Below is our latest staff e-learning newsletter that was supposed to get sent out in the last week of term but got caught in the chaos of the snow! It’s been slightly edited for privacy reasons.

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Here’s what in this newsletter

1. Reminder of how to get on the VLE
2. It’s Google Time
3. VLE Teacher of the month
4. VLE teacher targets
5. Online tool of the month
6. Reminder about Nintendo DS Consoles
7. 10 Great online tools with tips on how to use them in class

1. Reminder of how to get on the VLE –
Just log in at www.rickypedia.org using your eportal username and password. A helpsheet is available for students but all KS3 students should know how to log on from their ICT lessons.

2. It’s Google Time
Regular Rickypedia users may have noticed the new google icons on the top right of the page when you log in. Click on them and have a try, all students and teachers have accounts for Google Apps and once you have logged into Rickypedia you don’t need to log in again just click on the shortcuts.
Here’s a few things you can do with Google Apps
Make on online survey with a few clicks – results go into a spreadsheet
Have upto 20 students working a single presentation simultaneously
Share a document with a student and put your feedback directly on it.
I’ve you want some tutorial videos just ask me, there are plenty around!

3. VLE Teacher of The Month
November saw great new courses from Geography, RE, History, Science and ICT but the winner this month is Mr. White and his PE Course.
Although Mr. White hasn’t used millions of fancy features his course is a great example of how to lay out a simple and attractive course that students can use to find resources and homework in lessons and at home.
I’ve attached a file with 2 pages of his course (I had to cut it at bit as it went to 7 pages!) Mr White A2 Exercise Physiology
This kind of course will be especially useful to students come revision time as it has all the work neatly organised for them!

4. VLE Teacher Targets
Not many people have been to see me to pick up their gold stars for meeting a target!
Beginner: Create a new course and add something to it.
Intermediate: Add a picture to your course
Advanced: Set up a glossary for students to add in their keywords.
If you finish a challenge come and see me and I’ll give you a ‘well done’ sticker, 3 stickers and you can have a certificate!

5. Online tool of the Month
If you like mindmapping, brainstorming or for the overly political correct thought showering try out these 2 website.
http://bubbl.us a great simple tool – click start brainstorming and you’re away – you don’t need to register but if you do it lets you save your diagrams online – if not then you can save your diagrams as pictures on your PC
www.mindmeister.com – a more complex and sophisticated tool. You need to register – this lets you attach files or links to websites in your brainstorms, it also lets you invite other people (or students to collaborate with you)

6. Nintendo DS Consoles
Another reminder about them! They are great for lessons but also really great for filling long form periods. They are a great reward for students that get planners signed – you’ll never get an unsigned planner again!

7.Nic Peachy is a language teacher into his online stuff. He shares many great resources including this one with 10 web tools and 10 ways you can use them in your classroom
http://nikpeachey.blogspot.com/2009/11/10-teacher-development-task-for-web-20.html

Wishing You a great Christmas Holiday

If you are lucky enough to be going and haven’t already made plans for your evening(s), I’d like to draw your attention to some events that might prove a welcome and invigorating contrast to the hurly-burly of the exhibition floor.

On Wednesday 13th Jan at 6pm there will be a free TEDx event with a stimulating line-up of inspirational speakers from diverse backgrounds. TEDxOrenda at BETT is an individually organised TED event that epitomises the tradition of TED as a vehicle for ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.
More details of the TEDxOrenda event can be found here: http://www.think-bank.com/tedx/
The event is FREE and tickets are available from here: http://tedxorenda.eventbrite.com/

On Thursday 14th Jan there will be a free AmplifiED event, again from 6pm. AmplifiED follows a Barcamp, unconference model and is essentially a participatory event that involves table discussion around topics and themes. In this case, the topics for discussion will be education-based and possibly provoked by the BETT show itself.
More details of the AmplifiED event can be found here: http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk/2010/01/amplified-2010-bett/
The event is FREE and tickets are available from here: http://amplified10.eventbrite.com/

On Friday 15th at 6pm a Teachmeet will take place. For those unfamiliar with the Teachmeet format, it is an event that consists of short (2min or 7 min) presentations given by practitioners. These presentations are about great ideas and what works well in the classroom.
More details of the Teachmeet event can be found here: http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/TeachMeet-BETT-2010-Friday-Session
The event is FREE and although there are no formal ticketing arrangements, you are encouraged to sign up to the wiki (above).

If you are going to be at BETT, do consider spending an evening or two/three at the above event(s). Whether you can attend any, some or all, I am sure it will add considerable value to your visit.

If you are not planning on going to BETT or if you can’t make it to any of the evening events, keep an eye on the links above for archives, livestreams, twitcams, flashmeetings, etc.

(Thanks to Dughall McCormick for putting the above message together and distributing)

Hope to see many people there!