In the drive to deliver cost savings without compromising on educational quality, schools are struggling to stay afloat, with budgets coming under immense pressure. Due to a combination of rising costs and pupil numbers, the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts that current school expenditure per pupil will fall by over 7% in real terms between 2015-16 and 2019-20. Consequently, many schools are continuing to search for innovative solutions to generate and maximise income, rather than solely cutting their budgets. Such institutions have a wide range of assets from which they are able generate income, however the key to success is ensuring that they have the most effective marketing and booking systems to maximise these opportunities.
A major presence at this year’s Bett conference will be Show My Homework, where the online homework software will be announcing publicly, for the first time, their new partnership. Visiting teachers will be able to meet the Show My Homework team at Stand C449 from 20th - 23rd January at the ExCeL London. The company has been shortlisted for three Bett awards: ICT Leadership and Management Solutions, Secondary Digital Content and ICT Innovator of the Year.
LEGO Education have kicked off their 2016 developments by announcing WeDo 2.0, a hands-on Science and Computing solution designed for Primary schools. Combining the classic LEGO brick with classroom-friendly software and engaging projects based on National Curriculum objectives, the resource will teach KS1 and 2 pupils essential practices and skills in these two subjects. The company will be running free, teacher-led workshops from Stand E141 at Bett 2016 (20th - 23rd January, London).
One SEN school in Manchester has streamlined its staff’s working days by moving all incident logging and reporting to an online system. Birches Specialist Support Primary School in Didsbury have teamed up with Adaptsoft, whose IRIS Adapt platform has allowed them to modernise beyond logging incidents in bound books, which had involved a great deal of writing up by one member of staff.
Technology and innovation is at the heart of Sandymoor School, a Microsoft globally recognised Showcase School in Runcorn, Cheshire. As a teacher of Computing at Sandymoor, I have always been interested in how the use of technology can be embedded within teaching and learning to create a 21st century learning design.
Class Charts, the innovative seating plan and behaviour management platform from Edukey, is rapidly gaining traction with schools in the UK. Designed by a teacher with 16 years of experience in the classroom, the resource is having a real impact in improving pupil behaviour, linking with SIMS, Integris, CMIS & Progresso and identifying how pupils influence each other in the classroom. The data is presented to teachers in a clear and understandable format.
Yew Tree Primary School in Sandwell, West Midlands have undertaken a new technology initiative powered by edtech specialist Trilby’s new product. The Apple Regional Training Centre, who are keen on all KS2 pupils having their own iPads for learning, have begun using TrilbyTV, a simple-to-use video sharing app and online storage service that allows students to share video projects with each other and around their school. This development is part of a collaboration going back several years, with Trilby having catered for many of the school’s technological needs.
For the past few years, the school has been looking for a solution to use, share and securely store the videos staff and pupils have created. Yew Tree have dabbled with videos in the past, but have lacked the proper infrastructure to show the movies as-and-when they were needed. The use of TrilbyTV, however, gives the school the ability to show pupil-made recordings at any location within the school with the minimum of planning. Within the first few weeks of using the product, the children have already produced over fifty videos within the school.
As published in the September 2013 edition of our magazine.
When a lesson is presented in stereoscopic 3D, the lesson material appears to physically float or hover in the classroom. This is accomplished by sending differing, carefully defined images to the students’ left and right eyes, and with proper hardware and software these images create very convincing illusions of depth and volume.
Imagine showing a beating heart, or the nucleus and orbiting electrons of an atom, or the dynamic birth of a galaxy, to your students in this manner. The visually engaging, almost visceral 3D experience helps bring the lesson material alive, making it more ‘real’ and memorable.
But there are some people who feel that using 3D in the classroom is simply a gimmick – today’s proverbial ‘shiny object’, just a passing fad. A grand delusion, if you will.
As an SEN teacher ICT plays an important part in our day to day activities. Think how many ICT based solutions are used every day – many of our students arrive by taxi which is all arranged by your School Management System. You may use an electronic attendance register and monitor your premises by CCTV. Your SEN pupils will have behaviour plans and IEPs generated with a click of the mouse. Your pupils will learn Numeracy and Literacy skills, even at P Levels, using a PC adapted with alternate pointing devices and viewing devices. Where does all this stuff come from? Many teachers inherit a classroom with all these things that have quite obviously been in place for years.
Imagine just how much one aspect of IT has developed in the time that your resources have been used. It’s probably fair to say some of that kit entered your classroom when the Internet was in it’s infancy used by a select few whereas now it’s in every home and most of us use it every day for all manner of life's tasks.
Schools and Colleges all have their own websites and this may be the first place an ex-pupil will visit to re-establish contact and possibly offer professional services and/or wish to make a donation. Similarly, your alumni database is your school’s business and you must get to know all of your supporters/members. With the aid of the right software this can be achieved easily and efficiently.
ASI Europe have recently published their own white paper 3 keys to smart website. Jyoti Hull-Jurkovic advises how schools and businesses can easily conduct a sales and marketing review with the aid of the correct tools alongside the norm of their site being just ‘user friendly’.