Fab Friends at BETT

We were really proud to have some fantastic realsmart users demonstrate how they use realsmartcloud in their schools during the BETT Conference and Exhibition this year. Take a look at these videos we snapped of the handsome chaps in action!

 

Kingsmeadow Community School

“…the students have been very much involved in it [realsmart]. This hasn’t been very much a staff centred drive to it,it’s been very much a collaborative affair with staff and students. Effectively the students have driven it for the past year or so through their program [digital leaders]”.

 

St Thomas More Catholic School 

“…certainly our feedback in school is that pupils are going home and using it [realsmart] on any kind of tablet, laptops, phones, whatever it may be…and the integration with Google – the amount of people that have said ‘we’re using Google, what does realsmart add to it?’. You’ll show it to them and they go ‘Oh yeah, I get that, I see how it works’.”.

“…the most important aspect for us is that people can bespoke and use it [realsmart] how they want”.

 

Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School

“…the emphasis is on teacher – student dialogue and communication… the feedback we’ve had from parents is that it’s brought about more dialogue with them about what their children are doing… it’s lead to some really powerful discussions. It’s [realsmart] enabled us to be more creative with the dialogue we have with students”.

 


Many thanks to;

Andy Sprakes – XP School

Marc Voltaire – XP School

Andy Dolinski – Bosworth Academy

Andrew Strachan – St Thomas More Catholic School

James Simpson – Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School

Lewis Thompson – Kingsmeadow School

Draft, Redraft and Critique…

Thank you for attending the inspirational session with Ron Berger at Campsmount School recently. The video below demonstrates how realsmartcloud provides the perfect tools for Project-Based Expeditionary Learning.

If you are interested in finding out more about the delivery model for PBL at XP School then please complete the form below.

Sharing & developing ideas: realsmartcloud helps a trio of schools

When it comes to providing students with the best education possible, it's all about focusing on the development and sharing of ideas for 3 schools within the Cabot Learning Federation.

If you'd like to get your school 'up in the cloud' like Bristol Brunel Academy, then why not get in touch and let us show you all the fantastic stuff we do. To find out more and arrange a demo, please contact us on 0114 224 2334 or email realsmart@smartassess.com or visit www.smartassess.com.

Earlier this year, three of the schools – Bristol Brunel Academy (the first school to have a BSF managed ICT service), Hans Price Academy and Bristol Metropolitan Academy – had the opportunity to change their learning platform provider and after deciding that there had to be a 'smart-er' way to use technology to help them with their goal, opted for realsmartcloud.

We caught up with the man co-ordinating the decision, Learning Technologies Coordinator Chris Mackintosh, to find out how realsmartcloud is helping to improve the development and sharing of ideas across the trio of schools.
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Communication & Collaboration: Why Campsmount Love realsmartcloud

Like a phoenix rising from the flames, Campsmount Technology College had a tough ol’ year in 2009 when it was hit by a devastating fire, but is now back on its feet and doing great things.

Recently we’ve been hearing all kinds of impressive comments about Campsmount’s website which has been created by staff using realsmartcloud. Add to the mix, rumours of staff using the cloud to improve whole school collaboration and we knew it was time to get in touch.

We caught up with ‘smart’ cookie and Assistant Headteacher Jamie Portman to find out how teachers are getting on with realsmartcloud at Campsmount.

If you’d like your school to follow in Campsmount’s footsteps, then why not get in touch and let us show you how we can help. To find out more and arrange a demo, please contact us on 0114 224 2334 or email realsmart@smartassess.com

 

1) So Jamie, first of all, tell us about the fantastic website that you’ve created with realsmartcloud.

“Ah thanks very much! We’re glad you like it. We’re all really proud of our school website here at Campsmount. Thanks to realsmartcloud, we can now access the latest in technology and use it to share information and communicate through our website in a very engaging way with students, parents and staff as well as the wider community.”

 

2) What impact has realsmartcloud had on staff using the website?

“Staff are really enjoying using the website, we’re finding that teachers are beginning to embrace the new technologies that realsmartcloud provides so it’s really helped to created a buzz of activity within the school.

“By this I mean that staff are uploading things like podcasts, image galleries and even videos to our website to showcase the learning and various activities that go on throughout the day. realsmartcloud enables us to celebrate our fantastic learning experiences and share them with the world!”

 

3) What in particular do staff at Campsmount like about realsmartcloud?

“To put it simply, realsmartcloud is so effective because it brings everything together in one place, making our lives so much easier! Rather than having to sign in to different applications, we can access a number of them quickly and simply through realsmartcloud. The cloud acts as the gateway to some of the best technology applications that exist currently, plus it’s also incredibly easy to use!”

 

4) How are you using realsmartcloud to collaborate?

“Through realsmartcloud, we’re using Google Docs which is a great suite of tools that enable us to collaborate easily across the school. Many teachers use Google Docs to plan lessons or create schemes of work and presentations. Through Google Docs we are now sharing resources with each other, working together on projects and accessing information. It’s really improving the way we work together at Campsmount and the potential is enormous.”

 

5) Can you sum up for us the benefits of realsmartcloud, in one sentence?

“realsmartcloud is a brilliant teacher toolkit which provides easy access to the best technology available on the world wide web. It’s amazing!”

About Campsmount Technology College

Campsmount Technology is based in Norton, Doncaster. It has around 800 students with a Sixth Form.

Check out the Campsmount website at: www.campsmount.com

What are Campsmount Technology College saying about realsmart cloud?

screen-shot-2011-07-11-at-150633In a recent article, Jamie Portman from Campsmount Technology College discussed why he loves his realsmartcloud site.

“So why am I so proud of our school website? Because it celebrates what goes on within it. That’s it.”

“Sadly, school websites are often a contradiction of what normally goes on within them. I regularly see sites that haven’t been updated in months and can only be described as dull, boring, static and lifeless. And yet for me, school websites should actually be a celebration of the learning and achievements that goes on within them.”

“They should advertise the fact that students enjoy being at your school due to the exciting learning experiences that your teachers work so hard to facilitate. Parents should be reassured that their children are fully taking advantage of the broad, balanced and dynamic curriculum offer that your school provides ….”.

Naturally, we agree!

Click here to read the full article.

realsmart Schools Share the Learning Journey

images-21We wanted to pass on a big thanks you to our friends from three of our best schools, who helped us present the realsmart learning journey in a schools showcase presentation, at this years SSAT Achievement Show.

We broke the journey down in to 3 sections: ‘getting started’, ‘making good use’ and ‘next steps’:


img_25411. Making the decision to use online apps, saving money and creating immediate impact at Stretford High School.

Stretford made the decision to get their heads in the cloud in January this year and can already show how this has made a  big impact on teaching and learning. Dan Stucke, Assistant Head teacher, shared with us their rationale for choosing realsmartcloud, how it has saved them money and how it’s having an immediate effect in the classroom.


img_25422. Getting the technology used and making it easy at Winton School.

Vicky Essex, Deputy Head, and Martin Ashworth from Winton School in Hampshire, told us how in less than a year their school has became one of the top users of realsmart.  Vicky showcased some of the great work they have done using realsmart to build learning portfolios, using simple tools to record and share learning across the school.  It was great to see that as a result of this students had built learning language in to their vocabulary.


img_25473. Moving forward and engaging parents at Manchester Communications Academy

John Sibbald, Head of Specialism and Post 16 at  MCA, gave some practical examples of true parental engagement using realsmart to facilitate learning conversations between learners, parents and staff.  The Academy have facilitated their Parents’ Evening using realsmart to review student’s work and believe in true parental engagement, not parental voyeurism. We believe that it’s not good enough for parents to look at portfolios without the wider context. Even less so with grades and percentages. That’s why Manchester Communications Academy provide such a fantastic example.

All of our presenters did a fantastic job, with many schools approaching us afterwards to congratulate them on the brilliant work that is going on in their schools.

A good job, well done!

Why you don’t need a parental login

We were delighted to hear that Manchester Communications Academy had facilitated their Parent’s Evening using realsmart to review students’ work.

“At a recent Progress Evening, students were invited to log on to realsmart with their parents.   Students explained what they had been learning and what they had achieved.  Parents could clearly see feedback from teachers, including the next steps in learning.  20% of our parents now know how to use realsmart with their children to support discussions around schoolwork and homework.  Our aim is to get 50% of parents using realsmart in this way by the end of the year.” John Sibbald, Specialism and Post-16, Manchester Communication Academy

This has been followed up with letters sent home to parents, further explaining how and why they are using realsmart, and how they can review their child’s work at home. The following steps are taken from one of the letters:

  • We are using a website called realsmart to monitor student progress and show the next steps in learning. We recommend you spend a few minute each week talking to your child about the work they have been completing in lessons.
  • To log in to realsmart you should visit the Academy website:
  • Click on ‘My Learning’ and ask your child to log in to the Academy portal
  • Click on the realsmart option and the following screen will appear
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  • Ask your child to log in to realsmart and the following screen will appear where you can see each subject area.
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  • Now click on the subject to see the current assessment criteria.
  • Your child can then explain what they have been doing in school, where they are up to and what work they have handed in. In many cases you will see feedback from teachers where work has been marked and next steps identified.
  • In some cases homework is set through realsmart.
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  • We hope you find the information informative – please contact your child’s Progress Tutor if you have any concerns.
  • If you do not have access to the internet at home please let us know and we’ll arrange access for you.

We’ve lost count of how many schools have asked about parental log ins, and the answer we give is always the same – we don’t provide parents with separate log ins.

Why?

Because we believe in parental engagement, not parental voyeurism. It’s not good enough for parents to look at portfolios without the wider context; even less so with grades and percentages.

That’s why Manchester Communications Academy provides a fantastic example. It’s the discussion around the portfolio that is important, with the students knowing that they will be showing their parents, and the school knowing they are facilitating these discussions, empowering parents to get involved.

Fantastic!

Engage your parents by creating opportunities for talking with their children about their learning experiences the easy way: with realsmart.

Homewood School – Cross key stage collaboration

logo_homewood1What do you get if your learners collaborate across key stages, communicate with, and feed back to other learners they have never even met?

Well, apart from seriously engaged pupils, at Homewood School in Kent they also won the BIMA Award for the Inspiring Future Talent, Digital Schools Challenge 2010.

Along with this, Homewood are using realsmart across the whole school to deliver individual subjects. Pupils have even been training their teachers to use realsmart.

This is a tool to really get the pupils excited about learning!

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“What realsmart allowed them (the students) to do was communicate with other students who had particular skills across the school – that they did not know … to this day they’ve never met each other.” Paul Hanson (Homewood School & Sixth Form)

screen-shot-2010-11-30-at-122722“The communication between myself and the students has vastly improved….” Pete Sparks (Homewwod School & Sixth Form)

“It’s easy because I actually do my homework now, so I don’t loose it anymore.” Homewood Student

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“We made the jing videos because it would be much easier for other students to hear how to do things from students about the same age…. Students don’t need to listen to another teacher droning on, they can hear people their own age, and I think that’s really helped.” Homewood Student

Hastingsbury get re-energised with realsmart

imagesSo you’ve bought realsmart, but don’t know what to do with it. Where do you start? Recently we helped Hastingsbury Business & Enterprise College realise the full potential of realsmart.

When John Kane took over the realsmart reins  at Hastingsbury, he was keen to get it up and running, and embed its use across the whole school. Following  some consultation and training, John began to pilot realsmart with his 6th Form Drama group and found the results were extremely positive. So much so that this year they are adopting it across the whole school!

screen-shot-2010-12-07-at-141506“…it’s interactive, it’s immediate….I can track the work, I can assess the work and I can feedback – within a matter of minutes! …because realsmart also allows the students to have clear guidance, there’s so much more clarity in terms of what it is they need to achieve… and the students have loved it.” John Kane (Hastingsbury Business & Enterprise College)
 

Learning Through the Snow

snowman

School closed?

Too cold for learning? Need to send some work home to students quickly so you can go and play in the snow?

We wanted to remind you how easily realsmart allows you to share high quality learning opportunities with your students to complete at home.

James Gough of Aston Manor schools talks to us about how they use realsmart to ensure high quality teaching and learning materials are ready for teacher absences. We are sure that students at Aston will be continuing to get realsmart during the snow!

When we asked James how realsmart was helping them get through the snow closures this week he said “We're walking in the air”.

Nice one James!

Don't forget to look at the “Community items” for some great resources created by realsmart users that you can share with your students in seconds.