Using SharePoint 2010 to create a highly developed Learning Gateway for education. Free webinar

Details: Mike Herrity and Dave Coleman will be presenting this webinar live on Wednesday 6th July at 7pm BST/2pm EDT

Sign up: http://www.metavistech.com/webinars/Sharepoint-learning-gateway-for-education

Many of you will have heard bits of the story of Twynham School and our creation of a well-established learning platform using SharePoint. Through various case studies and presentations at conferences around the world over the last 5 years we have been very fortunate to be able to show our work creating compelling custom applications and engaging students and teachers to gain high user adoption. We have had quite a break from presenting and writing up our work for nearly a year and so we thought it might be useful to put a free webinar on to show you some of the new and exciting things we have done with our learning platform, SharePoint 2010.

What’s new with Twynham School SharePoint 2010-11

In this webinar we will take you through our initial work creating a highly developed Learning Gateway from 2007-10. In the second half of the session we will break out into new code the team has written which has not been shown to anyone yet. This includes:

  • ·         A whole new ‘My Site’ development with custom skins which allow the user to create a themed environment.
  • ·         A fully searchable SharePoint Knowledge Base for end users, admins and developers to support them working with SharePoint 2010.
  • ·         A CPD (Continuous Professional Development) system which removes the paper chase from work requests.
  • ·         SharePoint Rewards system which enables teachers to instantly award points to students who can see their scores in real time.

MetaVis have been very kind in supporting us with their webinar system so please do sign up below and we look forward to sharing our new work with you.

Details: Mike Herrity and Dave Coleman will be presenting this webinar live on Wednesday 6th July at 7pm BST/2pm EDT

Sign up: http://www.metavistech.com/webinars/Sharepoint-learning-gateway-for-education

The future of textbooks in schools is digital.

June 2, 2011 by · 27 Comments
Filed under: Digital Era, e-learning 

One of the most frustrating elements of working in education and being a technologist is the lack of progress with digital textbooks. A whole raft of new curriculum changes have led to hundreds of new textbooks in the last few years but all of these were in paper form. What about digital resources? Publishers continue to look to traditional methods and maintain their market share by producing cd roms and inserting them in the back of textbooks to encourage future sales.

Amidst all this disappointing lack of progress we have seen the tablet segment of the devices market explode in 2011. Surely these devices present a medium which is tailor-made for the creation of digital content within education. A recent TED video showcased a new publishing platform for the ipad which I believe offers educational publishers a route to producing compelling digital resources to support learning within schools. Push, pop, press are in the process of creating a publishing platform which they plan to license and which allows quick and easy creation of compelling interactive e-books. Take a look at the video to see what they have achieved with their production of Al Gore’s Our Choice.

It will be interesting to see how the publishers respond. Any future lack of progress should surely be a sign to those of us in education that we need to start publishing our own content. After all we used to pay people a lot of money to produce websites due to the specialist skills required. Then WordPress, Joomla et al came along and showed us that maybe it wasnt so difficult to do it ourselves.

Windows 8 Preview at Computex 2011

June 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Digital Era, Windows 8 

Yesterday Microsoft gave us a first look at their latest OS, Windows 8 which is due to launch in 2012. This is a major upgrade to Microsoft Windows with Windows 8 featuring full touchscreen integration and a tile based interface for quick launching apps. The UI in particular takes its lead from Windows Phone 7 while the touchscreen features are a clear attempt to catch up with Apple’s ipad.

Check out the video below to see the Windows 8 features in the flesh.

Generation Z and the social media revolution. What are our digital natives doing online?

June 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Digital Era, Social Computing 

The impact of social media on the students we teach in our secondary and further education establishments is undoubtedly significant. I have spent a little time this week during the half term break thinking about and researching the online behaviours of Generation Z and the role that these digital natives are playing in shaping social media. CBS have put together a useful inforgraphic video which highlights some key trends in social media use by Generation Z and it is well worth taking a few minutes to look at it.

If you have not seen my previous entries on digital natives it may be worth having a look at ‘How do we meet a challenge like my nephew? Digital Natives coming to a school near you.

New Dell XPS 15z Ultra-thin laptop.

May 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Digital Era 

After Dell’s failed attempt to rival Apple’s Macbook Air with the Dell Adamo they are back in the Ultra-thin laptop market. Check out this teaser for the Dell XPS 15z which is due for availability in June. Looks fantastic!

How do we encourage our learners to think?

May 16, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Educational Change 

A few weeks I came across a video on TED which I was initially listening to in the background whilst doing something else. Within seconds I switched everything else off and became engrossed in the topic under discussion. In the video Dan Myer covers a topic which I feel we are all grappling with in Education: How do we encourage our learners to move from a formulaic ‘spoon- fed’ model of learning to a system where we actively encourage learners to enquire, devise and most importantly think.

After much thought and application in the classroom Dan gives a number of examples which show how he encourages learners to become problem solvers and apply genuine understanding to everyday Maths based problems. Although the examples are subject specific the core ideas are genuinely transferable to all learning.

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