Skip to main content

Autumn 2017 News



Welcome back from the summer break - we hope you had a restful time and are ready for another academic year. Here are a few of the highlights of the changes for this year.

DRET.tv


We never expected the take-up of our video sharing site to be quite so good last year, but we're pleased to announce that we've been able to move everything over to a new system over the summer called Microsoft Stream. It is basically still the same idea, but there some new tools for the people that manage channels and everything is much more slick.

If you ran a channel you should have heard from us with details of how to access and upload material. If you're a viewer, hopefully it will be simple and obvious to use - you'll find the search feature works very well. Head over to dret.tv to see more (login required). If you aren't a member of staff or student at one of our schools you can dip into a selection of material at featured.dret.tv

Tips for Teachers



Last year we have several websites and places where you could go to find teaching resources and ideas - including this blog. As the collection grew we realised we needed a place to find everything - which is our Training and Tips website (tips.dret.cloud). All the material there is open to anyone, and includes help videos and ideas.

Learning Resources Library


One of our longer term projects is to gather together all the best teaching material from all of our academies together into one place where any member of staff, or indeed student can access it. So much stuff sits on shared drives in one school, or on a teacher's laptop gathering digital dust. Collation is not as easy as making a website to put everything on of course... but a good selection of material is now available at resources.dret.cloud (again a login is required to view actual material, however as we feature materials on this blog we will make some available at featured.dret.cloud).

IT Support

The start of term is a busy time. As a gentle reminder to staff and students at all our academies, please place requests for any kind of IT help to itsupport@dret.co.uk. The system will do its best to place your issue with the right technician automagically and we will ensure it gets dealt with promptly.

Coming Soon

  • We've been working on a lot of staff development material and planning this summer which we'll be announcing over the coming weeks. If you'd like a sneak preview you can have a look at awards.dret.cloud
  • Pen Drives and External hard drives will no longer be allowed on our systems from the end of the year, we've prepared support material to help those who still depend on them to make the switch.
  • There's been a lot of "plumbing" happening to get our internet filtering to be less intrusive, more effective and to allow us to spot potential at risk behaviour before it becomes serious. We'll be sharing some articles highlighting how the system works.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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.


OneNote and Google Drive in Harmony

Many of our staff use OneNote well and happily, as well as being a great place to keep everything for a topic in one place presented visually and annotated (in many ways better than with a specialist interactive board app) it is useful to share what you have had on the big screen with your class with a single link.

Most also use Google Drive as the main place they keep all their files to collaborate, share resources and work on them from anywhere.

When word reached us that Brendan Brannigan from Bringhurst Primary School had combined the two and now works on his OneNote files at home and school using Google Drive we asked to make a guide for colleagues - this video (also available on dret.tv, login required) is the result.

I must admit, after watching it I had a "why on earth hadn't I thought of this?" moment - there is absolutely nothing wrong with OneDrive which is where OneNote prefers to live, but it is one more thing to worry about.

Now all I have to do is work out…

Welcome to tips.dret.cloud

It's been a year since I started my role as an eLearning Lead with DRET, and what a year it's been! I've had the opportunity to lead on, and participate in, lots of training sessions, while visiting many classrooms and working with a host of talented teachers. It's incredible how you can show one example of how to use something new in the classroom, and subsequently see it being used and adapted a further dozen ways by different teachers. Throughout the year our team has been keeping notes on some of the best ideas we've come across, and we want to be able to share these ideas with everyone; thus, tips.dret.cloud was born.

tips.dret.cloud is essentially a scrapbook of ideas in one website. You can search for particular tools or areas of development you are interested in learning more about, and see how other teachers have used these tools to make a difference in their classrooms. There are also other resources, such as how-to guides, training videos, and useful lin…