Friday, October 06, 2006

I do like to be beside the Seaside

Mike Evans at VarndeanToday I'm at Varndean School in Brighton & Hove for a Moodle Training day - I was here earlier in the year for the Learning Platforms Beauty Contest and today there are about 30 SMT, ICT staff and consultants here. As of yet Brighton and Hove haven't decided on a definite strategy - they're using Moodle as an experiment to challenge, stretch and develop competencies of teachers, and then will be seeing what's offered by SEGfL and mandated by Becta.
Since January Brighton & Hove have started their own central Moodle, the wonderfully monickered Seaside - and are using it to develop primary resources & do some professional development. Today we will mostly be developing resources on/at the Seaside as well as working with some secondary schools to devleop resources for their own Moodles. Some people here won't be staying for the three hands-on support sessions that we'll be having later this morning and this afternoon.
This morning Mike Evans from the National Strategy is talking about the Pedagogy of VLEs - a really interesting presentation and one I'd love to have Mike do for headteachers in Buckinghamshire. The "c" word - constructivism - has just come up as part of of teaching models & theories of learning and now there's a video extract from Gilly Salmon who's talking about Constructivism - interesting quote "it's really difficult to capture and slap online" (I think she means put online) but she's advocating a socially based collaborative approach.
The afternoon was tiring but great fun - many people there had Moodle sites - including the wonderfully named EGMOO from Elm Grove in Hove - and we did some basic work on adding resources, creating quizzes, choices and setting up courses. David Cooper and Rose Carter have a small group of schools who look like they could work really effectively together - I'd love to start working with them and sharing resources / courses / quizzes / glossaries etc. - perhaps between Brighton and Hove, Buckinghamshire and West Sussex. Having grown up in Shoreham-by-Sea just down the road it was a great excuse to see family, take in the howling wind on a bright sunny day on the seafront, and generally reflect on the question Why on earth don't I live near the seaside any more?

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