Béla BartókBéla Bartók (Fritz Reiner)By Hugh John

More than 63,000 Bedfordshire students and teachers can access Encyclopaedia Britannica Online School Edition and hundreds of articles, interactive games, illustrations and multimedia resources via their school’s learning platform.

The county council deal means financial savings and reduces the time teachers would have to spend mapping content to the curriculum and lesson plans. Most important, teachers and students have access to constantly updated, mediated, age-appropriate material they can trust at home or school - anywhere with an internet connection.

By Hugh John

Gigajam, the BETT award-winning online music service is expanding. It has added Stoke and Bolton to its UK bases, and it's going global to provide innovative music education facilities through partnerships in Holland, Australia and Finland.

The city-wide, Breedbanknetwerk Onderwijs Amsterdam (BOA) project, spearheaded by Muziek School Amsterdam West (MSA), is expected to be fully functional in 2010. It will ensure that Gigajam's Essential Skills Courses - guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and theory (in English and Dutch) - are available to all the city’s schools, teachers and students.

Arnold SchwarzeneggerCalifornia’s governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (left) is planning to take the weight off the shoulders of the state’s high school pupils. He wants to terminate heavy and expensive textbooks and replace them with free, open-source digital versions.

“California was built on innovation and I’m proud of our state’s continued leadership in developing education technology," he says. 'This first-in-the-nation initiative will reduce education costs, help encourage collaboration among school districts and help ensure every California student has access to a world-class education.

By Sally McKeown

Accipio avatarProm guest MellyGlittery dresses, tiaras, tuxedos and even a limo - the Prom has become a glamorous annual fixture in the school calendar. Whereas once upon a time there was just a leavers’ disco, now it’s bling and razzamatazz all the way. But what about the kids who are not attending school? Do they miss out on this rite of passage which has been imported to the UK from the United States?

Accipio Learning, an online 'school' for secondary school-aged children, has come up with an innovative solution: the Virtual Prom.

Ever wondered why the Department for Children, Schools and Families and its agencies use YouTube for their video communications but the majority of schools have banned, or are barred from, the service? Social media company Magic Studio was also puzzled, so it commissioned a survey.

Three quarters of the teachers who responded want to use UGS (user-generated content) websites like YouTube and 42 per cent want to use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in class. However, 57 per cent of them are prevented from using UGS sites and 68 per cent from using social media sites.