ISA eLearning Community Newsletter 3 30 January 2009
Dear Heads of ISA Schools,
Please forgive the frequency of these ISA eLearning community newsletters, and do pass them onto those
within your school who have the responsibility to champion ICT usage. OfSTED reported last week of
slow progress in the state sector, and advised that “Enthusiasm and peer support from teachers should
help the initiative develop more widely” so here goes... the ISANet really does provide ISA schools with
a remarkable opportunity to introduce interactive materials to assist our pupils make good use of ICT to
help them learn and gain new skills.
But let’s bear in mind the advice from Imperial College to its own teachers in 2007 as we start out …
• We need to become students of on-line learning before we become creators…
• Practice will improve teachers’ online skills and change our attitudes in dealing with problems
• We need to be confident in using/providing basic technical instructions in an online environment
The choice of our partner T-Learning and their Taecanet Springboard was deliberate – it is straightforward
to use as teachers or learners, and of course once set up, the teacher can complete their class learning
journeys as a pupil! Reporting on one ISA small junior school, since starting on-line in November, T-
Learning’s support specialist Chris Davison says “For less than 100 girls, recent stats are as follows: Nov
324 Learning Journeys, Dec 670 LJs, Jan 1554 LJs. It seems that the service is growing in popularity with
staff and pupils, which is great news.” The 7 teaching staff involved are not specifically computer
literate, “Neil has helped to kick-start usage from within the school with some success, and he regularly
picks my brains for tips and advice.”
Over 25 full study sessions each girl in 7 weeks -
- amazingly positive reactions coming from their parents and from themselves!
The mission – everything the Independent Schools Association stands for – but virtually!
In addition to lesson content for pupils aged 5 to 16, we plan to develop sources of academic advice,
opportunities for professional development, competitions within Arts and Festivals, and through the
development of the ISANet social networking site links not just for headteachers and senior managers, but
for subject specialists, sports representatives and other staff within ISA schools, and this is FREE!!!
The site is to be found at www.isanet.ning.com, just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org for an invite…
FOUNDER MEMBERSHIP of the ISA Learning Community known as the
has now been achieved by 6 schools in January 2009, though it seems T-Laerning have had some
problems with on-line registration and their FAX machine. To ensure we have a core group of at least 15
schools to collaborate, the closing date has been extended to 13 February 2009. Applications for Taecanet
Springboard made before this date will cover the extended period February 2009 to September 2010,
providing 5 terms of service instead of just 3. Application information and further advice can be found by
ringing Chris Davison on 0871 288 4580, or Ian Nairn on 07590 226 807.
The next Steps:
Announcing the conference, at the Marriot Hotel, Huntingdon on Fri 27 Feb. 2009.
The purpose of this new ISA event is to provide simple and cost-effective advice and training to heads,
teachers and ICT co-ordinators within ISA schools. Full details of the event are available overleaf, and
the core themes are:
1. ISA ICT collaboration – the way forward, not just with educational content, but with advice for
Heads and Teachers, on collective purchasing, sharing resources and teaching materials.
2. Many of the best resources from the WEB 2.0 developers are free, but which ones can/should we
use in schools. As well as lecture information, a hands-on afternoon with award winning presenter
Russell Stannard of Westminster University and www.teachertrainingvideos.com
3. Developing On-line learning, Reports, On-line markbooks and some thoughts about VLEs.
James Wilding, Claires Court Schools, working solely for and on behalf of ISA schools.