BBC micro:bit for sale

Finally the BBC micro:bit has gone on sale.

microbit

Although schools have been given micro:bits to give away to year 7 pupils, there are a number of reasons why schools are looking to purchase their own devices.

  • School wish to program the devices as part of the computing curriculum
  • There is no guarantee that pupils will bring them back into school
  • Primary and middle schools want pupils in other years to have experience of the micro:bit

What schools should consider

Are we going let children take their micro:bits home?

Can our digital leaders implement a school policy on our micro:bits? Our advice – This is a great way to utilise pupil voice.

How much do they cost?  Our advice – At the moment retailers are charging £13 each for just the board. Many had hoped that they would be £10 or less. Prices may come down as other manufacturers start producing them so it might be worth waiting before ordering them.

Are we going to purchase a class set and do we need to factor in the additional “extras” such as battery case and USB connector? Our advice – We think these are definitely needed.

Who do we order them from? Contact us if you know of other suppliers and we will add to the list below

Key information
The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass, LED display, and Bluetooth technology built in. It measures 4cm by 5cm, is available in a range of colours, and designed to be fun and easy to use. It can be coded with something simple in seconds – like lighting up its LEDs or displaying a pattern – with no prior knowledge of computing. It also connects to other devices, sensors, kits and objects, and is a companion to Arduino, Galileo, Kano, littleBits and Raspberry Pi, acting as a spring board to more complex learning. Each element is completely programmable via easy-to-use software on a dedicated website (www.microbit.co.uk) that can be accessed from a PC, tablet or mobile.

Technical leaders in school

technical leaders

Following the successful implementation of online safety ambassadors, Greenfield School in Stourbridge has extended the concept of pupil voice by setting up a digital leaders group. Eight students applied for the position of a digital leader and after successfully completing a training programme the group is able to carry out a range of activities in school. These include:

  • Day to day maintenance of computing hardware
  • Looking after portable devices to ensure they are updated, charged and ready for use
  • Training of teachers to identify and fix common technical issues
  • Check over and tidying of the ICT suite on a daily basis
  • Identifying opportunities for technical development and making hardware recommendations

Tom Holder, Head of Computing explains why having digital leaders works for Greenfield School:

“Everyone in schools is benefiting. The self esteem of the children has increased immensely, I am spending less time having to sort out basic faults and our ICT suite is always clean and tidy. We are making fewer calls to the IT helpdesk and an added benefit is that our staff can call upon our digital leaders to support them in the classroom. It has been a win-win for us and our pupils.” 

Details of the Digital Leader training program

 

Physical Computing Course

Hands on Physical Activities for the BBC Micro:bit

A short high impact course for teachers

Ideal for
Head of Computing ICT/Computing teachers – Secondary or Primary Phase

You will be connecting a range of sensors and output devices to your BBC Micro:bit in order to bring real world computing to the classroom. At the end of the course there is an option to keep the seven classroom activities and the kit to use back in school.

  • Seven different activities with lesson notes
  • Six different input and output devices
  • Fun, hands on training for staff that you can use in the classroom
  • Physical activity kit including lesson notes with an option to keep it at the end of the course!

A great way to make best use of this importance device. 

  • All you need to know about the hardware and how to program it
  • You will learn how to write programs for the kit using the block editor
  • Sensors in the kit: Potentiometer, touch switch, piezo buzzer, headphone adaptor, light emitting diode, light sensor
  • Lesson activities:  Theramin, Hearing Test, Door Alarm, Persistence of vision, Visual Analogue reading, LED brightness by Pulse Width Modulation, Sun exposure alarm
  • No coding or technical experience needed – this course is suitable for everyone

High impact courses for teachers covering a range of themes including school improvement and higher level thinking, technology and computing, safeguarding and online safety.

  • Cost effective – just £49
  • Minimum disruption – High Impact courses run from 1pm to 3pm
  • Conveniently located course venues with refreshments included
  • Delivered by experienced learning practitioners and professionals with years of educational experience
We take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to provide the products and services you have enquired about. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose please complete the fields below to say how you would like us to contact you. We will not pass on your details to third parties.

We can deliver this course at your school. Complete this form for more details.

Your Name

Your Email

Your Phone

Your School

Postcode

Position in school eg head teacher, safeguarding lead, ICT Co-ordinator

I am interested in attending/hosting the following short course:
E-Safety Policy updateDigital leaders in your school360 E-Safe self review preparationOnline safety for school staffSocial Media for schoolsPlanning and delivering the computing curriculumUsing Scratch to teach computingApps for teaching computingBBC Micro:bit training for schoolsBBC Micro:bit RoboticsBBC Micro:bit Physical ComputingPreparing for the Naace ICT Mark assessmentGreen Screen and iMovie in the classroom

Any other message

Digital Leaders Course

How to set up digital leaders in your school in order to promote online safety

A short high impact course for teachers

digital leaders guide

Ideal for
Safeguarding/Computing/ICT lead – Secondary or Primary Phase

Having digital leaders in school empowers pupil voice, makes e-safety learning fun and effective and has a proven positive impact on pupils – including safer online behaviours and increased e-safety knowledge.

  • Pupil involvement is a key element in promoting e-safety effectively
  • Digital Leaders gain key skills such as leadership and management, communication and collaboration
  • Engages parents and staff
  • Provides evidence of impact so you are ready for inspection
  • Digital Leaders help you work towards outstanding e-safety practice in school and across your community

This course will cover the key information you need and give you practical advice in order to set up your own digital leaders.

  • How to set up your own digital leaders
  • Training and support materials
  • Practical advice and guidance
  • Setting up of assemblies, displays and online support materials that can be linked from the school website
  • Free high quality resources including videos to use in school
“A useful short introduction to Digital Leaders and e-safety/social media.” Dan Hallington, Wyre Forest School

“A great short course, good ideas.” Sophie Thomas, The Vaynor First School

“Very helpful for online safety in general and as a Digital Leader tool.” Jo Kehoe, Wyre Forest School.

“Brilliant high impact short course. Engaging subject matter covered in a variety of interesting ways.” Faron Alsop, Our Lady & St Kenelm Primary School.

“There was lots of helpful advice and this will provide great networking opportunities. Everything was made relevant to the school. Thank you for all the information and resources they will come in very useful.” Jorgie Best, Olive Hill Primary School,

High impact courses for teachers covering a range of themes including school improvement and higher level thinking, technology and computing, safeguarding and online safety.

  • Cost effective – just £49 per delegate (£29 for additional delegates from same school)
  • Minimum disruption – High Impact courses run from 1pm to 3pm
  • Conveniently located course venues with refreshments included
  • Delivered by experienced learning practitioners and professionals with years of educational experience
We take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to provide the products and services you have enquired about. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose please complete the fields below to say how you would like us to contact you. We will not pass on your details to third parties.

We can deliver this course at your school. Complete this form for more details.

Your Name

Your Email

Your Phone

Your School

Postcode

Position in school eg head teacher, safeguarding lead, ICT Co-ordinator

I am interested in attending/hosting the following short course:
E-Safety Policy updateDigital leaders in your school360 E-Safe self review preparationOnline safety for school staffSocial Media for schoolsPlanning and delivering the computing curriculumUsing Scratch to teach computingApps for teaching computingBBC Micro:bit training for schoolsBBC Micro:bit RoboticsBBC Micro:bit Physical ComputingPreparing for the Naace ICT Mark assessmentGreen Screen and iMovie in the classroom

Any other message

Chromebooks in Schools

Using Chromebooks in Schools

An online Teachmeet that came about as a result of a posting on the CAS forums in which a teacher wanted to connect with schools that had Google Chromebooks.  – Suggest an idea for a future teachmeet

chromebooks

Topics discussed:
The move to the cloud, how they are used, cameras, schemes of work, hardware combinations, device management, keyboards, teaching mathematics, collaboration – with class and beyond, battery life, moving files, using latency hardware, mixing different hardware.

With thanks to contributions from the following schools: Parkfield, Marlborough, Avanti House, Fulham Boys, Godstow, The Weald, Overstone and the National Stem Learning Centre.

Please get in touch if you would like independent  and curriculum focused advice in  choosing portable devices for schools.

IPad Prize draw winner

ipad draw
Bethan receives her iPad from Brett Laniosh

Congratulations to Bethan Houston who was the winner of the E-Safety for Parents Prize Draw competition kindly sponsored by Zeus Computers.

Bethan attended the online safety talk at Sytchampton Primary School near Ombersley in Worcestershire.

ZeusIT

 

Competition gets 1000+ entries!

winners

Judging of the Worcestershire schools Safer Internet Day poster competition took place at Hindlip Hall, the West Mercia Police HQ on February 22nd.

Over 1000 posters were submitted from schools across Worcestershire.

poster competition

The judges were Barrie Sheldon, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Sophie Banham from Just2Easy, Paul Barber from Westacre Middle School, Brett Laniosh from Catshill Learning Partnerships and the digital leaders from Westacre Middle School.

The winning entries

Emily from Catshill Middle School, Emma from The Chantry School, Sarah Jane from Heathfield School, Jen from Sytchampton Endowed Primary School, Harriet from Westacre Middle School.

THANK YOU TO ALL PUPILS WHO TOOK PART!

Harriet_Westacre

Emma_Chantry

Jen_Sytchampton

SarahJane_Heathfield

Emily_CatshillMiddle

 

 

Safer Intern

Please retweet this.

The competition was a joint initiative between Westacre Computing Community (made up of Worcester and Droitwich schools led by Westacre Middle School in Droitwich) and Catshill Learning Partnerships  with support from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner who hosted the competition judging at the police headquarters at Hindlip Hall on 22nd February.

Prize sponsors include educational suppliers Just2Easy (based in Kidderminster), County Infrastructure Services (based in Droitwich) and Catshill Learning Partnerships (based in Bromsgrove).

Weasacre school logo

Safer Internet Day 2016

We’ve plenty of ideas and tips to help you make the most of SID2016 and we are proud to be supporters of this important event.

SID CLP

Our E-Safety Toolkit is the perfect way to prepare and follow up SID2016,

  • School e-safety and password policy review and updates
  • School digital leader training for selected pupils
  • Parent e-safety presentations
  • Staff e-safety presentations
  • E-Safety lessons for classes
  • Whole school e-safety review and audit using the 360E-Safe tool
  • Curriculum planning to incorporate digital literacy

Find out more

Digital Leaders set up guide

Having digital leaders in school empowers pupil voice, makes e-safety learning fun and effective and has a proven positive impact on pupils – including safer online behaviours and increased e-safety knowledge.

  • Pupil involvement is a key element in promoting e-safety effectively
  • Digital Leaders gain key skills such as leadership and management, communication and collaboration
  • Engages parents and staff
  • Provides evidence of impact so you are ready for inspection
  • Digital leaders help you work towards outstanding e-safety practice in school and across your community

Our free guide will tell you all you need to know about how to set up Digital Leaders in your school. Download your copy here.

Also take a look at our Digital Leader training programme and short course

Levels and the 2014 National Curriculum

Tim Oates, the Group Director of Assessment Research and Development at Cambridge Assessment, explains some key differences in respect of the 2014 National Curriculum.

Key messages:

“It is vital not to re-invent levels”

“Levels are too general for high-quality formative assessment”,

“Chasing progress through levels does not:
fit with deep secure learning;
allow time for misconceptions to be identified and addressed.”

Find out more at http://educationblog.oup.com/primary/beyond-a-world-of-targets

 

iPad winner announced

Congratulations to Lyndsey Sirrrell, parent at Forestdale Primary School in Frankley, Birmingham who won the iPad prize draw held during September.

Lyndsey attended “Online Safety for Parents” run at the school by Catshill Learning Partnerships.

Forestdale

Lyndsey receives her iPad from Brett Laniosh of Catshill Learning Partnerships and teacher Christine Lea

iPad Mini prize kindly donated by softcat

RiskIT week

What is Riskit Week?
In a nutshell, the Riskit strategy is about: “All staff, using ICT as a means to improve teaching”.

rikitlogo

How does it work?
Riskit gives teachers an opportunity and framework in which they can experiment with new technologies and ideas that they have not tried before in a lesson and with a class of their choice. Success or failure of the activity is not relevant, the main purpose of the risk-taking is to throw oneself in at the deep-end, knowing there is someone with them to support them, and that they are not being judged. Just like a child learning to swim or a teenager playing a computer game: if you fail, pick yourself up and try again, as long as you learn from your mistakes.

How to RiskIt?

Staff take a risk and use a piece of technology they have not used before with their class; this can be anything from using a new interactive application or camera to simply using the IWB.

There are only two requirements:

1)     It needs to be their first time using the piece of ICT with students.

2)     You must be willing to receive visitors during that lesson.

The visitors must not be judgmental; they are not there to evaluate the lesson or the performance of the teacher. Their visit is purely to observe how technology is being used and learn any lessons from the session which they in turn can take to their own classroom.

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iPad or IPad mini?

In this interesting article New Zealand educator Richard Wells from Learning Today explains why he really rates the iPad mini for use in schools.

His conclusion is that the iPad mini is more portable, flexible and less intrusive in the classroom.

“I thought the iPad was the perfect student accessory but the iPad mini has proved me wrong.”

Richard’s summary of the iPad mini:

  • Feels more natural to hold
  • Better cameras
  • Even less intrusive in the classroom
  • Better for reading
  • Dictation and Siri
  • Less weight means less RSI issues

Read the full article here

Thank you!

This has been our best year ever!

As summer and the end of terms beckons we would like to finish this year with an announcement and a thank you.

With over 60 schools joining our learning partnership community, 2014/15 has been a record breaking year for us and we are very proud of that!

Our best year ever

As a small (but growing), independent and school based education business, we believe our flexible and personal approach and relevant content is why so many schools are choosing to use our services.

There is more to come in 2015/16. As our learning partnership community grows, we will be making some new announcements and offering lots of new, exciting initiatives in the field of digital learning and online safety.

 

Here are some of the things you’ve said about us:

“A superb driver in moving Computing forward” “held in high esteem by our staff” “ works hard to identify and meet our specific needs” “a valued consultant in our school and would be a valuable asset to yours too” Peter Bravo, Head Teacher, Greenfield Primary School, Stourbridge

“The sessions were engaging, informative and accessible for both our children and their parents” “Thanks you” Surinder Sehmbi, Headteacher, Blowers Green Primary School, Dudley

“worked with our year 7, 8 and 9 Digital Leaders in order to help them support the e-safety work we are engaged with” “It was a very worthwhile and exciting day; the pupils found the experience meaningful and were able to create some great resources that will help the John Henry Newman community stay safe online. This work was invested back into school life to enable a proper coherent e-safety campaign designed and led by the Digital Leaders” Daniel Harvey, Head of Computing, John Henry Newman Catholic College, Solihull

“Our Learning Partnership has provided a support package tailor-made to suit the needs of our school” “our Computing Curriculum Leader has received valuable guidance and advice in shaping an engaging and forward-thinking curriculum map” Ben Irving, Assistant Headteacher, Westacre Middle School, Droitwich

“Not only has he created a new school website tailored to the requirements of our school, but he has followed this up with training for the staff. This means that we now have the confidence to update the content regularly to let parents and the wider community know about all the exciting things going on at our school” Helen Thomas, Headteacher, Foxyards Primary School, Coseley

Police and Crime Commissioner sees new e-safety initiative

A new initiative to promote online safety messages that involves pupils and schools has been given the thumbs up by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Digital Leaders project involves children passing on important messages to other pupils, friends and even parents by creating posters, assemblies and even websites that  give e-safety advice.

West Mercia PCC Bill Longmore who visited Westacre Middle School in Droitwich to meet digital leaders and school staff said: “I very much enjoyed my visit to the school, and it was excellent to see some of the work being done to help make sure children stay safe when they go online. They were clearly very responsive to that approach and the information they were given, and of course that’s crucial in making sure that the lessons stay with them, once they leave the classroom”.

Local based school e-safety consultant Brett Laniosh is keen for schools to set up their own digital leaders and then share their pupil created websites. “Westacre Middle School has already linked its e-safety website with Amblecote Primary School in Stourbridge and the project is looking for other schools to join the network. The idea is for schools to connect their digital leaders together in order to get inspiration and  share new ideas in keeping safe when online”.

Find out how to set up your digital leaders here.

Bill Longmore visits Westacre Middle School

The Digital Leaders from Westacre Middle School with Brett Laniosh, Head Teacher Donna Evans, West Mercia PCC Bill Longmore and Head of ICT Paul Barber

 

Digital Leaders create e-safety resources

It is definitely worth establishing digital leaders in your school. Schools such as John Henry Newman Catholic College in Solihull have found that having a group of pupils involved in e-safety education has helped them effectively promote important messages. A training day for the digital leaders was invested back into school life to enable a proper coherent e-safety campaign designed and led by the digital leaders. It is also possible for your digital leaders to get involved with producing attractive resources for your website. Both Westacre Middle School www.westacre-middle-school.co.uk and Amblecote Primary School  www.amblecote.dudley.sch.uk/childrens-work use J2e5 software to do just this.

Cybercouncils

Pupils design websites for Safer Internet Day

YOUNG people from a Droitwich school have been designing their own websites to help develop their computer skills and keep themselves safe online.

Students from Westacre Middle School took part in the project which was led by local e-safety and computing consultant Brett Laniosh from Catshill Learning Partnerships.

The workshop at Westacre was one of a number of events held to promote Safer Internet Day.

Mr Laniosh told The Standard: “It is a win, win for everyone – pupils love creating online and they learn important online safety, programming and literacy skills in the process.

“Teachers have full control of what is published and can use this to promote online safety messages.

“Finally, parents love being able to view their children’s work online.”

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