What? Oh yes...
Friday, April 27, 2007
What? Oh yes...
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
In case you hadn't seen:
Google Documents and Spreadsheets will shortly ("this summer") have an online
PowerPoint killer presentations application as part of its suite of software. It won't cost you anything other than any privacy implications from a Google account and bandwidth.
Also, Google have just bought some Java-based software from a Swedish company to launch their own video-conferencing system (Google has only bought the software, not the company, so the plethora of reports of Google enters the videoconferencing market may be a little premature). Now, if they did enter the market do we think they'll rewrite it in Flash, Ajax (or whatever's after that) or keep it in Java?
Interestingly, the Official Google blog post refers to "Googlers" as the users of this system - does this mean it's an internal Google-focused system or designed to be used by anyone? The latter would have massive implications for all sorts of things... it would be one thing to give everyone in the world with an internet connection 2GB of email storage, quite another to spec enough servers to allow them all to talk to one another. Are you a Googler? Am I?
...about to lift off? Maybe...
Last night's twilight session was very well attended, with perhaps around 25 people from a wide range of schools - a couple of special schools and the remainder being an equal mix of primary and secondary. We started late at 4.15ish and finished at about twenty to six or so.
Monday, April 23, 2007
A long, long time ago (I really have no idea when) I was at our Teaching and Learning Centre when someone was introduced to me by, I think, Simon Lockwood, our Humanities Adviser. He mentioned that she was from Oxford Brookes and that in some way he was involved in a course thinking about online learning. I gave her my card (when you're given two boxes of them and don't get out much then you tend to give them to anyone, especially if your Mum already has about three...) and vaguely remembered it from time to time.
About a month and a half ago, Gill Potter (Senior lecturer in ICT and Education) to whom I had given my card) gave me a "Remember me?" sort of phone call and we arranged to meet at the Westminster Institute of Education on the south side of Oxford. I had since gained a better idea of what Simon L had been involved in in the course (held in Camden) and it turned out that Gill was leading that course. Simon's course was based on Brookes World, a Fronter-based system and Gill was interested in how this course might transfer into other systems, including our Moodle-based county-wide system. For me this was a chance to start to put some teaching / learning / pedagogical flesh on the infrastructural bones we've been building over the last few years - plus I could think of many of people who would appreciate the chance to formalise what they've been doing somewhat on the hoof in our Moodle experiences.
The main point is that there isn't much experience / evidence / guidance in what a pedagogy which involves E-Learning as a significant component might look like - and so tonight we're having an introductory "taster" session when Gill will outline to people who turn up (of which I'm hoping for more than a handful...) what the opportunities are. Rather than reproducing everything here, you can read her not-long-born blog which contains some interesting articles, including brief quotes from members of previous courses (which had a focus on Gifted and Talented education), examples of the projects they undertook and some useful What's in it for...? posts.
We hope to run the course over this year with a cohort of between 15 and 20 "students", with the potential to involve a few teaching and learning consultants as well, subject to which schools are involved. There's an outline of the course on Gill's blog (in PDF format) if you'd like a better idea of what it involves. There's also an area on the BucksGfL to support the E-Pedagogy qualification, which can contribute a third of a Master's qualification. The area is open to any member of staff with a BucksGfL username and password and there's a Q&A area for people who might not be able to make it to this evening's twilight. If you don't have a BucksGfL username, you can get similar information from Gill's blog.