Redesign the Learning Environment

April 3, 2009 § 2 Comments

We are planning to introduce students to a range off software applications during the DMGC. I was considering Google Sketchup and Draw Plus. At the same time I am very unhappy with the current classroom configuration in ICT. A rather limiting ‘default style.’ Perhaps we could match the two projects and ask the students to design the ICT rooms? Canwe partner with Technology? More importantly will we be able to act upon the designs?



March 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

Now we termed the phrase edugame when trying to decided which ‘games’ were appropriate for the DMGC students. First person shooters (FPS), tend to mean guns, blood and gore are for good reason, sensitive subjects within education. However, discount the guns and add a pinch of sexual tension, we get Shakespeare and Chaucer.

Seriously now, we gave the issue of FPS real consideration. We decided to ignore all modern / realistic FPS but did accept paintball and period shooters with historical context. This was supported by a letter to parents outlining that some games did have a ‘mature’ rating. More recently we have introduced the students to Real Time Strategy games in which the action is played out continuously without breaks, games such as Savage and Swine.

The spin off is we have used more flashbased edugames as lesson starters and as entire lessons. Flash edugames such as Lighbot, The Impossible Quiz and Fantastic Contraption. Today, my colleague Andy created a very quick and simple start menu, linked to our classroom management system. Two clicks and I change reward students with edugaming fun. Staying with the theme, I added some curriculum edugames from a article I read today to my Delicious account (and I know have 40 tagged edugame recommendations), stop disasters game simsweatshop and a referral robomind. Enjoy your learning. Enjoy watching the students learn!

Thinking Time

May 7, 2008 § 1 Comment

thinking.gifI am still battling to get high calibre staff to consider Hamble College. Having experienced employing a temporary member of staff that was unhappy and unmotivated at work, I am now more convinced that employment is a very key issue. Where do I seek out or develop my employing skills?

Next, I am exhausting too much time revisiting numerous small tasks. I need to continue to address and focus on significant tasks, at present; Staff, our Learning Platform and Curriculum. I am pleased to say that the LP and the curriculum are taking form. I am waiting for our team to form before I set more rigid team meetings and curriculum design change. I am still concerned that our Head has lofty expectations for ICT achievement, expectations inflated by previous success on a different qualification, yet you may managerially argue, that high expectations are motivating?!? Educationally, I am also a concerned that when achievement is levelled a C Grade, this detracts from the stretch and challenge terminology but also lowers our potential residuals scores as a Department.

Looking forward, three predictions. Our results this results will be disappointingly low. Second, broad banding will improve the learning culture in ICT, but certainly for our Year 10s moving into Year 11. This will be underpinned by a more engaging Unit 1 agenda based on RED LETTER days. (Would our head allow me to take the team on a red letter day?) The third, our results will steadily improve as our lower school learning focus emphasises the mastery of ICT skills, transferrable to the OCR Nationals success. ICT Workshop? ICT Surgery? I think its time for a new screen saver. A surgery for learners, so there is no reason that it cannot combine both students and teachers?

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