Monkseaton Middle ICT Update

## ICT Update for Parents ##

Technology Now Used As a Basis for Far More Teaching & Learning...

Recent Updates for Parents' Information:

The school recently updated the hardware in the ICT suite (Blue Room) and the software across the school's entire network, so we're now running Windows 7 and Office 2013.

In addition, the school's 65 tablets run Android 4.0 (ICS)

How Can Parents Help Children with their home use of I.T.?

Our young people seem to be endlessly involved with digital media and sometimes it's hard for parents to know just how constructively their children's time is being spent.

Many parents feel that there is a growing gulf between their own level of competence in ICT and that of their children, leading to an uncomfortable and uncertain 'gap' between children's use of I.T. and parent's understanding of it.

This sentiment was apparent at last term's parent consultations, where one question seemed to be asked more than any other: "What can we do at home?"

Here are some guidelines you may find helpful:

  • Set limits for 'screen-time': negotiate a reasonable limit on the amount of time your child spends in front of a screen each day.
  • Agree a work/play balance: work doesn't have to mean homework. It could be anything which contributes to their actual skill-set (have a look at the list below for ideas).
  • Ask for help: when you're stuck on how to attach a file, contribute to a forum, download some music or anything else, try enlisting the help of your very own 'digital native' - give them a chance to show you what they can do.
  • Ask for evidence: get your child to show you what they've been up to from time to time.

What could my child be doing to improve their ICT skills?

Recently, we've moved away from expensive software and make much wider use of free online resources and other innovative tools. Here is a list of free to use stuff which they will be using at some point in their ICT (and other!) lessons:

Google: not just a search engine, but also the source of loads of great free tools. We use; Earth, Maps, Gmail, Google Drive (docs), Google Forms, Sketch-up, You Tube...

Scratch: A brilliant way to learn to control a character through sequences of instructions. Jig-saw style programming used to create animations and games.

Kodu: Make entire worlds and fantasy landscapes with this building-block style games creator.

Hackasaurus: As the focus of ICT shifts towards the code behind the software, more teaching and learning of what makes web pages work will be included in ICT. This tool lets you tamper with the code of displayed web pages to see how they are created.

Prezi: If you're bored with PowerPoint, try Prezi. Children can register for a free account using their school email address.

Smore: Free, beautiful, on-line flyers (like this one!)

Sculptris: 3-D clay modelling tool.

...and of course there are loads of others - we'll be updating this list every term.

ICT - SOS (students offering support)

A new scheme in school designed to employ the skills and understanding of the children and to enable the more 'techy' lessons to run more smoothly...

If a teacher runs into technical difficulties; an app misbehaving - a new version of some software seems unfamiliar - a whiteboard malfunction... there's no end of scenarios... who better to help than our very own resident experts?


They've already applied for the post and will soon be interviewed... giving us a handful of reliable, trained and tech-savvy volunteers in each class and teaching group to prevent minor glitches and knowledge blind-spots from hindering the learning.


Contact Us

Ring Us:

0191 200 8715

Fax Us:

0191 200 8716

...or email the school:

Karen Charlton is the school's Headteacher:

Christian Leader is the Deputy Headteacher:

Neil Cottiss is our Assistant Headteacher and resident blogging/Tweeting/Android guru:

John Marron teaches and co-ordinates ICT at the school:

Anthony Jones manages the school's network, all software, the Android tablets and many other things too... (so fire your 'techy' questions at him):