WrightICT eNews

Issue 4

Welcome

Welcome back to the new academic year and the 4th issue of WrightICT eNews.

Articles and further snippets via my website and Twitter. Details of both at the foot of the page.

Upcoming Dates

Bett 2014: January 22nd – 25th 2014

Safer Internet Day: Feb 11th

Microsoft Surface Educational Pricing

Microsoft have extended the deadline for this offer beyond the original August 31st one... which was hardly the best timing, to the end of September.

For schools that are looking at extending their range and/or quantity of mobile technology, this pricing is very attractive.

Several Hull schools have ordered these, but have yet to take delivery, so I'm unable to comment on them. However, if you're looking for a device that connects to the web and can access online resources, be it email, J2E, Prezi, Padlet, your Learning Platform and a host of other online sites that schools use, then these devices might be worth considering at a starting price of £133.

To find out more about MS surface, click here.

My blog about choosing devices is here.

Naace Impact Awards

Nominations are open for the Naace Impact awards 2014, so if you know somebody who has made an impact on learning using technology, please nominate them for one of the nine categories.

Deadline for submissions: 2 December 2013

Details here.


Smore

I use Smore to create these Flyers and recently they've announced a large reduction in their academic pricing. For $45 per year you can create you own eNewsletters (and print them out should you need), which can be emailed to parents and carers, linked to on the Smore site or embedded into your school site.

For more information, click here.

SearchyPants.

Last issue it was the KidRex web browser, now we have SearchyPants.

Powered by Google Safe Search, this site offers a degree of school control unavailable in other browsers, such as the ability to add your own school logo, background images and more.

It's possible to grab your own site name (if it's not already been nabbed of course) and customise it to add links that you use on a regular basis.


Computing Curriculum

The final version of the new National Curriculum was published on September 11th. The computing programme of study is here.


Facebook Privacy Settings and Common Sense

This story is another example of why staff need to be aware of both their privacy settings and what they post on social media sites.


Naace Competition for Schools

Naace will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014 and to mark the occasion, we woud like to invite schools to enter this year's competition.
Class of 2044 - how will technology be helping us learn and teach 30 years from now?

Deadline for all submissions is 31 January 2014.


Further details here.

Switched on ICT iPad Units

In response to teacher requests, Rising Stars have launched a new pack of two complete KS2 units designed especially for iOS apps. These iPad projects explore digital storytelling and mapping the local community.


Your Rights to Your Information

The ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) has commissioned a set of teaching materials to give teachers an introduction to information rights and provide them with a series of lesson activities. Help your students become aware of their information rights!


RM Unify

RM Unify aims to ease the grief of multiple sign-on names and passwords for pupils. It uses 'single sign-on', which means that once you've signed into RM Unify, it automatically logs you into other online services such as your Learning Platform, J2E, Purple Mash, Education City.. and the list goes on.

It's fully secure and no personal information is passed around the web.

As well as simplifying log-ins, RM Unify also has icons to act as shortcuts to these services, so no more typing in tediously long web addresses.

In the free version, you can have a limited number of these icons, but the paid for version allows you to create as many as you like, as well as linking directly to your MIS system to keep all your users up to date.

I do know that some technicians have already registered schools they support with RM Unify, so if you try and your schoolname is already taken, talk to them first.

A short video of RM Unify is below.

RM Unify - Cloud: What's it all about?

Handy Apps and Sites

Lapse IT. A time lapse app for Android and iOS. Simply point your device at the scene you'd like to shoot. Set how often you'd like to take a picture and off you go.

See some examples here and a detailed review here.


J2Launch. The J2E Launch iPad app has been upgraded and now allows you to upload video to your J2E documents. Also, if you have IOS 6 on your iPad, you are now able to send files done in other apps to you personal J2E file store* where they're accessible from any connected device.

* As long as you are a subscriber of course.

SpeechMaker. The SpeechMaker site allows a user to write a speech, annotate the text with prompts and notes about its delivery and then record their speech. By listening to their own delivery a user can identify improvements and changes. With spoken English being identified as an area for improvement in so many schools, this site really is worth exploring.

(SpeechMaker uses Flash, so won't work on iPads/Pods).