Using Word Talk with Office 2010

Are you having problems using Word Talk with your upgraded Office 2010? There has been an identified incompatibility with Windows XP machines and a fix is currently being sought.  Apologies for this inconvenience – am hopeful this will be resolved very soon.

This error will not occur on Windows 7 machines.

Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive whiteboard and projector problems?

We don’t want you inconvenienced by having a board or projector problem so we have an Audio Visual contract in place with AVM Education (formerly known as Matrix Display)  Have a look at the rebranded Help sheets. 

East Lothian AV Call Logging Instructions re-branded

East Lothian AV Good Practice re-branded

East Lothian AV Help Sheet re-branded 

Call 0845 26 26 600 if you are experiencing a problem and an engineer will be on site within 24 hours.  If you are unhappy with any part of the service, please submit your comments to


Digital literacy

Debate: The over use of technology causes concentration problems in the class

Interesting viewpoint from Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood, at last night’s Book Festival event, Multimedia Reading Experience. In short, she believes that children under the age of 7 who use technology are more likely to be the ones in class who have poor concentration, can’t focus on a task, want immediate gratification and results because their development has been inhibited through lack of unstructured play and human interaction.

Maybe this is too much of a sweeping statement…. How many children under 7 are not exposed to any form of technology?  It’s not the case that every Primary 1 pupil is unable to concentrate for any period of time or is willing to persevere with a task that they are not immediately succeeding at.  But it is becoming more common, of that there is no doubt.

 As the eminent neuroscientist Professor Susan Greenfield has said, a screen-based lifestyle provides ‘a gratifying, easy-sensation ‘yuk and wow’ environment, which doesn’t require a young mind to work….We cannot park our children in front of the TV and expect them to develop a long attention span.   The same goes for DVD players on the back of car seats to keep children amused on a journey, playing tennis on the Wii instead of going to the local tennis court and installing apps on your phone to keep children entertained when out at the supermarket. 

 Sue Palmer advocates that parents/carers need information about child development and to be made aware of the negative impact that techno-consumerism has on their children.    Read all about it here in Screen Saturation and Child Development

 What example do we as parents / carers set?  Do we give our children the attention they need or are we distracted by, busy with, engrossed in some form of technology?  A midwife despairingly talked of how it’s increasingly common for women to be texting their friends as they are delivering the baby.  ‘They’re not even completely present at their baby’s birth.’  I was recently on a train up from London and watched a 6 month old baby in a car chair desperately trying to get the attention of her Dad through animated babble. He was sitting beside her, watching a DVD on his laptop and texting.  Once the babble escalated, a bottle of milk was put into the baby’s mouth and was supported sideways by the man’s hand….while he continued to watch the DVD and text.  This continued for over two hours – no eye contact, no physical contact, no communication.

 I digress from the debate that ensued at The Book Festival….Winged Chariot publishes digital books for young children to listen to on an iPhone or iPad; Sue Palmer wants children to be cuddled and read to.  Her message was…. Limit the use of technology for young children.  Let them develop physically and emotionally through free play, exploration, experimentation and interaction with their peers and adults.  There will be plenty time ahead to develop technological skills but for now they need to be allowed to develop at a less frenetic pace than the digital world is exploding.

 However, this must not be an excuse for teachers to ignore any forms of technology.  ICT should seamlessly be embedded in all areas of the curriculum.  Literacy, in its wider sense, now includes digital literacy and this can be introduced in the Early Years setting. Digital books are appealing to all ages and a fantastic resource for English as an Additional Language teachers as you can toggle between languages.  Technology is an invaluable addition to the toolkit to support those with additional support needs.  There is no debate about that.

Information security

Encrypted pendrives – warning!


A recent unfortunate case of a teacher forgetting her encrypted pendrive password has flagged up an important point.  If you have to reset your password then all data on the pendrive will be erased.  You have 10 chances to type in the password and will be given a warning when you have 5 chances remaining.

IT policy guidance states… 

  • USB memory sticks must only be used for short term access to files. As soon as you have finished with the data make sure you move it back to our central servers. This also ensures your data is backed up regularly

Take care, a few minutes extra work can save a lot of heartache. Make sure you set yourself a Password Hint also.


Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive whiteboard / projector not working?

We have an audio visual contract in place with AVM Education Ltd  (previously known as Matrix Display Systems Ltd)  which allows you to have an engineer visit your class within 24 hours if the fault cannot be rectified via advice by telephone.  Call 0845 26 26 600 to report any faults – don’t hestitate to call and ask a question if you are unhappy about any aspect of the board / projector functionality.