Chapter 4: Progress with ICT Dissemination
Connected magazine ( www.ltscotland.org.uk/connected/) reports on the role of ICT in learning, teaching and community development and celebrates achievements from grass roots level to sector leaders. By disseminating examples of good practice, practical hints and tips for using ICT, news of recent developments, information about new ideas and details of professional development opportunities in this field, the magazine enables readers to apply this knowledge in their everyday practice.
Connected is attractive and well presented with clear and readable articles and eye-catching full colour images. The magazine recruits school staff as contributors and an NGfL Scotland member of staff works with them to ensure the articles are interesting, relevant and easy to read. It commissions articles from international experts in the field and decision-makers in the Scottish education sector.
Connected has evolved since September 2003. The magazine has expanded in response to feedback and is now regularly more than 40 pages long. Circulation has also increased from approximately 29,000 to more than 30,500 (visits to the Connected website have increased from approximately 4,500 in October 2003 to around 14,000 per month in 2005). New readers include final-year student teachers and an increasing number of community practitioners. The quality of the images used and the integration of text and images have improved. The average length of many articles has been reduced without any loss of quality so they can be more easily read.
Connected magazine is published and distributed free to schools and educationalists at the start of each school term, following a revision of the magazine's schedule in summer 2004.
4.2 E-mail bulletins
There are a number of e-mail bulletins issued via the online services. The weekly NGfL bulletin reported on news, opportunities, events and reports relevant to Scottish education and in particular items relating to ICT. The NGfL bulletin was replaced by LTS Education News Digest in April 2006. Other monthly bulletins are issued to subscribers for particular sectors. These are the Early Years; 5-14; NQ; Digital Inclusion and Health Promoting Schools. The bulletins were redesigned in 2004 to improve the presentation. The software used to publish the bulletins can provide very useful feedback on the readership habits of the subscribers. All the bulletins offer online subscription facilities. LTS Video Conferencing hub issues a newsletter at the beginning of each school term, giving highlights of the previous term and events to look forward to in the new term. In between newsletters, bulletins are issued to remind subscribers of imminent events and to give information on new events. Again users can subscribe online.
4.3 SETT, The Scottish Learning Festival
SETT, The Scottish Learning Festival, is financially supported by the Schools Group at SEED. SETT is organised by LTS and Emap Education. In five years it has evolved into a major collaborative learning festival involving educators of Scotland and further afield meeting to share, encourage and inspire good practice.
Over 5600 delegates attended SETT 2005, which is free for delegates to attend.
The speaker line-up for the 2005 conference programme was of the highest quality, offering over 100 keynotes, spotlight and seminar sessions. In addition a further 60 workshops were held within the Scottish Education Village. The seminars and workshops were presented by educationalists from most local authorities in Scotland as well as speakers from across the UK, Europe, New Zealand and America. The exhibition was extended to feature more than 100 educational ICT suppliers. It presented the largest selection of educational ICT products and resources ever seen at an event in Scotland.
The SETT website ( www.ltscotland.org.uk/sett) collates many of the presentations from the event as video, audio, text documents and PowerPoint slides, so that the material can be accessed and used after the event.
4.4 NGfL Scotland events
Further development of partnerships with a number of Scottish local authorities was evident in 2005, leading to successful ICT-focused events in Edinburgh, Renfrewshire, Aberdeen, West Lothian and Shetland.
There was also NGfL team input to other local and national events, such as the Dumfries and Galloway Primary Teachers conferences.
Such events complement the SETT conference, raise awareness and disseminate information about good practice at local level. Many delegates cannot attend SETT and these events provide a means to engage with a broader spectrum of education professionals across the whole country.
See Annex B for ICT conferences and seminars held in 2004 and 2005.