Tuesday, October 25, 2005

October holiday developments

Things are moving pretty quickly. Development of the FLaT room is taking place and should shortly be ready for installation of the digital music equipment.

We have booked a Video Conference session with the National Maritime Museum (NMM) for Wednesday, 7th December. The topic for our first video conference is "The Moon". We have established a dedicated connection for our Polycom equipment and a test call with NMM will be placed on the 8th November. Matthew at MSE-Scotland, and Mike Griffiths at Global Leap have been providing great support in ensuring a successful experience.

Our eTwinning initiative with teacher Treasa Farrell from Antrim has been established. The project will run from 7th November to 23rd December, and involves group collaboration between Class 2 at Hillside and a group of students from Rathmore Educational Guidance Centre (just outside Antrim Town), who work with Treasa in Northern Ireland. Pupils will introduce themselves (via group email), collect data on their locality, then make a presentation to the other group. We expect to complete the link with a "show and tell" video conference in January. Note that as this project is taking place withing the UK, it is not formally recognised as an eTwinning link

Despite some 'teething problems', all Class 1 pupils (and several other pupils and staff) will commence the online IC3/PC Passport course on 31st October. This resource is provided by Momentum, and supported in Scotland by Scotsys, of Bellshill.

The Access Network YahooGroup is now operational. We have 7 members at the moment, and have been recently been discussing proposed changes to Scottish Group Awards (SGAs).

I will be meeting with Paula (Care Manager) wb 31st October to set out the strategy for successful implementation of the (already trialled) Independent Living programme. This provides an enhancement to the school week, and leads to certification (via alternatives to written assessments).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Review of progress - October 2005

The group looked at recent progress and the immediate aims.

Media Stage has been purchased; this resource provides wonderful cross-curricular opportunities as well as enabling aspects of Access 3 Media Studies to be delivered.

Major work will be done over the October holidays to build the FLaT room (including Sound Box). This development will enable music resources to be purchased during November and December, and Music as an Access subject to be facilitated in the new year.

Recent training days have led to a great increase in the use of PowerPoint to deliver lessons. There is anecdotal evidence of application of Multiple Intelligence theory eg German animation. Linked to the FLaT aims, two members of staff are working to develop an old classroom. ICT and MI theory are informing their choices. During the next staff meeting (late October) Peer Assessment and Team Teaching discussions from the last training day will be ‘firmed up’ and acted on. A link has been established with Ewan McIntosh (MFL and ICT expert). He will visit the school in December to work on Podcasting and Movie Making with one class.

Video diaries will be introduced into the recording of the boys’ Independent Living programme, however the main target here is for teaching staff to work closely with Care and Unit Managers to ensure that the programme is working effectively first of all. IC3 eLearning is now available to all staff (and one class group). IC3 learning is now available via both text and on-screen. Two members of the teaching staff are working on the PDA in Online Learning via Lauder College’s VLE .

Several opportunities to amend NABs have been taken. Our MFL courses in S3 and S4 are being developed to allow access via ICT to encompass Multiple Intelligences. Hillside Homework weblog (http://hillsidehomework.blogspot.com/) has been developed to facilitate homework for 2 classes. This allows anytime-anywhere access to extension work.

Via the Access Network, a YahooGroup has been set up. This currently has 7 members and allows for sharing of information and learning resources.

It is expected that Video Conferencing will be available in the school by the end of October, with Global Leap sessions being booked immediately. The ICT consultant will be approached for advice on how to work around the problems encountered in our first attempt to conduct FLaT/ICT meetings “off-site”.

Finally, an eTwinning link is being established with a teacher (and her pupils) in a similar setting in Northern Ireland. The project/s will be outlined during October and will probably involve at least 2 classes.