Wednesday, 27 April 2011

HELLO The 2011 National Year of Communication

Hello, the 2011 national year of communication, is a campaign to increase understanding of how important it is for children and young people to develop good communication skills. Hello aims to make communication for all children and young people a priority in homes and schools across the UK so that they can live life to the full.

Through this website you will find out about the monthly themes that have been devised for the year, free resources to help support children's communication development and find out about events that are happening in your area.

It's easy for you to help children learn and improve their communication skills and Hello is here to help you.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Census 1911 Project

On March 27th 2011 the great census was taken and schools connected to the National Education Network are invited to join a project where they can compare the present with the census of 1911, undertaking their own research with online support and guidance. This is a great opportunity for schools to take advantage of broadband provision and join in this census based research project, that encourages schools to look not just at the census for 1911 but at their own communities in 2011. Free access for schools to the 1911 census online database is kindly provided by until the 31st July, 2011.

Download the census 2011 Training Guide for an introduction to the 1911 census and lots of ideas how to use the project within and outside the classroom.

The census 2011 website provides guidance, links and ideas about how to investigate this wealth of online historical material. Schools cannot only research, but also record, share and discuss their findings with others, using a selection of online tools including: Making the News 2 , Making the News , Discovery Box , Speechmaker , census 2011 Project Gallery .

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Special offer - Attention Small Schools in England!

Limited funding is still available for small schools in England who are applying for ICT Mark accreditation and will be allocated on a first come first served basis! Successful schools will receive a £200 discount from their final invoice. To qualify for this fabulous offer – the school must have less than 100 pupils. 39 lucky schools have gained benefit from the Small Schools Initiative so far! To find out more please contact

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Clipart and images for free

Are you confused by what is meant by 'Copyright free', 'Royalty free' and 'Creative Commons Licence'? The following may help: Royalty free is NOT the same as copyright free - it is a license to use an image multiple times following the payment of a single fee. Copyright free, whether by a clear statement on the website that the resource may be freely used or a similar license statement is just that - in the public domain and free to use in any way. Creative Commons licenses are a third way of obtaining free images but will always impose some restrictions, e.g. free to download and use in your own publications but may not be used for commercial use. You can search for images released under Creative Commons on Flickr by using the advanced search and ticking the box at the bottom. However and wherever clipart or an image is used, the source should be acknowledged as a matter of good practice and pupils should be taught and expected to do this in their work. Further information about licences can be found here: Here are four sites you may find useful for free clipart and images: More than 6000 images in 76 galleries Free clipart but requires SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphic) software to read it such as Adobe SVG Viewer. The clipart can be converted to other formats such as JPegs by using Contenta SVG Converter from . Good quality photos with good search engine. Also shows links to '' photos that are Royalty Free i.e. small cost but can be used many times. American site with world wide appeal.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Creating avatars to engage and inspire learners

Following a hugely successful Literacy and ICT course last month I thought it might be helpful for others to have some of the resources highlighted.

Voki is a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, learning platform and in email messages.  It provides pupils with a way of developing characters in Literacy, giving feedback on their learning in an innovative and engaging way and much more.  It provides teachers with an interesting way of engaging learners. Below is a video tutorial to get you started.