Technicians, Network and Systems Managers
This is not a technical newsletter but one that is focused on
Teaching and Learning and, in particular, how ICT can support this. But
there is no doubt that without good technical support, network managers
and systems managers then the schools of today and tomorrow will just
not be able to provide the best for students.
Recently I received the following email asking
' I'd love to know how
to get my computer to shut down without seeing the "it's
now safe to shut down your computer message". I've got a faulty
power switch and its about 50 - 50 whether it will shut down or restart
the computer. I've just installed a very good shutdown program which speeds
up the shutdown process, but I still get that hated message at the end.
How do you shut down the computer automatically? I use Windows 98 incidentally.'
Now I do have some technical skills but only what
I need for my work ... my strategy with requests such as these is to forward
the email content to the experts and in this case I sent it to the Hong
Kong technicians listserv (see below). Within 24 hours I had four replies
three of which were a little technical .... but the most attractive solution
received was "switch the PC off
at the power point." ... now this is a technician
I warm to ... thinking of people at the same time as machines ... many
The following are a few resources and links that
might be of interest to school technical staff and managers:
- ICT Technicians
Listserv in Hong Kong
- this listserv (mailing list) is a closed private one set up for/by
the ICT Technicians in International Schools in Hong Kong .... if
I remember correctly then it has been going about four years now.
- it is a wonderful example of a self-help group
- many schools only have one ICT technician ... it can be a very
lonely job .... a free resource such as thus can change of of that
... take away many of the frustrations ... and save considerable
- ICT Technicians
Listserv in Other S.E.Asia Countries
- I'm not aware of any other self help technicians groups in the
- If you know of one then please let me know and I'll spread the
- if you do not have one in your country
and would like one then let me know ... it is very easy to set up
- Linux OS
Support Specifically for School Technical Staff
- Schoolforge's mission is to unify
independent organizations that advocate, use, and develop open resources
for primary and secondary education.
- Linux on
- a few hyperlinks to linux resources ...
but more suggestions would be welcome
- I would be particularly like to increase
the list of free software that will run on Linux and is especially
suitable for schools ... teaching and learning.
How to build community
using a website and email
- last term I was fortunate enough
to attend a presentation given by Danny Wong, Director of Web
Services at the American School in Japan
- in his paper he explains how "Mustangs Online" was
conceived and how it and email add to the quality of the school
- Danny acknowledges "Dragon Net" at Hong Kong International
School (HKIS) as an initial model http://dragonnet.hkis.edu.hk/
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Students moving on to further education
and other opportunities
This will be of interest to international schools students who are leaving
this term to move on to further education .... but, in addition, these
links may be of help to those students who will be filling in their application
forms next term.
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- UCAS (UK)
Advice for International Students
- UCAS provides a central admissions service
for people applying to full-time, undergraduate courses at UK universities
areas for leavers
- there are several relevant areas on this
page including Student Exchange Schemes, Work
Experience, University Details, Careers Advice, Scholarships and
Working or Studying Abroad
English Language Teaching
Some items for teachers of English :
of Literacy Decade in Thailand
- Hot on the heels of the official international
launch of the literacy decade in New York on 13 February 2003, the
national launch in Thailand took place during the Bangkok International
Book Fair on Wednesday, 2 April 2003. The Opening ceremony was held
in the morning, with speeches by the Director of UNESCO Bangkok,
Mr Sheldon Shaeffer, the Minister of Education, H.E. Pongpol Adireksarn
Dr Gamini Abeysekera, and the representative of UNICEF Thailand.
Language Teaching Software
- in the last edition of the newsletter we
highlighted some excellent software from Clarity that
is right at the top of the list of recommendation .. and is used
by the British Council.
- Clarity have asked if I would let readers
know that they are about to launch Author Plus Online
- very topical in a SARS situation where teachers can post interactive
activities on their websites
- Author Plus helps you design computer-based
activities aimed at your students’ exact needs.
- While the program is extremely easy to
use (in recent training sessions over
300 primary school teachers each created two multimedia activities
in the first 90 minutes), the output is of professional
- Cambridge University Press, for example,
chose Author Plus to create the interactive activities for the best
selling "English Grammar in Use".
- For more details go to www.shambles.net/newsletter/May2003/AuthorPlus.pdf
A new English Language teaching page is
being built on Shambles which brings together all the relevant links and
resources on the website .. but it is still work in progress at www.shambles.net/english
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SARS - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
This has obviously been very topical over the past few months and may
be for a little time yet, the following two items may be of help.
- SARS :
International Online Conference
- 19 to 31 May 2003
- Educational Narratives & Reflections
in the time of SARS
- welcomes the participation of teachers,
researchers, students, parents, policy makers, librarians and concerned
- first on-line conference of The Hong Kong
Web Symposium Consortium
- it has been designed as a forum for sharing
reflections on recent events in Hong Kong and elsewhere in order
to learn what we can from the crisis that SARS has brought to our
community in the area of education.
- SARS Resources
- SARS struck the region just after I sent
out the last newsletter at the end of March 2003.
- I then established an area on Shambles
to collect SARS related materials to help schools and emailed those
on the Shambles newsletter mailing list to ask for contributions.
- the response was wonderful .... have a
look at the page to see school policies, government announcements,
downloadable fact sheets and check lists, articles about SARS and
Education, Powerpoint presentations and more. Many thanks to all
those, mainly anonymous, contributors.
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A few items of interest to teachers of maths (math) ... this is where
I make up for the lack of Maths references in earlier newsletters ::
- 8th Asian
Technology Conference in Mathematics (ATCM2003)
- 15th to 19th December 2003
- aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum
for teachers, researchers, educators and decision makers around
the world in the fields of mathematics and mathematical sciences.
- The conference will cover a broad range
of topics on the relevancy of technology in mathematical research
- World Class
- Since they were launched in November 2001,
over 10,000 students aged 9 to thirteen in 17 different countries
have taken World Class Tests. These innovative tests in mathematics
and problem solving are delivered both on and off-line.
- Schools from the UK, Australia, Malaysia
to Hong Kong all use the online registration, on-screen delivery
and automatic marking offered by World Class Tests.
- Over 18,000 students, many logging on from
their own homes, have taken the World Class Tests mathematics challenge.
Students receive instant marking and feedback on their achievement.
- To find out more, and to try the mathematics
challenge visit the website
Computer Software - Autograph ! <=
- Occasionally some software comes along
that is known as "killer software" .... well a number
of Maths teachers have said to me in the past that "Autograph"
is one such package for teaching and learning mathematics
- Dynamic PC software for teaching calculus,
coordinate geometry, statistics and probability
- Autographs author, Douglas Butler, will
be at the ATCM Conference mentioned above
self-evaluation planner (UK)
- This interactive tool has been designed
by the National College for School Leadership to help headteachers
evaluate their school's progress in the implementation of the National
- The tool is built around evidence taken
over the last two years' from OFSTED's National Evaluation of the
strategy, inspection reports and evidence from the National Strategy
- Use the tool to create an action plan for
your school's implementation of the National Numeracy Strategy ...
or probably to help review your plan as you're probably well on
the way through it.
Online INSET - Pack for Teachers
- in March 2003 there was an online professional
development event on "Using ICT to Support the Teaching and
Learning of Mathematics"
- the Inset pack has been specially devised
for use by teachers of Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 pupils - who may or
may not be mathematics or ICT subject specialists. The lesson plans
and ideas are designed to give some starter lessons showing how
ICT can be integrated into the teaching and learning of mathematics
and some ideas for further developments.
- the online even is now over but the materials
there may be helpful for a school-based event or individual staff
- the lesson plans and ideas are designed
to give some starter lessons showing how ICT can be integrated into
the teaching and learning of mathematics and some ideas for further
- note that one of the packs covers "Inclusion,
SEN, mathematics and ICT"
- Summer School
for Teachers on Technology for Secondary/College Mathematics
- UK summer school 8th to 11th July
- Delegates will enjoy the superb computer facilities of Oundle
School, in the peaceful Northamptonshire market town of Oundle,
30 miles West of Cambridge, England.
- 12 hours of supervised hands-on instruction with worksheets on
the mathematical aspects of MS Office (Word and Excel) and CAS (Computer
Algebra Systems), and dynamic software (Autograph and Sketchpad/Cabri)
Incidentally there is a new webpage being constructed
on Shambles that brings all of the Mathematics relayed areas together
on one page http://www.shambles.net/mathematics
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Science Education Review
The Science Education Review (SER) is a new, peer-reviewed, international
periodical for busy primary and secondary (K-12) school science teachers,
available on-line, as Word document e-mail attachments, and / or in hard
For an idea of the science questions addressed
in the current, and previous, issues CLICK
Click on the website link above for more details,
including how to receive your free trial for evaluation.
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Shambles Professional Development Tour
www.shambles.net/profdev/2004tour/ ..... (INSET
& Professional Course)
As mentioned in the last newsletter ..... the Shambles INSET planned for
Feb. 2003 was postponed until Feb. 2004 ...
for ICT Coordinators and for "Aspiring"
ICT Coordinators .. with full details available at the
The course will start with a face-to-face session
in Bangkok a 3-day event run by UK facilitators followed by assignments
to be done in school but with online help from the facilitators. The course
is accredited by the Nottingham Trent University (UK).
Deadline for applications
is 30th November 2003 ... application details at the website
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New Journal of Innovation in Education
The Specialist Schools Trust, in the United Kingdom, is to launch a new
quarterly professional journal. This will be a paper-based journal.
‘Snapshots: The Specialist Schools Trust Journal
of Innovation in Education’ is to specifically focus on new
ideas, programs, policies and practices being trialed or fully implemented
in schools (of all levels/types).
Articles in ‘Snapshots’ will describe
and discuss innovations in schools all around the world.
As such, the journal represents an outstanding opportunity for schools
to showcase the work of their staff and to share practical ideas on what
works best to improve student outcomes.
Through the journal, schools and educators will
be encouraged to develop national and international networks, so that
school-based research, experimentation with new ideas, the considered
abandonment of old practices, and best practice can be shared more widely.
This could therefore be a very valuable vehicle
for international schools and especially involving the professional development
of staff .... for more details visit the website or email Debra Brydon
I'll finish this with a quote from one of Debra's
email message sent to schools- "I am therefore
asking if you, a member of staff, or a team of staff in your school, would
be able to assist by contributing a paper to the journal for possible
publication. The focus would be on innovations that have been implemented
in the past two or three years, or are planned for implementation in the
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Physical Education (PE)
I've become aware of some unrest from the Physical Education teachers
in schools that "Shambles" does not seem to be giving very much
attention to this curriculum area.
There are some areas on Shambles - for teachers
one for sport at www.shambles.net/pages/students/Sport/
and the Olympics are covered at www.shambles.net/pages/students/Olympics/
But I admit that it could be better ... so suggestions
from PE staff on what could help you would be appreciated and I promise
to have a specialist page ready by the next newsletter.
But while you are waiting you might like to look
at the following which shows one way that ICT can help P.E. staff and
- How to
evaluate performance in PE using a digital camera
- Digital still or video cameras can be used
in PE lessons to analyse and evaluate students' performance, and
as the basis for developing their understanding of how particular
skills develop. It can also be used for assessment purposes
- This article highlights the experiences
of teachers of primary and secondary PE teachers taking part in
a trial to evaluate the benefits of using camcorders and digital
still cameras in PE lessons
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Key Stage Three Strategy (UK)
Sorry - this is one mainly for the International Schools offering
the British Curriculum ...
After the last newsletter I was contacted by Trevor
Pedley an ICT Consultant at Leicestershire Local Education Authority in
England. Trevor recommended that I brought schools attention to the website
that promotes "The Key Stage 3 National Strategy
which aims to raise standards by strengthening teaching and learning across
the curriculum for all pupils aged 11 to 14"
To help teacher with the National Curriculum for
students in the first three years of secondary school then this website
is well worth a visit. .... thanks Trevor .... does anyone have any other
favourites they would like to share?
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Education and ICT Conferences and Exhibitions
There are several conferences and exhibitions coming up on Education and
ICT, here is a selection of just a few that you might like to include
in the school calendar or plan for your own professional development ::
Education ICT Conference and Exhibition (Thailand)
- Bangkok 19 to 21 June 2003
- official supporter is the Thailand Ministry
- other supporters are the Thailand Ministry
of Technology and Communication, Distance Learning Foundation, Ministry
of University Affairs, Computer Association of Thailand Under the
Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King
- 3 day conference and workshop organized
under the theme of “Getting Ahead in Education ICT World”
- Education ICT 2003 is a platform for educators
and learning institution professionals from throughout Thailand
that are seeking modern technologies and solutions for teaching,
learning and school administration; in order to develop competitiveness
potential and improve the quality of education for Thai people.
- there will also be an exhibition .... visit
"Shambles" at booth C6 it would be great
to put faces to many of the people I've corresponded with.
(plus get your free badge)
- 9th Hong
Kong Web Symposium
- contact Bradley Arnold at IToffice@rism.ac.th
- main day 7th November 2003 (possibly
6th & 8th for additional sessions)
- venue Ruamrudee International School,
- TechEX is a technology exchange for educators
by educators. At this conference people from different schools and
companies come together to discuss ideas and exchange experiences
regarding the use of technology in the classroom and different school
settings. It is the only conference of its kind in Thailand.
- some conference seminars will teach
software skills, while other seminars will be discussion groups
where teachers talk about how they use technology in their particular
- previously this has been run for
international school teachers just in Thailand but there is no reason
why those from other S.E.ASia countries should not attend (apart
- BETT 2003
- 7th to 10th January 2004
- BETT is the annual international event
that encourages and extends effective use of ICT in education.
- BETT is suitable for head teachers and
senior management, policy makers and teaching practitioners in primary,
secondary, further and special education establishments.
Conference on Computers in Education (Hong Kong)
Supporting Teaching and Learning (Germany)
Incidentally there is a new ICT page being built
on Shambles bringing all of the ICT resources and links together in one
place ... still under construction but you can see the progress being
made at www.shambles.net/ICT
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Schools Advertising on Shambles
I am contacted regularly by surfers, who have found 'Shambles' by using
the search engines, who ask me if I will recommend a school in the area
they are moving to in one of the 17 countries in S.E.Asia.
The policy on this is that I will not recommend
individual schools but will point the enquirer to the relevant page(s)
that contains the lists of schools and contact details
Schools do, though, have the option to raise your
own profile on those pages by taking up the advertising opportunities.
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Librarians and Libraries
Those of you who I know personally will already realise that I rate librarians
and library staff very highly ... the internet has made them more essential
than ever. I also admire them because their role has changed even more
than that of teachers - they have moved from being simply the custodians
of the books to being Information Literacy managers and mentors.
(did I just hear someone say .. "so have teachers"?)
This is an evolutionary transformation
which the vast majority have taken in their stride even though a few senior
managers have yet to be convinced of the increased necessity for these
staff (but fortunately it is only a few now).
I'd like to bring a few resources
to the attention of library staff (and school
- SILCAsia is a newly established organization
of professionals in the field of library science who are dedicated
to the pursuit of greater cooperation and communication among international
schools in the Asian-Pacific Rim region. The goal, as always, is
to improve library service.
- The school libraries of the SILCAsia cooperative
are dedicated to working together to provide an effective forum
for the sharing of ideas and resources and to promote the cooperative
licensing of electronic and print products to support the goals
of our individual schools. This mission is achieved through providing
access to our on-line OPAC systems where possible, establishing
efficient materials request and delivery systems and through ongoing
conversations between members either online or in face-to-face meetings.
Links on Shambles
Journeys - A Quest for Inspiration
- 2 - 5 October 2003 to be held in Hobart
- a joint conference of ASLA (Australian
School Library Association) and CBCA (Children's Book
Council of Australia)
- a conference which is shaping up to be
the most exciting event ever for teachers, librarians, teacher-librarians,
authors, publishers and all those interested in seeking out the
best in children's literature, in providing the best in education
and finding inspiration
- if you are a school principal then please
ask your librarian if they would like to attend . but please check
that you have the funding to offer them first.
- feedback from previous attendees say it
is a 'magical' experience .... and Australia is not too far away
Association for School Librarianship
- an international forum for promoting effective
library programs within schools worldwide.
- many teachers, administrators, librarians
and professors participate in this association, discussing issues
of concern through the listserv and sharing the excellent online
resources available through the IASL website.
- visit the website or contact Colleen MacDonell,
Director for International Schools - IASL at firstname.lastname@example.org
- IASL Conference
- 7 to 11 July 2003 in South Africa
- you are invited to the 32nd Annual Conference
of the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL),
to be held at the International Convention Centre, Durban, South
- The conference incorporates the Seventh
International Forum on Research in School Librarianship.
- The theme of the Conference is School Libraries:
Breaking Down Barriers
- So, again, if you are the school 'boss'
then check your budget and then sit down to discuss this with your
librarian ... after all it is in the holidays for most schools
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Teacher Recruitment Online
This heading continues from the last newsletter as a topic that many teachers
and administrators have a growing interest in. Last time I highlighted
some case studies from schools who are already accepting applications
online - and I also recommended that individual teachers should sign up
for the free services offered by the Times Educational Supplement.
As a result I received some feedback from schools
asking if there was any third party support that could help them use online
recruiting .... but support that required little technical knowledge or
infrastructure and was not expensive.
The answer to this is 'yes' there are several
options and I'm please to be able to recommend "The
Teacher Recruitment Company" as a good starter/entry option
that carries zero financial risk for teachers and is very affordable for
For specific details CLICK
HERE or go to www.shambles.net/recruitment/TRC/
Why not trial the service in 2003-2004? ... regardless
of the size of your school ... it's an easy option which you can run parallel
to your usual recruitment procedures so as to be able to evaluate it.
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School Calendars 2003-2004
A reminder that there is a section dedicated to calendars on 'Shambles'
where you can download A3 size templates
Webpages specifically for all the Australian International
Schools are at www.dest.gov.au/schools/dates.htm
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A few items of interest related to elearning ...
- The elearning page on Shambles is being
completely rewritten .... it will take the form of different needs
and then offer background information, a menu of solutions and finally
a 'preferred solution' ..... need to mention new elearning structure
- this should be completed by the middle
Distance Learning Course Finder
- The International Distance Learning Course
Finder is the world's largest online directory of e-learning courses
from 130 countries.
- This universal distance education resource
has information on over 55,000 distance learning courses and programs
offered from a multitude of universities, colleges and companies.
- Teacher Professional Development content online .. excellent quality
- watch this space or email me at csmith@iESF.net
- myinternet ...
bringing the internet into the classroom
- does your school have individual email and
webpages for all students and staff, can they share files, do they
have their own desktop which has school notices,chat, calendars+ on
- does your network have filtering ... can
email be filtered?
- is all of this accessible from computers
- would you like to do all of this without
spending any school money on computers or technicians to maintain
- would you like it all to be backed
up automatically by someone else who can restore it all if anything
was to go wrong
- and would you like all of this for
a one off payment of US$495 which covers training and an annual fee
- For a free 40 day evaluation with no obligations
other than the training fee then email me .. Chris Smith csmith@iESF.net
- this solution is already used by hundreds
of schools in Australia, New Zealand and the UK .... it is also used
by the English Schools Foundation in Hong Kong
I'm beginning to sound like a car salesman ...
but trust me .. I'm an educator .. ;-) ... for schools just moving into
connecting to the internet (or those reviewing
what they already have) and looking for the least painful
network/internet management and application solution then "myinternet"
is a very low risk and low cost opportunity.
Watch this space for details of a further solution
called "myclasses", or email me for details which I will send
By the way ... did you follow up on the elearning
course on elearning mentioned in the last newsletter?
... if you need reminding of the details then "CLICK
HERE" for a pop-up box
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OK - I already know everyone is using the Google search engine but did
you know that there is a 'research' department hidden way back in the
company and it sounds like the people there are having some fun.
They are playing with (sorry
- exploring) different ways of presenting information and displaying
search results ... one of the options is the Google Viewer
.... where you can view search results as scrolling webpages ..
this could be particularly useful for displays in schools
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In a few weeks time, at the end of term, there will be a section of our
school communities who come to the end of their teaching careers and make
ready for the third age of retirement.
I hope that schools bid these staff the quality
of farewells that they deserve after a lifetime given to the worlds third
oldest profession (I'll leave you guessing at number two).
But being unable to resist I should be grateful
if the new retirees could give me some feedback over the next year. An
area has been established on the Shambles website specifically to support
staff who are about to retire. It can be accessed from the front page
=> Professional Development => Advice for Retiring Teachers.
The new area is incomplete and under development,
especially with the advice to USA and Australian teachers .... any advice
you could provide would be most welcome ... please email
me (in your spare time that is)
... but firstly have a great time ... no longer ruled by school bells!
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I hope you have found something here again that can be of help
when working with your students, colleagues and parents ... and also something
of personal interest as well. Also good luck to all those staff who have
now resigned and are on the journey to a new school.
... and best wishes to all those teachers and
support staff who are leaving Asia and moving on to new opportunities,
I'm sure you will miss the place and the people.
The next newsletter will be late October2003
Any feedback you can give about this newsletter would be appreciated ....
especially ideas or contributions for future editions ... I actually think
this newsletter edition was a little too long .. do you agree?
If you know of any
new international schools opening in the region - Brunei
Burma/Myanmar Cambodia China Hong Kong (HKSAR) India Indonesia Japan Laos
Macau Malaysia Philippines Singapore South Korea Taiwan Thailand Vietnam
- the please let me know csmith@iESF.net
an enjoyable summer holiday
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received a very favourable response to the musical addition in the last
which featured Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
and the Salvation Army Band
so here is a second offering
in recognition of the cancelled Rolling Stones concert in Bangkok
you need to be connected
to the internet of course
(can you identify the main singer ... the same guy as last time)
To subscribe to future editions (if not already
subscribed) just send a blank email to
Shambles Newsletters Archives are at http://www.shambles.net/newsletter