Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Secondary Moodling at 100mph

It's taking a while, but as a team we're gradually working our way through an increasing number of secondary schools doing our four session Moodle training - we pay for supply cover for up to six people, and the school can send along another six if necessary as long as it sorts out cover for them.
We're currently in two Aylesbury schools - Sir Henry Floyd Grammar and Mandeville Upper. We've only done one session so far at SHF, but at Mandeville things are progressing at a rate of knots. Normally over the four sessions we cover a fair amount of topics - using resources (web links, documents, directories of files) and activities (choices, forums, assignments, quizzes) as well as thinking about whole-school issues and also covering RSS feeds (what they are and how to use them) and embedding pictures, audio and video from around the internet in a school's Moodle site.
As mentioned, the twelve staff involved at Mandeville are hurrying along (they're normally ahead of me) and so by halfway through yesterday's session (the third of four) we'd pretty much covered everything we'd normally cover in four sessions. This is almost certainly down to the fact that many of the staff had been putting in a fair amount of effort between sessions, which meant they've had a chance to reinforce and develop what's been done in "class".
So, what to do next week? We don't normally cover these, but it's going to be using Glossaries and Wikis - which incidentally, are featured in passing in the excellent Teachers TV video Secondary ICT Management - VLE in Action which covers Queen Elizabeth School in Kirby Lonsdale, Cumbria, supported by the excellent CLEO. Subjects covered include Year 12 English Literature, Year 10 Food Technology,
Some quotes from the programme:

Anyone who says that the use of a VLE is going to save you time in the short-term is talking baloney...

[The support from CLEO] gives this kind of activity a professional legitimacy.

The longest process was getting my head around what I wanted to do, once I'd done that the actual setting up of the thing was quite easy...

I would advise people to dip their toe in the water and get going as soon as they can... find someone who's got a torch for learning, as opposed to a torch for technology...

Be clear that the most important part of a Virtual Learning Environment is the word 'learning' and just see it as a natural extension of all the various aspects of school life...

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