Monthly Archives: September 2010

Prizes mean purchasers

It’s autumn. The nights are drawing in and the leaves are falling so this is a really good time to think about PRIZES. Every year at this time, software companies need to do an audit of their latest products and check out potential winners. If you don’t enter, no one will do it for it and there is a world of potential purchasers out there who may never know just how good your software is.

Some of you will have entered for BETT awards (

The closing date is 4th October so get your skates on if you haven’t applied yet.

But for those of you in the world of special needs, the nasen awards might be even more relevant. These awards have been going for 18 years and are described as, “amongst the most prestigious in the UK, representing a recognised hallmark of inclusivity and excellence for educational suppliers, authors and publishers.”

This year nasen has announced a new category : ICT Resource to Support Teaching and Learning. This is to celebrate the power of technology as a tool for communication and they are looking for the most innovative and targeted ICT SEN resources which represent value for money. Entries must have been published between 1st May 2009 and 31st December 2010

Have a look at for the full list of criteria and details of how to enter.

The closing date is 31st December and the winners will be announced at nasen Live 2011 at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton on Tuesday 24th May 2011.

Women Chainmakers’ Festival

Last Saturday I was one of the NUJ members carrying the banner alongside thousands of trade union members at the Women Chainmakers’ Festival at the Black Country Museum.

The rally commemorated the centenary of the Chainmakers’ strike for a minimum wage. In 1910 some 800 women chainmakers – aged 10 to 79 years of age – went on strike for ten weeks. They were desperate to earn more than starvation wages. What they achieved was a piece work rate of two and a half old pence an hour. This was the first minimum wage.

As former MP and lifetime Socialist Tony Benn pointed out, the appalling conditions of the women chainmakers’ became internationally known thanks to the power of the press. With the arrival of Pathe News at the cinema, the women’s local struggle began to receive support from national politicians, from nearby industrialists like the Quaker Cadbury family and even from author John Galsworthy who had begun to publish his Forsyte Saga novels.

Tony Benn is an honorary life member of the NUJ and both he and Labour leader contender Diane Abbott agreed to be photographed with the NUJ banner and with Sal McKeown, Barbara Goulden and Mick Archer from the Birmingham and Coventry branch.
Photographs courtesy of Stalingrad O’Neill

Don’t know a wiki from a blogel?

Screens and Pages will sort you out and give you lots of new teaching ideas.
I am running this very popular event again for Niace in Leicester on 6th October. It is a hands-on, 1 day course to

Screens and Pages - a book and an event

support my book – also called Screens and Pages- which looks at how blogging, wikis, Facebook and the web have changed the nature of reading.

So how can you use iphones, e-readers and the newer forms of digital fiction to support poor readers, reluctant readers and hose new to English? Come and find out!