A new report from Becta – the UK’s ICT in schools organisation – focuses on the use of Web 2.0 in UK schools. The report states that school students are using a wide range of Web 2.0 applications in their spare time but not much in school – well, no surprises there. However, the report does identify a number of benefits of the use of Web 2.0 in schools, stating that it “helps to encourage student engagement (Becta bold) and increase participation”; “encourage online discussion among students outside school”; “encourages some individuals to extend their learning”; and that “Pupils feel a sense of ownership and engagement when they publish their work online”. It also found that most teachers thought that Web 2.0 applications should be used more but that most teachers had not used Web 2.0 in the classroom. In many schools, TLs are seen as the Web 2.0 experts but not necessarily as the person to whom the teacher would turn for advice. Time for a change.
If you ever go to Tauranga (pron. Towronga) in New Zealand’s north island – in fact, if you’re in New Zealand, you should make a point to vist Tauranga, and while you’re there, book a table at the Somerset Cottage Restaurant. There you will get outstanding food, very attentive service and excellent value for your money – you can even take your own wine. The restaurant is rightly praised for its delivery of very well cooked and tastefully presented food but the highlight for me was the best ice cream I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. I’ve never had licorice ice cream before but the Somerset Cottage licorice ice cream is superb. It’s great to look at (see picture below and thanks to joint owner Anne Butcher for sending it to me) and the taste – ooof!