Sunday, 28 March 2010

21st Century Teaching Ideas

21st Century Teaching Ideas is a blog with some great ideas and resources to get you thinking about using modern technology in your lessons. From novel ideas to software tips there is something for the new teacher through to the technophobe.

Overcoming the barriers to educational innovation

I have just been reading this article on the Becta Emerging Technologies website.

"Overcoming the barriers to educational innovation" is a report on end-user innovation as a crucial approach to developing new practices and approaches.

This report recognises that the practice of creating solutions to individual problems, on an individual level, is an act of innovation. But also that learning from these individual acts can support wider, system level innovation – not through rolling-out the innovation that occurred on the individual level, but by supporting greater numbers of local level ‘end-user innovators’.

Existing studies have examined barriers to innovation for both institutions and the individuals who operate in them. Increasingly they have highlighted the interactivity of factors that are considered barriers to innovation. The relationship between each of these areas is unique to each school and each innovation.

Presented in this review are two models to explore this the ‘Distance and Dependence’ model, and the ‘Layers of Influence’ model. Initially the Distance and Dependence model gives clarity to understanding such educational innovations in context, by depicting how an innovation can be understood as its distance from current practice and dependence on available resources.

Click here to read more about "Overcoming the barriers to educational innovation" and download the report.

Friday, 26 March 2010

E-assessment and innovation

Appearing on the Becta Emerging Technologies website is an article introducing a report on E-assessment and innovation by John Winkley

It is described as an authoritative survey of a technology which, perhaps like virtual reality, has not come of age as quickly as expected.

A wide-ranging overview describes current and future applications of on-screen examinations, audio, text editing, adaptive assessment, games and simulations, short text answer marking, essay marking, spoken language marking, mathematics marking and voting devices.

John Winkley argues that e-assessment has potential to be transformational in developing the benefits of immediate results and improved feedback, interactivity and richness of ICT for more authentic assessment, e-assessment as an enabler of better assessment and as a democratising influence on the assessment process which also encompasses diversity.

You can read more and download the report from the Becta website.

Making mash-ups - The IET

I have just finished reading an interesting article in the latest issue of the IET Magazine.

It says that Mash-ups are widely available for public use on the Internet, but are only just beginning to fulfil their potential in business environments.

Organisations are looking at ways in which they can integrate mash-ups with existing software to display information collected from multiple data sources in order to aid business efficiency.

Read the full article in the latest issue of the IET Magazine

I've changed my Blog layout with the new Template Designer from Blogger

Hi all,

Have you noticed my new look?

I have changed the look of my Blog using the new Blogger Template Designer that is now available on Blogger in draft, Blogger’s experimental playground.

The Blogger Template Designer makes it easy to customize the look and feel of your blog without knowing any HTML or CSS. Here are a few of the new features available in the Blogger

Template Designer:
Beautiful new templates to start from
Custom blog layouts with one, two and three columns
Hundreds of background images
Customizable colors, fonts, and more...

What are you waiting for? Express yourself in style with the Blogger Template Designer. Learn more at

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

11 tips for social networking safety from Microsoft

11 tips for social networking safety

Social networking Web sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live Spaces are services people can use to connect with others to share information like photos, videos, and personal messages.

As the popularity of these social sites grows, so do the risks of using them. Hackers, spammers, virus writers, identity thieves, and other criminals follow the traffic.

Read these tips to help protect yourself when you use social networks

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