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**New Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) affecting all staff**

This week, on Friday 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force and replace the current Data Protection Act 1998.
Although GDPR derives from EU law, it will be UK law even after brexit. Basically, every EU country is adopting the same set of regulations, which will make doing business across the EU much simpler with just one set of rules. While the main principles of data protection remain largely the same, GDPR is much stricter than the current Act. It is more prescriptive in terms of how we must comply and the penalties for non-compliance are more severe.
If you handle data regularly, or you are likely to be the person receiving data protection requests in your school, it’s important that you are aware of the new process to submit a data protection request, and how it will be handled going forward.
Therefore, to help you understand the key principles and changes affecting the Trust, we have created a brief ‘Staff Data Protection’ guide to read …

Using the iPad in every lesson

We recently ran a workshop at Charles Read Academy in Corby Glen, centred around the iPad, and the ways in which it can be used as a powerful teacher’s tool. Included in the workshop was annotation, marking up, mirroring, Google Drive and Drive File Stream.


It was wonderful to receive an email a week or so later from a college at Charles Read, Mrs. Smith, who had joined us for the workshop. Mrs. Smith’s email detailed the fact that she had used the iPad in every lesson that day, and what an impact it had had on the teaching and learning. As you will see, a very varied use, but none of which needed anything special on the iPad other than Google Drive. The iPad camera, built in mark-up tools and the ability to either mirror to a big screen or upload to Google Drive are often the most powerful. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep on saying it: quick, simple, effective.
Mrs Smith is Subject Leader in English, and here’s how the iPad was used and the impact it had throughout the course of th…

Guest blog post - Pixi Maths

We recently started a new Spring cohort of our Challenge for eLearning CPD course with colleagues from the Corby area, including the author of Pixi Maths, Danielle Moosajee.
As a plenary activity for the first session, we used and demo'd Plickers - 'a simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices.' It's a great tool which we've blogged about before, and here are Danielle's thoughts on it after using it class post-training:

I left the first Challenge 4 eLearning session full of biscuits and inspired! In a way, it was a shame that the Easter break fell so shortly afterwards as I was keen to try out some of the things we’d been introduced to.
A couple of years ago, a colleague had shown me the Plickers app. Students each receive a QR code with 4 orientations (A, B, C and D) and they hold their cards up to be scanned by an iPad in answer to a multiple choice question. Previously, I had laminated these …

Will VR and AR ever be anything but niche?

I remember a few years ago being blown away by virtual reality. I had just spent 4 minutes or so in a dystopian future watching protestors clash with robotic riot officers, drones hovering overhead, the chaos of permanent night and a brilliant soundtrack to match. This 360 music video by Muse that I was immersed in whilst wearing a Google Cardboard headset was the future of everything I had decided. Via the VRSE app (now Within) I could also take walking tours of NYC or fly through an asteroid field. "The future is here!" I proclaimed and felt much like Marty McFly when about to be eaten by that great white.



Since that memorable occasion, I have been a big fan of VR and increasingly AR. I have played games, watched films, taken expeditions and discovered artifacts all without actually leaving the room. I have hunted Pokemon all over town and led children on AR treasure hunts. The quality of the picture, the realism, the experience is getting better all the time and more and…

Linear versus Unstructured Tools for the Teaching Wall

For a long time I've had a recurring problem. Every time I show a tool to use on the "teaching wall" at the end someone always asks "yes, but can I play my SMART Notebook files on it?" or "yes, but what about Powerpoint?"


I must admit to having a soft spot for Powerpoint, particularly when combined with Office Mix but for my own work have pretty much gone over to Google Slides just because I can access them anywhere and they have all the features I need, plus sharing tools. SMART Notebook though has always bothered me, partly because it is so expensive in the grand scheme of things - and so often, when I watch someone using it, they are using it very much like Powerpoint with some extra touch-widgets thrown in.

In advance of the same chorus when I show people the new Google Jamboard tool I started to think about why people find it so hard to move on from those tools, other than the simple "but all my lesson resources are in that format."

Whe…

Jamboard - New Tool

Jamboard has been around for a while as a high-end piece of digital office furniture from Google but the software is now part of G-Suite and therefore available to all dret.cloud users.

Staff or students can either go to jamboard.google.com for the web version (which is really only useful for viewing and sharing boards) or use the iOS app available on the Self-Service store.

What Jamboard provides is a lovely app to pull different kinds of documents from Google Drive or web pages, move and resize them and annotate over the top with different pen tools or a number of icons.

I plan to do a couple of blog posts about Jamboard in the coming days - one about the whole premise behind this kind of software and other comparing it to what up to now have been my go-to pieces of software, Google Keep and Microsoft OneNote.

If you'd like to see what Jamboard looks like in action, this (staged) teacher demonstration from Tom Mullaney gives a good overview.


Be Internet Legends

For a long time I have been a huge fan of SWGFL's Digital Literacy Curriculum resources and continue to be so. From a primary school viewpoint, they are a great starting point for ensuring whole school coverage of digital literacy and citizenship in age-appropriate ways, and staff generally like the out of the box resources and lesson plans which can be adapted accordingly.

I was recently introduced to Google's new 'Be Internet Legends' scheme of work. Aimed primarily at Key Stage 2 (but looks like it can be adapted down or up pretty easily), the scheme of work has been developed by Google and Parent Zone, along with PSHE Association and Internet Matters which, in their own words, is a "multi-faceted programme designed to teach children the skills they need to be safe and confident online."




There are lesson plans and resources, all themed around 5 main pillars:

Think Before You Share (Be Internet Sharp)Check it’s For Real (Be Internet Alert) Protect Your Stuff…

EAL tools

The thing we love the most about the best digital tools is that they are easy to pick up and use for the novice, but allow more experienced users to find ways of using them to a greater depth, either for teaching and learning purposes, classroom impact, or to aid workflow.
A workshop we have been offering recently to EAL teachers and departments uses a tool that does just that. More specifically, Google Docs.




Using the built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) in Google Docs, you can turn images with text into text documents, and then using the translate tool, convert that text into whatever language you need for your EAL students.

Imagine the scenario - in your lesson you are studying a couple of pages from a text, perhaps identifying certain parts of speech or grammar. You have a student or perhaps a few students in your class with English as an additional language who you know will struggle with this particular text or the homework task that follows, but you don't have the p…

Google Sites - an easy way to collate and share resources and information

Google Sites is a tool in G Suite to create websites - no programming required. You can build multi-page websites or platforms from scratch in no time at all - just by dragging content onto a page. Once finished, you can share the websites link with other staff, students and parents. It's a great way to collate material together to send out in one go, and easy to keep updated with new resources and information where required. It's also compatible with other Google products like Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms etc which you can embed into a page - you can also add anything you have stored in your Google Drive such as PDF's and images too.

Here's a few ideas for using Google Sites to get you inspired. . .

Revision websites 
A teacher at Havelock Academy has used Google Sites to build a GCSE Science revision website to collate useful revision material into one place. Each page on the website is focused on a specific topic, organised into relevant sections and exam papers and i…

Week of PowerPoint (3) - Professional looking presentations with ease

It’s been around for a while, but it’s a tool that I use all the time, especially when creating a new presentation from scratch. The Design feature in PowerPoint works in the background to match your content to professionally designed layouts, as you are putting your ideas onto a slide. As you start adding content such as pictures and charts, the designer will pop up to the right of the screen and show you different designs, that change as you start adding more. If you don’t see design ideas you may need to turn it on. 
1. To turn on Designer go to the File menu, click Options. 2. In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, click the General tab on the left, then scroll toward the bottom and check the Automatically show me design ideas checkbox.
Once turned on, try adding some content to a page and see what happens.
Here are the type of designs the Design feature suggests from a blank slide with some text and a few images.



If you close the designer at any point you can always open it by selectin…