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education innovation

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Achievement Thro ug h Inno vation

ence r e f n o C e Fre ion & Exhibit


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ell Prue, s s u R , s d n a l o ung, See Tim Ry Y y b o T , ) D E (OFST Davi d Brown ny more a m s u l p E f d, D Vic Go ddar Manchester Central – 27th & 28th February 2014 2

#EICE Innovatemyschool


contents Innovation update


Bett Show review


Coding: a necessity in the classroom?


The iPad revolution


Google Apps vs Office 365 20 Designing the perfect computing curriculum




Technology trends in primary science


Implementing 1:1 learning 38 Read other articles on the Innovate My School website, such as: • Why arduino is great for the classroom • What every school needs from a digital strategy • How to catch code - stress free computing • BYOD – how safe is your data? Magazine Editor – Rachel Johnson Website Editor – James Cain Advertising – James O’Shea Graphic Designer – Alison Kelly

If you would like to advertise in this magazine, please email, phone 0845 034 6690 or visit

The weather outside may be miserable, but here at Innovate My School, we’re bursting with excitement about our latest magazine, packed full of inspiration, innovation and ideas. It goes without saying that technology trends feature at the heart of everything we do and with the launch of our first digital-only magazine, this is no exception. You wanted more digital content – we listened and we are so proud to bring you our most inventive, technology-filled edition ever. Turn to page 16 to read ICT Teacher Poppy Gibson give inspiration on how iPads can transform traditional after school clubs and bring a digital spark to learning. With the new computing curriculum coming into force in September, all schools are under pressure to implement lessons that not only fulfil the criteria set out by the government, but also turn that into outstanding teaching. Primary teacher Jon Chippindall shares his knowledge on page 24 on how to achieve this difficult balance. In a new feature, we head over to South America for a ‘Twinterview’ with a school in Mexico City, which provides captivating reading on how they’re embracing technology in the classroom over there. I hope that the articles you’ll read inspire you. I’d like to thank our contributors for their valued contributions to this edition, which allows us to share innovation around the globe with fellow education professionals. We’re always looking for new ideas for articles, so if you’d like to be involved in future editions, please drop me an email. Until next time innovators!

Rachel Johnson Editor, Innovate My School Magazine 3

innovation update

AI = teacher 2? As the scope of technology grows at supersonic speed, much staffroom conversation is dedicated to how schools will be teaching in the next few years. Further interaction with technology to assist learning is inevitable, as is the demise of paperwork and the growth of cloud-based solutions for teaching, assessment and planning. Many also agree that the actual physical space in which we teach will change, but over the last 12 months I’ve been hearing a far more controversial topic being raised more and more. Teachers – dare I say it – may be next on the list of things on the way out.

from it. Furthermore, computers can be sensitive to feelings. Sounds impressive. It is, but who is going to input all this information? Teachers would be the only ones capable of programming the individual information on the pupils! Supporters of the concept argue that AI allows a level of attention and learning on a 1:1 level that no human teacher would ever be capable of because of the time constraints. Of course, even if AI was to take off, no algorithm could replicate the complexity of a human teacher, but rather, the role we play could inevitably change.

Over the last ten years computers have slowly consumed us. Computer programs speak to us on the phone, perform operations and fly us around the world. This is just the start of AI that will explode into Really? REALLY. Artificial Intelligence (AI) the education system over the next two is a topic that is rife with passion, emotion decades. Are we to fear or embrace this and conflicting views, but if people are really – that’s for you to decide, but sometimes thinking that teachers may step aside from when we think outside of the box, magical their authoritative place in classes, then innovations can occur, and in my opinion rightly so. The issue here is whether Artificial there’s never been a more exciting time to Intelligence can actually take the place of a be in education. teacher completely. Let’s look at the facts. No computer is ever going to be able to AI is capable of interacting with humans on realistically be able to take the place of a level that is comparable with an actual a human teacher, on the simplest level human being. If programmed correctly, because they’re not REAL. Having said all the computer could be equipped with this, I may revisit this article in 20 years’ time information on pupils, statistics on the and find myself talking to a robot to publish syllabus and even pre-programmed with my thoughts! responses to all reasonable questions arising 4


The sounds of space discovery Spacecraft musical duet demonstrates the power of high-speed networks in education

Manager at GÉANT. As a trained musician with a PhD in Physics, he explores new ways for representing data and discovery through the use of high-speed networks. He said: A project has successfully sonified 36 years’ “I wanted to compose a musical piece worth of NASA Voyager spacecraft data and celebrating the Voyager 1 and 2 *together*, converted it into a musical duet. so used the same measurements from both spacecrafts, at the exact same point of time, The experiment was created as a fun, but at several billions of Kms of distance one accessible way to demonstrate the benefit from the other. I used different groups of of research and education networks to instruments and different sound textures to society - data sonification - representing represent the two spacecrafts, synchronising data by means of sound signals. This process the measurements taken at the same time.” is increasingly used to accelerate scientific discovery, from epilepsy research to deep The result is an up-tempo string and piano space discovery. orchestral piece, which you can hear at The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, which were Library/Pages/Audio.aspx. used to collect the sounds, have both now been decommissioned, but still record and send live data to Earth. To compose the spacecraft duet, 320,000 measurements were first selected from each spacecraft, at one-hour intervals. Then that data was converted into two very long melodies, each comprising of 320,000 notes using different sampling frequencies, from a few KHz to 44.1 KHz. The result of the conversion into waveform created a wide collection of audible sounds, lasting just a few seconds to a few hours. The project is the work of Domenico Vicinanza, Network Services Product


innovation update

Technology proven to boost literacy It’s true! According to the latest research, children who are exposed to highly motivated characters and plots from a wide range of media are encouraged to read more challenging books, often significantly above their chronological reading age. The independent ‘What Kids Are Reading’ report, which looked at the reading habits of nearly 500,000 children in more than 2,000 schools in the UK, suggests that far from limiting children’s imagination, films, computer games and products associated with the books may encourage children to read above their assumed capabilities. This is particularly evident when it comes to Years 1-5 where children’s most loved book choices are on average 2.4 years above the norm. Children were also invited to take a test that would show a detailed comprehension of their chosen book and these results showed that they were reading with accuracy and understanding, despite being more challenging.

dominated by epic trilogies, dramatic landscapes and challenging themes. The chart is topped by JK Rowling, followed by Suzanne Collins, for her Hunger Games series, and J R R Tolkien.

It is wonderful what reading highly motivating books does for children

The report’s author, Professor Keith Topping, said: “It is wonderful what reading highly motivating books does for children. For Years 1-5, children are reading favourite News written by: books at far above their chronological ability, Rachel Louise Johnson but still maintaining a high rate of success.” Editor of Innovate My School Magazine The research documents the annual chart of children’s most loved books, which is 6


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Dragons Den Star becomes Ambassador of the National Enterprise Challenge

Ryman owner and former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis will be the main ambassador of The Challenge in 2014, with Ryman also becoming the main sponsor. The Challenge, which is split into two categories, key stage 3 and key stage 4, will also be organising two real life business challenges set by Ryman and London Social Enterprise and footwear brand Gandys Flip Flops. Director Ben Dyer said: “Last year we delivered our programme to 58 schools and over 10,000 young people across the country. It was important that in order to grow The Challenge, we engaged with companies who share our vision, and with Ryman and Gandys we feel we have found this.” The project sees The National Enterprise Challenge team run a full year group enterprise programme in a school, set by either Ryman or Gandys. The winning group is then guaranteed a place in the finals in July, where Theo Paphitis will be in attendance.

“It’s important that young people gain first-hand business experience to help them understand what it means to run a business and the skills needed to do it successfully. Initiatives like The National Enterprise Challenge support the government’s drive to build a culture of enterprise. This scheme will inspire even more young people to start their own business and encourage them to consider entrepreneurship as a career option.” If you would like to book a place on this year’s challenge the company still have limited spaces available. The usual cost is £1650, which includes the enterprise day and the tickets to the finals. To claim your innovate discount quote INNOVATE2014 and you can enter for just £1500. Please call 01782 367148 or visit

Theo Paph itis will be the main amb assador of th e challenge in 2014

The UK’s largest schools enterprise competition has announced more exciting partnerships ahead of what promises to be an exciting year.

Endorsed by exam board OCR, the challenge has been extremely well received with Business and Enterprise minister Michael Fallon. He said:




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Cost effective radio a roaring success Broadcasting company Anderton Tiger is celebrating the launch of its new radio product. Director Russell Prue is well known for his entertaining ICT presentations and his range of school radio solutions and launched The Anderton Tiger HUB last term. It’s a low-cost school radio product that uses an existing iPad or Tablet device and an older spare laptop from the school to save costs. Russell came up with the innovative approach of utilising existing kit at the school as a brilliant cost saving idea. The Anderton Tiger Hub comes with everything a school would need, including jingles, training and even a mount and holder to position the iPad at the right height.The kit looks great too and represents exceptional value for money. Music content is played out using the dual Numark decks that are housed in a smart wooden cabinet that has space for expansion. 10

Visit for full details of the product and to read IMPACT study reports on how using radio has improved learning outcomes.The HUB costs just ÂŁ2,995.

Follow Russell on Twitter @RussellPrue or give him a call on 0845 838 5150



Proof that parents want smartphone communications

Primary and Secondary schools are communication with parents and other completely transforming school stakeholders.” communications with Schoop. By the end of their free trial period, We know that how involved a parent is with Curry Rivel Primary in Somerset had a child’s education has a direct correlation more Schoop subscribers than to their learning success, but often parental they do pupils, demonstrating just how engagement – if it happens at all – takes keen parents are to engage – given the time and resources that teachers rarely right approach. have at their disposal. Want to see how other schools are using This is why primary and secondary schools Schoop? Download the app for free to across the UK are rapidly adopting Schoop, your smartphone or tablet and add these a free to download communications app, Schoop IDs: 17027, 9953, and 23620. which enables teachers, as well as admin Schoop urgent call: Innovate My School staff, to send unlimited ‘push notifications’, readers are invited to register one of 10 calendar events and newsletters directly Schoop tester accounts, which takes just 2 into the hands of the school community. minutes from Andrew Quinn, deputy headteacher at Alternatively, call 029 2078 2975 FitzWimarc, an ‘outstanding’ secondary for more details. school, said: “Many people use their mobile devices as their primary means of accessing information and communicating, so we’re using Schoop to improve the school’s



2014 Real reviews by real teachers Primary Deputy Head Jenny Pryke explores innovation at Bett to enrich her ICT expertise. The Bett show was bursting with innovative ideas and resources.The 2014 curriculum had a big presence, with many companies honing in on making computing accessible for non-specialist teachers. Rising Stars have produced a scheme of work called ‘Switched on Computing’, which has lesson plans, resources for a range of different computing tasks alongside the creativity of primary teaching. Espresso Coding, with a tag line of ‘Computing made easy’, is another example of support for the non-specialist primary teacher. I went along to Toucan Computing and their interactive session for different aspects of the curriculum, including loads of examples of free iOS apps. Using an iPad for computing doesn’t always seem like the first choice, however their session on iPad apps for the computing curriculum had many exciting examples of possibilities. Hopscotch, Bugs and Buttons, Kodable and Game Press were interesting examples, and Toucan’s zealous presenting style added to the excitement of using these apps. I also went to a talk by Simon Finch (@simfin) where I was enthused and inspired by his innovative passion and honesty about digital citizenship. His focus was of e-safety as a top priority for children at your school, alongside 12

his key message of staff modelling, engaging and embracing digital technologies.Teachers cannot pull on their own experiences to help in dealing with these issues, as when we were at school, social media wasn’t even in its infancy. His suggested interview question of ‘Why don’t you log in to this computer and use Facebook to tell us a little about yourself’ really did encourage the audience to think about how they manage their digital identity online. I think I’ll use that in my next set of interview questions! Around the outside of the main Bett arena was a huge whiteboard with visitors’ thoughts about education and technology 30 years on, depicted in words on a gigantic piece of art. No tech was used in this creation, with the tool of choice being a whiteboard marker, which I thought was very forward thinking! Lots of concerns were raised, particularly about keeping children digitally safe, but also lots of interest about the endless possibilities that the next few years will bring. Exciting times are ahead.

Review written by: Jenny Pryke Deputy Head, St Martin’s School Jersey @jennypryke


title here Assistant Head teacher Jon Tait takes us through his journey of a first-time speaker at Bett.

tell me that their product would change my school. My secret, I hear you ask? The Microsoft staff t-shirt I was wearing!

After being in education for over a decade and having a significant interest in how digital technology can impact children, it was strange how I’d never been to a Bett Show previously. So this year was a first for a couple of reasons: it was my first Bett Show, and, after being invited to speak on behalf of Microsoft on how I’d been using ‘Skype in the Classroom’ at Woodham Academy, it was to be my first as a speaker.

The overall experience was a tiring one, but packed with excitement, pride and teamwork; one that I’d love to repeat again next year – once I’m over my Bett lag!

Speaking twice per day on the show floor within the Microsoft theatre was an amazing experience.Teachers, leaders, governors, students, business managers and fellow speakers from all over Europe gathered to hear about my experiences. Being invited to speak on such a stage was a huge privilege and enabled me to feel I was making an impact on students far wider than the four walls of my own classroom. Having teachers speak at the event is crucial. We must remember that it’s not just about the technology and the sales pitches, but what you’re going to try and achieve with it back in the classroom.The experience, innovation and creativity that presenting teachers bring to the show is an inspiration to us all.

Review written by: Jon Tait Assistant Head Teacher at Woodham Academy @TeamTait

Throughout the week I was also joined by an amazing team of teachers who were part of the Microsoft UK Education teachers team. We developed a strong team bond and for some of us who’d been communicating with each other on Twitter for years, it was the first time we had actually met each other! Aside from presenting, I was able to wander freely through the trade stands without being constantly pitched to by companies trying to


Coding: Is it a necessity in the classroom?

Coding: Is it a necessity in the classroom? Computing skills expert Laura Kirsop explores how pupils can quickly go from consumers to creators.

EMPOWERING Children in the 21st century have grown up surrounded by technology - they are intuitive users of contemporary hardware, such as consoles, PCs, and tablets, and For the last two years, everyone’s been software like word processing packages, talking about learning to code. From Google apps and games. With advanced design chairman Eric Schmidt, to and now commonplace, it is no longer easy to Barack Obama. But what is coding and why see how things are made or how things is it important for our kids to learn to do it? work. Gone are the days of plugging bits and pieces together to create a functioning Coding, also known as programming, is computer, or typing in commands to run giving a computer instructions to follow in a game. Children are great consumers of a language that it understands. It can be as modern seamless technology, but we need simple as programming a short sequence of to get them thinking about how things work instructions into a robot to make it move, and teach them how to create it. We need or as complex as creating an app using a to turn them from consumers into creators. language called Objective-C. From September 2014, the new computing Political leaders and technologists believe it curriculum comes into force for all schools is important for the current generation to in England and, as a result, children from learn to code so that in the future we have Year 1 to Year 9 are to be taught more people with the necessary skills to create programming. They will, amongst other the new technologies we will need. This is things, be taught how computers think, going to be great for our economy in the how to control them and how to create future, but there is much more to it than programs and debug them. There are a lot this: it’s also empowering, creative, social and of teachers and schools who are ahead of great for developing problem solving skills. the curve and already doing this extremely well - but the statutory nature of the new curriculum means all children will soon have the opportunity to learn these skills. At the moment, girls take less than 10% of computing A-levels, and women hold less 14


Coding: Is it a necessity in the classroom? than 20% of technology jobs in the UK. It is hoped that by opening the doors to all at a young age, inequalities like these will be lessened in the future. CREATIVE AND SOCIAL Everyone knows the stereotype of a geeky male programmer hacking away in their bedroom. Part of welcoming everyone to learn coding is to throw this stereotype out of the window. Far from being a solo pursuit for the naturally nerdy, it can be a highly collaborative, creative activity that anyone can have a go at and succeed in. The Key Stage 2 pupils I’ve taught to code have worked in small teams to create amazing games, animations and websites using visual programming languages like Scratch and written languages like HTML.

The Key Stage 2 pupils I’ve taught to code have worked in small teams to create amazing games, animations and websites using visual programming languages like Scratch and written languages like HTML Often the work we did was related to the topics we were studying - from games about Tudor Britain, to websites about habitats. Far from an expert myself, I’ve gone on the journey with them and learnt a lot as well. After beginning their learning in the classroom, some of them have gone onto extra-curricular activities like Code Club and

Young Rewired State. I’m hoping the initial interest generated from classroom activities will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

I’m hoping the initial interest generated from classroom activities will stay with them for the rest of their lives PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS Teaching children to code should not be our sole aim. When learning to program, children are picking up crucial skills, the most obvious being those to do with problem solving. When creating a game with Scratch for instance, children need to frequently test their work and fix bugs. This skill is so useful and transferable to all other areas of learning. Dr Tom Crick, a computer scientist and chair of computing at a school in Wales, sums this up nicely when he says: “learning how to program is not the endpoint, but part of the journey of equipping children with the necessary digital skills to solve problems. Our high-level aim should be to develop technology-independent skills and techniques, such as data literacy and computational thinking.”

Article written by: Laura Kirsop @CodeClub



The iPad revolution: Transforming extra-curricular clubs

The explosion of tablet popularity has opened up a new world of learning opportunities outside of lessons. Year 5 teacher Poppy Gibson has first-hand experience in using the technology to enhance pupil attainment and shares her knowledge exclusively for Innovate My School. 16


THE IPAD REVOLUTION Many teachers have explored and established effective ways of using iPads within a range of subjects. This article shares ideas of inspiring extra-curricular clubs that could be offered to pupils outside of timetabled lessons, during lunchtimes or after school, with simple set-ups but powerful results. Digital Photography Club The aim of running a Digital Photography Club is to provide a creative, interesting and fun way for pupils to learn how to take interesting and memorable photos. Themes I have found particularly successful have included ‘Natural versus Manmade’, ‘Friendship’, and ‘Seasons’. Pupils will enjoy taking photographs with the iPad, which, unlike some digital cameras, allows for instant editing and even pre-set modes on apps such as ‘Photobooth’, adding mirror effects, for example. As the physical management and easy use of mobile devices saves essential minutes of the club, I often find there is still time for pupils to enjoy digital editing, showing and discussing their and their peers’ photographs. At the end of each club, all pupils upload their favourite chosen one or two photographs to DropBox, which is very simple to do straight from the iPad without the need for cables or camera cards. You may choose to print the images out for a digital photography portfolio, or you could share some of the best images on the school website or wiki page. At the end of term, you could even hold a small exhibition for teachers and other pupils to be invited to view the photographs, which can be

quickly printed straight from DropBox and mounted onto card for a professional touch.

Pupils will enjoy taking photographs with the iPad, which, unlike some digital cameras, allows for instant editing and even pre-set modes on apps such as ‘Photobooth’, adding mirror effects for example

Weekly Podcast Club I spent the start of term widely researching the pros, cons and workload of setting up a school weekly podcast, and came to the conclusion that the easiest way to integrate this into school would be through a Weekly Podcast Club. Setting up a podcast is relatively easy, using software such as Garage Band and recording audio clips on the iPad. The podcast doesn’t have to be long, maybe between three to five minutes. You could use the radio podcast to share school news, pupils’ work, interviews, jokes, competitions, and there are even some artists that allow their music to be played copyright free on podcasts - found on sites such as Special sections such as brief discussions of national news headlines, apps/books of the week, and even pupils’ birthday mentions add appealing elements to the podcast.


THE IPAD REVOLUTION Cartoon Club Creating cartoons, or animations, requires imagination, patience and perseverance. Running a Cartoon Club is a great way to get pupils’ creative juices flowing, allowing them to explore their imaginative ideas without the structures needed in story writing or poetry. There is a wide range of animation apps available for the iPad, varying in reputation and notability. By searching the Internet, talking to other teachers, and playing around with these apps, you will be sure to find an animation app that you feel is the right fit for your students. Pupils could share their animations on the school website or on a club wiki page, and viewers could leave reviews or feedback if desired.

Running a Cartoon Club is a great way to get pupils’ creative juices flowing, allowing them to explore their imaginative ideas

over the half term or term, and changing the topic that the pupils are drawing, or by keeping the same still life and changing the app each week instead. These alternative binaries can provide very different experiences and build on different skills in the club. The term could end with an exhibition of pupils’ iPad artwork - maybe on the iPad screens themselves!

iPads help to develop pupils’ digital literacy and computing confidence In summary, iPads help to develop pupils’ digital literacy and computing confidence. Using iPads outside of the classroom within the structured environment of extra-curricular clubs provides open-ended activities to increase both of these areas even further.

You could even have end of term screenings with cardboard cups of popcorn, or share the animation videos in a whole school assembly. Art Club Recently, David Hockney, one of Britain’s most celebrated living artists, was praised for his innovative use of the iPad to create his latest pieces of art. There are many art apps that you might select for your art club. Ways that you could structure the club are either by using one app in great detail 18

Article written by: Poppy Gibson, Year 5 teacher and ICT coordinator at a school in North London. E-mail:


Achieving critical mass: Google Apps & Office 365

Achieving critical mass: & We asked US secondary educator Anthony VonBank to give his opinion on how these cloud-based educational tools have transformed classrooms in America. It’s not hard to see why cloud-based productivity tools are a hit with educators and students. With a minimum of setup time, teachers can share documents from a variety of formats, allow them to manipulate the documents in real time, and make copies for their own records. Students can work collaboratively on documents and presentations, create surveys and operate spreadsheets from different computers, anywhere in the world, in live time. Google’s App suite, used in many US schools and across the globe, has become the leader in cloud-based productivity applications. But why Google? There are other products available to schools that offer the same basic functionality as Google Apps. Microsoft 365 and several other products can arguably do the same work, more or less, as the offerings of Google. Is Google’s product just better? Microsoft 365 users could easily make a case for the quality and reliability of the SkyDrive-based productivity suite. At this point, it hardly matters. Google will enjoy its reign as education’s favourite cloud-based 20

solution in the US for the foreseeable future for one very particular reason: it has achieved the critical mass that social-based tools need to succeed.

The appeal of Google Apps was readily apparent to early-adopting schools, and others have followed suit largely due to the power of the tool in concert with other users Since Google was one of the first, largest, and therefore most prominent providers of this kind of innovation, many schools adopted it before the market was really prime for true competition. The appeal of Google Apps was readily apparent to early-adopting schools, and others have followed suit largely due to the power of the tool in concert with other users. Google Apps became the coin of the realm simply because other schools were already using it. The ease in collaboration benefited not only students and teachers in Innovatemyschool

Achieving critical mass: Google Apps & Office 365 the same ecosystem, but as use of Google Apps became more widespread, it became apparent that there were new opportunities for educators and students to collaborate on a global scale. All that was needed was for users in other schools and districts to use the same product. The spread of Google Apps was therefore not predicated simply upon having the right tool for the job, but also the kind of tool that was in use in so many environments as to expand the overall power and influence on a grand scale. This critical mass has made it very difficult for competing services, such as Microsoft 365, to gain market share here. Simply put, everyone in the US uses Google Apps in schools because everyone else uses it. Google understands this dynamic quite well, as its own effort to penetrate the social media market dominated by Facebook with its own Google+ creates the same sort of challenge. Cloud-based software like Google Apps and Microsoft 365 are essentially a social platform. This social component makes the critical mass of users a far more important consideration than simply the quality and functionality of the individual product. Microsoft 365 may well be a superior productivity and collaboration suite, yet it will still have difficulty making a large impact on the education market until such time it can gather larger groups of users. That’s not to say Microsoft will never be a major player in the cloud-based application game in America. In the past few years, Microsoft has made monumental efforts to secure favour in the education market, and not just in the realm of cloud-based

applications. The Surface tablet, marketed as a direct competitor to Apple’s iPad, is being heavily marketed to schools looking to get to a 1:1 device ratio with students. While Apple still dominates the tablet landscape, the Microsoft tablets are attracting attention and sales. It seems clear that the tablet market is where Microsoft hopes to win over educators to the Microsoft brand, and by extension, to its cloud-based software as well. Google has responded by making valiant efforts to woo schools with its laptop-like Chromebook.

The clear leaders in education technology will certainly change in the coming years The question is far from settled. While Google, Microsoft and Apple all court schools worldwide, smaller cloud-based services - some open-sourced and most free to users - continue to rise and create disruption to the cloud market. The clear leaders in education technology will certainly change in the coming years, but the real powerhouses will be the ones who can sustain the largest pool of interconnected users long-term. Article written by: Anthony VonBank, Ed.D. @Clouducation_



Product Round-up

10 brand new innovations to watch out for... CBiS-education CBiS-education has investigated the changes that schools will have to face during the curriculum shift from ICT to Computer Science, with education kits and teacher training specifically designed for the new computing curriculum. @cbinfosystems Catchbox - throwable microphone The Perfect tool for engaging your students in a playful way. This soft, colorful and wireless microphone can be thrown from person to person. It´s easy, activating and fun. @theCatchbox

Zembl Zembl is the ideal solution for teachers who want to create digital presentations and quizzes. You can share your materials simply by downloading or passing a link to pupils. @zembl

Conversor Conversor Pro Recorder app is an easy to use, stereo recorder for iPod Touch, iPad or iPhone for lecture theatres or school classrooms, for capturing music, and recording tutorials. @ConversorALDs Sparkol VideoScribe is an exciting video animation tool that empowers teachers and students to deliver their message in an easy to use, enjoyable and engaging way. @videoscribetv 22



Product Round-up 10 brand new innovations to watch out for... Schudio Link to all the very best online resources, support and tools by building your own FREE Learning Wall and empower your staff and students in the classroom and at home. @schudio The School Application The School Application: An affordable, enjoyable, engaging alternative to the traditional school planner. Available to all students at every school, this app allows students to digitally map out their day. @schoolapplicati Move4words Raising attention and self-control with Move4words boosts literacy and learning, everything you need to run the KS2 classroom physical activity intervention on DVD with 200+ videos for children to follow. @move4words Focus Educational Bee-Bot Lesson Activities 3 features a new and exciting set of 25 Bee-Bot mats and activities, e.g. Minibeasts, and links into the forthcoming Key Stage 1 Computing Program of Study. AlphaTouch The latest in touchscreen technology, enabling dual touch with multiple users. No drivers, calibration or set up. Crystal clear resolution and high brightness. No ongoing maintenance required or lamps to change. Sizes range from 32” through to 84”. @viinetworks


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Designing the perfect computing curriculum


Primary teacher Jon Chippindall shares computing innovation in his classroom for others to learn and develop.

In this article I’ll discuss the Programming, Multimedia and Online strand; however, our entire curriculum can be downloaded from

As the countdown to computing continues, primary schools across the country are considering how best to redesign their ICT curriculum to incorporate the computer science elements of the new national curriculum, whilst maintaining valuable aspects of ICT.


At Crumpsall Lane Primary School, this was a project we embarked on throughout last year, and whilst our curriculum is still a work in progress, I hope that by sharing our thoughts, decisions and resources, we may assist schools negotiating similar changes.

It is the introduction of the computer science elements of the new national curriculum that, from my experience, teachers are most fearful of, since this is the area of greatest change. However, we are keen to share here that such fears are easily allayed through experiential staff training, where teachers have the opportunity to have a go at programming and the technical terminology used in the new national curriculum is clarified in the context of doing.

To begin with, we decided upon the five strands that would make up our computing curriculum, these being: Multimedia, Programming, E-Safety, Online and Data. We then developed skills progressions for each of these strands from Year 1 to Year 6.

Our Programming strand is entirely delivered using iPad apps in Key Stage 1. The apps we use include: Bee Bot; Daisy the Dino; Hopscotch and Move the Turtle. In Key Stage 2, pupils use Scratch, Kodu and Python to further develop Innovatemyschool

Designing the perfect Computing Curriculum their programming skills in a range of programming environments. In Year 5, pupils are also introduced to the Raspberry Pi, which is set up to run a version of Scratch that enables pupils to control a small motorised car via the output pins on the Pi. Demonstrating to pupils how software can be used to control physical hardware in the world around them really highlights the scope and significance of the programming skills they are developing. To vary our approach to teaching computing, we also include a number of ‘computing without computers’ lessons, such as in Year 1 where pupils learn about algorithms by pairing up and taking turns guiding their robot partner (who can’t see out from under their robot mask!) around a maze in our hall. To support teachers in designing and delivering lessons to match the skills objectives in our Programming progression, we developed a ‘guide to teaching programming’, which can also be downloaded. This guide introduces the apps and programs used within our curriculum via explanations and tutorials. It also provides suggestions for lessons and ‘coding challenges’, in which pupils have the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge taught to solve problems.

Within the Multimedia strand, pupils use a range of apps and programs to develop their skills in text, graphics, video editing, animation and digital audio manipulation. To show progression in their skills, pupils complete two units in each media type over Key Stages 1 and 2. To also aid progression we have utilised the trend for desktopbased applications to be available in cutdown app form. For example, pupils in Year 2 use the iMovie app on the iPads, which offers limited functionality in comparison with iMovie on our Mac desktops, which pupils use in Year 6. Within our Online strand, as well as learning about the effective use of websites, emails and search engines, pupils also learn about how search engines rank results and how websites are designed, created and hosted. In doing so we hope to not only develop our pupils’ skills as users of such technologies but also foster their interest in being the creators of technology. I hope this brief explanation of our work in developing our computing curriculum has provided some ideas and guidance for schools making similar changes. Please do get in touch with any comments or questions you may have, or to let us know how you have developed and adapted our materials for your school.

Multimedia and Online In this period of curriculum reform, we took the opportunity to review and evolve the Multimedia and Online strands of our ICT curriculum to ensure we were providing pupils with the opportunity to engage with contemporary technologies and online practices.

Article written by: Jon Chippindall @drchips_



Moving objects... with your mind! Futuristic education technology delights industry influencers at Bett. CBiS-education have always positioned themselves at the cutting edge of technology and the latest offering at this year’s Bett show didn’t disappoint, with the showcase of the brand new Emotiv Education kit. The equipment uses sensors to tune into electrical signals produced by the brain to detect user thoughts, feelings and expressions and then sends them to a computer. Students are able to write a program to interpret those signals into commands to control robots using the power of thought. The Emotiv Education Kit includes a mind reading headset, a revolutionary personal interface for human computer interaction. This kit can be combined with either of the 4Wheel Drive car or Robot Arm version. All the kits are supported by a Custom Moodle VLE, filled with resources and designed for teachers. Because of the limitless variations CBiS-education kits can be used from Key stage 1 to 5.

Robot Arm Education Kit They have a Scratch virtual representation of the robot arm that looks, sounds, moves and is controlled the same as the physical robot arm. This is great when transitioning from Scratch to the scripted language Python. 4WD Remote Control Car Education Kit The 4WD car is a small four wheel drive aluminium car that can be controlled over a network by an Xbox controller. Part of a project is to build this network to control the car by using python.This kit is great with bolt ons and cross-curricular activities. Moodle VLE Everything that is needed to start teaching comes with the kits, along with an optional 12 months subscription to the Moodle VLE platform. Within this Moodle platform are all of the online resources for teaching, training and support.This is constantly being updated with new courses and code samples. With the new computing course being launched in September, the company wanted to design the kits specifically to fit in with the new curriculum.The government’s aims of understanding the fundamental principles of computer science, analysing and solving problems by applying

4WD Remote Control Car Education Kit


Other computer science education kits include:

Robot Arm Education Kit



computational techniques, writing programs to solve problems and being responsible and competent users of information and communication technology are all addressed in the technology. In order to give schools a stress-free transition into computing, the kits are designed by teachers for teachers, to be easy to teach with and learn from.

language Python to make the 4WD car kit autonomous.They were astounded at workshops with Garforth Academy & Green Lane Primary Academy where students from Years 6 and 7 were transitioning from the virtual Scratch robot arm to the Python version that actually moved a physical robot arm!

Chris Burgess from CBiS-education said: “We have investigated the changes that schools will have to face and we offer education kits and facilitate teacher training specifically designed for the new computing course and the new skills students will have to be competent in. At 6ft 4” I am no Yoda, but I am still going to try and teach students how to move things with their minds.”

To get started, CBiS recommend the Starter Package, which includes both education kits ready to use right out of the box, as well as a 12 month subscription to their exclusive teacher only Moodle VLE.

CBiS-education have improved their offering by working with schools around the UK, helping to introduce after-school clubs and curriculum enrichment courses.This approach allows teachers to learn alongside the students. As experience and confidence grows, they can then draw down the structured resources and sample Scheme of Work from within the CBiS Moodle to get an outstanding curriculum in place for September 2014. Recent workshops at Queen Ethelburgas had year 9 students coding in the computing

To find out how CBiS-education can help prepare your curriculum, contact us using the details below. From now till the end of April, secure 10% off via our online shop, using the voucher code: INNOVATEMYSCHOOL.

Follow CBiS-education on Twitter: @cbinfosystems Email Call 0844 8700912 Visit educationalkits 27


Twinterview with... John Kelly, Academic Deputy and IB coordinator of the secondary and 6th form at Edron Academy in Mexico City.

Global Focus:


Academic Deputy and IB coordinator of the secondary and 6th form at Edron Academy in Mexico City John Kelly joins us for a ‘Twinterview’ on how the school is embracing innovation to enhance their learning opportunities. 28


TWINTERVIEW Welcome to the Innovate My School Magazine, John! How is the school keeping up to date with changing technologies? We embrace the technological revolution with iPads and Apple TV. We use an integrated management system for data tracking and use Edmodo and other software packages. How will teaching methods change over the next five years to meet the demands of the new technology?

What is the most revolutionary piece of equipment you use? The World Wide Web. When I forge new links with fellow educators through the web, I feel the true sense of ‘revolutionary’ can be evoked. What challenges does technology pose to your pupils? It poses the biggest challenge to teachers, who are in battles with students, media companies and educational start-ups who try redefining the vision of education.

The first correct step to make this shift in Five technologies you can’t live thinking is the ‘flipped classroom’ movement. without. The faster we can embrace these concepts, the more prepared we will be. My cell phone, it has at least five different technologies in there. Does the existence of cloud-based solutions mean the end of paper What are essential apps for your marking? students? Cloud-based learning will signal the end of the paper marking and the start of paperless schools, exams and registers. The technology and software already exist.

The genre that seems absolutely essential is apps for revision. It seems to be in the times of crisis before exams that students turn to revision apps for salvation.

Does innovation in the classroom boost economic development outside?

Does technology distract your pupils?

Absolutely. The more innovation in school forges more opportunities to speak with the less fortunate in Mexico. I see innovation as a great leveler of privilege.

Yes, but they handle it. Distraction is the new etiquette of human and technological relationships and we should not ignore this, but rather use it to our advantage. How have you seen lesson plans change over the last three years? The five minute lesson plan. I want efficiency when it comes to lesson planning and


TWINTERVIEW this gives me everything I need to satisfy regulations and also cut down on planning.

What do you think the next big technology will be for schools?

Does interactive teaching mean the end of the pen and paper?

Remote learning and the different shaping of space. Our students work productively when independent from the classroom and much better in non-traditional rooms.

I feel that yes, the end of the pen and paper is coming. With the advent of Wetwear and other new technologies just around the corner, the paper and pen are doomed. If you asked pupils, what would they say their favourite learning tool is?

What innovation would transform your school that hasn’t already been developed? You know that scene from the Matrix, when he’s learning kung-fu..?

I would guess it would be the cell phone. It is my favorite learning tool. The Internet: a help or hindrance to homework? Definitely a big help. I have more doubts about the impact homework has on learning than the impact the Internet has on learning.

Do you know someone who’d be perfect for an IMS Twinterview? Perhaps you’d be up for it? Email

Does a small budget mean digital learning has to suffer? A big budget definitely improves digital learning, but in essence, as with any resource, sometimes you have to be creative in the ways you manage and use the resource. Are schools in Mexico adopting a 1:1 learning programme? The Mexican educational system is heavily divided. Most private schools and universities are, but in most state schools you would be lucky to find a working computer. 30

Twinterview with: John Kelly   Academic Director of Edron Academy in Mexico City


We relive one Principal’s journey into the world of software systems to help improve the Ofsted rating of his school.


Mark Bennison joined the Hazeley Academy as Principal in 2009 when the school was just 4 years old and had already achieved a ‘Good’ grading with outstanding features from Ofsted. Mark’s previous roles had seen him turn around schools that ‘required improvement’, were ‘inadequate’ or in special measures. Innovatemyschool

ADVERTISEMENT Mark knew that the challenge of taking a school from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ was potentially even more of a challenge, as he explains: “There are no easy wins here and the improvements need to be systemic. Failing to do so can jeopardise future gradings, especially if one or more of the senior team move on.” He soon also realised that although teaching and learning was good at the school, it was pedestrian in many respects and ambitions were not high enough for his liking. Although classroom behaviour was good, he felt that many students were too dependent on their teachers and a new culture of independent learning was required. After his initial belief that a software system would not be needed, he soon began to question that assumption. Although he had been using a software system previously, he had some reservations about its usability and the extent to which it effectively integrated the various aspects of self-evaluation, improvement planning and performance management, including CPD. After seeing the SchooliP system at a SSAT conference, he decided to take a free trial and was immediately impressed by its ease of use and particularly the power of the Performance Management module. Mark recently trained as an Ofsted Inspector so could see the benefits of purchasing the system straight away. Mark and the SLT took the decision to purchase the system a term before it would be rolled out to all staff. They decided to use the ASCL self-evaluation form as they felt it was comprehensive, yet provided enough flexibility.

The SLT and school governors had already reviewed the faculties’ performance and had been working on a short-term vision for the school, which they had called their ‘colour wheel’. By highlighting just 10 achievable priorities, it was felt that the goals would more likely be achieved. The objectives of the senior and middle leaders were input into the system and all of them found it intuitive and rewarding. The school is now in the process of adding data and objectives for all teachers and lesson observations will be carried out with the new framework, uploaded directly in real time.The school is expecting an Ofsted inspection this year and is relishing the continuing challenge. The system will also be invaluable in providing evidence for the new performance-related pay requirements. Rod Boswell,Vice Principal with responsibility for CPD, said: “Particularly with such a large school, all staff objectives need to fit in with those of the faculty and in turn the whole school and rather than being seen as a chore and a ‘tick box’ exercise, the vision should be shared by all. SchooliP will allow me to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. As a result, the school, should function more like a beehive and less like a wasp’s nest.” You can find out more information by going to the SchooliP website at or you can follow them on Twitter @SchooliP.

Follow SchooliP on Twitter @SchooliP or visit


Technology trends in primary science Maggie Morrissey uses her expertise as a primary science specialist teacher to explore new ways of bringing science to life.



Technology trends in Primary Science Throughout my teaching career I have enjoyed using technology in education, especially in science lessons. As an ICT coordinator I introduced teachers, teaching assistants and children to a variety of digital resources such as data loggers, digital microscopes and simulations to help support the teaching of science. As an independent primary consultant, I now provide training for primary teachers on how to develop their teaching of science. During each course I ask teachers to outline the positives and negatives of teaching this subject. There are often many positive comments about science, especially on how it engages young children. The negatives prove very interesting. Other than worries about subject knowledge and finding resources, teachers often say how much they and the children dislike the recording or writing up of their work. Here are two typical comments:

Talk in science Talk for writing is becoming increasingly popular in schools, so what about talk for science? Teachers are often encouraged to illicit children’s ideas at the start of a science topic to find out what misconceptions or understanding they have, but what happens to this talk? As Robin Alexander points out: “Talk is temporary and, unless particularly interesting, it soon fades with participants often forgetting what has been said.” In a busy classroom with lots of ideas and thoughts being produced, how can the teacher and even the children reflect on the discussion? During this process, do we as teachers really know what each child understands? In addition, what impact is our questioning having on the children’s ideas? As part of my MA I am researching how technology can help. Here are some initial ideas. Video recording

“The poor way in which experiments and results are recorded kills enthusiasm” “Marking books and having to give written feedback takes too long but it’s our OFSTED target” I believe this over reliance on writing hinders not just the enjoyment of the subject, but also the development of other science skills such as argumentation. Furthermore, what about dyslexic children who struggle with writing? Will the writing process truly reflect what these children know? Finally, remember our younger scientists, whose recording skills will be hampered by their age.

This can be used both at the start of a topic and as the topic develops. By placing the video camera so that it can pick up the whole class, the starter question and initial ideas can be recorded. This recording could be used for the teacher to truly reflect on what the children know and identify any misconceptions they may have. It can also be returned to during the work so that the children can reflect on how their ideas and knowledge have changed. This is also a valuable opportunity for a teacher to reflect on their own questioning skills.


Technology trends in Primary Science Recording devices There are now a variety of mp3 audio recorders available to be used in classrooms that are excellent for recording discussions in small groups. They are fairly simple to use and some can record up to four hours of sound. The recordings can be played back and stored on your computer. The main problem is the files can build up quickly, so a good system for naming and filing these is essential. Children can go on and edit their work using free software such as audacity then post their discussions into other digital applications. Podcasting Podcasts are digital media files, mainly audio, but can include video. I currently use Audioboo, but an alternative is Soundcloud. Subscription to both is free. They give the children the chance for their science work to reach a wider audience. They can post directly to the site or upload their work from their recordings after editing. Needless to say, they would still have to write and plan for this. Having a real audience for their work would make that writing process far more interesting and relevant. Whether you decide to go for some of these options or incorporate all of them I do not think you will be disappointed. Not only will your children become more enthusiastic about their science work, but you as a teacher will have a greater understanding of what your children know, making your assessment more reliable. This is going to be extremely relevant when the new curriculum commences in 2014.


Useful links for teachers Audacity - Audioboo - Soundcloud - Lgfl: Robin Alexander – Towards Dialogic teaching

Article written by: Maggie Morrissey @technologytotea


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Implementing 1:1 Learning

Implementing 1:1 learning Expert author Pamela Livingston discusses the opportunities that 1:1 learning can provide to pupils across the world.

We’re in the twenty-fourth year of educators recognising the ratio of 1:1 to mean one digital device to one child, available at school, at home and anywhere. The very first example of 1:1 was at Ladies Methodist College in Melbourne, Australia when these visionary educators took the bold step of providing laptops to every 5-12 grade student. This is fully chronicled in the book “Never Mind the Laptops”. Since then, there have been successes and stumbles, but one thing is certain: the school, district or region considering 1:1 needs to set the goals and direction clearly and completely to ensure meaningful educational use. To do this it is important to ask: “Once we have digital devices that are available throughout the school, what will we do with them?” The answer to this question should be determined after deep reflective thinking. Just as educators teach inquiry-based learning so that the questions from students are not surface but of depth and substance, so should the educational institution embark on deep and meaningful discussion to answer this question. Mission and educational goals should drive the answer but so should the possibilities that might not have existed before. No school improvement programme has bigger depth 38

and potential for education change than providing digital devices to every student and teacher in a school. Answers can come from thorough research on what works and what doesn’t, especially from Project Red. We also have one of the previously largest programmes, the State of Maine, with a long-range researched programme. Other answers can come from pockets of excellence such as the Urban School in San Francisco which took the availability of laptops for students into new and amazing heights when they began reaching out to their community and interviewing Holocaust survivors. The Urban School is now getting students to interview adults to tell their stories of the civil rights movement and historic moments. What an amazing example of students making a difference in their local and national community, and attaining international renown. No one else has done what they have done. This possibility only arose once students had digital devices.

Teachers worked hard to incorporate these digital devices into nearly all aspects of teaching and learning Innovatemyschool

Implementing 1:1 Learning Another exemplar is the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Project-based, inquiry-driven and student-centered, the digitally device-equipped students design and run projects, fully empowered by mobile digital devices. They’ve received visits and interest from Barack Obama and many others, as the school achieves great success in an urban space with a meaningful and reflective approach to learning. Visiting a computer lab once a week could never offer this type of depth. At my former employer, The Peck School in Morristown, NJ laptops were originally considered as a homework aide. Students with busy lives were having trouble completing homework, especially with travelling requirements from being part of sports teams and sometimes living in more than one home because of divorce or separation. Laptops provided the vehicle for taking the work anywhere, turning in homework electronically, and keeping the artefacts and resources of learning in school with students at all times. But Peck did not stop there. Teachers worked hard to incorporate these digital devices into nearly all aspects of teaching and learning. When I worked at Peck and people wished to visit to see laptop use, I just had to be sure there weren’t tests happening in specific classrooms on the days of visit, as there would be laptops used otherwise. Teachers often find differentiated learning to be accomplished more fully using 1:1 because different students can be assigned different parts of a unit according to interest or level, and then work in that group on their own digital devices using all the resources available.

St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School in Coral Gables, Florida used laptops to further their student of life in Ancient Mesopotamia, a signature yearly project. Students can learn different aspects of this ancient civilization and then come back together with their contributions to the whole project. Every student is at a level playing field with devices and resources to empower their learning. I visited NSW Australia and saw some excellent uses of 1:1, including students emigrating to Australia and participating in a culture and speech class. Their digital devices allowed them to create persuasive and informative speeches about their process of learning the culture and language of their new country. Additionally, creating a record of their learning in progress allowed them to return to each speech and understand their own growth and progress. Because technology creates this type of record, the arc of learning can be understood and evaluated not just by the teacher, but also by the learner. Having this personal and mobile device meant learning was possible in multiple ways and in multiple spaces. The possibilities are enormous once reflective educators consider how the ratio of 1:1 can open up learning in new ways. Don’t hold back, embrace 1:1 and see what can happen.

Article written by: Pamela Livingston Author of ‘1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work’ @plivings


Are you enthusiastic about innovation in education? Got ideas to share? We are looking for teachers and industry experts to contribute guest articles about their area of expertise. We want enthusiasm for interesting methods and fascinating technologies. Can you tell us about an innovative teaching practice at your school, or an awesome new gadget improving teaching and learning? Get in touch, email:

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Innovate My School: March 2014  

Issue 8 of the Innovate My School magazine, bringing the latest in educational innovation and inspiration to educators across the UK.

Innovate My School: March 2014  

Issue 8 of the Innovate My School magazine, bringing the latest in educational innovation and inspiration to educators across the UK.