Weekly Digital Newsletter 1 July 2014 – A Short Farewell to the Ning Edition

http://goo.gl/Tw3kZR link to the picture edition


The ISANet Newsletter started as part of the ISA’s service to schools, something I felt would bring teachers and ideas together. The ISANet site shows me I have created some 238 Blog posts, of which the vast majority are newsletters such as this.

My editorial approach to creating the newsletter goes as follows. Most of the time, I have used POCKET as my bookmarking service, so that on a Sunday evening, I can review the week’s research and build the items into some kind of coherent (or otherwise you might say) content. In the early years, as the Ning network attracted people to its Facebook-style of social activity, plenty of other colleagues would blog and bounce ideas. But gladly, as more and more colleagues have become digitally savvy, the need to gather on the ISANet has disappeared, but your kind reactions to the Newsletter service has kept me going for some 5 years.

And today, this is the last of the Weekly newsletters from the ISANet.

I have downloaded the distribution list, and will email each member after the end of term to see whether they wish to be signed up for my WordPress blog, which will have both ‘A Principled View’ and ‘ISANet Blog section’ back up from next week..

Ian Nairn, Founder of the ISANet Ning, is shortly to close the site down, and save himself a few dollars each month into the process, and assist me in archiving the content.  I suspect there’s a Master research base in there somewhere – what 5+ years of Social Networking has achieved for a group of 563 Independent school  teachers and fellow travellers?

My grateful thanks to Ian, Dave Orchard, Chris Rowan, Eric Leuzinger, Rupert Fowke, Theresa Ward, Paul Robson and all that have taken and interest, written for me and promoted the cause of Digital Literacy and Innovation.  It’s been a pleasure working with you, and I hope all will consider adding to the ISANet Blog on its WordPress platform.

From next week, the Digital Newlstter will reappear on the sister Blog on WordPress http://isaonline.wordpress.com/. 

Newsbytes on ISANet stuff

Google Apps, the Story continues – event is now on the horizon, for Saturday 12 July, during which we host Beginner and more advanced GAFE training in the various core tools, as well as showcase the soon-to-arrive in the UK tools of

Google Classroom, Google Play for Edu and Google Glass:


  • My Google Glass arrived last week, and today make their first outing into the Classroom with 2 of our year 11 students, Will and Lisa, as they support Junior school children in their work in the Cloud. Hopefully in the hands of these two CC Google Mentors, Glass will show what it can do for Education.  My Colleague Paul Robson has also acquired a set, and we’ll try our best to share with you Hands-on what they might mean for Class.
  • Google Classroom arrived recently today, and last week I started a demo in school. It looks a useful free edition to the GAFE ecosystem, but it’s right at the start of its development and functionality will develop as Google Certified Teachers feedback to Mountain View what tweaks and extras are needed to make it a useful coherent service to schools.
  • Google Play for Education is almost here in the UK, and will be incredibly useful for the deployment and management of Tablets in schools. Claires Court is supporting the use of Tablets in Primary schools as part of a Samsung Project in the autumn, but I understand the Lawyers need to keep tweaking the contract to fit inside the EU, and Samsung need to make sure their Tablets will run the Service.  Stateside, they have just retro-fitted Play for Edu to Chromebooks, permitting some greater functionality to the Management console. As the advert syass With the revamped Google Play for Education, teachers can now give students access to Android apps and Chrome apps, books and videos from a single site. According to Google, about 10,000 schools currently use Chromebooks (and some of them use both Chromebooks and tablets).”  Techcrunch
  • Coding in Drive seeks to highlight some free to use tools, that sync with Google Drive, assisting young and old to get their hands and heads around computer programming, rolling out across the UK in Primary schools from September.

From my POCKET this week

  • A nice little cartoon by Ros Asquith from the Guardian, on the yet further decline on Music funding in schools.Image
  • Most graduates have switched careers by age of 24 – from the Daily Telegraph.  19 out of 20 of today’s graduates have changed jobs at least once within three years of finishing university, study by New College of the Humanities finds

  • Playing with Dr Doug Belshaw on Google+ on Sunday night, as he launched his book on The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies, he reintroduced my to the whole stuff on Memes – by way of this site – http://knowyourmeme.com/ and this Meme generator – http://memegenerator.net/ .  I really can see some Fun can be had with these two, and if children by end of Year 6 can get the hang of generating Memes and using them, then they’ll be digitally literate for Secondary school, or that’s Doug’s contention.  You can view the 60 minute session led by Doug here – Google+ Live.
  • A Simple Coding sandboox for use in the Classroom – PENCIL
  • Axe A-levels for Bacc-style exam, say UK scientists.  Another week, another 10 or so Education Soundbytes to add to that incredible insecure feeling that we are now living in.  The UK scientists concerned are looking 10 or so years down the road – perhaps they’d like to take a Time Machine back to Curriculum 2000, the New A level curriculum that promised so much but was derailed by a combination of League Table frenzy and Universities lack of appetite for change.

And finally…

I have followed Ewan McIntosh and Tom Barrett from the NoTosh digital training consultancy for a number of years, exceptional practitioners in schools and the corporate world now plying their trade mainly down under it seems.  

Here’s Ewan’s blog, and a post on which he highlights what a year of school innovation around the world looks like. He reminds me to remember to be Agile, and I like that, for at my grand old age of 60, I’d like to think I have tried to be just that as your editor of weekly digital news.

My closing aphorism to make you think:


James Wilding





About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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