Wednesday, December 31, 2008

8 years ago

While collecting the Christmas decorations from the loft I ‘fell over’ a box of old Child and Junior Education magazines going back to 2000. At one time the stalwart support for most teachers and probably still are, there were very few classrooms that did not have centre page picture from those or their sister magazines ‘Projects’ and ‘Art and Craft’ on display. Up to a couple of years ago I had been buying them since I first entered a classroom on the teacher side of the desk.

I could not resist a look at the ICT sections of both magazine 8 years ago, in December 2000. How have things changed I wondered?

In Junior Education’s news section there were two technology entries.

Liberal Democrat MP Richard Allan says

“the current provision of IT equipment and support in our schools in inadequate ... in spite of support from the Government weaknesses in ICT remain ….. Liberal Democrat proposals include increasing equipment to that every pupil in England and Wales is guaranteed to have a minimum Internet access of one hour per week”.

Does this happen yet??

The other news item was a Becta supported Web Nose Day Awards for websites illustrating a school’s contribution to Red Nose Day. Any winners here?

The ICT section had an article on How, When and When not to, use a DTP package by Richard Ager followed by a two page spread on ‘The Internet – what can it do for you’.

The opening paragraphs have bullet points we would still share today (but at a different level) ,
  • for communicating (by e-mail),
  • for publishing ( via someone else’s website www.kids-space.org ),
  • for teaching resources (virtual teacher centre, Yorvik, download paper resources)
  • for research ( with safety precautions to avoid accessing unsuitable material – it can be fun and rewarding!)

The page includes "The Best 10 Things about the Internet" and "The Worst 10 Things about the Internet" and shows a picture of poster guide to Safe Surfing and an internet glossary .

This is followed by two pages of reviews of hardware, software and events, including well known and not so well known names of the time.
  • Granada Learning - Table Road, (CD content) ,
  • Softease - Textease 2000, (tools),
  • Nstore 6 HS software ( record keeping and report writing)
  • Kidglove a colourful keyboard cover ‘for children with learning difficulties’.
And the web site of the month was Film Education a registered charity funded by the UK film industry., still a very active and topical site.. I see they have a film competition this year, end date 30th April 2009 .

Child Education settled for one page of ICT a look at a content programme from the BBC website Number Time , which I know many people used then and still do.
The very supportive description of what could be seen on the site and how to use the site technically indicated that teachers were not yet expected to be intuitive when meeting something new online. And it’s still there too.

The obvious difference today is that the paper magazines have parallel areas on the Scholastic site with links and downloads both electronic and paper based.

As to what appeared in the paper magazine for December 2008 someone will have to tell me how it compares.

So over 8 years we have some changes, but enough?? It will be interesting to see month by month what has changed, disappeared, arisen in ICT and education according to Scholastic.

I'll let you know

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