ICT Websites

InnovativeICT and the accompanying book Innovate with ICT - enhancing learning across the curriculum, have been produced to show teachers how effective ICT can be in developing students' skills. The website offers interactive tutorials on how to use e.g. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Movie Maker in engaging and useful ways and also offers more advanced users of ICT the opportunity to learn how to use Adobe Flash to create their own interactive diagrams.

Firefly Learning has created a range of language resources to use with the Interactive White Board. Although this site is mainly focused on Modern Foreign Languages, Firefly Learning has also produced a generator which teachers can use to produce their own interactive diagrams such as Venn and Living Graphs. These diagrams can easily be added to Virtual Learning Environments as well as individual websites.

Ask an Expert: The latest free service provided by the International Education Forum is called Ask an Expert. So far fourteen educators with a wide range of experience of using ICT in the classroom have joined the panel. This includes John Simkin, Richard Jones-Nerzic, Marco Koene, Graham Davies, Andy Walker, David Wilson, David Richardson, Rob Jones, Nico Zijlstra, Derek McMillan, John Birchall, Dan Moorhouse and Alf Wilkinson. They will attempt to deal with all questions put to them by teachers and parents.

Ask Jack: Every Thursday Jack Schofield answers questions in Online Guardian. The questions and answers are added to this website. For example, Owen Wilkinson asked: "I've recorded my 1,500 records on to a 60GB hard drive. Each side was saved as a single MP3 file. I'd now like to transfer the files to a portable player, which I could connect to my hi-fi. I would like to divide each file (one LP side) into tracks to name individually." You will need to visit the website to discover Jack Schofield's reply.

ICT GCSE provides free resources to both students and teachers alike. There are coursework guides to specific projects along with more general tips. Theoretical explanantions are deliberately colloquial to help strip out the jargon within the subject, whilst extremely high quality flash animations explain topic areas. There is a section of downloadable exercises which is under expansion, but the highlight has to be the randomly generated quiz. The questions set are not simplistic and a score of 10/10 is rarely achieved, but the beauty is that every time you log on to it you get a different set of questions. Certainly the site is some way from the complete article but is already a key reference point for ICT students on the Internet.

UK ICT Cooridinator web site contains free materials and resources for ICT teachers and coordinators. There are links to primary, GCSE and A level Computing/ICT sites as well as material for cross curricular use. The monthly newsletter subscription is free and contains useful updates. The site has received good reviews already from the popular Interactive and EC&T school ICT magazines.

ICT: Schemes of Work: The Standards Site is managed by the Department for Education and Employment's Standards and Effectiveness Unit (SEU). The main objective of the site is to supply teachers with "guidance and tools to help schools improve effectiveness, raise standards and reduce workload". This includes a large selection of schemes of work for ICT.

EDU Forum: The site, created by Simon Morgan of St. Alsager School provides free high quality ICT resources for both teaching and supporting ICT in secondary education. To this end, you will find a variety of practical tutorials covering such things as introducing the Internet, presentation skills using Word, core areas of Key Skills IT and much more. Recent additions to the Resource Section includes Top Tips, Open Flexible Learning and Y7 ICT tests.

Cyberhunts: Produced by ICTeachers, Cyberhunts are question-based guides through a series of websites on a particular subject. Cyberhunts available from this website include, Literacy Cyberhunt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt Cyberhunt, Art Picturehunt, Britain Since the 1930s, Harry Potter, Human Body, Cyberhunt Maths, Lord of The Rings, Millennium Cyberhunt, Olympics Cyberhunt, Rainforests, Rivers, Romans, Saxons & Vikings, Tudors, Victorians and Solar System Cyberhunt.

TECHtionary: The producers of this website claim that it is the world's first animated dictionary on technology. With more new terms everyday the website currently includes more than 600+ terms and 250,000+ Macromedia Flash animation effects on telecommunications, data communications, networking and Internet technologies, TECHtionary can be accessed anytime-anywhere to learn how things work. TECHtionary also provides key terms and concepts for preparation of the NACSE – National Association of Communications Systems Engineers.

Burford School ICT: The Burford School KS3 ICT website has been created for students, parents and teachers. Schemes of work are based on the QCA model, but have been adapted to develop environmental education themes. The site is divided in to separate sections covering each KS3 year group. Hints on using different types of software are provided. There are many help pages for students, copiable worksheets and links to other useful websites. The main aim is to make resources available to students when and where they have access to ICT facilities. The emphasis is on producing resources for our own students, but there is a lot of material for the wider audience. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and suggest developments which they would like to see on the site.

Questionmarker is an e-tool that enables the classroom teacher to deliver the testing and assessment of their students on-line. Featuring the first ever personalised on-line-markbook, it opens up the world of e-learning and maximises the potential of the Curriculum online. Ideal for homework, revision and study leave. Give students test codes, they do the test at home and their results appear immediately on the teacher's computer.

Kar2ouche is interactive software that enables pupils to produce storyboards, animations and publications. This develops contextual understanding, encourages reasoned interpretation and facilitates creative expression. Each title has relevant characters, backgrounds, props, text and audio that pupils manipulate to create storyboards, presentations and publications. These can be played back, printed and emailed encouraging pupils to communicate ideas and evaluate other’s work.

Learning Circuits: ASTD's website provides a collection of articles on e-Learning. It currently includes a fascinating article by Randall W. Kindley on Scenario-Based e-Learning. Kindley argues that scenario-based e-learning differs from traditional e-learning as it places the learner in real situations and requires behaviour choices rather than simple answers to knowledge questions. Other articles include E-Learning: Building the Ramp for Equal Access (Karen Beauregard), TechTools: Blogs (Jay Cross) and Retooling for E-Learning (Laura Moushey and James Kirk).

The Learning Citizen is an initiative sponsored by the European Commission with the specific objective of facilitating and enhancing lifelong learning for all members of society. The initiative brings together technologists, pedagogues, entrepreneurs, institutions and potential users in a multi-disciplinary approach to tackle this important issue. The clear goal is to develop sustainable, effective and universal solutions addressing learning needs across society. This website serves as a portal to a diverse collection of activities and initiatives taking place not only within the European Union, but elsewhere, most notably in the United States. Nine EU-funded projects have been clustered with the intention to stimulate the wide deployment of appropriate technology and to support the early adoption of best practice. The Learning Citizen newsletter is aimed at discussion, sharing and exchanging knowledge among various e-learning initiatives. The newsletter tackles topics related to e-learning such as the technology used, the standards being developed and adopted, the pedagogy adapted to the new media.

ICT Advice: The ICT Advice site is divided into sections: ' 'What is...', How to...', and 'Inspire me'. Each of these features detailed explanatory information on software, hardware, curriculum, management and more, tailored to your individual needs, depending on your role. Just select your role from the list and you will be presented with a page tailored with the information you might need. For instance, this month, classroom teachers will find help with developing their own ICT skills - using spreadsheets, e-mail and more. They'll also discover the latest news such as the online conference, Transforming Teaching and Learning, to be held in May.

WebWise: This new online course is the easy way to get to grips with the Internet. It lets you learn at your own pace and can lead to a nationally recognised qualification. The eight key sections, or trips, will take you through the Internet basics in a simple and easy to follow format. It will probably take you about ten hours to complete the course. WebWise will help you find out about getting connected, e-mailing, searching, bookmarking, making your own address book and the very basics of building your own web page. You will also learn about technological developments like Digital TV and WAP phones, your legal rights online, the history of the net, and the other ways in which you might get online.

Richard's Things: Richard Finnigan has been involved in co-ordinating ICT in middle schools since 1996. He has created this website in order to share work and ideas so if you are an ICT teacher hopefully you will find this website useful. Richard Finnigan has explained what each resource is about and what it can be used for. On this website you will find teaching resources, lessons plans and schemes of work and a few homemade applications.

Internet Proficiency Scheme: Becta has launched the Internet Proficiency Scheme for Key Stage 2 pupils on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). The scheme consists of a teaching pack containing lesson ideas, pupil worksheets and pupil certificates. There is also an interactive website hosted by GridClub. The site encourages children to explore safety issues and develop safe and responsible behaviours. The pack offers guidance on how to use the scheme in the classroom. There is also information on technologies such as chat rooms, email, instant messaging, Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS).

Celebrate User Group: Educational publishers increasingly see Learning Objects as the way to develop, maintain and deliver digital, online educational content that schools can afford. The launch of the Celebrate User Group will provide a community for European organisations working in this field and a bridge to international initiatives developing Learning Objects for schools. This initiative supported by the European Commission’s Information Society Technologies Programme (IST). The project will particularly investigate how different types of Learning Objects and a new generation of Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) impact upon the learning process and support new constructivist learning models.

ICT Awards: The ICT in Practice Awards aim to identify models of excellent practice and use these to develop and promote effective practice in the use of ICT in teaching, learning and leadership. This Becta scheme allow it to share this information with the wider teaching community while rewarding individuals who demonstrate exemplary practice in ICT. Each award winner will receive £2,500, with an additional £2,500 going to their school or organisation. Each runner-up will receive £500, with an additional £500 going to their school or organisation. The awards are open for nominations from 13 March to 25 July 2003.

E-Learning: The Guardian's latest e-learning supplement was published this week. Articles include Unfinished Business (state-funded ICT training is in a mess so where do teachers go next?), The Virtual Art Studio (how painting on a computer can capture the imagination of children and teachers alike), Looking Good on Paper (Guardian/Teem guide to printers), Digital Revolution (a report on a recent digital video showcase) and Music Makers (a look at how technology is increasing music's popularity as a subject to study both at school and college).

ICT in Subject Teaching: This National Curriculum in Action website now includes examples of pupils' work with ICT across a range of subjects, with teacher commentary on how the use of ICT enhanced learning in the subject. The work exemplifies the requirements to use ICT in subject teaching. You can search for examples of pupils' work with ICT by choosing 'Using ICT' in Search. Also, on each subject page, 'ICT learning' links to examples of pupils' work. For each subject, there is guidance on: ICT learning, ICT statutory requirements and ICT opportunities.

IJET: The International Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) is an international refereed journal in the field of educational technology, sponsored by faculty, staff, and students at The Graduate School of Education at the University of Western Australia and the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. IJET is published online twice each year and is available without an access charge. Recent articles include: Extending Learning Opportunities Through a Virtual Faculty - The Videoconference Option, An Analysis of Teacher Concerns Toward Instructional Technology, Online Learning in Schools and Humanities-based Curriculum Online.

Educational Technology & Society is a quarterly journal (January, April, July and October), but the articles are published online as soon as they are ready for publication. Recent topics covered include: Distance Learning Systems, Interactive Learning Environments, Educational Multimedia, Collaborative Learning and Environments, Multimedia Applications,

Network-Based Learning Environments, Online Education, Simulations for Learning and Web Based Training.

Electronic School: This award-winning technology magazine for teachers was published from 1987 to 2002 as a print and online supplement to American School Board Journal, in cooperation with ITTE: Education Technology Programs, a program of the National School Boards Association. This site is updated frequently with new education technology resources from American School Board Journal, NSBA's monthly magazine.

MAPE is an organization that supports the use of ICT across the primary curriculum. It does this under the following headings: Curriculum (ideas and resources for effective teaching with ICT), Communications (advice on how to use email and the web in the classroom), Software (reviews of the latest software and how to make the best of what you've got), Management (help with how to build ICT into development planning and Hardware (how to optimise available resources and plan for development). MAPE also produces a termly newsletter covering all developments in ICT, including reports of government initiatives, reviews of software and feedback on shows and conferences.

ICT Teacher's Guide: An updated ICT Teacher's guide for key stages 1 and 2 has been sent to all primary schools in England. It includes a range of new integrated tasks for existing units, showing how key ideas, skills and techniques in ICT can be applied and developed in other subjects. If you have not received a copy you can download it from the Standards Unit website. To help teachers make the most of the schemes, the people from the Standards Unit have added examples of how primary school teachers are customising them. You will also find examples of how teachers have adapted units in different subjects to reflect their particular circumstances and to better meet pupils' needs and abilities.

LessonPlaniT: Recent research shows that nearly half England's primaries have an interactive whiteboard while 82% of secondary schools have them. The Interactive Whiteboard Company is giving away LessonPlaniT software to every school in the UK. LessonPlaniT works with all whiteboards, regardless of manufacturer, and on all common computer platforms and operating systems. To claim your free copy you need to complete the registration form on the company's website.

NAACE is the professional association for those concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of information and communications technology (ICT). The association was established in 1984 and has become the key influential professional association for those working in ICT in Education. The NAACE mark has been developed by NAACE, in association with Becta. It is an award which recognises a school's success in developing and implementing a strategic approach to ICT. It provides a framework for using ICT to enhance teaching and learning and provides opportunities for the school community to develop ICT capability. Working towards and gaining the NAACEmark enables schools to move forward with the knowledge that they are implementing recognised good practice.

ICT Magazine: The ICT coordinators' magazine is a new publication which can help you keep up to date with news, events and articles relevant to the needs of ICT coordinators in all schools. Delivered direct to your email in-box every month and also available online, the magazine is written by and for ICT coordinators. The current issue includes ICT Snapshots (quick ideas on using ICT in the classroom), Deepening the Pool of Knowledge (ICT in the city), ICT Challenge (take up the challenge - you could win a prize!) and Reader's Corner.

ICT Questions: Should ICT still be taught as a discrete subject or be embedded across the curriculum? Why should young people need to study ICT? These are some of the questions that Gareth Mills, principal consultant at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and a government adviser on ICT will be answering on the Education Guardian website. Questions should be emailed to Gareth Mills at: education.editor@guardianunlimited.co.uk.

ICT Education Community: Microsoft is attempting to create an online community for UK teachers to share information and ideas "about the best use of ICT in schools". The Education Community has a news service to update teachers and managers with stories of best practice, and experts are brought in to field curriculum questions. The website facilitates the pooling of information to avoid duplication and share learning on the effective use of ICT to improve learning outcomes and school management. The home page contains an overview of the latest content and resources that you will find throughout the site.

Derek McMillan: This is the website of a teacher at a West Sussex school. It is under continual deconstruction. It has material and links on cyberpsychology including the "Letters to Lara" project which examines the relationship between children and the characters in a computer game. It will develop alternatives which can be used to subvert (or improve) the Government Framework for ICT and links connected with ICT generally.

European Schools Project is a project for promoting telecommunication between primary and secondary schools all over the world. It was started at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) by Henk Sligte and Aad Nienhuis. There are now more than 300 participating schools from over 26 countries from all over the world. The project has websites in English, Dutch, Czech, Danish, German, Finnish, Swedish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Slovenian and Slovak.

ePALS: Engage yourself in a multicultural e-learning community of students and educators, partners and friends, sharing authentic writing and learning experiences in a safe communications environment. It provides discussion boards, password-protected chatrooms and monitored email accounts and claims it is used by 4.5 million students and teachers in 191 countries.

Open Gateways: Sun is helping create the schools of the 21st century by developing new models of instruction, where students are able to utilize the network to become active learners and teachers are empowered with network-based tools that promote student centered instruction. Sun is also promoting a global Education Learning Community to create a set of standards connecting nations and academic institutions. The company hopes it can be used to share resources and for work on collaborative projects. Scott McNealy, chairman, president and CEO, Sun Microsystems claims: "Sun is always working to champion best practices in global education through the development of tools and technologies that give students a learning advantage and education leaders a budget advantage."

Innovative Teacher: The Innovative Teachers Program is based on two premises: That technology is a powerful catalyst to improve learning, and that teachers learn best from their peers. This program delivers free, high-quality professional development opportunities to districts and schools, based on the sharing and replication of exemplary learning projects. Created in partnership with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Innovative Teachers is dedicated to bringing together a community of teachers as learners and facilitating the creation of collective knowledge. Other objectives include creating a platform for the advancement of best practices and adoption of innovation and providing training and access to technology resources.

Content Generator: In future anyone will be able to purchase and download these advanced programs to generate their own Flash games. These interactive games have been a major part of the success of Andrew Field's multi award-winning educational websites SchoolHistory and Revise ICT. These interactive games are easy to create and are perfect for starter, plenary, revision and recap activities. Adding an element of fun competition will enliven any lesson or training session. Games are based on a minimum of 20 questions with no maximum number - questions are chosen randomly each time the game is played.

Bloke on the a Bike: Drew Radford, is packing up his computing gear, priming up the engine of the Bavarian and donning his leathers. Once again he is preparing to launch into the unknown – the Australian outback. He will be digging up and presenting radio and TV stories about people and the environment in regional Australia. He’d like you to have a go too, as he can’t visit every cool place in Australia. As “Junior Journos”, in the outback Drew wants you to get out into your local community and then link up with a school in another part of Australia and together prepare an online report about how technology has, is or could change life in the Australian outback.

E-Learning Credits: This month sees £100m worth of e-learning credits being made available to schools. However, the Department for Education and Skills admitted last week that there was still £75m unclaimed from the 2003-04 budget. Any credits which are not used will be taken back by the government in August. Eric Spear, the former president of the National Association of Head Teachers says: "Of course they are not being used, there's a limit to the amount you can spend on software. We're approaching saturation point."

Strategic Leadership of ICT: Headteachers throughout England have the opportunity to register for the Strategic Leadership of ICT (SLICT) programme which will be running in the autumn term. Developed jointly by Becta and the National College for School Leadership (NCSL), The Strategic Leadership of ICT programme (SLICT) is a targeted intervention programme aimed at assisting headteachers to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to take a strategic lead of ICT in their schools. In February 2003, the Secretary of State for Education announced the national rollout of the SLICT programme to provide up to 10,000 places by 2006.

National Whiteboard Network: Interactive Whiteboards are becoming an increasingly common classroom resource and already schools and LEAs are seeing the benefits that this technology has in transforming teaching and learning across the curriculum. Teachers are using the technology to develop their range of pedagogical strategies and are beginning to exploit the technology to act as a catalyst in enhancing teaching and learning. Guidance on how teachers use of Interactive whiteboards can be found in the "Review and Implement" section of the National Whiteboard Network website.

Computer-Based Assessment: This section of the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) website aims to provide an authoritative guide to Computer-Based Assessment (CBA), which is becoming an increasingly important part of the assessment agenda. A number of influential thinkers have argued that such an integration with the curriculum could lead to a future in which assessment played a more positive role in education. However, others have sounded a note of caution, and have reminded enthusiasts that not all would be pleased by more complex assessment. NFER has conducted a variety of research into this branch of assessment and this guide is based on that expertise and experience.

Visual Thesaurus: The Visual Thesaurus takes a unique, and remarkably beautiful, approach to presenting the results of a word lookup. Discover and learn from nearly 140,000 words, meanings and relationships Through its emphasis on exploration and vocabulary building, the Visual Thesaurus can improve reading, writing and communication skills. Type in a word in the text box to the upper left of this window, click "look it up," and you'll be rewarded with an interactive map showing the meaning of your word. If you'd like unlimited access to the Visual Thesaurus, you will need to subscribe to the Online Edition, or buy the Desktop Edition.

Dialectizer: Samuel Stoddard's website allows you to convert English text to any of several comic dialects. The Dialectizer takes text or other web pages and instantly creates parodies of them! Try it out by selecting a dialect, then entering a URL or English text below. Options include Redneck, Jive, Cockney, Elmer Fudd, Swedish Chef, Moron, Pig Latin, or Hacker. The translation is done via a huge series of search-and-replace operations. The translation programs do not analyze sentence structure or keep track of parts of speech. They merely look for certain sequences of characters and replace them with other sequences. The search strings are sometimes whole words, sometimes parts of words, or sometimes more than one word. The most complex are Cockney and Redneck, which have between 600 and 900 search strings.