I’m doing a quick presentation at Teach Meet North West tomorrow night in Manchester.
If you haven’t been to a Teachmeet before it’s an ‘unconference’ where enthusaistic teachers get together to share ideas, usually with an E-Learning theme.
I’m doing a 2 minute nano-presentation on Google Forms, based on my interview / blog post from earlier in the year.
Hopefully I’ll see some of you there
I have been in post at my new school as Director of E-Learning for 4 weeks now, and it’s been a heck of a ride! A completely new IT Support team for the school has meant that it has been a trying start to the year for all concerned. The new team has pulled together well though and I am really pleased with their dedication and good humour in the face of a few near disasters.
I have been beavering away in what little free time I have had, developing something of a strategy for the coming years. This job is made a little harder as there is a strong, but unconfirmed possibility that our school may merge with another in the next year or two and become an Academy.
Well, first off, Doug beat me to it with his 3 year Director of E-Learning Development plan! If mine looks similar, it’s mainly because I stole his layout. The content was already prepared and I’m really pleased to see that there are a number of similarities. I hope this means we are both headed in the right direction, I think it also shows the shared wisdom of the blogging community that we draw from. The Digital Leaders / E-Learning Champions ideas coming from Kristian Still’s work and reflections for example.
Enough waffle, HERE IT IS.
When I compared the two, I worried that I was being a little optimistic in the amount I plan to get done, however I have 100 staff & 750 pupils to work with, Doug has 3000+ students! We have a lot of hardware in school, but it is not used as effectively as it could be, that’s one of my first aims.
I’ve not actually shared this with senior staff at school yet, so any feedback would be appreciated.
There has been much debate of late about whether Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), particularly in their British state sponsored variations are dead. For some of the thoughts check out Lindsay Jordan, James Clay, Matt Lingard and Steve Wheeler.
One week today I finally start my new job as Director of E-Learning at a high school in Manchester. One of my key priorities is to run the school’s VLE. My current understanding is that they played with their own Moodle a few years ago which was then replaced with Trafford LA’s Fronter based system. I’ve not heard a good word said about Fronter whenever I have come across it, and have had poor experiences of it myself whilst using the NCSL’s VLE. As with most of the UK, this VLE is the only one fully supported by the LA, and it is heavily subsidised for at least a few years.
I am yet to be impressed by any of the commercially available, BECTA approved VLE solutions. The only one I have heard numerous positive remarks about is Frog, but I’ve yet to see it in action myself. I agree with a number of comments made in the discussions linked above, particularly that these commercial systems appear ‘clunky’ at best. That there is almost always a better solution for each part of the system available on-line and often for free.
Google announced a new product to the World at it’s Google I/O conference yesterday, Google Wave.
There has been much written about it around the Web, by folks more intelligent than I, so if you want to catch up on the intricacies then read some of these sites:
You can sign up to be informed about Wave, and hopefully get involved with the beta at the Google Wave website: http://wave.google.com. If you’re lucky the video might be working on that site too, it was temperamental at the time of writing.
This looks very exciting for school use. Many seem to have dubbed it the ‘new email’ already. The collaboration possibilities in and between classrooms look fantastic. I’ve been a big fan of using wikis as collaborative documents and this looks like it will take the concept of a wiki to a new level. The ability to drag and drop files into a collaborative document in a browser for instance lowers the technical skills required for working with these kinds of technologies considerably.
I’ve been playing around with two tools for mapping data onto Google Maps. They both have potential in and out of the classroom.
Interview Reflection: Part 2:
My interview lesson was rated as ‘good with outstanding features’ and as that was in part thanks to my network I thought it only fair I shared it with the World.
I chose to teach a lesson focusing on data collection using questionnaires. A tricky lesson to get right I finally nailed it!
I feel there were two keys to the success of the lesson:…. Continue reading
This Thursday I have an interview for the post of Director of E-Learning at a local High School. Inspired by Doug Belshaw’s recent interview/blog/twitter success, (congratulations again Doug!) I would appreciate my personal learning network’s help!
I have to present for 10 mins and also teach for 30.
My presentation is on “Your Vision for E-Learning and Strategy to Embed it In & Out of School”, I will particularly be involved in managing the VLE and developing E-Learning across the curriculum. I have attached the presentation below (speaking notes on click through), any feedback would be appreciated… Continue reading
Pupil names along the top, topics down the side and a set of cells in-between with Red Amber Green conditional formatting.
Once it’s finally unblocked at school (don’t get me started!!) I hope that the class and I can keep track of what they have revised and how happy they are with it in the run up to the GCSE exams in May. To make life easier, I’ve shared it with everyone so that they can all edit it without having to login. Fingers crossed nobody deletes things they shouldn’t!
Here’s a copy so you can see what I’m on about: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pC4ABCj9PtMrQ-bT2dSxMTA