Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Where to Start???

We're back!

A huge thanks to Mrs Pattle and Ms Li for holding the fort over the summer months. There's still a massive amount to do before next week as can be seen by one of the many boxes of cable and leads pictured here.

Despite the hard work still needed there's plenty to look forward to in the forthcoming year and as always there are some new toys to play with, although not quite up to the example set by universities such as Duke in the USA who give all freshmen an iPod and iPhone. Let's hope they haven't left the staff out!

I'm thrilled that I was able to convince 2Simple to extend their amazing offer of their full software catalogue to overseas schools during my visit to the UK in the summer. All 28 titles have now arrived and these will soon be installed on every PC and laptop in the school. This software will allow class teachers to integrate ICT within the wider curriculum much more easily. I spent last night investigating around 10 of the programs and had great fun!

Hopefully we will soon be taking delivery of a new graphics package to replace our aged Photoshop Elements software... watch this space. The new term will also see us take delivery of Crazy Talk 5. This facial animation software is really exciting and could make a major impact in Literacy, allowing students to participate in digital storytelling, or in Humanities...

Earlier in the summer the Flip video camera was mentioned on these pages. A quick trip to Toys r Us in the UK a few weeks ago and we now have four of these all charged and ready to go! Year groups will also have new digital cameras to replace the aged ones they've been using in the past.

As usual there has been a huge influx of new computers in the last seven weeks. For the first time in a number of years we have purchased some machines other than Dell. We're keen to investigate a more mobile solution and whilst we considered the ASUS EPCs which have caused such a stir in the UK, we plumped for HP and their Mininotes. 16 of these will be available for our students to use, as well as another 16 of the traditional Dells that we have tried and tested in the past. We have also purchased a number of tablet PCs which will add a different dimension throughout the school, not least in the area of 'on the go' teacher assessment.

This huge amount of technology is all very well of course, but it's how you use it that counts. We are committed to ensuring that our students have full access to a curriculum that is up to date and relevant in the 21st Century and the ongoing professional development that helps us to do this is essential. This continues to be a challenge, but one that is both exciting and stimulating.

As somebody once said...

"It's not about the technology, dummy!"

or something like that!

Have a great year!

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