Nick Dennis's Blog

Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.

Category: #edjournal

#edjournal – download version and comments

Cover of #edjournal #1


James Michie has been working very hard behind the scenes to get the download version of #edjournal ready and you can now download the PDF version with the ePub format to come. James has also got the comment feature working so if you have any thoughts on the articles, please join the debate.

The next issue is coming together nicely but we are still looking for submissions for issue 3. If you would like to contribute, then please get in touch via twitter or by using the contact form on the site.

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#edjournal – first issue and beyond

I am very pleased to announce the ‘soft launch’ of the first issue of #edjournal! This is really a team effort and I want to thank James Michie and Doug Belshaw for helping getting the issue together in a variety of ways. James has worked (and is still working on the print versions for an early January  ‘hard launch’) on the design aspect and Doug helped in terms proofing and support. I also want to thank the contributors to the first issue for ‘walking the talk’. Finally, I want to thank all the people who supported the idea; getting something like this off the ground takes a lot of effort and speaking personally, your careful cajoling as the editorial process became elongated was appreciated. 🙂

The first issue covers a variety of institutions (and continents!), curriculum design, strategic thinking as well as classroom based practice. It has already managed to provoke one teacher to reflect on their work publicly – exactly what we hoped the journal would do.

The second issue is in the process of being produced and has a theme based around handheld/mobile learning. We have some great articles being produced for this:

Nathan Lowe and Katie Coburn of Flitch Green Primary on integrating ICT into the curriculum and using mobile devices

Doug Belshaw of JISC infoNet distilling JISC’s excellent mobile technologies review

Felsted School discussing their mobile learning project

James Michie of The Chalfonts Community College on using Flip Video cameras in the classroom to improve learning

David Rogers on using mobile applications in the Geography classroom

We are looking for contributions for issue 3 and welcome you to submit your idea to the article list. You don’t have to be an established blogger or tweeter to contribute – innovation and careful thinking about how technology can support learning are our key criteria for inclusion.

We hope you enjoy reading the first issue and we are eager to get the second issue out. Thoughts and comments are very welcome.

Image: Twid @ Flickr

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Check in – what have I been doing in the last two months?

I have been away from the blog and twitter for the last two months. What have I been doing?


Being a senior leader in a school is always challenging in terms of extending your own capacity and helping others to do the same. This term has again provided many learning opportunities and victories in helping staff and students develop their potential. My International Baccalaureate class have devoured everything I have thrown at them in terms of 20th Century Chinese History and I feel happy about their position coming in to the mock exams. We have set up the new internal MIS system and instituted a new website and the mobile learning project is coming along.


With the support of many of you I have managed to raise over £300 for the Prostate Cancer Charity. I am humbled to think that a bit of face furniture can make a difference…


It is finally here and I am very pleased with the first issue. Editing takes a lot of effort (as I have learned!) but it has been worth reading every single word. James Michie has worked hard on the design and the support of the community on Twitter has been heartening. I look forward to reading/hearing about the reaction and we are already in the advanced stages of the second issue with a focus on mobile learning.

London History Network

I will be upfront and say how much I admire a woman who goes on national TV with ballons under her arms and shouts, ‘Good morning Year 7’. Esther Arnott, filmed for the teachers tv programme From Good to Outstanding and the woman with the ballons under her arms, let me in on her plan to create a network for History teachers in London. We now have the first London History Network meeting at the Department for Education on the 28th January. If you would like to sign up, please register your interest at the network website.


I have been negotiating with the mobile phone provider Orange for the better part of a year about a deal to provide mobile devices in the hands of staff, parents and students so that mobile learning can truly take off at Felsted and beyond. I am pleased to say that we have reached the final stage and the project should go live in January alongside Radley College and Haberdasher’s Aske’s Boys’ School. The parents and students are looking forward to the devices and I am very interested to see the effect of a lower entry price point in device standardisation.

Independent Schools Council

Somewhat to my surprise, I have been invited to be a member of the Independent Schools Council ICT Strategy group. Consisting of Headmasters/mistresses and ICT specialists from the different independent school associations, the group offers strategic advice relating to ICT to Heads, Governors, Bursars and other senior leaders at independent schools across the UK.

What is coming next?

I have been invited by the Faculty of Education, Cambridge to run a seminar on educational technology and RE teaching in January and then I am going to the Apple Education Leadership Summit in London. If you are coming to the latter event, it would be good to meet and exchange ideas. I have also agreed to write a A Level History textbook with a difference for the Schools History Project/Hodder if I can fit it in…

Image: lululemon athletica@ Flickr

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Busy times

The start of term is usually very busy but this year is unusual in that we have a number of new projects running. The first is our brand new MIS which looks fantastic and we are currently ironing out the issues as they arise. A lot of thought has gone into this in-house system and one of the most impressive things is how it is geared towards student achievement. As things progress, I will post a more detailed update on the system and how it is helping to help support the learning environment at the school.

The second project is the use of iPhones for the management team and the pastoral/house staff. This has already improved communication within the school and I am hope to talk a bit more about at the third project, the Apple Regional Training Centre event next Thursday from 2-4pm. Overall, 10 people have signed up for one of the three events this term and we have expressions of interest from a few other colleagues in other schools. I am looking forward to sharing the exciting plans for learning using mobile technology with the group next Thursday and there are a few spaces still available so head on over to here if you want to sign up.

Finally, #edjournal is coming together. If you want to contribute, please get in touch!

Image: Daniel Morris@Flickr

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