2011 - Top 10 ICT tools with the “wow” factor…

Jeff Howson writes :

Following on from my SPOT article (ICT tools with the "WOW" factor), I continue with the theme of tools that can have a transformational effect on teaching and learning. A key feature is that they are free and some of them are open source. New web 2.0 tools are being released everyday and some of them are having a massive impact on education.

The following tools have proved to be very popular and can be added to the original list in the previous article. Have a look at them and see if they prove useful to you and remember to use SPOT to comment on them and share your findings with others.

1. Twitter (www.twitter.com) a tool that allows you to stay in touch and keep up with colleagues and students no matter where you are or what you're doing.

2. Delicious (http://delicious.com/) a free social bookmarking tool, where you can store bookmarks online, tag them and share them with colleagues and students.

3. YouTube Education (http://www.youtube.com/education) a version of you tube which focusses on education.

4. Slideshare (www.slideshare.net) a site where you can host your presentations and share them with others. Don't forget to use SPOT though.

5. Ning (www.ning.com) a hosted online service that lets you build a private social network for a project, theme, topic or class.

6. Animoto (www.animoto.com) an online service to create videos from images.

7. Edublogs (http://edublogs.org/) a free bloghosting site for education.

8. Bubbl-us (http://bubbl.us/) a mindmappng application that lets you brainstorm online.

9. Impressive (http://impressive.sourceforge.net/) a tool for displaying presentation slides.

10. Sun Virtualbox (http://www.sun.com/software/products/virtualbox/) turns your pc / mac into a virtualisation platform and run any operating system on one more machine or over a network.

Don't forget to visit BETT in January 2010 and remember to visit the National Education Network (Stand K49), where you can also see quality educationally focused resources. The NEN is a partnership between the 13 learning grids in the UK, working together with national partners like Becta, the DCSF and JANET (UK).


About the Author:

Jeff is the Managing Director of JRH Consultancy Ltd with 30 plus years of experience in education, (as an AST, HOD, Senior Teacher, Senior Examiner, Advisor) and as a consultant in the Commercial and Public sector. He offers to schools and LA’s the following support and services. Please contact Jeff for more information:

(M: 07765253028 / E: jeffreyrichardh@gmail.com)

*Strategic development of ICT and New Technologies

i. Review ICT (Health Check) – ICT Audit Exercise (Active and Passive ICT) to identify where 

the school has expertise and where they can improve ICT provision / Review ICT - Total Cost of Ownership Exercise, so that school can identify outgoings and plan and maximise their ICT 

spend for the future / Review ICT Vision and Strategy for Change – create / update 


ii. Produce an ICT Requirements Report (Key strengths / key weaknesses. Options and 

Recommendations, including ICT cost saving recommendations / Risk Register).

*Operational use of ICT and New Technologies

i. Introduce, support and develop the Self Review Framework – a very good tool for developing the use of ICT within schools. 

ii. Develop a Next Steps innovation programme, e.g: Provide 5 examples of good practice 

across the school with recommendations for development.

iii. Share good practice in use of ICT, resources and ideas, stimulating discussion and debate.

iv. Develop student voice / teachers voice / community voice within the school.

v. Support the design and build of new learning spaces (new build or refurbishment).

vi. Develop and support the use of Learning Platforms.

*Interactive Content Creation and Publishing

i. Develop school based Interactive Resources (web / audio / video / animation).

ii. Introduce local / national opportunities to create, publish and share content (audio. images, 

video) via projects such as making the news, digital storytelling, radio and tv school networks 


*Change Management and Transformation Training

i. Develop, collect and spread transformational practice in Teaching and Learning, Leadership and Management.

ii. Review Change and Transformation within the school and produce a Training and 

Transformation Report, with reference to ICT for Management and Leadership / Curriculum staff / Administration staff / Wider Community.

iii. Provide a staffs skills audit and a range of CPD activities for all staff (e-learning, subject 

specific) / Community Support / Gifted and Talented Support.

*Strategic Curriculum Development / Leadership and Management

i. Review Curriculum and produce Curriculum review document.

ii. Review and develop school Policies and Procedures, including E-Safety, Data Handling 


iii. Review and develop Education Brief including KPIs, Inclusion, 14-19 arrangements, 

community and business links, QA systems.

iv. Review and develop a Strategy for Change document.

*Subject Specialisms

Provide training and support for the following subjects:

ICT - (Primary / Secondary)

Geography – (Primary / Secondary)

Citizenship – (Secondary)

Media - (Primary / Secondary)

Cross Curricular Activities - (Primary / Secondary) including Transition Activities.

Internationalism – (Primary / Secondary)