New Year New Direction

Happy New Year!

This has been another interesting year for me, I’ve had a lot of fun and I’m pleased with what I’ve been able to achieve working over at AoC NILTA.

This year I’ve been able to concentrate on promoting the appropriate use of open source solutions, using weblogs and social technologies in education, making sure UGC is on the table when it comes to personalisation, thinking about e-portfolios in terms of learner-ownership and control, accessibility and data transferability, and championing digital literacy over censorship.

I also ran the UK’s first edublogging conference, and managed the third international Edublog Awards, as well as managing a pretty hectic commute. I had a lot of fun professionally this year – particularly at ALT-C 2007, and I’ve enjoyed the whole PLE debate so far. 

I’ve had a great time at AoC NILTA and I’m pleased with the work I was able to do while I was there – in particular the DOPA response (Which was well received by the Safe Use of the Internet Steering Committee) and the personalisation paper (which the QIA are looking at applying to the new resources for the National Teaching and Learning Change Programme, and are circulating to programme managers to raise awareness of how e-learning can be used to fulfil the personalisation agenda and to inform the development of new resources).

I learnt a lot this year, and couldn’t have hoped for a friendlier, more effective and kick-ass team than Sally-Anne Saull, Rebecca Dean and Judith Hylton. I‘m really going to miss everyone over at AoC and very much hope I get to work with them again at some point in the not-to-distant future. I left at the end of December and managed not to blub too much.

For the present I’m working independently, and you can find my consultancy site over at I also thought it would be timely to set up a new blog, SocialTech, to celebrate my change in circumstances, and get my personal blogging back on track. I’m expecting it to be a reasonably eclectic mix of social and educational technology news but who knows? EdTechUK is going to be put to bed so you can try switching your reader to this feed for a while and see if you like it or find it useful.

I started my first contract today, working for Childnet International on a DfES contract to provide guidance for UK schools on preventing and responding to cyberbullying (you can read the press release after the jump, please do drop me a line if you’re working in the area). I’m really proud to have such an important and interesting piece of work to be getting started with, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what else 2007 brings. 

Childnet to help tackle cyberbullying in UK schools

Childnet announced today that it has been awarded the contract by the Department for Education and Skills to research and provide guidance for schools on preventing and responding to cyber bullying. This first phase of this work will be carried out between January and April 2007.

Childnet are members of the Department’s Cyberbullying TaskForce and will work closely with this group and wider organisations – including industry  – as well as consulting closely with schools and young people themselves in developing this guidance for the Department.

Will Gardner, Childnet’s Research and Policy Manager, who will lead this work, said,

“Cyberbullying is a complex problem and a challenge facing most schools across the country. The effects can be very damaging on the victims, and it is vital that we help the Department produce clear guidance so schools can respond practically and have the advice, resources and support they need to respond to the issue and help prevent cyberbullying.”

Jim Knight, the Education Minister, said,

“Addressing the issue of cyberbullying is a key priority for this Government, and we are delighted to have teamed up with Childnet International, the children’s internet charity, to help us produce robust and practical guidance and ensure that young people, and teachers are able to use the new technology positively and safely without fear, discrimination or threat”

Joining Will on the project team at Childnet is Josie Fraser who has until recently been working with the Association of Colleges. Josie has wide ranging experience of working on education policy and ICT training, and expertise in social networking and user generated content sites.

During the consultation period Will and Josie will be undertaking a thorough review of current policies, and initiatives and are keen to hear from all those with an interest in this area both from the UK and abroad.

3 thoughts on “New Year New Direction

  1. Good luck in your new role as an independent consultant! I wish you all the best in your new contract.
    Jane Hart (previously Jane Knight)

Comments are closed.