Monday, 20 October 2014

Update - Liz Burrage

There is nothing like leaving things until the last moment and I don't think I could have posted this update any later.  
When I was reflecting on what I had been doing in anticipation of tomorrow's meeting, I have to confess that I couldn't remember what I had said I would do.  In the madness of school-life, everything else goes out of the window.

So, what have I done?

I have created a blog for staff and students.  The initial focus was the European Day of Languages (the lure to get people involved) and this blog has now morphed into not a general ICT lets-all-get-together-and-share-good-practice blog, but an MFL blog where the head of department wants to publicly praise her students.  This wasn't my initial intention, but as only 3 members of staff and one student accessed the blog I thought that it was better to support a colleague who actually wanted to use it.

YR13 Media students set up a blog for the Radio Station which they are maintaining.  They had their first celebrity interview last week - Callum Wright - so I'm hoping that this will spark interest in the general school population.

Our Art department asked for some help creating a web site.  They specifically want to be able to share the students' work in an on-line gallery and raise the profile of the department.  We looked at a number of options together and the front runner seems to be a Google Site combined with Cincopa.  This is now in the hands of the head of Art for exploration - I will pick up the project again once he has made some decisions.

YR11 Performing Arts students have been using Audioboom to reflect on their learning and to provide evidence to an outside provider who provided hardware for their project -see earlier post.  The students were happy to work in this way and the outside agency was complimentary.

YR12 Performing Arts students have been giving each other feedback and reflecting on their learning by using a Moodle Forum.  Whilst we use this in school as an ICT helpdesk for staff, we haven't explored this fully with the students.  In just one lesson, this generated 76 responses the vast majority of which were really detailed and valuable.

I also introduced a Moodle Forum for YR10 Performing Arts, but this time I asked them to reflect on their own learning and then I replied to their responses giving them some encouragement and suggesting an area of the project that they could explore further based on what they told me.

As a department, we are starting to use Google Docs for BTEC tracking.  No sensitive information is shared, but we are using a shared document to save some time with regard to e-mailing project information.  As a school, we already use Google Docs as a synchronised ICT room booking system.

I have been Tweeting - with mixed success. Quite often I find that I have omitted things that I should have included in a tweet. I haven't had a chance to explore Pearltrees or Powtoon properly, as yet.

So next:-
1) Inspection - I have to focus on e-safeguarding for our inspection on the 3rd November - any ideas welcome.
2) SLT have decided that we are not going to go with HWB+, but instead we have our own Office 365/ Outlook for staff only (at the moment).  Our current method of communication, Lisol, is on its way out and I have to support staff through this change.  Many are not used to using e-mail in work.
3) We are going to explore the possibilities of Lewis Girls' School having their own Moodle site as Caerphilly may not continue to support our old (and out-of-date) VLE.  This will require a substantial amount of time.
4) I want to set up a focus group of staff, parents, governors, students and anybody with a stake in the way that ICT is deployed in Lewis Girls' School.  I think that this will be a challenge based on the general apathy that I have encountered so far, but I do think that it is necessary if we are going to move forward.


  1. Yes, very impressed by the diversity of activities. Seems your school's use of technology is well-embedded.