Embed videos

This video clip is from 'You Tube'.
Giving children open access to the You Tube site has issues to do with the nature of some material. i.e. you would not want children to search their way through anything on the you tube website.
However, You Tube is quickly becoming the richest source of educational mateial on the intenet.
As a teacher you can copy the code for a video and paste it onto your own website or blog. Your pupils can then safely watch these videos without being on the you tube site.
I have used this particular video in an RE lesson about Islam - I just did a search for 'Mount Hira'.



School Blogs

A blog is a web based website. It is a bit like having a hotmail email address (which you can access from any computer) as well as one which you can only use from your home PC.
Traditional websites are built using software like MS Frontpage on a designated PC. Such a school site can be difficult to maintain and keep up to date. The work load tends to fall on one member of staff. Creating new pages and their content takes time.

Why should you have a school blog?
Blogs are FREE - see Creating your own blog
They require NO SOFTWARE
Blogs can be updated from ANY COMPUTER with internet access
The pages and content are EASIER to create
All links and folders are AUTOMATICALLY created for you
Blogs LOOK COOL and professional very little effort
Blogs look UP TO DATE because the newest items always move to the top and older items are automatically put into an ARCHIVE

My advice would be to KEEP your existing school website but ADD a link to a BLOG from your homepage.
Most schools have key information which only changes once a year or term. Simplify your website. Keep fewer semi permanent pages with important school information.
Use a blog for all the other things which go on in school every day. Encourage several people to become authors of the school blog including the school office, headteacher, governors and parents association. Under adult supervision the pupils can also create content for the blog. A teacher can log on to the blog on their interactive whiteboard and get the children to write to the blog in the classroom.
A school blog can soon become an effective and popular means of communicating between school & home / outside community.
It can also be used as part of teaching and learning. Post children's work or links to learning resources.

At Sir Robert Hitcham's we have quickly developed a blog with incredibly varied content which covers the whole range of school activities. The blog also looks good because it is very easy (compared with normal website) to include pictures and video clips. In a large school you might decide to create several blogs. For example: different Key Stages, an Office Blog, Departmental Blogs etc.

It is important to always remember that child safety is paramount when posting to the internet and blogs are very easy to upload.
See further blog entry on how to CREATE YOUR OWN BLOG.