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Term Three, Week Five

ICT plays a major part in all our lives, and a big part of our role in school is to prepare children for the future. More than ever before, that future is unpredictable because change is happening so fast. Just think how rapidly we’ve moved from mobile phones to tablet PCs! So this week I found myself ringing an old-fashioned school bell in order to help everyone keep time during parent/teacher consultations, and offering parents an opportunity to vote on-line (anonymously) so that I could gauge the success of the measure. Part of the ‘hidden’ agenda is that I am also preparing for another round of Parent Surveys, and doing this on line would save around half a day collating paper-based responses if it proved a popular way of consulting and obtaining your thoughts. It’s 2 days after the last Parent/Teacher appointment – and so far there are only 2 votes – both positive – so perhaps as a community we are not quite ready for this.

I spend a lot of my own time exploring new technologies. I love discovering for myself what is – and is not – possible. Only in desperation will I ever turn to a manual! I was so excited to activate an RSS feed for this blog, so that it would be readable on mobile devices and automatically available on other sites. I expect my excitement was a little OTT given the size of this page’s readership. However, if you have stumbled across this page for the first time, welcome. Do comment if this blog sparks an idea.

In contrast to the enthusiasm with which the survey page has been received, I have worked with Classes 2, 3 and 4 this week, and each is following a project on control technology. After an initial difficulty logging on, each class took to the technology like ducks to water. And I’ve also opened up a messaging facility for Class 4 on Planet Sherston. An internet safety talk was required, with the expectation set that behaviour online would be no different from that we expect in the classroom or playground. We don’t use unkind words, we don’t talk behind one another’s backs and we don’t swear. I demonstrated how easy it was as administrator to remove this privilege from the children’s accounts and I am sure no one wants the embarrassment of being suspended, so I have every confidence that this will be a success. The excitement in the room was palpable. New technology, old-fashioned values – which is a bit of a teaser for my next blog. Almost as if there was a plan! Over half-term we plan to release a number of other Planet Sherston activities – so stay posted!

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