In April this year, the NUT warned teachers about the dangers of befriending pupils on social networking sites such as Facebook. The implications are so great that some schools have banned teachers from using Facebook altogether. It's certainly true that Facebook can be a perilous place for teachers. Is it okay to accept a “friend request” from a pupil whom you know personally? What happens if you reject that friend ...
Have you ever wondered what happens to the thousands of old computers that we get rid of everyday? These days you can’t just throw IT equipment out and leave it for the dustmen. The WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which was made law in 2007, means all of us have to dispose of our old computers carefully and safely. This is because all computers are full of toxic ...

"Oh No, Not RE, Miss!"

A supply teacher recently recounted her experience when asked to teach RE to a reluctant Year 6 class in a rural primary school. In introducing the lesson she was greeted with groans of “Oh no, not RE Miss!” Not a great start she thought. However, at the end of the lesson, clearly having won her pupils over, she was told “that wasn’t RE Miss, that was fun!” So why do ...
While the iPad is a welcome addition to homes and classrooms, it has also been the talk of the town for people with disabilities who are finding that some of the built-in accessibility features have enabled them to replace existing equipment or to use the plethora of apps being released each day. VoiceOver for example, allows screen reading for people with visual and literacy difficulties. With VoiceOver, you use gestures (...
Packed with valuable technology and often open-plan, schools can be prime targets for both organised and opportunistic theft. Netbooks, laptops and tablets are small and light, so they can be easily concealed and removed from a building if the effective security measures are not in place. ICT theft does not just cause inconvenience for students, who may be left without computer equipment. Having laptops stolen can result in increased insurance ...
There's a secret to teaching kids how to use the computer. It's called 'delegate'. I don't mean delegate the teaching to aides or parents. Here, I'm referring to empowering students to be their own problem-solvers, then expect it of them. Here's how you do it: Let them know that computers aren't difficult. Aw, come on. I see your scrunched faces. Here's the ugly little truth: Computers are only hard to ...
There is no doubt that education leaders around the world are deeply aware of the challenges of creating appropriate education systems for today’s new era of rapid change and globalisation and recognise that education excellence is essential to the future success of individuals as family members, in the workplace and as informed, participatory citizens in their local communities and within society at large. Effective schooling aims to educate the ...

What is Radio 2.0?

The term 'podcasting' was added to The New American Oxford Dictionary in 2005, just a few days before the incredibly popular Ricky Gervais podcasts hit the BBC. In the space of just a few years, Podcasting has changed the world. Stand by for the next big thing as Radio 2.0 arrives. It’s also being referred to as live podcasting - the broadcasting of a live audio stream - and often the ...
Year 6 child: ‘Miss, do you think God is real?’Year 4 child: ‘Miss, what is the answer?’ Among the many useful pedagogical skills we can learn from the Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, one of the most interesting is that of Socratic irony. The Chambers dictionary says that Socratic irony is "a means by which a questioner pretends to know less than a respondent, when actually he knows more." [Source: Wikipedia] Zoe ...
According to the latest ICT Provision and Use in Schools report by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), the average UK secondary school has around 86 laptops. Even more extraordinarily, the same report holds that, of the 2.5 million computers currently used by pupils in UK schools, the majority of them are laptops. With so many schools favouring portable computers, laptop storage and charging trolleys are now commonplace in our classroom, providing ...
At the core of all drama is the concept of shared experience: of sharing thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and information. Drama also, by its very nature, encourages participants to explore personal and social issues and builds self-esteem. But drama is at its most effective when used in the primary classroom to support and enhance thinking and learning. For example, when reading and discussing the traditional story of Goldilocks and the ...
It's no doubt that smart phones and mobile devices have changed the way we work, rest and play. For millions of users, the i-revolution has changed the way we read our news, connect with friends and manage our banking. And now, it’s changed the way we deliver augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) . With a growing number of AAC applications (knows as ‘apps’) available via iTunes, not only does it ...

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