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4 September 2007

September Newsletter

MirandaNet research into ICT CPD

There are now suggestions that there might be a levelling off of teacher confidence in ICT. Might this be the result of increased expectations and the realisation that achieving capability is more challenging than previously thought?

Members will know that the MirandaNet Fellowship has been designing, teaching and researching ICT Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes for many years. As a result of our experience in what seems to effect change, our work-based programmes are now offered with accreditation from Bath Spa University.

The findings fit together in an interesting way leading to the potential of work based learning and the need to understand teachers’ values and attitudes to technology. In 2000 we published a book on what motivates teachers to use ICT which you can still order from me for the price of the postage.

The next research was an evaluation of the UK National Opportunities Fund (NOF) training programme funded by the Lottery which took place between 1999-2003. Our study was funded by the Teacher Training Agency . Recently Niki Davis and I have been revisiting those statistics to see what more can be discovered about the effectiveness of some programmes against others (Davis, Preston and Sahin 2007 a & b). These are not yet published but I can give you a brief account of the direction they have taken us if you email me.

Last year we researched the views of MirandaNet, ITTE and Naace members to see what lessons they have learnt from their experience in ICT CPD. These reports agree on the need for more consideration of the professionals’ attitudes and values and a greater emphasis on work based learning so that changes can be made and reflected on in the institution whilst the learning is taking place. The final publication is now on the WLE site at the Institute of Education. (Preston and Cuthell 2007)

Incidentally we also evaluated the BCS European Computer Driving Licence skills course for teachers (Preston and Danby 2004) which offers some insights about what should be included in such a programme. Although the teachers were pleased with their progress we were not sure that they had been challenged enough as multi-modal applications and the Internet were not yet on the BCS syllabus. I hope this has now changed.

See key publications about ICT Continuing Professional Development.

Teachers designing adventure games in the 1980s

MirandaNet are very keen on running projects with Fellows where they get a chance to use new products or even to design them. This is because I realised that the most exciting aspect of my own ICT Continuing professional development (CPD) was the opportunity to become involved in the design of educational resources. Wherever possible this remains a feature of MirandaNet programmes and is a compelling reason why software and hardware companies are welcomed as partners in this process. In this passage I explain how I became involved in authoring the adventure game, Scoop, and the newsroom simulation, Newsnet in the 1980s.

Handheld Learning 2007 Conference
Westminster, London, Oct 10-12th, supported by Becta

The UK Minister for Schools and Learners, Jim Knight, will be delivering the opening remarks at this year's Handheld Learning Conference where Stephen Crowne and Marc Prensky will both be delivering keynote presentations along with senior members of UNESCO and OECD.

Other speakers include Prof. Stephen Heppell, Doug Brown, Head of Learning Futures, DCFS, Steve Moss, Partnerships for Schools, Marcus Orlovsky, Bryanston Square, Tim Tarrant, TDA, George Auckland, BBC, Tim Pearson, RM Plc, Steve Beswick, Microsoft, John E. Davies, Intel along with many other thought leaders and key practitioners.
The conference programme is now online.

There are still some places available.

Nintendo and T-Mobile have joined Samsung, Fujitsu Siemens Computers and Seamless Internet as full sponsors of this year’s conference where consumer electronics, telecommunications and learning are converging. Apple and Promethean are hosting workshop seminars. Intel and RedHalo are associate sponsors with Steljes supporting the social reception on 11th Oct. The Guardian Link is the media sponsor.

Exhibition space has been set aside this year for up to 6 schools, academies, universities, authorities or other educational bodies who wish to show and discuss their work and projects. More information is available.

Submissions are being taken for those wishing to discuss their paper with other delegates but who are not presenting as part of the conference. Closing date is Sept 7th (ish). Successful candidates will be included in the conference programme. More information available here.

Graham Brown-Martin

World Conference on Concept Mapping September 22-25 2008 – Talinn & Helsinki

Let me know if you would like to attend this conference as I may be able to lead a MirandaNet Visual Learning group visit.

Christina Preston

Quest Atlantis 3D Virtual World Teacher Training

Bronwyn Stuckey wrote:

There is no cost to join this training - just a commitment for 2 teachers from each school and 4 weeks of 90 minute online sessions using QA and Skype (and homework) and qualifies the school to open classes in QA. We do the training in the evening after school and can accommodate MirandaNet-teacher members anywhere in the World. This is not a commercial programme but a research environment and a rare chance to get your kids into curriculum rich virtual worlds.

If you are interested you can go to the web site and register.
Registration Code: 294955

If you would like more information about the next courses you can email me.
OR Skype me bronst

Courses in Flash for Teachers

For your enjoyment.

Key stage 4 project - Flash 4? ! ! !

Geoff Dellow is resuming his work in supporting the use of Flash with teachers and students that would benefit.

Flash 4 is the best version for this use and is still available from him both PC and Mac - if you don't have Flash 4 then you can download it from the internet if you have broadband or he can send it to you on a CD.

Previous work is described, and recent work is being put at this flash; more detail on Geoff’s courses is also on this url.

If you are a teacher and are sure that you want to put the effort into learning Flash 4, or would like additional support, so as to use it with your students then Geoff Dellow will teach you, one to one, over the phone, with a very successful technique for free. Everything included. You pay for the phone calls! Even this may be avoided!

A Guardian article describes his previous work - Digital philanthropy - note wrong email address for him!

Required - commitment to do five lessons of about 90 min. or equivalent together with some homework, over a period of one month or less. Times and lengths to be chatted about to find a fun time together. Must understand English though Geoff will have a shot at French if requested. Any part of the world, 'rich' or 'poor' - he'll find a time when you're both awake!

Fiona has just finished five such 'lessons' within three weeks and designed her own project - pretty amazing stuff (she is - we are!).

First come, first served - we'll see how we go!
- email me to enquire and convince me you mean business.
Geoff Dellow (gd at

Interesting blog article on Red halo [ICT Research Network]

From Andy Black.
Interesting nugget here from Merlin John’s blog will leave you to make your own mind up but nice to see cross platform stuff going on rather than device specific stuff. Interesting free offer too.

Anybody using it out there! There are some useful links on Merlin's article.

ICT as a tool for creativity

Doug Dickinson

Ewan McIntosh is blogging about the Alan November Conference in Boston and he highlights a session by Mitch Resnick on 'Tools for Creative Thinking'. As Ewan says Mitch is a terrific open thinker and his stuff is well worth reading and following up.

Mechelle shares some websites

Mechelle De Craene has four snippets of information she wanted to share with us:

ICT unmet funds opportunity

Whilst researching multiple funding sources found this and thought I'd share.

BBC & FutureLab: The Digital Divide

Mechelle just read this and thought she'd pass it along.

Cable in the Classroom

Mechelle also wanted to share these three Cable in the Classroom videos with us all.

Google Sky

Mechelle thought Google Sky was cool and would share. It would be great for science instruction...visual learning via virtual field trips.

She added a video on Google Sky to the LPCE page and thought she would share. This is great for teaching astronomy.

And did you see this huge spider web!

New Scholars

Soraya Faculo

I have strongly advocated ICT in teaching since 2003. It takes risk and courage to change what teachers used to do since 10 years ago. But with strong will, the ICT program is to be imbibed in the Cordillera Regional Science High School curriculum. I see Integration of technology in teaching and learning as the key toward enhancing achievement of students in the digital age. Powered with the will to innovate, I have collaborated with schools like:Unirea National College, Romania; San Isidro National High School, Maktai; Endrupskolen Denmark and Ebba Peterson PRivatskola, Sweden for telecollaborative activities such as "The Image of the Other", EA Poe in EU Asia and Elliot the Travelling Journalist. Students have worked together, shared opinions, exchanged email, commented on each other's output and built friendly relations with one another. It was a tedious task yet fulfilling as students had to face people from other countries and taking into considerations rules on online communication and cultural considerations. Another project, I am hooked now is the Digital Literacy Program for Parents. There were 16 parents who enrolled and have been tutored on Saturdays. Our DLPP team composed of selected students acted as mentors taught the parents basic computer applications; while, 3 Selected teachers acted as coach. Their graduation from the program shall be on August 31. If we want parents to be real partners in the education of their children, they have to get involved in our programs.

Jacqui Hall

I have worked in adult learning for over 15 years originally teaching ICT skills in further education and then setting up a freelance consultancy to provide work-based ICT skills courses. Having worked as an Open University tutor on one of its first totally online courses I developed an interest in facilitating online learning and online communities. I worked on the launch of Middlesex University's online environment and more recently as an e-learning facilitator for the National College for School Leadership.

In the last year, I have set up a consultancy business with my colleague, Gillian McCalden, supporting organisations on the implementation of their e-learning strategies and designing, creating and facilitating online courses and collaborative spaces.

Online facilitation by a skilled facilitator is an essential part of successful online learning communities but is often ignored in the belief that such communities will run themselves. Skilled facilitation can encourage greater participation and engagement and it should be seen as a priority for success.

Mary Scott

I have been on the staff of the Institute of Education since 1984 and have taught B.Ed and MA courses on the learning and teaching of English to primary, secondary and university teachers. I also supervise doctoral students whose field of research is academic or professional literacies in primary or secondary schools or in universities or the workplace.

My own research interest is primarily in academic literacy, especially student writing and how it is read by teachers in schools or universities, and by 'proofreaders' et al. This research includes student writing online.

I chair the Interuniversity Academic Literacies Research Group, which was established in 1993, and meets once a term at the Institute of Education London. There is an email discussion list with an international membership of over 100.

Jayne Selway

Having been a Head of the English Faculty at my current school, but really enjoying the Global Citizenship work I have been involved in with townships schools in South Africa, I took the decision to leave the management world and take up the responsibility of Global Citizenship Lead Practitioner. My school is extremely innovative and we are always looking at ways in which we can use ICT creatively. For me, this interest has been in the way we can use ICT to explore Global Citizenship. Our school has run an e-citizenship programme for years 7-9 and we have just subscribed to an online community which facilitate the running of projects between schools. I am looking forward to assessing the effectiveness of this project and hope to share ideas with colleagues around the world.

Phyl Stroud

I am nearing completion of my NQT year as an ICT Teacher although I have previously worked in Industry for 25 years in the Banking, Telecommunications and Water Utility Sectors. Most of my experience has been in communications, web and database design and administration.

During my training and NQT years, I have become more and more interested in Assessment for Learning (AfL) but in particular specifically in the teaching of ICT in secondary schools. I have tried various methods of motivating my pupils to become independent learners through the setting of targets and goals and have used, amongst other methods, Moodle Journals, to try and facilitate two-way dialogue between pupil and teacher. This trial with Year 7 pupils was not as successful as I had hoped it would be and I am currently striving to develop this method further to try and make its application less onerous for both teacher and pupil.

I am also currently developing a proposal to set up an ICT AfL group in Second Life (SL) which will facilitate the sharing of strategies and digital techniques used by teachers so that educators may learn from each other and improve upon and refine what they have learnt. Communities of Practice and cross pollination of knowledge is at the forefront of my mind together with being able to offer CPD sessions via SL to ICT teachers passionate about their subject on AfL.

Dave Thomson

I have been involved in ICT education since the early 80's. I have worked with almost the full range of educational technologies over that time and have become more and more convinced about the potential of connected communities of collaborative learners to provide richer and more extended learning experiences. My work at the moment is concerned with how best to foster such communities, what technologies are best suited to different situations and how our education system needs to shift to accommodate this thinking.

New Members

Natalia Martynenko

My special interests include being involved in communication with teachers of English from other countries. We could exchange experience of teaching children by the use of ICT.

Izsir Su

Formerly an analyst programmer who is at present an educator, experimenting with new technologies to exploit the potential benefits in teaching and learning. Working on research in the areas of ICT and its impact on students and teachers. Looking forward to share and exchange ideas with practitioners alike.

Leonardo Tosi

Instructional Designer and researcher in the field of teacher and school heads training.

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