CommunICTy eNewsletter 3

Just in case you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas, here is the next edition of my ICT enewsletter. It was great to meet lots of you at ICTnet East and at BETT. To view this newsletter as a blog post click here.

Flashmeeting Video Conference 31/1
As a follow up from ICTnet East, I promised to organise a flashmeeting to demonstrate how it works and give ICT practitioners a chance to share some ideas. It will take place on Thursday 31st Jan from 20:00 – 21:00. Anyone is welcome to participate, but places are limited to 25. For more info click here.
Resources Update
7.1 MyTree – This SEAL project on creating a powerpoint presentation about describing your personality has proved really popular. We’ve now made a short video to explain the project in more detail.

8.3 Searching the Web – This project uses the contrasting themes of life and safaris in Malawi as its focus. There is an assessment task at the end in which students review two contrasting websites. I’ve also added some short films about Malawi.

9.4 Digital News – This project enables students to plan a storyboard in powerpoint and then save the slides as .jpgs and import them into movie maker. I’ve added some examples videos. I’ve also made simple life cycle and gantt diagram for them to do plan the whole project.

To visit our entire KS3 ICT SoW, some KS4 resources and lots more, visit

Useful Sites
Online stopwatch – a flash based countdown timer that can be used online or downloaded. – a visual search engine that shows thumbnails of websites as search results.
Etwinning – Help on how to set up a virtual link with another school, or contact the eTwinning Ambassadors for some free advice
Exploratree – Futurelab’s new thinking guides website.
Bridgebuilder 2000 – Free download simulation software. An excellent cover lesson.
QCA, new KS3 ICT PoS – Explains the revised curriculum in terms of concepts, processes, content and attainment targets. Useful definitions of terms.
Digital Video CPD
The Machine is Us/ing Us – This video explains web2.0 is revolutionising the Internet
Shift Happens – How the evolution of computing is influencing our own evolution (or right click here to save).
Do schools kill creativity – Sir Ken Robinson makes a profound and entertaining case for an education system that promotes creativity.

In the Pipe Line
Assessment for Learning resources for KS3 ICT including pupil tracking using Excel markbooks.
Digital Film Review unitRevising unit to enable students to create and analyse film review data in database, then create audio film reviews using audacity.
Internet Safety resources being developed by Pip Cartwright to teach the issues including digital videos

Just for Fun
Zombies in Plain English
– Watch your back, Zombies can appear where you least expect them!

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Resources Update
MyTree – I’ve made this unit to replace the About Me powerpoint project. The students are given a diagram of different emotions and they write phrases to descrbe how they feel in different school situations. They then share their ideas by contributing comments to a series of blog posts. Finally they create a powerpoint presentation about the different aspects of their personality (example).

9.2 Online Survey – This unit enables students to compare the lives of young people in the UK and USA. We are hoping to involve students in other countries too this year for a global survey. Students then analyse the data using pivot charts and write a report to explain what the data proves.

MyMoney – This unit enables students to research real current accounts for teenagers and do some market research into how they save and what they spend their money on. They create a series of products including a billboard advert, leaflet and an audio advert. This unit is currently under construction.

To visit our entire KS3 ICT SoW, some KS4 resources and lots more, visit

Training Videos
I’ve collected a number of useful videos from the CommonCraft Show on themes such as:
Social Bookmarking, What’s a wiki and RSS. I’ve also started creating my own short videos on various aspects of how to teach ICT. To view my first attempt go to starting an ICT lesson.

I’m organising a SSAT Seminar with Ian Noble on practical uses of teaching ICT with new technologies including web2.0 and VLEs. The event is at the Eastern Leadership Centre in Cambridge on 15th November. For more info and how to book click here.

Websites to check out
MindMaps, FreeMind and are three excellent examples of online planning and brainstorming tools. I have seen several schools using them very effectively to plan DiDA projects.

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CommunICTy Blog has moved to edublogs!
The latest update of edublogs has a number of new features that has motivated me to move my blog over to . I’m particularly pleased with their new selection of presentation themes which enable you to upload and crop your own header.

ICTnet East Conference
I’m organising a conference for ICT teachers, trainees, NQTs and trainers with Ian Noble from Tendring College, Essex. The theme is ‘Moving cutting edge ICT into sustainable practice’. We will be demonstrating ways of teaching with VLEs, blogs, wikis, online surveys, audacity, movie maker and flashmeeting.
The conference will take place at the Eastern Leadership Centre in Cambridge on Thursday 15th November and will cost £50. You can make a booking to attend the conference online by visiting this page on the SSAT Website.

KS3 ICT Resources
QCA have now launched their new Secondary Curriculum. It is great to see that themes such as global learning, personalised learning, creativity and collaboration have been included. Luckily, our adapted KS3 ICT units seem to relate really well to the changes. I’ve moved our online resources homepage to .

I’ve updated some of our units and am in the process of creating some new ones.
MyTree – This unit will provide a new theme for unit 7.1. Instead of students describing their families and pets, they will create a presentation about their emotions in different school situations. They will share their ideas by contributing comments to blog posts.

7.3 Leaflet – Instead of creating a leaflet about their school, students research the global right to education and share their opinions by contributing comments to a blog post on how they learn better and what makes a good teacher.

Peace One Day – This unit is a good way to start the year with a new class. Students research the theme of the International Day of Peace (21st Sept) and create posters to put around the school to promote the day.

8.6 Film Reviews – This unit enables students to explore a variety of different applications whilst researching their favourite films. They contribute moderated comments to blog posts, complete an online survey, analyse the data in a database, create a text based film review and finally an audio podcast review.
Pirates of the caribbean 2

9.2 Online Survey – This unit enables students to compare the lives of young people in the UK and USA. We are hoping to involve students in other countries too this year for a global survey. Students then analyse the data using pivot charts and write a report to explain what the data proves.

My Recent Articles
Global Messenger – a 3 monthly enewsletter I write on putting a global dimension into the curriculum. email if you would like to subscribe.
Giving ICT a Global Dimension – Ideas on how to use blog posts flashmeeting and leaflets to communicate with students in other countries.
Personalising Data – How to generate and analyse real data