Having read the final report for our ICT Mark accreditation, I couldn’t be more chuffed. Well done team!
I’ve just had the wonderful news that Naace (the professional association for those who are concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of ICT) has approved Riverside School to receive the ICT Mark. What a long time we’ve come as a school over the past few years! Well done to everyone involved!
My son, Leo, and I have been having fun making a film with Windows Live Movie Maker. It’s changed significantly since I last used the one bundled with Windows XP. As you would expect, a great deal has been made of the social networking functions – and it now links directly with Facebook & YouTube et al.
The stripped down interface actually made it a doddle for my 7 yr old to cope with. We got the music off the Audio Network, which is an online database of audio files licensed for non-commercial use and accessible via the LGfL USO.
It’s basically a wireless switch that toggles plugs off and on via an iPad app that works as a switch. The overenthusiastic American geek in this video demonstrates taking a photo a fan to map to the switch that toggles the fan on/off. Maplin sell the switches for £34. It seems so much cheaper and sleeker than the wireless SEN equivalent (£159, not including the wireless switches). I could imagine it being used, for example, in life-skills to turn a blender or kettle on.
I’m yet to find any reference to these being used in an SEN context, and I am not sure if they will even work across our wireless network at school. However, if the can be made to work and are built to withstand the daily battering that all school equipment receives I think there are many educational possibilities for this piece of kit.
When the new budget arrives I shall get one to test out. I can’t wait!
I have been planning a unit on internet search with some of my KS4 students. I fell across Oolone on Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers blog. Instead of returning results a series of text descriptions of the results, it returns screenshots of the pages. This might make it a little more accessible for some of my less literate or EAL learners.
It converts movement detected from a webcam into sounds – as well as creating animations on screen. It works beautifully, and I can see loads of applications for the software – both in therapeutic and educational settings. I can see a particular use in cause and effect work with learners in the early P levels, who find switches difficult to access.
The software is free (downloadable from here). We already have pc’s in classrooms and webcams are cheap – so the price is right.
I can’t wait to try it with some of my PMLD learners.
I have been using switches extensively for the first time this year, and have been thrashing around trying to find a decent model to follow with my PMLD students. I came across Ian Bean‘s Switch Progression Roadmap on the Inclusive Technology website. I’ve found it a really good model to follow with the students. It contains lots of practical examples, and has been a really helpful resource. I have been using switches in the dark room with the sensory equipment, the OmiBeam, with fans and other electronic equipment as well as with computers.
To help with assessment, I have created these recording sheets, with the progression taken from Ian’s work.
No point reinventing the wheel!
The key requirements for publication are:
- details of the school’s pupil premium allocation and plans to spend it in the current year; and, for the previous year, a statement of how the money was spent and the impact that it had on educational attainment of those pupils at the school in respect of whom grant funding was allocated;
- details of the school’s curriculum, content and approach, by academic year and by subject (including details of GCSE options and other qualifications offered at Key Stage 4 (for secondary schools), and approach to phonic and reading schemes (for primary schools));
- where applicable, details or links to the school’s admission arrangements, including its selection and oversubscription criteria, published admission number and the school’s process for applications through the local authority ;
- details of the school’s policies on behaviour, charging and SEN and disability provision;
- a statement of the school’s ethos and values.
The September 2012 OFSTED framework also suggests that inspectors will scrutinise school websites prior to inspections so we needed to ensure that the website was up to date and features the information required.
Our website is through Green Schools Online, and their support is fantastic, so the process wasn’t too painful.
I’ve set up a gallery of Riverside Students ICT work.