Competition is the key to a brilliant new government-funded languages website, reports Valerie McIntyre
As a hard-pressed head of department for modern languages I’m always on the hunt for new ways of engaging pupils. I’m impressed with MYLO, a new DfE-sponsored website which provides language learning challenges in French, German, Spanish and Mandarin. It’s a highly motivating, fresh take on just the sort of areas of interest that our pupils like – and it’s free!

The site is designed for key stages three and four and we have used it with Years 7, 8 and 9 so far. Our pupils love the challenges. One colleague even reported excitedly that a boy who hadn’t picked up a pen without being nagged since the beginning of the year was suddenly working at MYLO in his own time! The secret is competition.

Tony Parkin welcomes a new e-safety service for primary pupils
While 15-year-olds think they know it all when it comes to social networking, and may indeed be well-informed, 9 and 10-year-olds happily admit to what they don’t know, making them ideal subjects for a new e-safety programme like Safe, said Robert Bond, a lawyer backing the free new e-safety social networking support service for primary schoolchildren

Getting its first airing in the United States today (November 9, 2010), Safe was launched recently in London by DigitalME, and is backed by Childnet International, Radiowaves and The i in Online (lawyers supporting education on personal privacy and regulatory aspects of internet use).

When ICT budgets are slashed it’s time to use the technology to find savings. Gerald Haigh introduces a new series of 'cost cutting' articles
Photocopier picWhy print money when your photocopier can scan?Good ICT costs money – that’s true enough. But it’s equally true that, properly chosen, deployed and used, it can more than pay for itself. In fact, to judge by some of the figures we’ve seen, that’s something of an understatement.

Are you aware, for example, that the average secondary school uses up to 2 million sheets of A4 paper annually? We’re talking here about using ICT to achieve the kind of five-figure sum that could save a member of staff’s job.

Teachers TV live debateTune in to Teachers TV at 8pm today (October 21) for a live debate on how the Comprehensive Spending Review will affect education and schools. Presented by Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy the panel will include Phoenix High School head Sir William Atkinson, Reform research director Dale Bassett, secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) Dr Mary Bousted and William Simmonds, chief executive of the National Association of School Business Managers (NASBM).

The programme will be the first of a series honing in on school budgeting, which will also be featured on this site along with our own cost cutting coverage.

Whatever the Comprehensive Spending Review might bring, young people require clear signposts to success and fulfilment, says Eileen Devonshire

Madeley Academy, TelfordYoung people need a wide menu for their learning: Madeley Academy, TelfordAs the education community come to terms with the outcomes of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) in the coming weeks, watchwords are likely to include “cautious optimism” from the winners against a background of energetic resistance from other quarters.

We were warned that equal measures of economic realism and social responsibility would be at the heart of the Coalition Government decisions, and that is how those in education will inevitably measure their impact on community partnerships, innovation and excellence.