Becta – so near to linking up Britain?

Is this the saviour of schools broadband?

hallaton village2

Are you interested in the sustainability of internet connectivity in your school? What could the opportunities be?

I recently saw a tweet by Jon Hunt – whose website shows him to be an Education Broadband Specilaist. Jon had done some research through Becta’s website and highlighted 3 recent papers. if you’d like much more thorough analysis of these items, then Jon’s site is worth a look.

Response to Digital Britain is a fairly short document and contains some great ideas, especially in relation to rural schools – a significant minority of remote rural schools remain simply too expensive to connect to NGA. Ironically, their very remoteness means they are the schools with potentially the most to gain from next generation broadband access.  The paper shows technical ways in which a school could provide links to the community. Is there a simpler way for schools to share the burden of the cost of broadband AND help the local community – like renting out space? Why can’t a village primary school provide a desk, internet and work space for a fee? Safeguarding is clearly an issue, but if there was ever a time for school leaders to think outside the box – surely it’s now. What do you think?

Next Generation Access is – by it’s nature a weighty document. This document shows – amongst other things ideas where schools broadband could be opened up to local users in rural communities. I’ve been discussing this idea with headteachers for a few years – ‘just thinking out loud’. No headteacher has dismissed it yet as ridiculous.

Looking Ahead was published after the announcement of Becta’s closure and is (not surprisingly) somewhat briefer!  This short document picks up on some powerful points education broadband is the only available broadband in some areas … A heavy reliance on significant (and ongoing) contribution from schools – is this sustainable? … Fragmentation risk – schools/authorities opting out of RBC-/authority-led provision ..


Ofcom Bulletin – Another view of what’s happening

Issue 36 of the Media Literacy e-bulletin now available


The current bulletin has some great information and can be downloaded from Ofcom’s site here.

The sign off on the introductory page ‘Enjoy the last of the summer’ suggests they may have been preparing this for some time 🙂

Links to all the below items are in the bulletin itself.

‘Social Media Surgeries supporting the Big Society’ – looks particularly interesting, as I’m a trustee for a social enterprise. I’ve been advocating that voluntary sector organisations should really get on board with social networking. Interestingly, American business author, Jim Collins, regards some of the approaches needed in education to be similar to those needed in voluntary sectors.

Media Literacy Conference 2010 is appealing, but not free 😦 There looks like there’ll be some great speakers and very useful breakout sessions.

ActionFraud has a wake up call. In June this year they found that of all the reports they took where a fraud had actually taken place, 37% occurred online.

Do you want your share of £9,000 worth of kit? The BT Internet Ranger Schools Award will be made to a school or a group of schools who encourage young people, up to the age of 16, to use their ICT skills to help other people learn about computers and go online.

The Ofcom Communications Market Report includes these snippets – .. the over 55s are the fastest growing age group to adopt technology… 16-24s are the most efficient users of communications services as they squeeze 9.5 hours of media consumption into just over 6.5 hours actual time (we used to go to t’pub) ..

Other notes –
There’s a document on a major research into young people, the internet and credibility.
ClickCeop for Facebook has now been downloaded 55,000 times.
Details of various related seminars and meetings are also included.

Links to all the items are in the bulletin itself – available here

Safe Image Searching

And the copyright has been sorted out as well

 The National Education Network Image Gallery has a mass of useful images, videos and audios for you to use in schools.

 It’s been pointed out to me that sometimes the search methods can be a bit ‘challenging’. There’s also very little to help you navigate (if there is, I couldn’t find it). So – here goes.

On the Teachers Page of the gallery is a very instructive document on how to download images and find either by browsing or by using the advanced search.

So – what about the basic search button?


Let’s see a few terms – I know my daughter put on a picture of a red squirrel. So let’s see what that gets ..


Not really.

Changing our search term to


Gives –


When you have the display on screen, the slideshow button gives you a slideshow of your search results.

A potential use in a school?

Pick a subject – for example Thames.

When the results show, select slideshow,then use one of the transition options and adjust the timing – this could make a great introduction to a subject – or even – ‘do you know what it is yet?’


Could your colleagues benefit from easy to access, safe images? How much more powerful will the gallery be if more people add material to it?

Simultaneous Equations

It’s on the internet – it must be true

When I was at school – in 6th form – we had to take RE (Catholic Boy’s Grammar School – not much choice).

During one lesson, one of the lads said ‘This religion stuff’s all okay, but you can’t prove it’

The Priest taking the lesson, Father Pathe, replied – ‘Like maths? Like this?’

Has itunes been hacked?

Has Twitter broken the news first?

Over this weekend there has been a lot of internet chatter regarding potential hacks of Apple’s Istore.  There are possibly 2 breaches – an annoying one and a possibly devastating one.

Rather than simply re-writing other people’s work – here are the links to their sites. Please beware – the related adverts on these sites are definitley NOT under my control, and if you’re looking at this in a school – then NOT on the whiteboard.

Huffington Post

cnn Note their comment about the items being removed on Sunday evening US time.

The Next web and their suggested link to more from the nextweb

Facebook Safety

In response to..

We recently sent out a leaflet to the schools we work with related to safety settings on Facebook. I noticed a twitter request today – so if this pdf is helpful, please let me know

facebook privacy

US Report on Internet Safety

“The best software is between the ears”

Many thanks to Ruth Hammond at BECTA for highlighting the release of the The Online Safety And Technology Working Group from the US of A

This is a mammoth report and covers a much wider range than many of the other reports I’ve seen. A few summary bullets are worth noting, and are in this MUCH shorter pdf

Internet Safety Update

The DCSF Web Site still exists?

The May Ofcom Media Bulletin has some very useful references and information.

A useful link in the bulletin is a report commissioned by the DCSF (remember them?) on Internet Safety.

A few items in the report worth noting include

Children spend more time online than their parents think

a quarter of 8–11 year olds regularly use social networking sites
Around one in ten 7–16 year olds use their mobile phone to access the internet


E Safety Suggestions from Becta

I recently asked Ruth Hammond for some quick summary information on safeguarding. This was a question being asked by a number of schools.

The links from her response are below. May I suggest in the light of yesterday’s news – if you find this page useful, please drop a thank you email to Ruth?

Becta’s key resources are linked in my signature below.


There are 2 other key sites that all teachers should be aware of:


Their resources portal can be found here:


Particularly – – you will see the particular resource for primary at:

There is also a matrix of resources available at: – although I hear that some of the links may be broken

We (Becta) also have a resource which is a bit old now so is available for download only but may also still be useful at:

With regard to the Becta publications I would ask that you simply post the link and not the resource to enable us to track our downloads and audience reach.

Hope that helps?


Ruth Hammond

Manager, Safeguarding Programmes Schools and Families

Keep informed – join Safetynet

Key resources free to order or download:

‘AUPs in context: Establishing safe and responsible online behaviours’


‘Safeguarding children online: Are you managing online risks well?’


Becta safeguarding site

Becta Closure

A very bad day at the office?


Following yesterday’s announcement of the closure of Becta, there have been a huge range of comments flying through forums, user groups, blogs and twitter feeds. 


A development from Becta which many local primary schools had taken on board was the next Generation Learning Charter and the ICT Mark. As news is available on the status of these items it will be summarised and posted here.

In addition, this blog  contains summaries and feeds from Becta’s safeguarding team.