Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Day of reckoning for learning environments in Technical; Again many schools will be closed and kids will be out enjoying themselves ( great ) but lets consider those ...
5th February 2009, 10:18 AM #1
Day of reckoning for learning environments
Again many schools will be closed and kids will be out enjoying themselves ( great ) but lets consider those who have exams approaching. Would this not have been an opportunity for schools to make sure they have work on their LE for those kids. A perfect way to test the effectivemness of their LE?
I imagine some individual teachers may have done this but are there any schools that have planned for this?
One of the aims for LE's is to extend learning 24/7. What an opportunity!
Off to build a snowperson, might as well make use of the day.
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5th February 2009, 07:34 PM #2
I am not sure how many keen students will access an LE / VLE when it is snowing outside and the school has closed for the day especially if some of their mates are off building snowmen even with exams pending.
I can certainly see the benefits of a VLE with access to revision / teaching material but it will only ever be the independant learners who will access the resources at this time - a small minority, but I agree it may make a difference.
5th February 2009, 08:33 PM #3
My son, who is 26, is studying hard prior to taking on a new job in Korea. He still found time today to go out and build a snow sculpture. I emailed some photos to my grandkids in Portugal and they were really jealous.
It's great to see all the kids out there enjoying themselves ad getting loads of fresh air. I'm sure that will make up for a day off lessons. Our school was closed and the Site Manager took his teenage kids onto the playground in his car and gave them some practice on a skid pan. That might not help them academically but it could save a life. I'm going to capture some footage from the CCTV cameras and play it in assembly.
5th February 2009, 09:30 PM #4
On the radio announcements for school closures in Kent, I heard one or two schools telling their pupils to check the VLE for work... I then wondered if that discriminated against the kids who don't have computers/broadband at home. Not may, I admit, but those kids shouldn't be disadvantaged... in snowy conditions the local Library is probably closed too.
5th February 2009, 09:39 PM #5
what are you all on about? Normal working week for us up here; no disruptions for anything? Has it been bad weather in the rest of the country or what?
7th February 2009, 10:58 AM #6
When I started this thread it was to see the reaction. I wanted to see if any schools had thought about the VLE and its use. I agree for most kids "get out there and enjoy the snow", I certainly believe thats beneficial but for some kids year 11 / 12/14 with mocks around the corner then exams it would have been an opportunity to keep learning going to some extent. Whatever we believe good qualifications for most people will lead to a better life style.
Lets take it to the next level. If one of the kids unfortuantely enjoing themselves in the snow has an accident and that means another 6 weeks off school. VLE's should allow that kid to continue their learning and know whats happening at school.
Like all of you I'm concerned about kids that do not have computers or connectivity. So what has happened to computers for pupils. Have any computers been given out?
7th February 2009, 12:28 PM #7
We do provide some revision materials on our VLE (mainly for Science). Pupils access it (VLE) on a regular basis over weekends and holidays. Assignments are set and completed. We're running a simple poll on the front page of our VLE to determine who has and who hasn't access to a computer at home. Some of the teachers who have taken up the challenge of the VLE have been a revelation, completely unexpected, and there are several who are "champions" and evengelize on my behalf. As an IT techie it can sometimes be difficult to deal with certain teachers who are used to us being at their beck and call because they can't be bothered to see if a machine is plugged in before calling us out. That being said, the majority of staff here seem to appreciate what's being attempted with the VLE.
Computers for pupils has been a mixed bag for us. Some folk turned them down as they didn't class themselves, or want to be seen as, "poor". Most have been given out. Internet (dis)connectivity has been provided by O2 with dongles being supplied (6 months late). These dongles (sometimes) work on a white list of sites and unfortunately the school website and VLE aren't on them yet. It seems that the BBC website is also blacklisted. We don't know how long it will take to get these added to the whitelist.
Laptop "support" is provided by a company called XMA who seem to refer any enquiries from owners of these laptops to our IT department. This has become a major headache. No one wants to turn away a pupil who is eager to join his or her peers in accessing the VLE etc so you do what you can for them, and XMA seem to expect us (the IT techies) to do all the trouble shooting for them. Example:
Failure of power unit. Try unit from another laptop and this charges up as normal. Change fuse in faulty unit, still not working. Email XMA with details of what has been done. Return email asks if we have tried using another unit to see if first unit is faulty. Reply that we have done this and noted this fact on original email which they had fired back to us with their reply. Replied again pointing out original email. Could we phone them (premium rate number) with the details? Why?
Pupil regularly comes to office to find out how we are doing, parents phone us as they are getting no sense from XMA, constant pestering and time (and money) spent by parents on phone to XMA. I don't like letting down pupils and parents, but then again I don't like having to make excuses for XMA either.
P.S. despite the snow we've been open all week.
7th February 2009, 06:23 PM #8
Great that staff are involved with the vle. I would assume that SLT are supportuive and give the necessary resource?
I feel sorry that pupils for computers has been a burden. I would assume your local authority arranged all of this. Or did they just passport money to the school?
There was a lot of information available via Becta on this from the Dfes ICT Testbed initiative. aAlot of research material was produced after the pilot.
I was responsible for project managing the pilot in 2005/5 for 2400 computers and 800 broadband connections. We learnt a lot and the results went in to the public domain.
Did not have many refusals?
8th February 2009, 10:55 AM #9
On the whole SLT are supportive, with me having two days a week to devote to the VLE. In reality I have to work round teachers' free periods. I have some CPD time, the equivalent of a week this year, in which I can take any training I need to develop my Moodle skills, but I haven't pinpointed anything yet. I can carry the week over to the following year.
Originally Posted by NewOrder
As for computers for pupils, SLT saw the money and took it. The LA was going to do it all originally.
I didn't know of the BECTA information on this subject.
We've given out around 100 laptops and had 3 refusals (I think). We also had a lady come along who wasn't on the list and didn't have any children at our achool but felt she was entitled to one as she lived on the same road as a couple of people who were entitled to a laptop.
One further thing comes to mind. The incorrect recovery disks were included with the laptops, and as with these things some laptops were intially mucked up by having passwords set and then forgotten. XMA eventually sent us ONE recovery disk (DVD) and told us to make copies of it which we could then distribute as required. Sharp practice indeed considering how much they were making out of our phone calls.
On the whole we handled the rollout well, though it involved all three techies over 5 days, time which wasn't spent sorting school problems. Because of our catchment area some of the laptops had to be expalined via interpreters.
Last edited by beeswax; 8th February 2009 at 10:59 AM.
8th February 2009, 12:18 PM #10
Its not easy giving out equipment. A lot to consider. The easy one for the school was to take the money and put the work on to you!!.
I have some funnies. We dished most of the computers, yes computers from various schools. The reason for computers was that we could get 3 for the value of one laptop. We made it an event. We also had large monitors so not so easy to steal.
At a meeting Becta said why did I not get the computers delivered to homes.
A couple of reasons
A white van turning up to some houses in the area would have made people nervous Rep for the TV or delivery of something valuable. A sign for the burglars.
A lot of families enjoyed turning up to school to pick up the computers. They were offered training etc from the college. Also a time for teachers to grab some parents for a chat.
I think some computers are 4 1/2 years old still in circulation.
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