Friday, 28 January 2011

Blue Bell Hill create their Community Ranger newspaper

Students from Blue Bell Hill Primary School visited the e-Learning Centre with their teacher Nic Williams to create a newspaper on January 26th. They based their paper on the work they have been doing as Community Rangers in St Ann’s. The teachers and students worked really hard creating articles and finding suitable graphics. They then followed their “house style” to create a really professional newspaper. I hope you agree?

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Using Gridmagic Software to explore Andy Warhol techniques.

I opened an email from a teacher at Milford Primary School with this question:

“I AM DOING A MODERN ART TOPIC AND DIGITAL IMAGING AND WONDERED IF THERE WAS A WAY OF RECREATING THE ANDY WARHOL STYLE MARILYN PRINT WITH THEIR OWN PHOTOS?”


This led to a flurry of emails culminating in my working in the school for a morning, leading a session where students did exactly that! The enjoyment and sense of achievement amongst the students was palpable. Throughout the session I worked closely with the teacher ensuring that she was confident with the software we used and that she would be able to extend students in subsequent sessions.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Keep on blogging

Our website at the Nottingham eLearning Centre is created using the Blogger platform (as you can tell from the white 'B' on the orange background up there in the corner.) We have been investigating blogging services for a while now, and have assisted some schools and individual teachers in creating their own.

Here is one: http://walterhalls.blogspot.com/

A good blog seems to be replacing standard websites as the main destination site in many schools, for lots of good reasons:
  • Websites are very difficult to update, unless you are a website designer and have lots of time.
  • Websites go out of date quickly.
  • Adding video and pictures can be very difficult to do.
  • Websites are usually left up to one person to update.
  • Blogs can be updated just as easily as sending an email.
  • The look of the blog can be altered quickly with little effort.
  • You can easily add video and photo slide shows on blogs.
  • A number of people in the school can log in to the blog and add information.
  • The school administrator could be responsible for whole school information, class teachers can set up specific class pages (or linked new blogs), subject coordinators and heads of departments could create pages for their subject.
  • The blog can be accessed, edited and viewed from any computer.
Secure
Blogs may be seen as being not quite as secure as more traditional websites. This is changing now that there are many security measures in place , which are more than sufficient for school uses. Features such as moderation (or removing) of comments under posts stop any unwanted 'spam' or unwelcome comments.


Some blog services great for education
www.blogger.com - Google owned, always free and lots of modification
wordpress.com - free, less modification, looks very professional
edublogs.org - based on wordpress, designed for education, small costs for schools
posterous.com - new kid on the block, free, easiest of the bunch to use, many great features

Help from the eLearning Centres
Our consultants can help you set up your school/department/club/class blog. We can get you started, show you you key features and get your blog up and running in a matter of a couple of hours. Contact the Centre for more information and to arrange a time.
Nottingham e-Learning Community is part of Nottingham City Council, Children and Adults