National Digital Learning Awards 2017

NDLE2017Have you considered applying for a National Digital Learning Award to raise awareness across Wales of the great digital practice going on in your school?
Education practitioners in maintained schools and colleges in Wales are eligible to apply in one or more of the following categories:
Digital Project Award – this award category enables judges to consider a vast range of digital projects from across all phases and sectors.
Online Safety Award – this award category rewards excellent practice that impacts on a school/college’s ICT provision within the context of online safety.
Hwb Community Resource Award – this award category rewards the best example of resources created and shared by the Hwb Community.
National Digital Learning Council’s Pupil Award – this award category will reward the achievements of a learner or a group of learners who have either used technology in an innovative way or have created excellent original digital material.
Further information and guidance on applying for the awards can be found here. Applications close at 4.00pm on Friday 7 April 2017.
Take this opportunity to give yourself, your learners and your school the recognition you deserve!
We look forward to hearing from you.

Update to Office365 on Hwb

o365_waffleOn Tuesday 7 February changes will be made to the way users are able to access Office 365 on Hwb.

At present when you click on the Office 365 icon in the Hwb black bar, you are taken directly to your HwbMail. From Tuesday, when you click on the Office 365 icon you will be redirected to an Office 365 dashboard (the waffle). The new dashboard contains tiles with links to all of the accessible Office 365 tools. To access e-mail the user simply clicks on the Outlook tile.

Support for JIT, J2E and J2Data

launchpadSwansea’s ICT Curriculum Team have created resources to support the setting up and use of J2E and JIT through Hwb. We have also recreated in J2E and J2Data a resource from a number of years back (which some of you may remember) entitled ‘The Census Enumerator’s Story’ based on the 1881 census of Wind Street in Swansea.

These resources have also been published on Hwb, so if you want to check them out, here are the links:

J2E Infant Tools (JIT):

J2E – Just2Easy:

The Census Enumerator’s Story:

Hwb help and support – redesigned

hwb helpFor those of you still getting to grips with Hwb and it’s range of tools to support the curriculum, help and support is at hand for each and every area! Designed as an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list, your most commonly asked questions are all answered from getting started through sharing files and folders in OneDrive to creating a public facing website!

Also on the page are useful contact e-mail addresses and telephone numbers  for Learning Possibilities, CDSM and Welsh Government Hwb support.


Swansea Schools – Hwb Office365 Project Timeline

hwb_cloudSummer Term 2016 

During summer term 2016, Swansea LA will move all data contained in individual Swansea Edunet curriculum email accounts to individual Hwbmail accounts.

School admin accounts will move to Hwbmail by August 2017.

 From September 2016

 All curriculum email communication will be conducted through Hwb Office 365.

From September 2016, Hwbmail accounts in Swansea will look like this: 

Staff are encouraged to use their individual Hwb Office 365 accounts to store all digital learning resources, and that portable USB devices/storage drives are not used for this purpose.

 By September 2017 

Swansea LA will move all centrally-stored, curriculum resources to new individual Hwb Office 365, whole-school storage spaces.

Leading up to September 2017, staff are encouraged to undertake basic housekeeping of current stored content to prevent redundant items from being moved to Hwb Office 365.

 From September 2017

Primary schools will not be able to save any work to the ‘T’ Drive or retrieve content from central storage.

Swansea LA will no longer backup any curriculum data held locally or centrally.

Changes and Upgrades to Hwb

HwbHwb+ Upgrade

As part of the ongoing developments of schools Hwb+ sites, all 1600+ school sites in Wales will be upgraded over the Summer holidays

The upgrade will see the entire Hwb+ platform, including public facing websites, migrated from the current SharePoint 2010 infrastructure to SharePoint 2013.

 As this is a whole platform upgrade all Hwb+ sites will remain accessible but in read only mode from Friday 22 July.

 All migrated sites and content will be released by Thursday 1 September.

 The provisioning process will also be frozen during this period.

 Hwb User Accounts – locked accounts

Previously when a user incorrectly entered their password 3 times, the account would lock and a call to the LP helpdesk was required in order to unlock the account.

However, following recent changes users now have 10 attempts before accounts are locked. Furthermore, users are no longer required to contact the helpdesk as accounts will automatically unlock after 15 minutes. 

In summary:

  • Accounts lock after 10 attempts
  • Accounts unlock after 15 minutes

Hwb User Password Policy

From September the following password policy will be automatically enforced for all Hwb users.

  • New Hwb users
  • All staff and non-MIS users will be forced to change their password on first login
  • Passwords for learners year 7 and above must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 change of case and 1 symbol
  • Primary age school learners will not be forced to change their passwords
  • Hwb learners moving schools
  • Passwords for learners moving school are automatically re-set and will display in the new schools user credentials lists. These new passwords will need to be distributed by the school
  • All secondary learners moving school will be forced to change their password on first login
  • Passwords for learners year 7 and above must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 change of case and 1 symbol
  • Primary age school learners will not be forced to change their passwords

 IMPORTANT NOTICE – To ensure all Hwb learner passwords are in-line with the password policy, from September 2016, all learners moving into years 7,8,9,10,11,12 and 13 will be asked to reset their passwords on first login.

 External Sharing – Office 365

Hwb users are now able share files in Office 365 with users outside of Hwb. Please note users are only able to share individual files. Folders can only be shared with users with a Hwb account. 

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact

Have you registered for your BBC micro:bit?


The following message has been sent out by the Welsh Government’s Hwb Team:

The micro:bit is a handheld, fully programmable computer being given free to every Year 7 pupil across the UK. It is 70 times smaller and 18 times faster than the original BBC Micro computers used in schools in the early 1980s.

The device features:

  • 25 red LED lights that can flash messages;
  • Two programmable buttons that can be used to control games or pause and skip songs on a playlist;
  • Motion and direction-detection; and
  • Low energy Bluetooth connection to interact with other devices and the internet.

 The BBC micro:bit is for Year 7 pupils to own and use in the classroom and at home. Teachers wishing to receive BBC micro:bits for their Year 7 group, must complete the registration form below:

 A number of schools in Swansea have not yet registered to receive micro:bit devices. We are contacting these schools directly but would appreciate any support in promoting the upcoming release emphasising the need for schools to register to receive the devices. The BBC aim to formally launch towards the end of March with devices being delivered to schools over the coming weeks.