Archive for the ‘chalkface’ Category

Dysgu Ponty

December 8th, 2013 by Jenny Hughes

The Pontydysgu website is always full of news about the big projects we are involved in, like FP7 Learning Layers or Taccle2.  This is pretty inevitable as they take up the majority of our time and budget.  However, there are lots of other, smaller Pontydysgu projects running in the background that we rarely post anything about.  This is a bit of an oversight because although we often use these projects as test beds for trying out new ideas or as vehicles for piloting specific bits of technology that we then roll together in a much bigger package, they are also successful in their own right.

All of them are running in Pontypridd, (known locally as “Ponty”) which is where the Wales half of Pontydysgu is based. Some are part funded through the LLL Partnerships programme; some are funded in-house. We thought we might write a series of posts on what these projects are all about….

First up is Dysgu Ponty, which translates to Learning Ponty.  We chose this name because apart from the play on Pontydysgu (meaning approximately Bridge to Learning), we wanted to convey the idea that the whole community of Ponty was learning and that the town called Ponty was a learning resource.

The project is based on a very simple concept – let’s cover the town with QR codes linked to a learning resource.   The codes are being printed on decals (for shop windows), enamel (for the exteriors of building) and on varnished wooden plaques for hanging around trees in the park.  Codes come in three colours – red for Welsh, green for the English translation and black for careers.

So far we have 200 and our target is at least another hundred.  The town has a population of 30,000 but this covers all of the outlying villages as well.  It also has a great sense of community, which means that the level of support has been brilliant. The whole community is involved – schools, the Town Council, shops, businesses, the local newspaper

The link from each QR code goes to a website page on which there is a question that relates to the location.  The level is approximately 8 -12 yrs olds. Following the title question is some simple information using a range of multi media.   The location of the codes will be on Google Maps and we are currently sorting them out into a ‘Maths trail’, ‘Language trail’, ‘History trail’ etc so that children can choose whether to follow a subject trail or focus on the codes in one part of the town.

The purpose of the project is really to provide a bridge between formal and informal learning and to improve home school links.

We are currently working of a way of  ‘rewarding’ children for completing a number of questions – not sure Mozilla badges quite fits.  Also thinking about how we can get kids to be able to upload pictures as well as comments. May rethink the platform.

Meanwhile here are some examples of the sorts of things we are talking about

Location:  on the bandstand in the park

  • Links to… Question:  Have you ever heard brass band music?
  • Additional ‘information’ – mp3 of Colliery Brass Band with one line of text explaining that most all the pits had their own band

Location: Outside Costa Coffee

  • Links to… Question: Do you know where coffee comes from?
  • Additional information: You Tube video of coffee being harvested and processed

Location: Outside travel agent underneath exchange rates

  • Links to… Question:  How much is it worth?
  • Additional info:  Text and image – If you had £37.50 to take on holiday, how many Euros would you get?  Which travel agent in town has the best exchange rate today?

Location:  On the river bank adjacent to the confluence

  • Links to…mQuestion:  What rivers are these and where is their source?
  • Additional info:  The place where two rivers merge is called a ‘confluence’.  Use Google Earth to trace the two rivers back as far as you can, find out their names and where the river enters the sea.

 Location:  On the war memorial

  • Links to… Question:  How many died?
  • Additional info: Look at the names on the Great War memorial and then the names on the Worls War 2 memorial.  In which war were the greatest number of people from Pontypridd killed? How many times more people?  Why do you think this was?

 Location: Market Street

  • Links to…Question:  What has changed?
  • Additional Info: Picture of the street taken 100 years ago from same spot. Text – List all the things that are different between Market Street in 1910 and the same street today.
You get the idea!
[We also have black codes for older students linked to careers information as part of the EU New Jobs project.  The codes take them to links asking “So you want to be a baker?” or “So you want to be a printer?” with videos explaining what the job involves, what qualifications or skills you need etc. Some are purpose made and some from You Tube or Vimeo.  More on this is another post.]
Next time – Learning about Art in Ponty

 

 

 

Student Voice

August 23rd, 2013 by Graham Attwell

“What do we mean by student voice” asks Catherine Cronin in the blog which accompanies this presentation.  She says “the term tends to signify a set of values and behaviours which includes Sound (the act of speaking), Participation (student presence and involvement), and Power or Agency (see Cook-Sather, 2006). Making space for student voices confronts the power dynamics within schools, classrooms, and the relationships between teachers and students. Without addressing the notion of power in these relationships, student voice initiatives may be simply window dressing. When we truly value and create spaces for student voices, students feel respected and engaged, teachers listen, and students and teachers learn from one another.”

MOOC Directory

August 14th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

Interested in signing up for a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). With new courses and course providers appearing daily it can be hard to find out what is on offer. Here is a short list of directories of MOOCs to make that choice easy:

MOOC List – http://www.mooc-list.com/

Techno Duet – http://www.technoduet.com/a-comprehensive-list-of-mooc-massive-open-online-courses-providers/

MOOC.ca – http://www.mooc.ca/courses.htm

MOOC News and Reviews – http://moocnewsandreviews.com/mooc-around-the-world-our-global-list-open-online-classes-part-3/

 

Connectivist MOOCs – http://www.connectivistmoocs.org/

 

Class Central – http://www.class-central.com

 

3 ways to broadcast for free (almost)

June 11th, 2013 by Angela Rees

We are involved in a great project radioactive101 setting up Internet Radio stations to address employability, inclusion and active citizenship in an original and exciting way.

This week I have been researching some of the free options which are great for use in schools or small community groups who want to do radio.

You will need to pay for a server if you plan to run a high quality professional radio show with uninterrupted service and guaranteed bandwidth.

There are others but we use internet-radio.com which offers both subscription and pay as you go packages for low fees.

 

If you’re looking for a lower-specification free option there are some notes and links here.

As free servers go Caster.fm is a very good option.  The password protected broadcast option makes it ideal for schools or those wanting a sandbox for practice purposes.  It works well with Nicecast for Mac or Edcast on Windows although Windows users will need to download the Lame encoder.  The tutorials on site explain how to do this.  Caster is a Beta site so there are still bugs and the server has down time which although minimal, may occasionally interfere with your programming.

  • Maximum bit rate – 128kbps
  • Streaming server – Ice Cast 2
  • Other required/recommeded Software – Nicecast (Mac) or Edcast and Lame encoder (Windows)
  • Podcasting – Once you get 100 votes it records podcasts and puts them on website where they can be downloaded
  • Website – caster provides your show with a website where listeners can access broadcasts and downloads as well as your news updates, they can also put in requests.
  • Sharing – easy social network integration
  • Features – embeddable player to put on your other websites.
    option for private or password protected broadcasts
  • Maximum listeners – 300
  • Mobile devices – not yet

myradiostream.com is another similar free server. In this case the bandwidth is shared between users so if you get more listeners you get more bandwidth and vice versa.

  • Streaming server – Shoutcast
  • Maximum Bitrate – 64kbps
  • Other required/recommended software – Nicecast (Mac) or Winamp and the Shoutcast DSP v2 plugin (Windows)
  • Podcasting – no options but you can still archive your broadcasts using Nicecast etc and turn them into Podcasts yourself.
  • Website – MyRadioStream provides you with a website to direct your listeners to rather than giving a direct link to server, from there they can choose to use their own media player.
  • Sharing – no integrated buttons but code snippets are provided for websites.
  • Features – 1500GB monthly allowance
  • Maximum listeners – unlimited
  • Mobile Devices – on paid for options

Spreaker provides web based broadcasting without having to download any extra software, you just sign up for a free account and then click on broadcast.  That’s it, you are on the air!

  • Bit rate – 128kbps
  • Podcasting – Broadcasts are automatically recorded and displayed on your profile, the free option gives you 10 hours of audio storage.
  • Website – you get a profile page, listeners have to sign up for an account to hear your broadcast.
  • Sharing – easy social network integration.
  • Features – Simple to use.  Paid versions let you use external tools such as Nicecast.
  • Maximum listeners – no limit
  • Mobile devices – Apps are available for iOS and Android devices so you can broadcast straight from your phone.

*Note for teachers – With Caster.fm and myradiostream.com you may need to spend around half an hour setting up an account and dealing with the software, with Spreaker you can be on air in under 10 minutes but the small print says you can’t use it for children under 13 due to the social networking aspects.

All details correct so far as I know but I will update and add more options as and when I find them.

Taccle2 on track

May 20th, 2013 by Jenny Hughes

We are really excited about the Taccle 2 project – 5 hard copy handbooks and a website bursting with practical ideas on how to use web 2.0 apps and other e-learning tools in your classroom.

The project has reached its half way mark and we are so far on target. The E-learning handbook for Primary Teachers has just come back from the layout artist and is in its final proof reading stage. (There is a temporary version available if you want to take a look)

The E-learning handbook for STEM teachers is waiting for the layout artist to make it look pretty and the E-learning for Humanities is in its draft version. This will be available on the site within the next week.

The next book, E-learning for Creative and Performing Arts has just been started – we are still at the stage of collecting ideas but they are coming in thick and fast. The final book, E-learnig for Core Skills 14-19 is at the planning stage. All books will be ready for printing by April 2014.

Meanwhile, check out Taccle2 website It has 280 posts at the moment and our rough estimate is that there are well over a thousand ideas that can be navigated by subject, age, software, language, format and more. Even better, judging from the number of visitors who return and the number of contributions and comments, there is a growing community around the Taccle2 site which will expand rapidly once the Taccle2 training starts next month.

Please come and join us and spread the word – tried and tested ideas for using technology in the classroom, created by teachers for teachers. No theory, no research just inspiration!

PS you can also follow us on Twitter #taccle or on the Taccle2  Diigo group or on Scoop.it – so no excuses!!

New Report on the Re-use and Adaption of OER

June 30th, 2012 by Graham Attwell

The momentum behind Open Educational Resources continues to gather pace.

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has released a new Report: “The Re-use and Adaptation of Open Educational Resources (OER): An Exploration of Technologies Available” by Ishan Sudeera Abeywardenaof the Wawasan Open University, Malaysia.

According to the COL website, “the objectives of this report are to (i) explore the current technology landscape with respect to both proprietary as well as Free and Open-source Software (FOSS) technologies; (ii) identify techniques, actual and in development, for re-use of OER materials; and (iii) discuss the implementation in the context of a typical ODL agency.

This peer-reviewed report is a detailed catalogue of technologies available to teachers as well as learners for the re-use of OER material in the forms of text, HTML, audio, video and data. It also compares the technologies based on access, openness, usability and availability. The report will serve as a resource for teachers and learners for re-using OER materials.

e-Portfolio support

June 19th, 2012 by Graham Attwell

JISC has launched three resources to help universities and colleges to implement e-portfolios effectively at scale -created from successful practice in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

The materials explore the ways in which you can help to boost learner achievement, enhance employability and even support the development of new courses.

JISC programme manager Lisa Gray says that a review of both the toolkit and supporting videos gives a thorough, accessible introduction to implementing e-portfolio tools.

She said: “What shines out from the case studies is the enormous potential that e-portfolios offer, and the benefits that they deliver to students over and above what they might achieve on their own, via Facebook or some other platform.

“Many universities, colleges and professional bodies, are now exploring the potential of e-portfolios on a wider scale, but there have been few attempts to share good practice and celebrate successes.”

The e-portfolio implementation toolkit and five supporting video case studies, Stories of e-Portfolio Implementation, can be found  here.

33 more ways to use a mobile phone in the classroom

June 19th, 2012 by Jenny Hughes

Thought it was about time we had another of these. I just found this crowdsourced collection of tips, ideas and ways to use mobiles for learning (click here). It says in the classroom but we all know that mobiles are for using on the move and that the majority of learning happens outside of classrooms so take advantage of the good weather (unless you’re in Wales) and do something fun!

Ange

(PS more ideas here)

Free digital content

February 6th, 2012 by Graham Attwell

From a Jisc press release:

Over 14,000 items of archived TV footage from 17 European countries are now available via the EUscreen online portal for teaching, research and general interest.

EUscreen – the result of a collaboration between 36 partners across Europe – provides a rich insight into Europe’s television heritage with content dating from the 1920s to the present day.

The portal includes rare footage and commentary on key events in history, including a 1962 interview with Martin Luther King about racial discrimination in the US.

John Ellis, Professor of Media Arts at Royal Holloway and principal investigator on the EUscreen project, said: “This is a valuable resource for anyone interested in social history or indeed TV history, as it brings together tens of thousands of clips from across Europe. The portal is available to anyone (not only academics) and it is very easy to get absorbed and spend hours browsing all of the footage.”

The expansive footage has also proved popular as a learning aid for foreign language students, with clips available in 14 languages.

By the end of September 2012, there will be around 30,000 items of digital content freely available on the portal as the European providers continue to add carefully selected material.

Explore the EUscreen footage

Play, emergent curricula, serendipity and opportunity

January 21st, 2012 by Graham Attwell

In a blog post about the BETT show in London I complained that there was little evidence about using technology for teaching and learning. And that is why I like this presentation by Helen Keegan. Whilst she looks at a whole series of web and social networking tools the whole focus is on real life use. I particularly like her advice on slide 32 – “Leave space in the course to allow space for play, emergent curricula, serendipity and opportunity.”

  • Search Pontydysgu.org

    News Bites

    Digital Literacy

    A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

    A new Welsh Government programme has been launched which will work with organisations across Wales, in order to help people increase their confidence using digital technology, with the aim of helping them improve and manage their health and well-being.

    Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being, follows on from the initial Digital Communities Wales (DCW) programme which enabled 62,500 people to reap the benefits of going online in the last two years.

    See here for more information


    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.


    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time


    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”


    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      pbwiki
      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

  • Twitter

  • Citing Hegel, Agnes Heller states that 'Philosophy is our time construed in concepts' [Philosophie ist unsere Zeit in Begriffen aufgefasst] Watch her lecture on Hannah Arendts Platz in spätmoderne Denke [Hannah Arendt's place in late modern thinking] youtube.com/watch?v=vgsU1J…

    About 13 hours ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via TweetDeck

  • Sounds of the Bazaar AudioBoo

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Upcoming Events

      There are no events.
  • Categories