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Back to School September 2, 2012

Filed under: education — fionathomasict @ 5:46 pm
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Well, it’s the beginning of the new school year. And although I have been teaching for 26 years now, it is still exciting, because in school something changes every year.
This year I have the same year group, in the same school as last year, Year 2, which is rather nice as I know what to expect in general. However there are so many new things happening that it will not be the same.
We have a new Principal, although he has been in position since the summer half term, I am expecting quite a few changes this coming year. I may be wrong but I get the impression that he has been watching, making notes on his ipad and thinking about what needs doing. Change is necessary and a good thing, although I bet there will be more work involved at some point.
The ICT is changing in a huge way!. I went on a Google Apps course last summer after hearing about Google Apps for education at Lambeth CLC. I have set up the school and signed on the junior staff and the children from year 2 upwards. I am really excited about the prospect of the children being able to email this year. The children are often emailing each other at home. Now we can use their skills and hopefully instill the security and caution needed whilst they are on the internet. I am also looking forward to the children making web pages- we tried it through a different system in year 2 and 4 last year and it was difficult. Hopefully this will be easier, not least because I am actually aware of how the sites part of the Google Apps works as opposed to trying to learn about a new programme in the middle of the year. I have made a trial junior school website and a few of the staff have started their own class sites.
We used My Maths, Hamilton Trust and Espresso last year and started using Class Dojo as part of the housepoint system of the school. They were all successful. So this year we are also trialling Manga High (year 3+) and rejoining Tutpup (year1+) as My Maths is limited for year 2 and below.
We developed a school account with Delicious last year, but I am not sure about the demise of the stacks. We had everything neatly put into those files and now it appears that everything is one long list. It does not seem to be easier, is anyone else finding that?
This September we have quite a few members of staff using Pinterest and that may well replace the need for Delicious, which was to share any good sites and help us remember where/what they were!
I have started this blog to teach myself so that we can begin blogging with our children in school. I have the 100 word challenge to promote and maybe even quad blogging by next year. I had not even heard of them last September.
We have also got an enormous list of websites and new ideas to explore from Ian Addison’s book from Rising Stars Essentials: ICT, which is an absolute treasure trove. I have recommended it to all the staff and I may find out tomorrow who has read it. I will certainly see when they start to talk about their ICT planning! Of course all this innovation and change means that I will definitely have to think about the ICT scheme which is based on the QCA and is feeling OLD!
Luckily, I have seen a few links recently on Twitter, which will help me on my way. @ianaddison, @simonhaughton Thanks you for sharing. I have already changed my year 2 planning to incorporate Infant Encyclopedia!
This year we are starting the school year with 7 of our 9 staff on Twitter and that’s amazing as there was only 1 last September.
The learning curve has been huge already – from last September to this, one year of massive ICT input. What will be coming? Well I have just signed on for a first TeachMeet in Clevedon! I have seen clips and videos. Last September I hadn’t heard of them. This year I am going. There is a course on Scratch to look forward to in September…
Yes, after 26 years of teaching, I still find it exciting.