Monthly Archives: January 2009

Using Blogs for e-Assessment⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

As with many Web2.0 tools the emphasis on communication and collaboration means that many types of social software are becoming recognised as valuable learning tools that can be particularly useful to assess contributions of individual learners to group outcomes. Blogs can be used in this manner and have the potential to become powerful tools to provide evidence of deep learning and reflection.

Community blogs can be used to document progress towards the completion of a group task and the chronological aspects of the software are helpful in monitoring progress, achievement and contributions. Consideration of the extent to which authentication is required and indeed how it's managed will determine how this type of software is deployed within an institution.

blog Blogs provide an  ideal solution when the documentation of learning processes is needed, often a challenge for institutions and potentially quite "high risk" in terms of moderation and verification.  As with other social software the "signing in" requirements mean that activities are well documented and can be monitored relatively easily. Comment facilities provide a mechanism for peer assessment - provided good guidelines and support for the whole process is in place.

Blogs can be used as a journal and to assist personal development planning, documenting progress towards the achievement of goals. Staff at Dumfries and Galloway College are using Blogging software in quite a structured way very effectively with learners to encourage reflection and document progress. The ability to easily upload multimedia to web-based applications is of great value in many areas of the curriculum e.g. hairdressing students can take images of both the end result and also the processes that were involved. This could be applied in the same way in food production or the construction trades.

Balancing the need for structure (to ensure performance criteria is met) and learner autonomy is a challenge for institutions. It is argued greater structure undermines the authenticity of postings and can compromise the opportunities for deep learning that Blogs can offer. It can't be denied though that using technology seems to be more attractive to learners than putting pen to paper. Perhaps in the Further Education sector providing structure is an essential ingredient if the attractions of web 2.0 technologies are to be exploited and potential benefits are to be maximised.

Using Blogs for e-Assessment⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

As with many Web2.0 tools the emphasis on communication and collaboration means that many types of social software are becoming recognised as valuable learning tools that can be particularly useful to assess contributions of individual learners to group outcomes. Blogs can be used in this manner and have the potential to become powerful tools to provide evidence of deep learning and reflection.

Community blogs can be used to document progress towards the completion of a group task and the chronological aspects of the software are helpful in monitoring progress, achievement and contributions. Consideration of the extent to which authentication is required and indeed how it's managed will determine how this type of software is deployed within an institution.

blog Blogs provide an  ideal solution when the documentation of learning processes is needed, often a challenge for institutions and potentially quite "high risk" in terms of moderation and verification.  As with other social software the "signing in" requirements mean that activities are well documented and can be monitored relatively easily. Comment facilities provide a mechanism for peer assessment - provided good guidelines and support for the whole process is in place.

Blogs can be used as a journal and to assist personal development planning, documenting progress towards the achievement of goals. Staff at Dumfries and Galloway College are using Blogging software in quite a structured way very effectively with learners to encourage reflection and document progress. The ability to easily upload multimedia to web-based applications is of great value in many areas of the curriculum e.g. hairdressing students can take images of both the end result and also the processes that were involved. This could be applied in the same way in food production or the construction trades.

Balancing the need for structure (to ensure performance criteria is met) and learner autonomy is a challenge for institutions. It is argued greater structure undermines the authenticity of postings and can compromise the opportunities for deep learning that Blogs can offer. It can't be denied though that using technology seems to be more attractive to learners than putting pen to paper. Perhaps in the Further Education sector providing structure is an essential ingredient if the attractions of web 2.0 technologies are to be exploited and potential benefits are to be maximised.

Which comes first the Chicken or the Egg ?⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

Image by maymun from flickr licenced under Creative Commons This week saw the start of our new initiative aimed at supporting curriculum development in our region - we're calling it Collaborative Course Design (CCD) and beginning pilots in 3 of our supported institutions. My colleague and I spent 2 days this week working with a course team exploring technologies and how each can add value to the learning experiences both for the learners but also for the staff. It kind of brought home to me the chicken/egg nature of making decisions about how to exploit new technologies in general. In other words how do you know which technology to use unless you are exposed to them in an appropriate context.

Although I had a few concerns, the original plan for our sessions to explore and establish a common understanding of new technology was a good one. While individuals have ideas about the role of technology in the context of learning & teaching, ideas are constrained, quite naturally, by an individual's own experience and exposure to technology and software. I did wonder if spending time showing and explaining the scope and range of new learning technologies might be perceived as a waste of precious preparation time. However it became evident that a brief and concise demonstration provided enough of an insight for staff to quickly realise the potential of and application of new technologies for learning & teaching. The experience also supports our new 20 minute topic briefings aimed at senior & operational managers which we are offering and delivering to our supported institutions. These are also aimed at assisting the decision making process but in an institutional context rather than a course context.

Working with a course team meant that, as a group, ideas could be bandied about and the practicalities, suitability and local issues regarding the use of hardware and software could be considered as a group and introduced to a course in a more coherent way. The whole experience seemed to me to promote a very creative and positive experience with real commitment to making some changes and doing things a bit differently. Reservations about making what might be considered to be a significant departure from previous methods are understandable but I'm quite delighted that our Collaborative Course Design (CCD) initiative has got off to such a positive start.

Which comes first the Chicken or the Egg ?⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

Image by maymun from flickr licenced under Creative Commons This week saw the start of our new initiative aimed at supporting curriculum development in our region - we're calling it Collaborative Course Design (CCD) and beginning pilots in 3 of our supported institutions. My colleague and I spent 2 days this week working with a course team exploring technologies and how each can add value to the learning experiences both for the learners but also for the staff. It kind of brought home to me the chicken/egg nature of making decisions about how to exploit new technologies in general. In other words how do you know which technology to use unless you are exposed to them in an appropriate context.

Although I had a few concerns, the original plan for our sessions to explore and establish a common understanding of new technology was a good one. While individuals have ideas about the role of technology in the context of learning & teaching, ideas are constrained, quite naturally, by an individual's own experience and exposure to technology and software. I did wonder if spending time showing and explaining the scope and range of new learning technologies might be perceived as a waste of precious preparation time. However it became evident that a brief and concise demonstration provided enough of an insight for staff to quickly realise the potential of and application of new technologies for learning & teaching. The experience also supports our new 20 minute topic briefings aimed at senior & operational managers which we are offering and delivering to our supported institutions. These are also aimed at assisting the decision making process but in an institutional context rather than a course context.

Working with a course team meant that, as a group, ideas could be bandied about and the practicalities, suitability and local issues regarding the use of hardware and software could be considered as a group and introduced to a course in a more coherent way. The whole experience seemed to me to promote a very creative and positive experience with real commitment to making some changes and doing things a bit differently. Reservations about making what might be considered to be a significant departure from previous methods are understandable but I'm quite delighted that our Collaborative Course Design (CCD) initiative has got off to such a positive start.

Regrets? I have few……….⤴

from @ Islay ICT

In 2006 I missed an opportunity. Its not often I look back and ‘I wish I had done that’ but this was definitely one of them.

I was in Glasgow to present at a Conference in Glasgow. Actually myself and Mark Adams from Microsoft were announcing our plans for ICT in Islay High School.

Andrew Brown said I should come through to Edinburgh some people were having a get together after eLive. This is my regret. I declined.

I decided that I should stay in my hotel room in Glasgow and stay focused.

If I had gone I would have been present at the very first TeachMeet and quote Andrew, “About a dozen people, some of whom I had met before, but a great opportunity. I came home on the train the next day very positive and enthusiastic about the future of developing community around the country/world in using technology in education.”

I could have gone and been prepared for the next day. Damn!

I have attended TeachMeet SETT 07, TeachMeet SLF 07 and TeachMeet North directly. Others I have attended virtually. I have even presented virtually.

This week see’s TeachMeet 09 BETT. and things are a little but different from the ‘dozen people’ who were at the first one.

With so far 126 people attending, plus 34 wanting to stand up to talk and 16 people willing to organise or help.

I shall be attending via the Flashmeeting but good luck and wishes to all who will be at the event. And if your going to BETT and not going……… well you may regret it.

Technorati Tags: ,

Regrets? I have few……….⤴

from @ Islay ICT

In 2006 I missed an opportunity. Its not often I look back and ‘I wish I had done that’ but this was definitely one of them.

I was in Glasgow to present at a Conference in Glasgow. Actually myself and Mark Adams from Microsoft were announcing our plans for ICT in Islay High School.

Andrew Brown said I should come through to Edinburgh some people were having a get together after eLive. This is my regret. I declined.

I decided that I should stay in my hotel room in Glasgow and stay focused.

If I had gone I would have been present at the very first TeachMeet and quote Andrew, “About a dozen people, some of whom I had met before, but a great opportunity. I came home on the train the next day very positive and enthusiastic about the future of developing community around the country/world in using technology in education.”

I could have gone and been prepared for the next day. Damn!

I have attended TeachMeet SETT 07, TeachMeet SLF 07 and TeachMeet North directly. Others I have attended virtually. I have even presented virtually.

This week see’s TeachMeet 09 BETT. and things are a little but different from the ‘dozen people’ who were at the first one.

With so far 126 people attending, plus 34 wanting to stand up to talk and 16 people willing to organise or help.

I shall be attending via the Flashmeeting but good luck and wishes to all who will be at the event. And if your going to BETT and not going……… well you may regret it.

Technorati Tags: ,

Charged up for 2009⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

How dull everything's looking now that all the fairy-lights are back up in the attic. It always seem to take a bit of time just to get back up to speed after the festivities even though my batteries should be fully charged. I was glad to have pre-arranged an interview for our Podcasting service to help focus my attention this week.

The interview for this episode is with Steve Bishop, IT Helpdesk Manager at Cardonald College. They've been using a very clever remote mouse/media control (the MX Air from Logitech) which can be charged for up to a week at a time and has a range which should work in large classrooms. Do note though that this is just one in a wide range of similar products.

airmouseAs well as providing the tutor with the capacity to wander about the classroom, using this type of device does mean that the irritating shadow encountered when using an interactive board is eliminated. In addition the risks associated with looking into the bright projector bulb are minimised. Here at the RSC we have invested in remote kit that includes a keyboard and gyro-mouse (from Gyration) that has a similar long range capacity. These types of wireless input devices work especially well with interactive whiteboards and I always take them out with me on training to illustrate this. As well as the advantages that Steve outlines in the Podcast, there are significant accessibility gains to be made. Learners with a variety of support needs e.g. those with mobility problems or with special educational needs can benefit greatly and are able to participate more fully in classroom activities when devices can be passed around the group.

Incidentally, if you haven't experienced our Podcasting service yet, you can find out more about this and other examples of effective practice around the Region by going to the podcasts page on our website and subscribe through iTunes or your preferred RSS feed reader.

http://www.rsc-sw-scotland.ac.uk/podcast/Podcasts.htm
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mice_pointers/mice/devices/3443&cl=US,EN
http://www.gyration.co.uk/proddata.php?partno=E3900

Charged up for 2009⤴

from @ eCurriculum Blog

How dull everything's looking now that all the fairy-lights are back up in the attic. It always seem to take a bit of time just to get back up to speed after the festivities even though my batteries should be fully charged. I was glad to have pre-arranged an interview for our Podcasting service to help focus my attention this week.

The interview for this episode is with Steve Bishop, IT Helpdesk Manager at Cardonald College. They've been using a very clever remote mouse/media control (the MX Air from Logitech) which can be charged for up to a week at a time and has a range which should work in large classrooms. Do note though that this is just one in a wide range of similar products.

airmouseAs well as providing the tutor with the capacity to wander about the classroom, using this type of device does mean that the irritating shadow encountered when using an interactive board is eliminated. In addition the risks associated with looking into the bright projector bulb are minimised. Here at the RSC we have invested in remote kit that includes a keyboard and gyro-mouse (from Gyration) that has a similar long range capacity. These types of wireless input devices work especially well with interactive whiteboards and I always take them out with me on training to illustrate this. As well as the advantages that Steve outlines in the Podcast, there are significant accessibility gains to be made. Learners with a variety of support needs e.g. those with mobility problems or with special educational needs can benefit greatly and are able to participate more fully in classroom activities when devices can be passed around the group.

Incidentally, if you haven't experienced our Podcasting service yet, you can find out more about this and other examples of effective practice around the Region by going to the podcasts page on our website and subscribe through iTunes or your preferred RSS feed reader.

http://www.rsc-sw-scotland.ac.uk/podcast/Podcasts.htm
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mice_pointers/mice/devices/3443&cl=US,EN
http://www.gyration.co.uk/proddata.php?partno=E3900