Monthly Archives: October 2008

What’s your preference – Pull or Push ?⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

This week we published our first podcast. It's the first of a series of short podcasts (and in the longer term - vodcasts) that we are planning this session.

The essential difference between a podcast and an audio file is that a podcast is syndicated. This means that, if you subscribe to it, feediconthe podcast is automatically supplied to you when it is published - you don't have to go and "find" the information. You'll have seen the orange feed icon I'm sure. You see it on browser menu bars, on websites and in email clients. It's the new way to manage information. It's now often referred to as "pull technology", where the request for information originates from the client, with the reverse known as "push technology" where servers push data to the client.

Feeds can also be embedded into websites using feed widgets. Therefore it's perfectly feasible to provide dynamic content to course websites using this method. e.g. a feed with local exhibitions for art students, a current affairs feed for journalism & politics or late travel deals for tourism students.

We had a great deal of discussion in the team about the best way to provide access to our new podcast service. Mark would use iTunes, Celeste uses Google reader and I prefer the RSS reader integrated into MS Outlook. So because of the range of alternatives that people use now we've provided a few options.

If you use iTunes simply click on the link; If you use an RSS reader copy and paste the code provided; the final alternative is to open the link and save as a favourite feed (an option in IE7) or a live bookmark (FireFox).

Check out our very first podcast here

The ever reliable Lee and Sachi LeFever from Common Craft have a great short video that describes RSS really well, although as I've already mentioned the reader software they talk of is not the only option now.

What’s your preference – Pull or Push ?⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

This week we published our first podcast. It's the first of a series of short podcasts (and in the longer term - vodcasts) that we are planning this session.

The essential difference between a podcast and an audio file is that a podcast is syndicated. This means that, if you subscribe to it, feediconthe podcast is automatically supplied to you when it is published - you don't have to go and "find" the information. You'll have seen the orange feed icon I'm sure. You see it on browser menu bars, on websites and in email clients. It's the new way to manage information. It's now often referred to as "pull technology", where the request for information originates from the client, with the reverse known as "push technology" where servers push data to the client.

Feeds can also be embedded into websites using feed widgets. Therefore it's perfectly feasible to provide dynamic content to course websites using this method. e.g. a feed with local exhibitions for art students, a current affairs feed for journalism & politics or late travel deals for tourism students.

We had a great deal of discussion in the team about the best way to provide access to our new podcast service. Mark would use iTunes, Celeste uses Google reader and I prefer the RSS reader integrated into MS Outlook. So because of the range of alternatives that people use now we've provided a few options.

If you use iTunes simply click on the link; If you use an RSS reader copy and paste the code provided; the final alternative is to open the link and save as a favourite feed (an option in IE7) or a live bookmark (FireFox).

Check out our very first podcast here

The ever reliable Lee and Sachi LeFever from Common Craft have a great short video that describes RSS really well, although as I've already mentioned the reader software they talk of is not the only option now.

CPD, PDP & ePortfolios⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

I've said before that I'm surprised about the impact doing this Blog each week has had on my capacity to reflect (see posting on 4th of April) and I do feel I really benefit from it. It provides an opportunity to have another think about my activities each week, firms up my ideas and files them in amongst the rest of the nuggets of knowledge that are in my head - (bet you're glad I shared that thought with you!)

wordle1I've previously advocated the use of Blogs with learners as a tool for reflection. Many eportfolio systems include them along with templates that encourage Personal Development Planning (PDP) which is often an element in guidance programs, but a paper I was reading this week as part of some personal study that I'm undertaking, got me thinking a bit more about the idea. The paper was written by Lorraine Stefani the Director of the Centre for Professional Development at the University of Auckland. It essentially explores the link between PDP, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and the use of ePortfolios. She makes the point that there is a very low uptake by education professionals of formally recording the CPD that is an implicit part of their work (by virtue of their professional status). Stefani suggests a link between the attitude of staff to recording CPD (i.e.the resistance to it) and how it mitigates against the successful implementation of PDP with learners and the embedding of eportfolios into the curriculum. In other words if teachers have difficulty formally reflecting on their own development and documenting it, how can they really expect learners to be able to effectively reflect on theirs.

At the University of Auckland they  implemented an initiative where staff were encouraged to develop a Teaching ePortfolio and there was the possibility that it would become mandatory for new staff to have one. Some staff development input was necessary and Stefani posed some interesting questions that would need to be resolved before a significant cultural shift might be seen:

Do line managers understand and value the concept of reflection on teaching and learning ?
Do line managers recognise the importance of teaching staff modelling the use of technology ?

They are not easy questions to answer. The initiative was introduced initially as a pilot with staff members, as part of an assessment strategy and staff who were facilitating and mentoring were also expected to maintain their own Teaching ePortfolio. It will be interesting to revisit this and have a look at the outcomes of the pilot and I'll update the blog once I find out more.

The idea of staff modelling the use of technology is something that the team here have always agreed with and is one of the reasons that I began to write this blog last year. If institutions embrace new technologies for their own business processes, robust systems would develop and wouldn't it make perfect sense for teaching staff using new learning technologies for their own CPD.

The team here at the RSC endeavour to use the technologies that we advocate whenever possible and I do feel that it provides us with a real insight into the issues that will crop up for the people that we support in the post 16 education sector. It's really invaluable and I'd certainly recommend that learning by doing yourself will help to you to introduce ICT into the curriculum more effectively.

Joan

Stefani, L. (2003) ‘PDP/CPD and e-portfolios: rising to the challenge of modelling good practice’ [online], Association for Learning Technology. Available from: http://www.alt.ac.uk/docs/lorraine_stefani_paper.doc

CPD, PDP & ePortfolios⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

I've said before that I'm surprised about the impact doing this Blog each week has had on my capacity to reflect (see posting on 4th of April) and I do feel I really benefit from it. It provides an opportunity to have another think about my activities each week, firms up my ideas and files them in amongst the rest of the nuggets of knowledge that are in my head - (bet you're glad I shared that thought with you!)

wordle1I've previously advocated the use of Blogs with learners as a tool for reflection. Many eportfolio systems include them along with templates that encourage Personal Development Planning (PDP) which is often an element in guidance programs, but a paper I was reading this week as part of some personal study that I'm undertaking, got me thinking a bit more about the idea. The paper was written by Lorraine Stefani the Director of the Centre for Professional Development at the University of Auckland. It essentially explores the link between PDP, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and the use of ePortfolios. She makes the point that there is a very low uptake by education professionals of formally recording the CPD that is an implicit part of their work (by virtue of their professional status). Stefani suggests a link between the attitude of staff to recording CPD (i.e.the resistance to it) and how it mitigates against the successful implementation of PDP with learners and the embedding of eportfolios into the curriculum. In other words if teachers have difficulty formally reflecting on their own development and documenting it, how can they really expect learners to be able to effectively reflect on theirs.

At the University of Auckland they  implemented an initiative where staff were encouraged to develop a Teaching ePortfolio and there was the possibility that it would become mandatory for new staff to have one. Some staff development input was necessary and Stefani posed some interesting questions that would need to be resolved before a significant cultural shift might be seen:

Do line managers understand and value the concept of reflection on teaching and learning ?
Do line managers recognise the importance of teaching staff modelling the use of technology ?

They are not easy questions to answer. The initiative was introduced initially as a pilot with staff members, as part of an assessment strategy and staff who were facilitating and mentoring were also expected to maintain their own Teaching ePortfolio. It will be interesting to revisit this and have a look at the outcomes of the pilot and I'll update the blog once I find out more.

The idea of staff modelling the use of technology is something that the team here have always agreed with and is one of the reasons that I began to write this blog last year. If institutions embrace new technologies for their own business processes, robust systems would develop and wouldn't it make perfect sense for teaching staff using new learning technologies for their own CPD.

The team here at the RSC endeavour to use the technologies that we advocate whenever possible and I do feel that it provides us with a real insight into the issues that will crop up for the people that we support in the post 16 education sector. It's really invaluable and I'd certainly recommend that learning by doing yourself will help to you to introduce ICT into the curriculum more effectively.

Joan

Stefani, L. (2003) ‘PDP/CPD and e-portfolios: rising to the challenge of modelling good practice’ [online], Association for Learning Technology. Available from: http://www.alt.ac.uk/docs/lorraine_stefani_paper.doc

USB AccessApps: Free Enabling Technology on a Stick!⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

access_pendrive This week after our own team meeting, Margaret McKay, our eAdvisor for Accessibility and Inclusion did a session with us to introduce AccessApps. This is an initiative developed by the two JISC Regional Support Centres in Scotland, in conjunction with the JISC TechDis Service. AccessApps provides a range of portable/open source technologies on a pen drive. In fact there are over 50 provided.

Some of the applications are generic tools, such as the word processing, spreadsheet and presentation alternatives. Others cater for specific needs, such as a need to view larger font sizes or different screen colours, or to control a computer without using a mouse.

Margaret McKay our eAdvisor:Access and Inclusion is providing the support to roll out the initiative in colleges. Contact us here at the RSC if you'd like to know more.

RSC - AccessApps

USB AccessApps: Free Enabling Technology on a Stick!⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

access_pendrive This week after our own team meeting, Margaret McKay, our eAdvisor for Accessibility and Inclusion did a session with us to introduce AccessApps. This is an initiative developed by the two JISC Regional Support Centres in Scotland, in conjunction with the JISC TechDis Service. AccessApps provides a range of portable/open source technologies on a pen drive. In fact there are over 50 provided.

Some of the applications are generic tools, such as the word processing, spreadsheet and presentation alternatives. Others cater for specific needs, such as a need to view larger font sizes or different screen colours, or to control a computer without using a mouse.

Margaret McKay our eAdvisor:Access and Inclusion is providing the support to roll out the initiative in colleges. Contact us here at the RSC if you'd like to know more.

RSC - AccessApps

East Lothian Glow Update: 10th Oct 2008⤴

from

This week increasing numbers of staff from schools around East Lothian have been requesting access to Glow and starting to explore.

The furthest ahead, such as Moira Gilbert at Musselburgh’s Burgh Primary have started to develop their school’s Glow pages, such as the staff Home Page and the student home pages. That’s meant starting to introduce some of the administration concepts, such as the Site Collection Administrator role. That had been a bit of a worry: we were concerned that it might have been a bit off-putting. By taking it one step at a time, though, and introducing only those steps needed to solve the current problem, it has gone surprisingly well. It has been surprising how limiting the default access rights for staff are turning out to be, and we may be looking to find ways to loosen things off a bit to make it easier for staff to contribute.

This exploration is starting to produce good, solid ideas to get real benefits in school. One idea was  to add a simple, editable, text Web Part to the school’s Staff Home Page to provide an electronic version of the ubiquitous staffroom whiteboard which can be updated by any member of staff. Potential benefits identified included:

  • Improved planning, by enabling staff to check notices from home while making plans.
  • Better inter-school collaboration, by making staff home pages visible to neighbouring school staff.
  • Time saving in school, by being able to check notices from your classroom, and not having to trail to the staffroom.

This is also providing good practice for staff in starting to get used to using and configuring Web Parts.

To enable sharing of these early experiences and discussion of new ideas we’ve now arranged a series of drop-in sessions, to take place in Prestonpans Education Centre, next to Prestonpans Primary School. They’ll take place for 6 weeks, beginning 27th October, from 4pm to 5.30pm. The idea is to cover edubuzz blogs as well as Glow, in particular to help people integrate the two environments.

Higher Education⤴

from @ Islay ICT

 

 

 

Last Tuesday I was lucky enough to host a visit to the school by Andrew McCreath. Andrew is the director of IT Services at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen.

RGU are under going a major review of provisions and services for the near future. It was suggested that he have a look at what we are doing and how that might have an influence on where Higher Education needs to look.

We had some very wide ranging and diverse chats about where education may go and technologies that can support this.

It was wonderful to talk to someone of influence in Higher Education and who is looking about at where they may go. Not looking to control and limit as seems to be the case in most IT support at the school level.

I had a fantastic time demonstrating our model of work using OneNote, Tablets, UMPC’s and Wireless Projectors

Technorati Tags: , ,

Higher Education⤴

from @ Islay ICT

 

 

 

Last Tuesday I was lucky enough to host a visit to the school by Andrew McCreath. Andrew is the director of IT Services at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen.

RGU are under going a major review of provisions and services for the near future. It was suggested that he have a look at what we are doing and how that might have an influence on where Higher Education needs to look.

We had some very wide ranging and diverse chats about where education may go and technologies that can support this.

It was wonderful to talk to someone of influence in Higher Education and who is looking about at where they may go. Not looking to control and limit as seems to be the case in most IT support at the school level.

I had a fantastic time demonstrating our model of work using OneNote, Tablets, UMPC’s and Wireless Projectors

Technorati Tags: , ,

East Lothian Glow Update 3 October 2008⤴

from

  • We have been busy issuing Glow Usernames and Passwords for staff and some pupils within schools this week.
  • Primary and Secondary staff can request a Username and Password to access the portal from David Gilmour.
  • Ideas are beginning to emerge about how to use Glow for teaching between schools using its conferencing tool ‘Glow Meet’.
  • This is also raising the possibility of involving children unable to be in school to participate in lessons.
  • We are starting to meet with school staff to plan ideas for Glow in their schools.
  • School librarians and East Lothian Library Service Staff are already working to develop an Authority level Glow group.
  • If you look on the edubuzz home page you will find a 5-minute screencast video that will take you on a five minute tour of Glow.