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NAACE Newsletter 22nd November 2002

NAACE Newsletter 22nd November 2002
As promised, we announce the nominations received by yesterday’s deadline for the two positions to be filled by ballot of the membership.
First, there is the Member of the Board of Management.  Two nominations have been received: Doug Masterton and Linda Spear.  The postal vote will now proceed to determine which of our two colleagues will serve; ballot papers will be sent out next week.  In the meantime members are asked to consider the supporting statements, reproduced below.  Remember that the successful candidate will serve 2003-2006, the second year as Chair of the Board of Management.
Second, we have the position of Vice Chair of the Executive Committee.  Again, the tenure is for three years.  The first is served as Vice Chair, the second as Chair and the third as Immediate Past Chair.  Just one nomination has been received so we are able to announce that Mike Bostock is elected unopposed.  Congratulations to Mike.
This leaves two positions on the Executive Committee to be filled.  The vote will take place at the AGM (at the Annual Conference).  We will open for nominations before conference – further details in due course.  Our focus for the moment will be on the contest for the Board of Management.  Thus we turn to our two colleagues, Doug Masterton and Linda Spear, whom we thank for standing.  Doug is proposed by Tim Scratcherd, seconded by Graham Cooper, and Linda is proposed by Mike Rumble, seconded by Peter Nicholls.

Supporting statement from Doug Masterton
I have worked enthusiastically to promote ICT in schools for almost thirty years 'cutting my teeth' with some of the earliest projects to promote the use of computers in the teaching of science. My current role is to lead the ICT Development Agency within Education Leeds, (the company carrying out the duties of the Leeds Education Authority). The agency offers schools a comprehensive services including training (including NOF as an approved provider) MIS support, technical services and sales. We also provide Leeds schools with the services of the Leeds Learning Network, one of the very few Becta approved ISPs for education that gives fully filtered email, web pages and an extensive intranet to some 100000 pupils and staff in all our schools, libraries, museums and training centres. My current job profile includes responsibility for NGfL in Leeds, serving as Board Member on our regional broad band consortium and work as a general school improvement adviser with a special responsibility for ICT. I have also worked as an OFSTED inspector and RgI and developed a special interest in ICT in French schools.
NAACE has been an important aspect of my professional work for many years and I was a founder member. I served the association first as auditor in the days when membership was little more than one hundred. I later organised ICT subject conferences for science advisers and was elected to the Association Executive in 1993. I prepared the association submission for the government consultation on superhighways.  In 1995 I was elected vice chair serving as chair from 1996 to 1997. In 1998 I was elected to the Board of Management and served for three years, two as chair since the chair designate was appointed as NAACE General Secretary. During this period, the association began to transform into the organisation that it is today, influential and respected way beyond the education ICT community and providing vibrant services to its members.
In seeking re-election to the Board after an interval of two years, I wish to offer another contribution of time, experience and commitment. The development of vigorous government initiatives on the ICT curriculum and in the advice services offered by its agencies require our professional association to be vigilant, proactive, creative and persuasive to ensure that the best policies are adopted for pupils' education and standards. The growth in the commercial market for ICT services and products and the very close links that NAACE has with this sector through its sponsors means that we must always promote our aims and views professionally and not be tempted by any financial considerations to compromise. Perhaps most importantly NAACE must serve its now very diverse membership helping fulfil their individual professional needs during periods of profound change. The Board of Management provides the context in which the work of the Executive and staff is focussed. I believe my work, experience and vision can contribute.
I wish to offer my endeavours to further the aims of NAACE that I strongly believe in.

Supporting statement from Linda Spear
My current position is ICT Strategy Manager for Education, Libraries and Heritage in Cambridgeshire.  Previously I worked as Head of Centre at CITE and was the Senior IT adviser in Cambridgeshire.  I have served NAACE as a member of the Executive Committee of NAACE and have also had the privilege of chairing that body.
I would like to be elected as a member of the board of management as I am sure I can bring expertise and experience of managing and working in apparently contradictory trends of localisation and centralisation.  We are asking our own NAACE community to offer advice and strategic direction on the growth of national standards and individualised provision which give rise to challenges for local organisations and partnerships.
In recognising that we are not the only body involved in securing learning services for learning communities, we as an organisation have expressed our commitment to the availability of a range of learning opportunities and services through ICT appropriate to people needs at key stages in their lives.  This includes our own membership and promoting a community of professionals who take their own learning seriously. As a board member I would wish to influence that strand of our strategy.
The increasing integration of local services such as education and social services, and education and lifelong learning, and education and libraries brings particular challenges to our abilities to manage and implement significant change.  This will bring NAACE into a new phase that has been much discussed and a closer collaboration with services we have worked with at a distance.  I believe I can contribute to this process as a board member and influence strategy and direction with experience of knowledge.  NAACE will need to provide some challenge and support at national and local level in this area.
Having been actively involved with the setting up of NAACE as a charity with the trading company, I am aware of the difference in the role of the Board of Management and the function of the Executive Committee.  Being a trustee focuses attention upon the charitable aims of the organisation through the work of the Executive Committee. Providing strategic direction and guidance would provide a welcome opportunity to serve and work with colleagues whom I respect and enjoy working with.

Broadband for all schools
Heavily trailed, the PM made his broadband announcement on Tuesday.  In the event, he did little more than state the target.  What was particularly unusual was the lack of DfES follow-up.  Under Mr Blunkett and Ms Morris the practice was always to amplify announcements from Number Ten with detail from the Department.  In this case the DfES site does not even carry a news item; instead, it just points to the information published on UK Online.  So, it seems, we must wait for a Standards Fund announcement to find out how the strategy is to be taken forward.

What Tony said
His actual words were: “We plan to build on the progress we have made in providing thousands more PCs and achieving the highest level of Internet connection for schools in the G7. As part of our next steps, I can announce today that the Government will provide funding to deliver broadband connections to every school by 2006.”
He went on to give Ashcombe School in Surrey as an example of an institution that is exploiting the power of broadband.  He pointed to new opportunities where:
“… whole classes of students now use broadband video streaming to support their foreign language GCSE work.  Audio and video are combined with an interactive quiz, which can be paused and replayed to cater for individual learning speeds – an exciting and effective way of improving the quality of education in our schools.”  He added, “Broadband access will be backed by new interactive content and support material that will be made available through the digital curriculum.”
You can read the full speech on http://www.numberten.gov.uk/output/Page6604.asp

e-Summit: UK nears the peak
The PM’s announcement was made as part of his keynote speech at the much-vaunted e-Summit, which was held in London earlier in the week.  The e-Envoy, Andrew Pinder, took this opportunity to publish the UK online Annual Report, which measures the progress en route to achieving the Government’s target of making the UK the world’s number one place to do e-commerce.  There has been a lot of recent coverage given to the fact that many surveys show the UK is be trailing rather heavily in the broadband stakes.  The conference was told that we are doing much better than these reports suggest.  In fact, it seems that we are second only to the US.
“How come”, you ask?  Well, first think of 30 factors (including ICT in schools).  Next attach weightings.  Turn the handle and out comes the United Kingdom – as Number Two.  For more on this feat, see:
http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/oee/oee.nsf/sections/esummit-ukoannrep/$file/indexpage.htm

Ivan Lewis for Torquay
Members should receive the NAACE Annual Conference mailing today.  You will see a solid line-up and we look forward to receiving your bookings.  But please act soon – this will really help the office staff.
Kindly note that Ivan Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Adult Learning and Skills, will give the ministerial presentation.  His presence will be particularly welcome at Conference as he not only has responsibility for ICT in Schools but also holds the overall strategic brief for ICT in the Department.
Coincidentally, Mr Lewis will be conducting an online DfES Q&A session next week around the topic 'Success for All - Our Vision for the Future'.  He will be live online in the hot-seat from 13:00 - 14:30 on 26 November on http://www.dfes.gov.uk/askivan/
The discussion will be left up until 3 December.

NQAS News
Robin Sanderson is the Exec member with responsibility for the NAACE Quality Assurance Scheme.  He brings us up to date with the latest news:
“Up here in the far north east of England, the word 'Frankland' is not one which would normally be associated with good news, it being the name of a high security prison a few miles north of Durham. However, if you happen to work for the independent ICT support providers 'The School House Partnership', you will know the name well, or may even possess it. This rather tenuous introduction to this instalment of NQAS news leads us to the offering up of congratulations to Julie Frankland, who headed up the team from The School House Partnership which recently submitted a portfolio for accreditation.
“Congratulations also to Sue Martin and the Education ICT Team in Somerset and Diana Freeman of the Advisory Unit, Hatfield.  Each of these providers submitted for accreditation in the ICT Education and Training Service Area, and were the first to be accredited since the recent revision of the Service Areas.  Members and sponsors are reminded that the Service areas now comprise:
· ICT Education and Training
· Helpline and Support Service
· ICT Learning and Support/Resource Centres
· ICT Information Services
· ICT Education Resource Development
· Technical support
· Consultancy for ICT Development Planning in Education.
“Excitement mounts at NQAS HQ, as hot news bubbles away just below the surface – at this point the choice of an inappropriate metaphor could be crucial, and so the reader must await further instalments in future issues of the newsletter."

Want to play?
Becta’s virtual conference about the potential influence of computer and video games on ICT in education has begun.  See http://www.ictadvice.org.uk/gameonline

e-Learning futures in NI
The strategy in Northern Ireland continues to move ahead.  Readers can follow progress on:
http://www.class-ni.org.uk/etstrategy/etstrat/index.htm

Web wonders
[Your editor wrote most of the following item several week’s ago but it got pushed out by the sudden splurge of other news – thus a couple of items have lost there immediacy but might still interest readers.]
We occasionally report on sites that we stumble across in our web roving.  First, a mention of a couple of areas of the vast BBC site – both unearthed whilst tracking down a radio programme that I had missed and wished to catch up on.  For computer buffs – no, that’s misleading – it’s for anyone interested in the electronic revolution.  Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/electronicbrains.shtml
You’ll find a summary of four programmes that tell the stories of some of the computer pioneers in Britain, America and the Ukraine. Each is a little cameo of social history of the early post-war years half a century ago, from a time when "everything you did was new, no-one had ever done it before".  A single click plays each half-hour programme.
If you have not looked at it before the history series “The Roman Way” also impresses.  Once again, you get access to four programmes – and lot more, too.  The extras include three quizzes, some excellent links, background to the making of the programmes, some Roman recipes and useful Latin phrases.  See it all on http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/romanway.shtml
Entirely different but a possible frustration-reliever is http://www.nomoreaolcds.com - and for the UK version see http://www.super-stunning.com to discover what some folk are doing about the piles of unwanted – and unsolicited – CDs that are accumulating around the world.
Totally different again – did you know that the first Messrs Harley and Davidson built their first bike 100 years ago?  A full blow-by-blow history is available on:
http://www.harley-davidson.com/CO/HIS/en/history.asp?bmLocale=en_GB
The latest picture of Saturn provides a nice example of the immediacy of the web.  Cassini is the name of the mission and although 20months way from rendezvous it has already beamed in a good picture.  You can see the result on:
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02884 or
http://ciclops.lpl.arizona.edu/ciclops/beyond_jupiter.html
With more about the mission on http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov
And with space travel of a different kind in mind I just discovered that something exciting is planned for the delectation of some readers – Douglas Adams' lost Doctor Who story will be webcast by BBCi to mark the 40th anniversary of the cult series.
Originally planned to conclude Doctor Who’s seventeenth season, the original version of Shada began filming in 1979, but production was halted by industrial action.  The webcast is planned for Spring 2003 – a mere 24 years late.  But what’s a mere 24 years to the Doctor?  See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/

And still more fun
Yes, it exists.  You’ll wonder how the educational establishment has managed without it for the past 20 years.  Try out:
http://www.acronymfinder.com
And for the slightly nostalgic, there’s: http://www.britishpathe.com/flashintro.cfm
If you are over 55 you’ll get a thrill just from listening to the intro.
And, in case you missed it, the Public Records Office now has a magnificent dedicated education site:
http://learningcurve.pro.gov.uk/

Apologies from the editor
NAACE newsletter readers are a forgiving lot.  I’ve only had one complaint about receiving two copies of last week’s edition.  Yes, I’m afraid it was operator error.  My machine was in a sulky mood and my attempts to prod it into action were received very poorly.  Never upset the machine – it always wins in the end.  Even to the extent that it inserts a couple of typos and, worse still, repeats the opening paragraph.  I’m sure that my system is imbued with some sort of perverse intelligence.
Despite all this, it failed to alert me to an inadvertent re-scheduling of historical fact.  I refer to Martin Graham’s piece on MESU.  This one got the keyboards rattling.  Read on…

What really happened
Who better to set the record straight but Ann Irving (ex deputy director of MESU, ex national Inset co-ordinator for Communication and Information Systems in MEP, and ex member of one of CET's committees)?  Ann points out:
“MESU actually stood for the Microelectronics Education Support Unit.  It wasn't solely about schools.  It replaced MEP, the Microelectronics Education Programme, which was exclusively about schools.  However, neither MEP nor MESU replaced NCET (also not exclusive to schools).  It existed concurrently with both.
“After MESU had existed for two years, it was merged with CET, the Council for Educational Technology.  The new name was National Council for Educational Technology.  Some years later, it was renamed Becta.  CET had already had a prior existence as NCET ... the name had been changed to CET because Scottish colleagues felt that National was inappropriate.”
Ann knows the inside story and refers to the sad removal of John Foster and lost opportunities to marry the best of educational technology to the best of information technology, commenting “The obsession with IT delayed the linking of IT and audio-visual communication for around a decade, only now being grasped via digital video.”
Another eyewitness is Phil Moore.  He also straightens the acronymic history and then reminisces: “I remember the first day at MESU (in January 1987) at the Science Park in Coventry - all the new staff (and we all were!) turned up in suits to be confronted with dusty boxes of BBC micros to unpack, desks to be put together and tons of MEP software to put on shelves.  It was exciting and was the precursor (for me) to several years of challenge, learning and huge job satisfaction.”
He also speaks warmly of John Foster's vision and mentions an “illustrious graduate” of MESU - Ralph Tabberer.  Ralph is now, of course, the chief officer at TTA.

And back to 1982
Phil adds: “Five years earlier (1982!) I attended a course that went together with the delivery of an RM 380Z (the DTI scheme): The Advisory Unit - Bill Tagg and Mike Aston in attendance, ran it. I also remember a course later that year where Mike Aston showed everyone an acoustic coupler, into which he shoved a phone and connected to a computer I don't know where! Some of the attendees were impressed - including me! Strange as it may seem, the two events (the AU course and MESU) were connected for me: Bill and Mike provided a wonderful vision of learning and technology that directly led to me getting the job at MESU.”
Ah! Acoustic couplers – white-hot technology it was, then – at the interface of microelectronics and the surgical appliance.  In your editor’s mind these warbling devices are always associated with the Walters printers (I think that our models sat on the same bench).  Robin Sanderson also remembers:
“One thing I do recall, although I'm not sure it was 1982, was the arrival on the scene of the first dot-matrix printers.  I seem to recollect that we had the choice of two - the Epson MX80, or similar model number, and the Walters. The very mention of the latter still induces a mild panic, recalling the effect it had on unsuspecting teachers and children.  The loud staccato of its impact on the poor fanfold paper had people initially diving for cover with their hands over their heads, and then, as it dawned it was 'only the printer', reaching for some form of ear protection.  The wonder of bi-directional printing also brought about some intriguing and slightly comical scenes, as huddles of bemused teachers would gather around to watch their work being printed, heads moving side-to-side in unison, as though they were watching events unfold on Court No. 1 at Wimbledon.”
Yes, the wonderfully, British-built Walters.  It was a solid job – straight out of the trenches.  The print head was modelled on the Gatling gun, loaded with rapid firing six-inch nails.  Yes, it made quite an impression.  And, should you have any, don’t hesitate to email them to the editor.  2002 will soon draw to a close.

Wanna job?
The ICT selection from today’s TES job pages comprises the following:
Page 57: City of Nottingham is looking for a KS3 ICT Consultant on £36.1k
Page 61: Capita is after a SIMS Specialist
Page 62: Southend–on-Sea is advertising for a KS3 ICT Consultant on £36.1k
Page 65: ditto for Norfolk on £35.2k
Page 66: Espresso has three posts.  Two full-time – Secondary French and English Assistant Producers.  One part time for Primary.
Page 71: Becta is after an Education Officer (Evidence and Research) on £31.7k

Quote of the week
Only time for a quickie.  Giles Brandreth on Radio 4, recalling his days as a politician said that he only met two types of people: “Those who have problems and those who are right.”  It made me wonder if the converse is true.

Next week’s newsletter
The coincidence of NAACE business (we have a 24hr Exec meeting) and other commitments means that I will be late getting the newsletter out next week.  I always aim for lunchtime on Friday but we won’t be able to achieve that.

… and finally
If you have, thanks for reading.

Mike


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NAACE Newsletter 22nd November 2002

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