Facebooking

August 20, 2007

We are in the process of looking at Facebook because our learners are wanting to use it to engage and interact with the college. It is in the main for the social and sports side of college (which is why a lot of learners come to (and stay at a college)).

Gloucestershire College Facebook Group
(note you need to be a member of facebook to access this page)

Facebook

It is in the main going to be used for marketing.

Whether we use it for teaching and learning…  well this is a different question.

There is already a college Facebook network (set up by the students)

The learners are already engaging with Facebook, we as institution need to consider how we are going to engage with both Facebook and the students who are using Facebook.

As for blocking facebook, we don’t.

We do however (for some reason) block bebo, however students (and one or two staff) are using bebo on a daily basis in college…

Interesting Facebook links

Facebook: Engage with it or leave it alone?

12 Ways to Use Facebook Professionally

Bluetooth helps Facebook friends

I personally think there is real potential to utilise social networking to support teaching and learning.

Our students network socially (in the offline world) already to support their learning, they meet for coffee, they create study groups, they share information and resources.

An online social network allows them to do this at a time and place to suit them, it also allows some students who would be discrimnated in a physical social network to engage.

An online social network will not replace an offline social network, it is not an “either or” situation, for me it is about supporting learners to learn.

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New research report on 1:1 access to mobile learning devices

August 20, 2007

The University of Bristol is conducting research into the impact of 1:1 access to mobile learning devices at KS2 and KS4. Five schools, which are part of the Learning2Go or Hand-e-Learning projects, are being investigated.

This Development and Research project is using mixed methods to evaluate impact in terms of learners’ learning skills, attendance, behaviour and attainment. It will also review the success of the implementation and sustainability of the schools’ PDA initiatives and provide examples of emerging good pedagogic practice.

The final reports from the project will be available in Winter 2008.

The Summer 2007 Interim Report is available here.

Emerging recommendations include:

Implementation – policy

  • The initial implementation of mobile projects is logistically challenging.
  • The open negotiation of contracts of acceptable and responsible use with learners and parents can be very useful in clarifying issues and building mutual trust.
  • When learners expect devices to be used, they are more likely to bring them to school every day and keep them charged. When all pupils in a class have their devices with them, the learning benefits are optimised.
  • Teachers need to play an integral role in choosing software and content to ensure that it is relevant to learners’ needs. They are then more likely use the devices.
  • Where possible, all relevant staff – especially teaching assistants, ICT co-ordinators and teachers – should be provided with mobile devices.

Implementation – technical

  • It is beneficial to ensure reliable wireless connectivity.
  • It is useful to consider systems for dealing with breakages and temporary loss of use of devices. This may involve planning for temporary loan stock.
  • Systems for storage of and access to work need to be developed. Teachers and learners need to access digital work to provide and receive feedback.
  • Consideration can usefully be given to possible software solutions to teachers’ issues around observing process, tracking progress and formative assessment.

Professional development of teachers

  • Teachers benefit from having time to explore what the devices can do before integrating their use into planned learning.
  • Using mobile devices is likely to increase learner autonomy. Teachers need to ensure that learners are able to evaluate resources, think critically and reflect.
  • It is important to consider the ways in which mobile devices are integrated with other (ICT and traditional) tools in learning at home and at school.