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  • Blog Post: The Microsoft IT Academy in Schools, Colleges and Universities

    The Microsoft IT Academy Program can provide benefits to all parts of a school or college. Here are a few of the core functions and the potential benefits that will be most relevant. Here is a set of current questions which the UK Academic and Education teams have received: The Head of School · I need...
  • Blog Post: Something for your parent newsletter? Avoiding scams

    While he was working from home, a friend of mine recently got a phone call, from "Microsoft support", claiming to want to help him fix his PC. Fortunately, he's the suspicious type. And he's right to be. It's a scam - and I've now heard that other people are getting the same calls. Obviously, we have...
  • Blog Post: Home Access with Assistive Technology–grants still available

    Although the main Becta Home Access programme has now closed to new applications, there are still plenty of grants for free computers available for learners who qualify for the Assistive Technology scheme. These grants are for a child that has severe disabilities or a statement of Special Educational...
  • Blog Post: The Home Access Programme opens up again–briefly

    I’ve just read on the Home Access website that the programme has been re-opened, after it closed in mid-June. The reason is that there are some parents who’ve not returned their grant application forms. Limited funding is still available for the Home Access main programme due to some families choosing...
  • 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: What does SIMS Learning Gateway mean to parents?

    I was at Capita’s SIMS Annual Conference in Nottingham in June, talking about the future of technology, and how it will impact the workplace over the next decade. I’ve been invited to give this presentation at a wide range of conferences this summer, partly because it is one way of thinking about the...
  • Blog Post: Get off Facebook, Dad, I need to finish my homework

    At BETT we issued a press release on parental views towards ICT , at home and at school. This was suppored by research done during December 2009 and surveyed 500 parents of secondary-school age children, so it is recent, and it will be representative. I’ve held back on publishing it on the blog...
  • 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: Road Trip Part 2 – Shireland Academy

    After spending last Thursday morning at Great Barr School, our merry band hopped into a minibus straight over to Shireland Collegiate Academy, on the other side of northern Birmingham, in Smethwick. I’ve written about Shireland before on this blog, and their development of a Learning Gateway which is...
  • Blog Post: The Microsoft Home Learning Package for Home Access

    Keeping up on the Home Access Programme ? Am I making sense so far? Wondering what’s next? Asking what exactly we’re going to do about it? Wonder no longer! Along with a number of other companies, we’ve been involved in the Ministerial Task Force for the Home Access Programme over the last year and a...
  • 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: Innovative Schools – what do they do differently?

    Last week, we announced the availability of the Innovative Schools video case studies . Although they were on the web earlier in the year, we weren’t ready to tell everybody about them until we’d completed all of the work on the website. But now, that’s been done, so I can tell you all about what’s there...
  • Blog Post: Twynham School’s Award Winning Learning Gateway

    Twynham School in Christchurch (a particularly lovely and genteel part of Dorset) were happy list night, as the school won one of the Becta ICT Excellence Awards . Shortlisted earlier in the year, they were up against very stiff competition – the shortlist contains some of the very well known names that...
  • Blog Post: Saving your students’ money

    After a few weeks of non-blogging, caused by a combination of travelling and lots of internal meetings, it’s nice to be back and write for you again. I’ve got a big backlog of interesting things to tell you about, so hopefully we’ll be able to catch up again! I read some research recently that said that...
  • Blog Post: Email at Norwich School

    A colleague published a new story on the worldwide Microsoft case studies website earlier this month, on Norwich School, who had expanded and replaced their email system. They wanted to encourage their staff, students and parents to their email system more, to help information to flow around the school...
  • Blog Post: Do you get asked "How do I do that?" by friends, neighbours and parents?

    If your teachers and students (and friends and family) are always asking you how to do something on the computer, even though you know you showed them at least three times already, you won't be alone - statistics from a recent ICM survey carried out on our behalf show that almost half of all adults in...
  • Blog Post: Rethinking the school day

    We're still in the foothills of a transformed education system. The fact that our national programme to create a transformed education system is called "Building Schools for the Future" is a pretty clear sign that we're looking at this from today's perspective Why didn't somebody spot that the words...
  • Blog Post: More Free things - the 6th-7th-8th-9th Days of Christmas

    I'm sorry - for the last three days I have been the victim of a virus doing the rounds here in North Oxfordshire. So instead of sitting behind a keyboard, and giving your more Christmas gifts, I have been behind a duvet, trying to recover (and not infect the family). I don't know what the usual winter...
  • Blog Post: Software for school pupils - at education prices

    Students don't have much money. Christmas is coming - along with a new PC. What do they do about software? Well, it has always been possible for pupils to buy Microsoft software at educational prices (ie cheaper than they can buy it from normal retailers and online stores), but I have to admit that it...
  • Blog Post: Building Schools for the Future - what does "Transformed Education" look like?

    One of the goals of the Government's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme is to transform education. But when the Education Select Committee report was published earlier this month, one of their observations was that there is no common vision about what 'transformed education' looks like:...
  • Blog Post: The Philadelphia School of the Future on BBC News

    In the UK we have Building Schools for the Future - and in the US, there's the "School of the Future" - a collaboration between Microsoft and the Philadelphia School District. A completely new school has been built from the bottom up, bringing together education, technology and business management techniques...
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