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Thursday, May 04, 2006

When work gets in the way of work

By now we should all be looking at the new-look site with seamlessly integrated flash/xml/css/asp.

But we're not.

It's a shame that 'work' actually does get in the way sometimes, and I'm afraid (or glad?) that I'm not going to spend every waking minute of my own 'free-time' getting a site to work that actually only exists for my work anyway. Hopefully I'll have time in late June/early July to get it finished and uploaded in a format that I'm happy with, so for now I'm afraid the old site stays (except for this lovely little picture of things to come!)

All of this does make me ask many questions though.

I often wonder how remarkable it is that few of us as teachers ask the question uttered by so many of our pupils - "How do you know that?" In trying to get the new site to function the way I would like, I have spent a lot of time researching. I love how my thought process has changed as a learner. Early on in my learning development, if I didn't know something, I would wait until someone explained it to me. If this didn't happen, I might then actively seek instruction, or try and locate a book full of instruction in a library. Now I don't seem content to wait even for this - I just go and 'have a look' and see what I can find in the readily available source of knowledge - the internet.

The problem however with so much access to information is working your way through it all ā€“ sifting out the poor (or inaccurate) instruction, and searching for the wise teacher.

Iā€™m also very aware that there are numerous great teachers out there, who have a true gift for explaining the complex in simple terms but have no idea how to create for the web. Also, how important having the skills to validate what I find on the web now are ā€“ with web 2.0 anyone can publish, therefore there is even more chance of finding wildly inaccurate information.

Anyway, this was meant to be an apology for the fact that the countdown to the new site went nowhere at the moment for those that were following it. As usual though, I managed to ramble my way through that!


Blogger Ewan McIntosh said...

With cheap MP3 recorders, video cameras and one click publishing there is NO reason why great teachers cannot be captured and share their work with very little effort. There should be a camera in every classroom, ready to capture something great. There should be a blog for every teacher, tagged up and searchable from a Scottish blogging network of educators, just to speed up the search process if Scottish is what you want. We're trying in MFL, with some success, and we're trying with other subjects now, too. I hope that the position I've just described might be the norm in, what, 2 years? 5 years?

7:39 am  
Blogger Morag Macdonald said...

..and I stayed up late to check out the new site....as I said before, the best laid plans...

6:28 pm  
Blogger marlyn moffat said...

Optimists look forward and pessimists look back, as a general rule, but if our current slow rate of development in hardware/software/internet access that works in an educational setting, continues, then I have to be a forward looking pessimist. (Not really my basic nature at all.) A sound up to date infrastructure and speedy technical backup, are to be essential. In a secondary school, a teacher might say to the school technician..."Can you set that up for me and check it is working?" Then I'll blog on with my class. The primary teacher does all the prelimary work herself, with 26 pairs of eyes waiting and watching...and if he/she is not confident.... Well, that is, unless you are in my Primary 3, of course. :-)
Oh and we have a digital camera in every classroom, one for the Head, one for each of the ASN pupils and one for the auxilliary staff....Do we get a gold star for at least trying?
Without optimists like you and Ewan, encouraging, we wouldn't be getting a glimpse of what might be possible, and my bag of fragmented learning on the subject, would remain unopened. So maybe...

8:07 pm  
Anonymous Ian Stuart said...

I think with easy publishing the danger is having no editing process. Wiki's with a bult in editing peer assessment is much better model for sharing I think


12:25 pm  
Anonymous Lynne said...

I think you'll have to give me a inset on Wikis sometime Andrew - I seem to have been given one "free" from edublogs, but have no idea what to do with it.

4:42 pm  
Blogger marlyn moffat said...

Oh but we do have an editing process!
Comment moderation is enabled. Every post we have is looked at by the class or group,and a decision made as to whether or not to post. They pick up on spelling and content and now on the who exactly is it from...do we know anything true about them? Previous to the children , I will have checked them out. I have had to refuse only one unsuitable comment in a thousand, but the children have rejected about a dozen anonymous ones, and some named ones when we couldn't verify the sender, by any other means. As Alan November says..."How can you teach the values, without something to compare them with?" I had more vaguely rude and anon messages to reject, in the P7 in touch folder in eolas, from the South Kintyre P7's and we knew who they were! There has to be an editing process but the secret is in allowing the children to acquire the necessary skills themselves. Step by step.

10:22 pm  
Anonymous Ian Stuart said...

I realise that for your Group Blog MM that is what is happening but for most Blogs they are the diary or naval gazing sort. Only ceratin diaries and opinions do I respect and value. With so much chaff out their finding the wheat can be very difficult.

1:39 pm  
Blogger marlyn moffat said...

Take your point Ian. But then there are a lot of duff books too....and they have presumably been edited somewhere, but you'll still find them in the library, and have to look through them to find what you want.

8:14 pm  

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