Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Back to the secondaries via the starship Enterprise

This morning, along with a couple of colleagues who work for the Buckinghamshire Education Business Partnership, I was in a grammar school in High Wycombe. They are looking at carrying out an Enterprise Skills audit, and using a VLE to allow the students to record a journal, fill in a series of forms about how they're doing and for the teachers to be able to view what the students are saying and moderate it, which seems like a good thing. Not long into my explanation of what the system was and how it might support the audit, the Deputy Head asked "how is this different from a VLE?" (evidently I wasn't doing that good a job of explaining) and "how does this compare to Moodle?" (answer: it is Moodle)... so as part of their ICT development plan I'll be going in to support their development of this across the school, but starting with Enterprise. It also looks a useful way of using some of the functions of Breeze as well.
Later on I was sat in the Learning Resources Centre in Beaconsfield High School this afternoon, and after we'd finished meeting stepped out into the entrance hall and wished we hadn't. It was a hot, oppressive day and the busyness of having next year's Year 7 pupils/students in was nearly over. I climbed/staggered back to my car and as I drove across the road to The Beaconsfield School the temperature in the car's display read 32°C. I stopped briefly to talk to the Head at TBS, who I'm seeing next week, and drove back to Aylesbury.
On the way back I drove past a couple of the primary schools who will be attending the Wycombe/Beaconsfield Primary VLE meeting a week today, and started to wonder what it would take to change things so that (as someone commented earlier) doing this sort of thing is seen as something you do for life, not just the current spending round. I think I should at least invite as many secondary Heads as possible to either attend next week's meeting or at least send representation - because the kids who have experience of a VLE/Learning Platform for a couple of years who arrive at their schools in a couple of years are going to radically alter the way they see the use of technologies like this across the curriculum. Secondaries need to be aware of this - perhaps this change will be the tipping point, the event or circumstance that makes things happen.
On the way back it looked like the heat of the past few days might break, and for a while it did - a temperature drop of 11°C over a few short miles.

A temperature gradient can be caused by a front, or some other event - and the change in temperature in the whole area of online learning might be the funding being pumped in at the top, but it might just as well be the activity that's pestering those existing structures and ways of doing things that they might need to change or die...
Wikipedia also notes that rapid changes in temperature may cause discomfort and, in extreme cases, heat or cold stresses. Anyone out there stressed about this?

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