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Surbiton, Surrey, United Kingdom, 2007/03/05 - Pupils at a junior school in Essex are having their lessons personalised using the school's learnign platform. Children can be seen creating their own web pages, taking part in video conferencing and sharing revision materials with each other - LGfL.net.
Collaborating online with peers, sharing resources and editing their own personal web space is all part of daily life for staff and pupils at Ardleigh Green Junior School in Havering, Essex. Head Teacher, John Morris explains how this has been made possible through the school’s learning platform supplied by The London Grid for Learning.
Ardleigh Green Junior School has been working with The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) since 2001, using its learning platform to embed ICT across the curriculum and encourage collaboration between pupils, staff, governors and parents. John Morris, Head Teacher at the school said: “We use the learning platform to connect everybody involved with the school so we can work together and share our achievements.” Through a safe, secure and high-speed broadband connection to the National Education Network (NEN) provided by the London Grid for Learning, Ardleigh Green’s committed usage of the learning platform sets a benchmark for other schools to take advantage of both the infrastructure services and learning services strands of the National Digital Infrastructure (NDI). The NEN provides schools with access to a consistent set of resources, services and applications and is available through LGfL to every school across London.*
Every pupil and teacher at Ardleigh Green has their own web space and use of e-mail, chat and video-conferencing tools. Teachers use the learning platform on a daily basis to create new resources from the online content supplied by LGfL, including lesson plans, activities and revision materials. For Year 6, staff have worked together to create the Learning Station; a revision grid which contains resources for the children to download and modify to suit their individual learning styles. John said: “Providing technology capable of supporting anytime, anywhere learning is incredibly important. Pupils are able to save the teacher’s materials and activities into their own user area and work on them when and where they choose. They can add their own notes and share these with their peers. In this way the learning platform allows us to personalise the learning experience and meet the Government’s 2008 target to provide every pupil with their own individual web space.”
Teachers and pupils at the school regularly upload resources to their web space for use at school and at home, this also has the potential to be accessed by other schools. Ardleigh Green’s ICT scheme of work is currently being used by over 80 schools in the borough and over 100 schools nationally. The school also ‘shares-up’ information on their ICT experiences. Jackie Avis, ICT Coordinator, said: “When we started using video-conferencing, the children had lots of questions about the technology and how it differed from television. They wanted to share this information to help other schools, so we conducted a small scale case study about video conferencing with a year 6 class and are sharing this with LGfL, who hope to make this available on their portal” Ardleigh Green now regularly takes part in LGfL’s pan-London video-conferencing events including Science Live, London Live and History Live. Jackie said: “By sharing our knowledge of video-conferencing with LGfL we hope that we can encourage other schools who were previously unsure of the technology to make use of this valuable resource.”
Implementation of the learning platform has been very successful at Ardleigh Green which John attributes to appropriate staff training and a scheme of work which ensures the necessary ICT skills are firmly embedded across the curriculum: “Jackie and I have worked closely to ensure that our teachers are provided with the correct level of ICT training and skills to use the learning platform optimally.” All staff at the school take the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) qualification and the school is now an ECDL training centre. They also offer the course to other London schools and parents. John said: “Ninety seven percent of our pupils have access to the internet at home but in the past parents have been difficult to contact via e-mail. Since we have been offering ICT courses, around 80 percent are regularly contactable online.”
Ref: 070208-LGfL-Ardleigh Green
* The NDI is the Government's vision for education being implemented by Becta to transform the way the capital’s school ICT services are specified, procured, delivered, supported and connected to other educational technology. Infrastructure services and learning services are concerned with the seamless integration of services and the management, provision and availability of learning content.
About The London Grid for Learning (LGfL)
The London Grid for Learning (lgfl.net) is a consortium of all 33 London Local Authorities. It provides fibre-based broadband access of 2-100 Mbps to all of London’s 2600 schools. Connectivity is supplemented by providing managed services to schools, by the creation of a collaborative learning platform that gives over one million schoolchildren and teachers 100Mb of personal web space, and by creating and enabling access to a wide range of educational content for ages 3-18.
About The Strategic Technologies Programme
The Strategic Technologies Programme is the Government’s vision of delivering a national digital infrastructure for education, transforming the way schools’ ICT services are specified, procured, delivered, supported and connected to other educational technology. This vision is designed to support the government’s e-strategy, ensuring a better application of ICT in schools to improve pupils’ interest in learning and teachers’ use of their time.
There are four related areas of this vision, three of which are linked to procurement frameworks: Infrastructure Services (provision of hardware), Learning Services (provision of software) and Data Services (provision of strategic use of new services). The fourth element is connectivity, which has been successfully implemented in London, where virtually all schools have been connected with broadband.