Category Archives: Becta

>Email from Niel McLean, Executive Director about the demise of Becta

>Dear colleagues
As you are aware, as part of the Government’s package of measures to reduce expenditure in the public sector, Becta will be closing on 31st March.
It is important that we make sure we achieve our charitable objects as well as the efficient and well-managed closure of the organisation. A full and comprehensive Programme has been established to ensure that this happens. Part of the communications area of this programme will be to keep our external partners and stakeholders up to date with current progress and we are therefore planning to send regular updates to you over the next few months.
In May Stephen Crowne made a commitment to Becta having “an orderly and fair process for staff, and that as far as possible schools, colleges and children continue to benefit from the savings and support that Becta has provided.”

Following successful and constructive negotiations with the DfE and BIS, we are delighted that it has been confirmed that Government wishes to continue key areas of Becta’s work. This work will transfer in the first quarter of next year. Areas that are confirmed for transfer include Policy; Procurement, incorporating ICT Service frameworks; E-safety / safeguarding online; and Technical, accessibility and environmental standards for ICT in schools.

Discussions are ongoing to finalise the details for one or two other areas we hope to transfer.
Conversations are now taking place with some Becta staff, who it is hoped will also transfer with these work areas. With DfE and BIS we hope to be able to finalise details of all of the areas that will be transferring in the next few weeks.
Please keep an eye on the Becta website, which will tell you where Becta’s assets are going as they transfer. We aim to make as much as possible openly accessible through open licence agreements.
As Becta’s revised business plan for 2010-11 continues towards conclusion, some of the headline areas of work for the next month or so include:

ICT Services Framework: Becta is proceeding with the framework to cover infrastructure and mobile connectivity in order to continue promoting responsible purchasing within schools and colleges.

ICT Mark: Accreditation of schools will continue until March 2011. Consideration is still being made as to the future of this accreditation scheme. Naace continue to administer the ICT Mark at least through to March 2011 Becta has pressed hard for the continuation of both the SRF and ICT Mark.

ICT Excellence Awards 2010: the winners and runners-up in this awards scheme for schools will be announced on 14 October. Watch the Becta website for more information.
Becta website: Work is currently underway to plan the efficient and careful closure of the Becta website by March 2011. The National Archive will be taking a ‘snapshot’ of the website to ensure that key content exists after the closure, and other specific areas will be taken on by third party organisations as part of the asset transfer process. Resources that have been produced by Becta will be available from the National Archive’s website from November 2010.
We would also like to update you with regard to the success of the Home Access programme which will be completed, ahead of schedule, by December 2010. Stephen Crowne recently said “I can’t thank our stakeholders enough for making the Home Access programme such a success. Without your invaluable support we wouldn’t have achieved our ambition to ensure more young people reap the benefits of having access to the internet at home to improve their learning.”
Please be assured that we are continuing to follow due process with the transition and eventual closure of Becta, and without your invaluable support over the years we would not have achieved our ambition to ensure more young people reap the educational benefits of technology.

If you require any further information regarding Becta’s situation, then please do follow up with Ruth Hammond.

Kind Regards

Niel McLean
Executive Director


>The way forward after Becta

>”It is too late to save Becta now that the new Conservative-Liberal coalition has signed the warrant. But what can and should be rescued and how can the core essentials be carried on? Devolution of decision making down to individual and institutional levels must not mean the loss of collective knowledge and understanding of what works in ICT for further education and skills.”

Seb Schmoller of ALT talked to FE News about the demise of Becta, read the full article.

>Overcoming the barriers to educational innovation

>I have just been reading this article on the Becta Emerging Technologies website.

“Overcoming the barriers to educational innovation” is a report on end-user innovation as a crucial approach to developing new practices and approaches.

This report recognises that the practice of creating solutions to individual problems, on an individual level, is an act of innovation. But also that learning from these individual acts can support wider, system level innovation – not through rolling-out the innovation that occurred on the individual level, but by supporting greater numbers of local level ‘end-user innovators’.

Existing studies have examined barriers to innovation for both institutions and the individuals who operate in them. Increasingly they have highlighted the interactivity of factors that are considered barriers to innovation. The relationship between each of these areas is unique to each school and each innovation.

Presented in this review are two models to explore this the ‘Distance and Dependence’ model, and the ‘Layers of Influence’ model. Initially the Distance and Dependence model gives clarity to understanding such educational innovations in context, by depicting how an innovation can be understood as its distance from current practice and dependence on available resources.

Click here to read more about “Overcoming the barriers to educational innovation” and download the report.

>E-assessment and innovation

>Appearing on the Becta Emerging Technologies website is an article introducing a report on E-assessment and innovation by John Winkley

It is described as an authoritative survey of a technology which, perhaps like virtual reality, has not come of age as quickly as expected.

A wide-ranging overview describes current and future applications of on-screen examinations, audio, text editing, adaptive assessment, games and simulations, short text answer marking, essay marking, spoken language marking, mathematics marking and voting devices.

John Winkley argues that e-assessment has potential to be transformational in developing the benefits of immediate results and improved feedback, interactivity and richness of ICT for more authentic assessment, e-assessment as an enabler of better assessment and as a democratising influence on the assessment process which also encompasses diversity.

You can read more and download the report from the Becta website.

>Projectors without bulbs launched

>Casio has launched a laser-based, hybrid, bulbless projection system capable of more than 2,000 ANSI lumens, which it suggests is a ‘world first’.

Casio lists the price of the lower power, 2,000 lumens projector at just under $800 (about £500). Other options will be available up to 3,000 lumens brightness, which should be adequate for most smaller lecture theatres and school halls.

Original Becta article

Casio press release

>Google brings auto-captioning to YouTube videos

>Becta has recently published this little article:

“Watching online video can be frustrating if you cannot hear the audio (due to background noise or physical disability), or when you do not speak the language.

Google has launched a new automatic captioning service which it intends to gradually roll out across its YouTube service.”

To see the full article on the Becta website: Becta Emerging Technologies website

>Using mobile technology in schools

>Becta have recently published an article with hyperlinks on their website that offers advice on using mobile technology in schools.

It is a good starting point for anyone wishing to develop this area of learning.

View Becta article

>Teachtoday – a new website about internet and mobile safety

>There’s lots of information about internet and mobile safety on the Web already, now the Teachtoday website has been set up to provide a single place that answers some of the specific questions you might have as a teacher or other member of the school workforce – whether you’re teaching five year olds or 18 year olds; whether you’re an ICT expert or a complete beginner.

Teachtoday provides information and advice for teachers, head teachers, governors and other members of the school workforce about the positive, responsible and safe use of new technologies.

Teachtoday was developed by some of the UK’s leading internet, social networking and mobile companies – many of whom are involved in the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) – in association with organisations including European Schoolnet, Becta, the teaching unions and the National Association of Head Teachers.

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