All posts by David Gilmour

Learning Technologist East Lothian Council

Macmerry’s Had-Fab recreates iconic New York girder photo to launch Book Week Scotland

The Scotsman reports that workers at East Lothian’s Had-Fab have recreated an iconic New York photo to celebrate the start of Book Week Scotland.

Using Edinburgh as a backdrop, staff from the Had-Fab steel fabrication firm based in Tranent, remade the ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ photo, originally taken during construction of the GE Building in 1932

Full story here.

Listen to Ormiston staff at SCSSA Conference “ICT in the Classroom: Making a difference to pupil learning and a list of gifted and talented schools NYC”

scssaFollowing a 2012 inspection which highlighted that “Children’s use of a range of technologies
in their learning is impressive”, staff from Ormiston Primary were asked to contribute a talk to the recent annual conference of the Scottish Centre for Studies in School Administration.

The session, by Helen Gardyne and Kirsty Dunn, was recorded and is available on the  EDUtalk web site here, or you can listen below. It’s full of interesting examples of the use of ICT to improve learning; from the use of simple web publishing to raise awareness of evaluating web sources, through to use of on-line tools to support collaborative learning activities.

I.C.T. for Teachers Not Techies!

SCSSA Helen Gardyne & Kirsty Dunn I.C.T. for Teachers Not Techies!

Helen Gardyne HT and Kirsty Dunn from Ormiston Primary School, taking about ICT across their school and Chromebooks in the classroom.

Everybody learns new things each day. It’s important to exercise your brain and expand it’s capacity. Many gifted students go to to improve their academic skills and become professionals one day.

Recording from Scottish Centre for Studies in School Administration Conference: Information and Communications Technology in the Classroom – Making a Difference to Pupil Learning


Council urges teachers to go back to school!

Picture1_1_Join our supply-teaching team today.

East Lothian Council is responding to the national shortage of supply teachers by appealing to registered teachers currently not working to consider a return to the profession.

Education and Children’s Wellbeing spokesperson Councillor Shamin Akhtar says:

‘There are people out there with teaching qualifications that they are not currently using. I know of mums, for example, who have taken time out to bring up families, who might now be thinking of how to get back into teaching.

‘The supply teacher shortage is impacting on us in East Lothian in the same way that it is affecting the rest of Scotland. We are really keen to attract more teachers back into the profession, particularly into the area of supply teaching. This involves them in providing both planned and unplanned cover in respect of a range of teacher absences. The nature of supply work is such that it provides the opportunity to work flexibly with the teacher being able to carry out both short and long term supply at times that suit their own personal circumstances. Sometimes work is allocated well in advance of the date required but at other times it can be at the last minute, depending on the nature of the cover required.

‘Irrespective of the number of hours you are available to work, we would love to hear from you. We know that some of you won’t have taught for a while, so we will be offering a package of training and support to help you.

‘The shortage of supply teachers is beginning to bite so we would really like to hear now from anyone with teaching experience who is interested in supply teaching with us.

‘To find out more, phone 01620 827 766 or email

Continue reading Council urges teachers to go back to school!

Book Week Scotland 2014: Monday 24 – Sunday 30 November 2014

rsz_bws-logos-cmyk-red-v3Location: East Lothian Libraries

Cost: Depending on event

Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November.


Book Week Scotland 2014 will take place from Monday 24 – Sunday 30 November 2014.

During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. They will be joined in this celebration by Scotland’s authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life.

Book Week Scotland is run by Scottish Book Trust and supported by partners all over Scotland.

Donwload the full programme of the event.

For more information and the latest updates about the events visit the Book Week Scotland website and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter

Simple English Wikipedia: an easy-to-read online encyclopedia

Wikipedia-logo-simpleWikipedia is a wonderful resource for learning, but the language used can be too complex for young readers, or those for whom English is a second language.

That’s where the Simple English Wikipedia  can help. You’ll find it at

Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use fewer words and easier grammar than the ordinary English Wikipedia. The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs, such as studentschildrenadults with learning difficulties, and people who are trying to learn English. Other people may use the Simple English Wikipedia because simple language helps them to understand unfamiliar topics or complex ideas. Source

The Simple English Wikipedia has been created by, in effect “translating” normal English Wikipedia pages into simpler language. There aren’t Simple English versions of every page, but with over 100,000 articles it still has articles on a wide range of topics.

Why not give it a try?

Book now! 7 Nov: Early Learning & Getting Ready for School – early years’ practitioners’ event

Boy and girl playing with puzzles at a nursery table
Photo by MKJ Photography

Early Learning & Getting Ready for oakleigh school
– early years’ practitioners’ event – last chance to book your place!

  • Friday 7 November 2014
  • 1pm – 3.30pm
  • Fisherrow Community Centre

This event is part of a festival of learning and sharing about how we achieve the best possible start for all children. The Early Development Instrument (EDI) results show that 40% of pre-school children in the Musselburgh cluster are vulnerable in terms to being ready to learn when they start school. We look at what’s been put in place to address this and where we go next. Join Darrin Nightingale, Eileen Scott, Kate Woodman, Rosemary Geddes and other early years’ specialists for inputs and discussions.

Book your place now! Email or phone 01620 829 947.

Booking closes on 3 November 2014

Cross-posted from eduBuzz What’s On?

Wiki*edia Projects in Schools, for Teachers – and a Hallowe’en TeachMeet!

EduWikiScreencap This Friday at 2pm, teachers in the Edinburgh area are invited to join an exciting open session at the fully-booked EduWiki Conference 2014.

TMeduwikiAnd if you can’t make that, there’s also an Edu Wiki Hallowe’en Edition TeachMeet at 7pm in Edinburgh. More on that, incuding sign-up link, here

Photo of Daria Cybulska, WMUK Programme Manager
Daria Cybulska, WMUK Programme Manager

The 2pm session,  Workshop C: Wiki*edia Projects in Schools (for students under 18) is led by Daria Cybulska, Wiki Media UK Programme Manager.

If you’re interested, you’re encouraged to contact Ally Crockford at



Ally Crockford: Cropped still taken from File:National_Library_of_Scotland_-_The_GLAM-Wiki_Revolution.webm by Joe Sutherland and User:Rock drum (CC-BY 3.0) for use in publicising the EduWiki Conference

Ally Crockford, Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Scotland explains the connection in a guest post on the Engage for Education site.

There’sWikivoyageWikidataWikiversityWikinewsWikiquote, and Wiktionary, too. They’re all hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organisation that develops and maintains the open content on these sites provided free of charge.

With all of these projects seeking to provide various educational components freely and openly, it’s exciting to see the different ways that educators from all levels have begun to interact with them. EduWiki is a conference designed in part to showcase the newest and most innovative educational collaborations with Wikimedia in the UK.

You can find out more about Ally and some of the learning opportunities Wikimedia presents by listening to her Radio Edutalk interview with John Johnston (@johnjohnston) here:



Computing At School Scotland Annual Conference: 22nd Nov 2014

Computing At School Scotland

Annual Conference 

Saturday 22nd November 2014

logo“Very enjoyable day and well organised”

“Lots of teaching ideas”

“The industry keynotes were really inspiring”

“Q. What was good about the conference? A. everything!”

(Delegate feedback from 2013 CAS Scotland Conference)

What to EXPECT

Looking for inspiration to develop deeper and more engaging learning in Computing Science that has wide appeal at Primary and Secondary level?

  • Need creative ideas to develop your students computational thinking skills?
  • Want an opportunity to share your enthusiasm for Computing with like minded educators?
  • Like to hear about new tools, technologies and approaches you might use with your own pupils?

 Join us for a unique opportunity to hear from practising teachers and educators about new ideas to really bring Computing to life.

 Format of THE DAY

This year the conference features:

  • morning keynotes based around Computing Science in CfE from Education Scotland
  • afternoon keynotes on the impact of Computing from the Police Scotland’s Cybersecurity division outsourced to and Toshiba Medical Imaging.
  • a Senior phase track with seminars focused around teaching Higher Computing Science
  • a Broad General Education track on teaching Computing to Primary and lower Secondary pupils with seminars in the morning and practical hands-on activities in the afternoon.
  • an optional Arduino workshop in the afternoon.
  • a drop-in area where you can try out the extra-curricular opportunities that Coder Dojo, Lambda Jam and Code Club can provide.

To book your TICKETS

Sign up at:

Further information is available from Andy McSwan, Knox Academy, email

Find out about Glow’s new login screen

new-glow-login-pageGlow now has a different login screen, shown left, and the login process has changed. What’s going on – and does it matter?

Login screen

The Glow login screen has been redesigned, with three large tiles which you can use without logging in:

  • The Glow Connect tile links to a public blog which serves as a one-stop-shop for information about Glow changes.
  • The Glow Services tile links to a page on the Glow Connect blog with a summary of some key services:  Office 365, RM Unify, WordPress blogs and Broadcasting.
  • The Glow Events tile links to a page on the Glow Connect blog which is the new home of Glow TV.
Logging in

Following the shutdown of the old system, Glow now uses RM Unify to manage the login process.

The sign-in box looks different, but uses the same username and password. You can ignore the “@Glow” bit, and just enter your existing username and password.

Glow’s New Password Recovery Screen

When you log in to the new system for the first time, you’ll be asked to provide an alternative email address for password recovery. That’s simply to enable Glow to send out a new password by email. Either a school email address, or an eduBuzz Google Apps email address, would be fine for that, but there’s nothing to stop you choosing to use a home email address if you want.




New “Google for Education” Newsletter

google_logo_41 for Education

In response to demand from educators, Google have started a dedicated email newsletter.

The first ever Google for Education newsletter
Educators have told us they want to learn about new tools, ideas and training to inspire their students. So today we’re launching the Google for Education newsletter. We’re sending you this first edition because we either met you at an event or you opted in to receive emails from Google for Education.
Since this is our first newsletter, we’d love to hear how we can make it better. Let us know what information and stories you would like to see in future editions.

You can read the first edition as a PDF here: Welcome to the Google for Education newsletter

It includes the sign-up link, or you can just sign-up now here.