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Learning platform in Primary Schools

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by tabitha63, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Hi all
    As a new ICT coordinator I have introduced the Webanywhere website to the school and it is working well. I have now to develop the Learning platform and will be using Webanywhere to do it. However - I need ideas for what makes an effective primary school learning platform - how is it best used? School has had the kaleidos ?? system in the past but it was not really used a great deal. Any ideas??????
     
  2. Hi all
    As a new ICT coordinator I have introduced the Webanywhere website to the school and it is working well. I have now to develop the Learning platform and will be using Webanywhere to do it. However - I need ideas for what makes an effective primary school learning platform - how is it best used? School has had the kaleidos ?? system in the past but it was not really used a great deal. Any ideas??????
     
  3. What learning platform is it? Is it a Webanywhere custom build learning platform for primaries? Or is it just Moodle?
     
  4. Custom built for primaries - set it up with them but not looked at it since AGH!! Need to sort it this summer but not really sure what a good one looks like or what it can do. Any ideas?

     
  5. Hi tabitha

    I have worked as an Education Consultant supporting a lot of primary schools. From my view point its not what you use its how you use it. Each platform has its own pro's and con's, swings and roundabouts. I would first ask what was wrong with kaliedos? why did it not work for you? etc identify the key barriers to adoption. If they weren't technical then changing to Webanywhere will not make a difference. It's usually a case of staff resistant to change and they will hold up all manner of reasons instead of accepting the change.

    Did you ask to take on the platform? Or does it feel like it was a poison chalace handed to you? It seems to often the case that learning platform seems to be handed over to the ICT co-ordinator, I see where the school leadership is coming from they think that this is IT so lets give it to the ICT co-ordinator. This in my view is a misled opportunity, learning platforms are a tool not an end in themselves, the purpose of this tool is wide reaching is about having a paradigm shift in transforming the WHOLE school not just the ICT curriculum.

    So you need to get other people involved in the change process. You need to get support from key members and form a change board. How big this is dependant on the size of your school, for a small rural primary it might be just the two of you. To get the interest going you need to hold a staff awareness session, so book this into your school development sessions and book a session each term if you can over the next year. If your head will not give you the time then ask for a 10min slot every other week to show them a useful tip and back this up with a reminder sheet (online ;)

    There are many strands you can think about the platform interms of development some of the learning platform providers now provide a framework for platform adoption, the one I worked for was the first and it was laterly bought by Becta as the national learning platform maturity model, it was based on work done with two local authorities. the becta version can be found online here, but its not the full thing.

    Fundamentally look at different aspects of your school:
    The front end you need a website to allow all the different stakeholders (initially staff, then students, parents and governors) access.
    Within the platform itself Look at setting up separate subsites for staff, parents and governors and change access so that only the right groups can access the right areas.
    Look at how school is organised - get the school diary on there, key documents, policies etc and put them in relevant areas.
    Look at progression for use of the platform - with young kids it will be just pictures and videos, then start adding a new tool each year, so by year 6 children are using all the tools.

    As with a lot of things content is key, start by uploading what you have on your network drive also make the network drive read only, so that all new content for sharing is uploaded by staff to the platform. They will resist but you have to dig in otherwise it will all be left to you when it should not be, they need to put in to.

    As well as different strands, you need to have a staged approach, no school will transform overnight, work on developing a 3-5 year development plan with targets for each year. the targets should all relate to things already in your school development plan - remember its about whole school improvement not IT, its just a tool to help you improve, so your school dev plan has already identified what needs improving so you will have a raft of ideas and get the priorities there. Also staff are more likely jump on board as they know it relates to their allocated goals. So for example if you have a target relating to improving literacy include some blog work where pupils peer review work. If you have community cohesion then do some video work around the community and host it on the vle to be discussion using a
    forum. Make sure to make things fun, a good way to that is role play online, post something online as captain jack sparrow so its more exiting for the kids to respond.

    I hope that helps, I am looking at launching a consulting service in this area to help primary schools develop e-learning, depending on where you are I might be able to help.
     
  6. It's a Research Machines product.

     
  7. Thanks 'Brewup' that was really helpful - sorry I took so long to reply (been on hols) I undeerstand totally what you are saying and as a literacy coordinator in my previous school I know all about getting staff on board. This school is much bigger (and possible more reluctant) but I will follow the same model - I like the 3-5 year development plan. I was feeling concerned about having to have it up and running immediately. The problem with kaliedos was that none of the staff found it user friendly (my old school felt the same way) it was too big and unwieldy. I'm hoping to make the new one much more accessible. I like your idea about making the server documents read only ( Although the server is going to be a job in itself as people have been uploading ducuments for years without removing any old documents AGH!!) and I havve set up the website primarily as a way to promote the school pubically - we showcase events and work and keep the diary and key information on there ( updated regularly). I need to work on actually how to set up the different areas on the learning platform and then introduce them gradually to the staff. I intend to allow my own class (Y6) acces this year while we learn to use it together- then I can begin to promote it through the school.
    You were right in that it was foisted upon me somewhat - I am having difficulty because I don't really see the benefits of a learning platform myself yet and I am wary of merely replicating material (either on the server and the learning platform or on the website and LP.) I am in the Wigan area so I don't know if I will be in reach of your consultancy service. let me know?
    Thanks again for your input
     
  8. Hi there, apologies on my side too, I lost this thread and I didn't get an email alert that you had replied back. How have things gone so far? I'm based in Manchester, so Wigan is not far for me. Speak to your head if you would like for me to come in and help we can discuss what needs doing etc and we can work out rates etc.
     

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