Monday, June 27, 2005

Hillside's first "off-site" meeting

This finally took place on Friday, 24th June at a local four-star hotel. The short delay in arranging the meeting was due to "hotspot"-finder websites displaying inaccurate search results ie stating that a local hotel/bar had wireless access, when upon arrival I discover that they don't and have never heard of the facility!

However, Tony had contacted this particular hotel and everything had been arranged. We were concerned as to the experience of the staff, however upon arrival it seemed that the technology should work, as there were many laptops in use in the bar.

With Matthew (IT support) on the mobile, we tried everything, but to no avail. We carried on with some items on the agenda, however our advice would be that until wireless and business really get their act together, using wireless to arrange an off-site meeting is fraught with technical issues and will probably not be an efficient use of staff time, despite the "change of scenery" and more social setting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Video Conferencing and Clay Animation training

This training took place on Monday, 20th June from 1.30-3.00pm. Thirteen staff took part, including management, teachers, and care staff. The structure of the session was as follows:

•FLaT project developments
•introduction to Video Conferencing and Stop Motion animation
•introduction to collaborative Video Conference task and Animation task
*Video Conference task (One group collaborates with other group in different room on the planning of a 3 second clay animation with sound)
*Stop Motion clay animation task (produce 3 second movie)

During the Video Conference, staff clearly noticed the issues surrounding background noise/movement, and of more than one person talking at a time. The session allowed the FLaT steering group to gain invaluable experience, and awareness of the meticulous planning needed to facilitate and effective point-to-point conversation.

The animation session was very accessible. Staff enjoyed the hands-on experience and 'shot' the 45 frames very quickly. Most were quite pleased with the end result. More importantly, many staff could see the benefits of using this technology in their curricular area.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Latest developments

  • Purchase of StopMotionPro
  • Purchase of SimplyVR
  • Installation of Hello (file transfer), Storyboard Pro, Microsoft scripting, and CAMStudio (screen activity recorder) software
  • Registered with Global Gateway via British Council
  • Purchase of clay animation kit
  • Purchase of Howard Gardner texts (following his seminar)
  • Purchase of Mustek DV5000 camera
  • Purchase of Abby FineReader 7.0 (OCR software) and Scanner
  • Ongoing contact with Global Leap (Video Conferencing) re: setting up of our V500 hardware and establishing of "far end" link
  • Contact made with Stuart Oliphant - Video Conference manager at LTScotland
  • Animation room complete
  • Preparation for building of main FLaT room complete
  • Second meeting with the Call Centre in Edinburgh has taken place (see Access 3 Art NABs amended and validated by SQA; Trial of amended Food Tech NABs
  • Two 4th Year pupils leave with CD showcasing some of the work that they have produced
  • Staff training to take place on Monday, 20th June - introduction to animation and Video Conferencing
  • Two members of staff ready to commence Online Learning PDA at Lauder College
  • Contact made with Spanish school re: cross-cultural project (subsequently cancelled)
  • Off site Multimedia meeting (at local HotSpot) to take place on Friday, 24th June.