential for their children’s future. In the summer of 2008, a new Headteacher...
  • Blog Post: Shireland Collegiate Academy - bringing lessons’ together

      A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Shireland Collegiate Academy in Smethwick, West Midlands and explore how their Learning Gateway is used in a number of ways to assist teachers, parents and students alike. This is something that has now been in place over a number of years...
  • Blog Post: Learning Possibilities Plus & Parklands Primary School - How to make the most of your Learning Gateway

    Mark Stewart, our very own Strategic Partner Manager in the Education team, recently had the opportunity to visit Parklands Primary School and join their event with Learning Possibilities Plus (LP+) to understand how they are making the most of their Learning Gateway. Here is his post. It was with extreme...
  • Blog Post: See Stephen Heppell using the Learning Gateway at Parklands Primary School, 8th March 2011

    Educational guru and LP+ Chairman Stephen Heppell will be presenting at Parklands Primary School , Northamptonshire on 8th March 2011 to demonstrate the future of online learning and how ICT and VLE’s can transform learning and parental engagement. School leaders, teachers and students will talk about...
  • Blog Post: Schools spend more money on printer paper than on ICT

    How much does your school spend on reprographics - paper, toner, printers, photocopiers, and the staff to run them and keep them running? I'm sure that the average secondary school is spending more on reprographics than they do on their whole ICT budget. Mike Herrity, at Twynham School, found out his...
  • Blog Post: A free tool for creating SCORM learning materials yourself

    Have you heard of the free Microsoft Learning Content Development System? We’ve just updated it to version 2.5, which now supports more complex content, and is Firefox and Silverlight 4 compatible. It is a free tool that lets you create high-quality, interactive, online courses, and publish them in SCORM...
  • Blog Post: Parental Engagement–bringing parents on to the Learning Gateway

    Last week I wrote about schools using Learning Gateway to connect with parents and followed that with looking at the practical issue of making sure your data is up-to-date . The targets for schools to provide online parental reporting are DCSF & Becta guidelines, not legislation – and as such there...
  • 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: Harnessing Technology Grant – kicking a grant while it’s down

    A few weeks ago, on 18th June, the Government cut the Harnessing Technology Grant, in order to find capital funds to start Free Schools. I wrote a blog post at the time to summarise the information . Well, they’ve done it again – this time, when they announced the cancellation of the BSF...
  • Blog Post: Twynham School and SharePoint 2010

    Twynham School, in Christchurch in Dorset, are a school which tends to be at the leading edge of technology – they are often one of the first schools in the UK to implement a school-wide deployment of new Microsoft releases, and the ICT team in the school always seem to be champing at the bit to take...
  • Blog Post: Learning Gateway Conference 2010–14th July

    Alex Pearce has dropped me a note to remind me that it’s exactly one month until the Learning Gateway Conference 2010 , on 14th July. Last year it was at The Belfry, this time it’s moved to Church House, in Westminster. Last year’s conference was well attended, and everybody I met during the day was...
  • Blog Post: OPENHIVE Leadership Forums - The Future of Learning Platforms

    Synetrix are running two free Leadership Forum events at the Microsoft campus in the next two weeks. The first event is for local authorities, whilst the second is for school leadership teams. 11th June - Investments built to last, built for success The first event is aimed at staff from local...
  • Blog Post: it’s learning moves towards the cloud with Microsoft

    There’s a new press release on the it’s learning website. it’s learning are a Becta approved Learning Platform provider , and have recently signed an agreement with us to offer their customers our cloud computing services, via our Live@edu service. That means that if you are an it’s learning customer...
  • Blog Post: More Moodle advice – The Moodle on SharePoint white paper

    The team over at the Microsoft Education Labs have been busy over the last few weeks. If you’re new to it, Education Labs was created by the Microsoft Education Products Group to build and release new product prototypes and useful add-ons, specifically for education use. Following on from the Office...
  • Blog Post: Twynham School and the Learning Gateway – free e-book and web part

    Twynham School has increasingly developed a reputation for their use of SharePoint to create a Learning Gateway for their students, parents and staff. They have been using SharePoint since 2007 and in early 2008 the systems team at Twynham School wrote a guide to the work they were doing with their Learning...
  • Blog Post: School Closures, Snow Days and Learning Platforms.

    Over the last few weeks, the papers have been full of stories about school closures across the UK – naturally so, as half of all schools were shut down for at least a day by snow and ice. And it’s given impetus to the important issue of how a school that has to close can keep its children working, in...
  • Blog Post: Top 10 ICT Money Saving Tips – 7 – Stop printing so much

    Part seven of the series of Top 10 ICT Money Saving Tips for schools , based on my BETT 2010 presentation. Late last year, I was chatting with a group of senior leaders in schools about the amount of paper that is used in a typical school (it had been partially prompted by me, when I realised that...
  • Blog Post: Online learning is better than face-to-face learning?

    The US Department of Education sponsored the Center for Technology in Learning to look into the effectiveness of online learning – and to specifically compare the effectiveness of using online learning compared to face to face learning. The results, published in May, are on the www.ed.gov website, for...
  • Blog Post: Integrating Moodle with Microsoft Live services

    Who’d have thought it, not only would I be looking for the Moodle logo for the blog, but other strange things have been happening this week: We’ve released two projects under the open source GPL v2 licence for the first time ever Following on from the experimental OfficeLabs project, we’ve launched Education...
  • Blog Post: Common reasons why Learning Platforms fail – Mike Herrity's view

    At the Learning Gateway Conference today, I listened to Mike Herrity talking about the Twynham School’s Learning Gateway, and specifically about how they got people in their school community using it. On one of his first slides, there was a statistic that proved they have been doing things right...
  • Blog Post: Licensing parents for SharePoint – what’s free and what isn’t

    I got a question from Mike Herrity yesterday, asking me about the ways that parents can be given access to SharePoint/Learning Gateway, and explicitly whether they needed their own SharePoint licences. As an aside: Mike Herrity is a deputy head at Twynham School down in Dorset, and is a great SharePoint...
  • Blog Post: What is a learning platform – a video introduction

    I love it when I find a guide to a complex technology, written in plain English. Or even better, a video. For a while, the standard has been set by the Common Craft team , using paper animations, but I think Chris Thomson and Aaron Bowler from the Sheffield East City Learning Centre have set a challenging...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint in Welsh – SharePoint ar gael in Gymraeg

    During half-term week, we joined the Welsh Assembly Government at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay, to launch Welsh language support for SharePoint. Steve Beswick, of Microsoft, and Meri Huws, of the Welsh Language Board, officially launched the pack with Jane Hutt, the Welsh Assembly Minister for...
  • Blog Post: Two blogs you should read regularly

    I don’t use the phrase “you should” lightly – it smacks of a My Mum ( especially when it came to giving me advice about bring up our children. You know the kind of thing “You should put them to bed at 6pm” and “You should keep them quiet” ). But in this case it’s a no-brainer to say “you should” because...
  • Blog Post: Taking a road trip

    Yesterday we were out and about on a West Midlands road trip with a gaggle of colleagues from the global education team. The aim of the trip was to see some of the things that are happening in UK schools, to inform our future directions and policies. It was a little bit like a school trip, as I checked...
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