Monthly Archives: November 2011

Pre work and travel⤴

from @ Islay ICT

A few weeks before travelling to Microsoft Partners In Learning Global Forum I had attended three livemeets. These set the scene for being a Mentor and also set some collaborative tasks to get the mentors working and talking together.

This proved to be rather difficult for me as these took place twice a day to cover the globe but on my local time they took place at 6am and 4pm. I couldn’t get access to the live meeting at school as the live login is blocked. I did make it home for one of the 4pm times but I had to attend (Is that the right word?) the 6am meets. Fortunately these did not involve me being on camera so I could be ‘relaxed’ about my image. The last one though took place after the clocks changed, and yes you guessed it, I arrived for the end of the meeting.

I enjoyed using OneNote 2010 hosted on Skydrive to collaborate with others and answer some questions. The really interesting part is OneNote web apps and live sharing on that.

 

Getting too and from Islay can be an adventure. Yes we are 2 hours on a ferry from the mainland and yes that ferry is over 2 hours drive from the nearest city (Glasgow) but by plane its less than 30 minutes to Glasgow. And that's what I did on the morning of Saturday 5th November.

A chilly but bright day and a stunning flight across from the west. I could see right up into the highlands with its high ground covered in fresh snow.

I still had another day to go before I headed south. Some last minute shopping like a new kilt pin to go with my new kilt.

I was fortunate in that while I was in Glasgow I had the oppertunity to attend a Teachmeet. This was teachmeet EPA (Enterprise Practitioners Association). This was a great event bringing a whole load of new people to TeachMeets and then to Twitter. Loads of great ideas as always at a TeachMeet.

I spent the night visiting my Father and set off to Glasgow airport on a very foggy Glasgow Airport. Several flights were already delayed. I was very nervous as I checked in. I needn’t have worried my Heathrow flight was on time as the aircraft was already on the ground.

So far I had been traveling on my own but I had planned to meet up with old friend Ollie Bray. Ollie was attending the Global Forum as a judge and was traveling to Heathrow from Edinburgh. I was also going to meet 3 other people traveling from the UK that I had never met before. I knew I was going to get on well with everyone when we arranged to meet in the bar. Though I must admit that myself and Ollie were sitting on one side of a wall while the others sat the other side of the same wall and it took a while to realise what was happening…….. it did set a tone.

If you want to get involved with the Partners In Learning UK go to http://uk.partnersinlearningnetwork.com

Pre work and travel⤴

from @ Islay ICT

A few weeks before travelling to Microsoft Partners In Learning Global Forum I had attended three livemeets. These set the scene for being a Mentor and also set some collaborative tasks to get the mentors working and talking together.

This proved to be rather difficult for me as these took place twice a day to cover the globe but on my local time they took place at 6am and 4pm. I couldn’t get access to the live meeting at school as the live login is blocked. I did make it home for one of the 4pm times but I had to attend (Is that the right word?) the 6am meets. Fortunately these did not involve me being on camera so I could be ‘relaxed’ about my image. The last one though took place after the clocks changed, and yes you guessed it, I arrived for the end of the meeting.

I enjoyed using OneNote 2010 hosted on Skydrive to collaborate with others and answer some questions. The really interesting part is OneNote web apps and live sharing on that.

 

Getting too and from Islay can be an adventure. Yes we are 2 hours on a ferry from the mainland and yes that ferry is over 2 hours drive from the nearest city (Glasgow) but by plane its less than 30 minutes to Glasgow. And that's what I did on the morning of Saturday 5th November.

A chilly but bright day and a stunning flight across from the west. I could see right up into the highlands with its high ground covered in fresh snow.

I still had another day to go before I headed south. Some last minute shopping like a new kilt pin to go with my new kilt.

I was fortunate in that while I was in Glasgow I had the oppertunity to attend a Teachmeet. This was teachmeet EPA (Enterprise Practitioners Association). This was a great event bringing a whole load of new people to TeachMeets and then to Twitter. Loads of great ideas as always at a TeachMeet.

I spent the night visiting my Father and set off to Glasgow airport on a very foggy Glasgow Airport. Several flights were already delayed. I was very nervous as I checked in. I needn’t have worried my Heathrow flight was on time as the aircraft was already on the ground.

So far I had been traveling on my own but I had planned to meet up with old friend Ollie Bray. Ollie was attending the Global Forum as a judge and was traveling to Heathrow from Edinburgh. I was also going to meet 3 other people traveling from the UK that I had never met before. I knew I was going to get on well with everyone when we arranged to meet in the bar. Though I must admit that myself and Ollie were sitting on one side of a wall while the others sat the other side of the same wall and it took a while to realise what was happening…….. it did set a tone.

If you want to get involved with the Partners In Learning UK go to http://uk.partnersinlearningnetwork.com

S3 CfE courses⤴

from

We’ve been running an S5/6 Games Development course (NPA) this year and it’s (so far) been very successful. Pupils are highly engaged, working hard and creating some cool games. We’re fairly happy with how it has went in this first year. One question that has arisen is about transition from S3 in the future. Given that we have games design mentioned specifically in Es and Os (while spreadsheet, database etc isn’t!) could we build a strand running from S1 to S6 in games design, giving scope for qualification at the earliest possible convenience?

We shall see…

I’m going to try and remember to record thoughts on games design and its place in our curriculum over the next few days. I know. Calm down.

Partners In Learning Global Forum⤴

from @ Islay ICT

 

DSC03075

This is the first of a series of posts on the Microsoft Partners In Learning Global Forum.

Two weeks ago I was on a journey to Washington DC. I attended the Microsoft Partners In Learning (PIL) Global Forum as a Mentor.

The journey was more than geographical, it was very much based in Education.

So what is PIL?

PIL is to, “…. help educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, create, and share so that students can realise their greatest potential.”

I have been a member a member of the UK PIL for the last 5 years. Its been a good basis of info and resources as well being wider than the web site, its also a large number of fellow teachers who are active on Twitter.

As a Mentor I was working with a group of fellow teachers from all over the world. In my case they were from Azerbaijan, Sweden, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Bolivia.

They were all PIL winners in there own national groups and were all impressive in there own right. They were focused on the Global competition but my job was to get them to work together as a group to develop educational resources.

The journey of a mentor was in team Building, applying ITL’s Research, Coaching the team. I will be going deeper in to these over the next few posts.

I was so impressed with people and the processes. It matches very well with all the changes we have been doing in Islay over the last 5 years.

I did wonder why I had never put in a Virtual Classroom Tour (VCT). I always use the excuse of time but really that is an excuse. Of course there is what the pupils do…….. If I don’t try I won’t fail.

Well let me assure all Scots teachers. You will stand up well against the rest of the world. Lets do it!

Partners In Learning Global Forum⤴

from @ Islay ICT

 

DSC03075

This is the first of a series of posts on the Microsoft Partners In Learning Global Forum.

Two weeks ago I was on a journey to Washington DC. I attended the Microsoft Partners In Learning (PIL) Global Forum as a Mentor.

The journey was more than geographical, it was very much based in Education.

So what is PIL?

PIL is to, “…. help educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, create, and share so that students can realise their greatest potential.”

I have been a member a member of the UK PIL for the last 5 years. Its been a good basis of info and resources as well being wider than the web site, its also a large number of fellow teachers who are active on Twitter.

As a Mentor I was working with a group of fellow teachers from all over the world. In my case they were from Azerbaijan, Sweden, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Bolivia.

They were all PIL winners in there own national groups and were all impressive in there own right. They were focused on the Global competition but my job was to get them to work together as a group to develop educational resources.

The journey of a mentor was in team Building, applying ITL’s Research, Coaching the team. I will be going deeper in to these over the next few posts.

I was so impressed with people and the processes. It matches very well with all the changes we have been doing in Islay over the last 5 years.

I did wonder why I had never put in a Virtual Classroom Tour (VCT). I always use the excuse of time but really that is an excuse. Of course there is what the pupils do…….. If I don’t try I won’t fail.

Well let me assure all Scots teachers. You will stand up well against the rest of the world. Lets do it!

Edmodo – Could this be the new Glow?⤴

from @ wexucate.com

Those of you who know me or have followed my work will know that I have always been a strong advocator of Glow and have used it extensively to help embed ICT throughout learning in my classroom.  So it is with great surprise that I find myself writing this post.

A few weeks ago I discovered the video below about Eportfolio’s on YouTube.  I posted the link on twitter stating that I wished there was something out there like this.

Last week I suddenly realised that a website that did this did exist and that I had created an account about a month ago.  This website was Edmodo, as usual someone on twitter had recommended it’s use, I had created an account but then hadn’t had time to look at it properly.

My class have been using Glow for a year and half and although they initially loved it and were using it all the time both at home and at school, I found that they were using it less and less at home.  They were also finding it quite time consuming to find the resources I wanted them to use.  I therefore decided that I wanted to use something that would help reengage my learners and would be easy and fun to use.

So how do you get started on Edmodo?  Well first you need to create a teacher’s account which is simple and easy to do.  Then you need to send home a letter of permission and a copy of the privacy policy as the company terms and conditions require that parental consent is received before allowing children to use it.  This may seem time consuming but because my pupils were so keen to start using the site they all returned their slips very quickly.  Once this is done you can then create a class group and a code is generated which you give to the pupils to enter when they sign up.

Why do my class really like it?  Well for a start it strongly resembles facebook and allows them to easily posts comments to the class group which they can all respond to.  The children are therefore able to start their own conversations rather than having to wait until I create a discussion webpart (which I would have had to do in glow).  The children can also send me direct messages which other children cannot see.  For me this is a great benefit as our pupils do not have access to Glow mail and so have only been able to ask me questions in a public forum which some are very reluctant to do.

I have spent hours creating learning spaces within Glow.  Each time I created an area for a new curricular area or sub-topic I had to create a new web-part for each weblink part or document store which is very time consuming and fiddly.   Every user in Edomdo has a library where you can create folders that store both web links and documents together.  These are extremely easy to create and also automatically generate a thumbnail, name and description which save lots of valuable time.

Once these folders are created you can then share them with the class group/s as required.  When the pupils click on these folders the weblinks and files are all displayed with their thumbnails and descriptions which makes it much easier for the pupils to find the resource you’ve asked them to use.  The pupils are also able to click a button called play view which then displays one website with the others as a thumbnail at the bottom of the screen.  This allows the children to quickly flick through the websites to find the one they want to use.

About a year ago I received training on how to use Glow learn, unfortunately when I attempted to use it with my class they found it extremely complicated and difficult to use.  Edmodo has the ability to set either whole class or individual assignments which are extremely easy to create, add weblinks or any file type.  You can also easily create polls, quizzes and award pupils badges, a feature that my pupils expressed a wish for during the #EduScotICT discussions.

What makes it so easy is that everything is in the one place and it is very simple to set up.  It’s taken me a fraction of the time to set up a class group and put in the same resources that I had in my class glow group.  We’ve only been using it a week but already my pupils have been extremely responsive, finding it much easier and quicker to get to the resources they need.

We won’t be abandoning Glow as there is still a lot of content we use eg Glow TV and Glow Blogs but wouldn’t be great if I could they could be integrated.  Dear Santa ………..

 

Update:  7th March 2012.

It seems you don’t need to send home Edmodo’s privacy policy to parents any more, just a letter to inform them of it’s use.  You can find sample letters here.

Also yesterday it was announced that Edmodo would be opening it’s doors to 3rd party Apps, exciting times!  Read about it here.


Edmodo – Could this be the new Glow?⤴

from @ wexucate.com

Those of you who know me or have followed my work will know that I have always been a strong advocator of Glow and have used it extensively to help embed ICT throughout learning in my classroom.  So it is with great surprise that I find myself writing this post.

A few weeks ago I discovered the video below about Eportfolio’s on YouTube.  I posted the link on twitter stating that I wished there was something out there like this.

Last week I suddenly realised that a website that did this did exist and that I had created an account about a month ago.  This website was Edmodo, as usual someone on twitter had recommended it’s use, I had created an account but then hadn’t had time to look at it properly.

My class have been using Glow for a year and half and although they initially loved it and were using it all the time both at home and at school, I found that they were using it less and less at home.  They were also finding it quite time consuming to find the resources I wanted them to use.  I therefore decided that I wanted to use something that would help reengage my learners and would be easy and fun to use.

So how do you get started on Edmodo?  Well first you need to create a teacher’s account which is simple and easy to do.  Then you need to send home a letter of permission and a copy of the privacy policy as the company terms and conditions require that parental consent is received before allowing children to use it.  This may seem time consuming but because my pupils were so keen to start using the site they all returned their slips very quickly.  Once this is done you can then create a class group and a code is generated which you give to the pupils to enter when they sign up.

Why do my class really like it?  Well for a start it strongly resembles facebook and allows them to easily posts comments to the class group which they can all respond to.  The children are therefore able to start their own conversations rather than having to wait until I create a discussion webpart (which I would have had to do in glow).  The children can also send me direct messages which other children cannot see.  For me this is a great benefit as our pupils do not have access to Glow mail and so have only been able to ask me questions in a public forum which some are very reluctant to do.

I have spent hours creating learning spaces within Glow.  Each time I created an area for a new curricular area or sub-topic I had to create a new web-part for each weblink part or document store which is very time consuming and fiddly.   Every user in Edomdo has a library where you can create folders that store both web links and documents together.  These are extremely easy to create and also automatically generate a thumbnail, name and description which save lots of valuable time.

Once these folders are created you can then share them with the class group/s as required.  When the pupils click on these folders the weblinks and files are all displayed with their thumbnails and descriptions which makes it much easier for the pupils to find the resource you’ve asked them to use.  The pupils are also able to click a button called play view which then displays one website with the others as a thumbnail at the bottom of the screen.  This allows the children to quickly flick through the websites to find the one they want to use.

About a year ago I received training on how to use Glow learn, unfortunately when I attempted to use it with my class they found it extremely complicated and difficult to use.  Edmodo has the ability to set either whole class or individual assignments which are extremely easy to create, add weblinks or any file type.  You can also easily create polls, quizzes and award pupils badges, a feature that my pupils expressed a wish for during the #EduScotICT discussions.

What makes it so easy is that everything is in the one place and it is very simple to set up.  It’s taken me a fraction of the time to set up a class group and put in the same resources that I had in my class glow group.  We’ve only been using it a week but already my pupils have been extremely responsive, finding it much easier and quicker to get to the resources they need.

We won’t be abandoning Glow as there is still a lot of content we use eg Glow TV and Glow Blogs but wouldn’t be great if I could they could be integrated.  Dear Santa ………..

 

Update:  7th March 2012.

It seems you don’t need to send home Edmodo’s privacy policy to parents any more, just a letter to inform them of it’s use.  You can find sample letters here.

Also yesterday it was announced that Edmodo would be opening it’s doors to 3rd party Apps, exciting times!  Read about it here.


Active Assessment – Catch Me If You Can⤴

from

Catch Me If You Can is an active assessment for Mathematics: Speed, Distance and Time. Specifically it covers Curriculum for Excellence Third and Fourth Levels (MNU 3-10a / MNU 4-10a). Learners try to work out if Agent Doyle can get from his penthouse flat in Stoneburn to Stanchester Airport in time to prevent Ben Black, one of the world’s most wanted criminals from leaving the country with £25 million in uncut diamonds.

Please feel free to download, adapt, comment or suggest changes.

 

Third Level

Pupil resource

Teacher materials

Supporting presentation

 

Fourth level

Pupil resource

Teacher materials

Supporting presentation:

e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2⤴

from

Overview

East Renfrewshire logoIn June 2011, two of East Renfrewshire’s clusters worked with their pupils to create e-portfolios using Glow Blogs. This involved Eastwood High School, St Ninian’s High School and their associated primary schools. At the start of the 2011-12 academic session, the other five Secondary clusters did the same. Part 1 of this cookbook covers the background to this and the set up process for the e-portfolios.

Here in part 2, we focus on the use of the e-portfolios and the plans that one school has for this.

Context

The schools in East Renfrewshire are using e-portfolios as part of their adoption of the recommendations in Building the Curriculum 5, and whilst every school in the local authority is following the same basic adoption principles, each school has its own specific plans for implementation and use. This cookbook highlights the plans of one of these schools.

Crookfur Primary School

Crookfur Primary is one of the schools in the Eastwood High cluster.

Gillian Graham is Depute Headteacher in Crookfur and has responsibility for implementing the e-portfolios. Supported by the National Glow Team, the school created e-portfolios with all of their Primary 6 and Primary 7 classes. Building on this, Gillian then worked with the Primary 5 classes to do the same.

Gillian has been taking part in the Education Scotland pilot group for Pupil Profiles and when introduced to the e-portfolios, immediately saw a way to link them with the pupil profiles.

Working with staff and Headteacher Fiona Loudon, Gillian developed the format of the profile document that the P7 pupils in Crookfur Primary will complete. This document will contain the pupil’s reflections on their learning, their progress through the curricular areas, information on achievements across learning plus a section for parental comment on their child’s progress.

In ICT time, pupils add information to their e-portfolios about their weekly achievements, to build a permanent record throughout the year. This will be used at the end of the year to help pupils complete their profiles. These will then be attached to their e-portfolios.

Staff can access each pupil’s e-portfolio and comment on the posts that pupils write and parents can view the e-portfolios when their child logs in to Glow at home to show them.

In the following audio clips, Gillian Graham explains Crookfur Primary’s plans for use the e-portfolios:

Who will be using the e-portfolios and why (0:41)
Gillian Graham – who will use e-portfolios and why
  

Use of e-portfolios and Pupil Profiles (0:51)
Gillian Graham: Pupil Profiles

 

 In the following video, we’ll look at one pupil’s e-portfolio and how they have included their pupil profile in it.

Pupil profile in their e-portfolio (8:10)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2

You can also view a sample of the pupil profile document being used in Crookfur Primary in the following attachment:  You can also view a sample of the pupil profile document being used in Crookfur Primary in the following attachment:    Pupil’s primary 7 Profile

Ingredients

In order for pupils to be able to attach their profile to their e-portfolio, they first had to learn how to add content to their blog. The Crookfur pupils learned the same things as the pupils in all of the East Renfrewshire schools.

This included:

–          Adding information about themselves on the blog’s welcome page

–          Learning how to use the Blog Dashboard to write a post and edit it

–          Finding out how to categorise and tag a post

–          Learning how to attach documents and images to blog post

Pupils were also shown how teachers can comment on posts and how they can then read those comments and reply.
 

Recipe

Learn in the following videos how to do the things listed above:

How to set up the ‘All about me’ welcome page (8:48)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
How to use the blog dashboard to write a post, categorise and tag it (9:54)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
How to attach a document to a post (6:10)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
How to add an image to a post (8:38)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
How teachers access a pupil’s e-portfolio and add comments to it (7:11)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
 

One additional thing which pupils did, to give ease of access to their e-portfolio, was to create a button on their Glow Light screen to take them straight to their e-portfolio. Find out how to do this in the following video:

How to create an e-portfolio button on the Glow Light screen (3:39)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
 

 Impact

Each of the schools in East Renfrewshire plans to use the pupil e-portfolios in different ways and so the impact will be different for each.  

In the following audio clip, Gillian Graham gives her thoughts on the benefits of using e-portfolios, including access from home and parental access:

 

Benefits of using the e-portfolio (1:16)
Gillian Graham: Benefits of e-portfolios

 

Ninian’s High School:
Josef Fuchs is Principal Teacher of Development at St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock. He has been heavily involved in the implementation of the pupil e-portfolios there and commented on the benefits that he and the school see for their usage:

 “E-portfolios allow our pupils to keep an online record of their progress and achievements throughout their school life.  These records can be categorized into achievements and/or curricular areas.  Pupils post updates on their progress and achievements, also being able to attach media files such as photos to evidence these. 

As these can be updated continually, this record is a much fuller account of their experiences than if completed as a paper exercise termly or annually which was the previous method. 

We have a strong emphasis on pupils being responsible for updating their own e-portfolios regularly.  Staff across the school encourage pupils to add in for example test scores, extra curricular activity involvement and achievements such as awards gained.  School staff can easily view and comment on pupils e-portfolios at any time although we plan to timetable a formal review on a termly basis. Another use is that we can make resources available, for example PE fitness test scores and Home Economics Food Diaries that pupils copy and paste into their e-portfolio and then fill in the answers online, allowing pupils and staff to access these.  It also removes the ability to lose them while also saving paper and filing space. We believe these to be invaluable as we prepare our pupils for the next stage in their lives. 
The benefits include:
 

  • Giving pupils the necessary communication tools to use in the world which is becoming more and more digitalised. 
  • Preparing pupils for using e-portfolios at further/higher education level and beyond in many professions such as Medicine, Dentistry and Law.
  • Encouraging pupils to be self reflective, important in many professions such as Teaching and Nursing.”

 

These comments reflect the impact on just two of the schools involved in the implementation of e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire. There are many other benefits being enjoyed across all of the schools.

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