Cutting Edge ICT

Have you ever wished you could do more exiting things with ICT? Well, now you can. To follow is a list of some of the latest software and projects that UK schools are involved with - and if you need help or further support with any of them, just get in touch.

Google Earth
One of the latest free products from Google, it enables you to view detailed aerial photgraphs of the entire planet. Type a place name into the search field and Google Earth will take you there, allowing you to zoom in and view amazingly clear images. Zoom into the pyramids at Giza, the Eiffel Tower, Red Square, the Forbidden City and central London, and even 'fly through' the Grand Canyon. Not everywhere is available in such detail, but more close-up photography is being added all the time. You do need to be online to use Google Earth.
If you choose to enable the Google Earth Community, you can view geographical information posted by Google Earth users all over the world. If you wish, you can also post information on places of interest near you, creating a 'bookmark' that people from anywhere can visit.
Download Google Earth for free from here and then run the file you've downloaded.

Blogging / Weblogs
What is a blog? It's a kind of online journal or diary, about anything. Schools are beginning to use blogging as a way of helping children to publish their thoughts, stories and experiences online.
To see an example of school weblogs, click here.
There are many web sites which allow you to post blogs, to follow are just three. All require registration.
http://www.schoolblogs.com/
http://www.blogger.com/start
http://www.jubiiblog.co.uk/


Internet Radio For Schools
Internet Radio Kit for Schools is a mini-website dedicated to providing teachers and their pupils with everything they need to know to make their own internet radio programmes. The educational value of making internet radio programmes is enormous: providing pupils with the chance to develop their communication skills, gain a practical understanding of the different stages of the production process and work in small highly collaborative teams. The pupils’ school benefits as well, since the programmes can provide a valuable way to establish closer links with parents and other important members of the school’s wider community. Internet Radio Kit for Schools is full of features, all designed to make programme-making as simple and successful as possible.
Visit http://www.bteducation.org/img/lib/dialogics/schoolradio/index.htm for further details.


Create Your Own RingTone
Use the latest sound technology to create a mobile ringtone and share it with everyone. You can also download ringtones created by other children around the world. Visit C21 Tones for further information and details of how to get started.

WebQuests
A WebQuest is essentially a treasure hunt through the internet, during which children will learn about a particular topic from various websites by following a trail created by their teacher. This site not only allows you to choose from many existing webquests, from ancient egypt to earthquakes to healthy teeth, but also allows you to create and share your own webquest. See http://www.webquests.org.uk/ for further details.

PodCasts
What is a PodCast? For education, this emerging technology provides another way of sharing and transmitting audio for teaching and learning in schools and at home. As well as providing broadcast audio and video for public access, children and young people are able to record, produce and publish on the Internet podcasts of their very own using basic software. Ultimately, audio podcasts can be synchronised with many popular MP3 players. The technology infrastructure for creating and distributing podcasts is evolving rapidly. As well as just audio-only podcasts, there are currently two other forms of podcast available - enhanced podcasts and video podcasts.
The Podcast Directory enables children to listen to podcasts created by other schools, either as plain audio or audio with video, and to create and upload their own podcasts, too.


PlayGround Fun
This unique site allows children to explore popular playground games of both the past and present, using text, photographs and even video. Children can then build their own game, based either on their own experience of the playground, or created entirely from their imagination. This game can then be uploaded to the site, along with photographs. The site also includes lesson plans and discussion of related topics, such as how to interview friends and family about games, and how to take the best photographs. Visit the site for more information.


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