The KEGS IT Think Tank Launch

I want to get the show on the road….  this is my call to arms, sent to a range of teachers who I think might be interested.  Students to come on board after Y12 exams. Let’s see….

The idea is this – Project 9 (our in-house student-led IT curriculum) tells us that there is an enormous appetite for IT that is creative, self-directed and contemporary.  I am looking for ways of broadening students’ experience of IT, particularly in relation to web-based learning.   There is no doubt that university learning and future employment will rely increasingly on these ideas….

Things I would like to explore:

Blogging:  I have seen some websites recently that are truly inspiring;  blogs that develop literacy, allow students to express their ideas and share them globally…. I have even started my own blog and find it liberating to have an outlet for my thoughts!  500 hits in the first two weeks! Schools are doing ‘Quadblogging’ where they take turns to comment on each others’ blogs – local and international.   Video tutorials made by students and posted on blogs are part of this whole online world… a great way to learn and share.

Twitter (tweetdeck/hootsuite) as a research tool, this is a revelation.  Forget the chat/ txt spk nonsense, there is so much information out there – eg following top scientists, NASA, UCL, CERN and Guardian Education – has led me to so many ideas.  As an education professional I’ve discovered something that is massively stimulating and empowering. (A nice man called @informed_edu basically keeps me up to date!) I want to see whether we can colonise Twitter for this very powerful purpose and move on from thinking of it as a stream of banalities.  If I was doing UCAS now, I’d follow all the universities I’m interested in, for example…. they give out loads of great info.

Online learning resources:  The Khan Academy,  youtube tutorials for Excel and programming,  Wolfram Alpha – computational search engine (Geography data/Maths/Science…); Dipity timelines, …..  (My Y10s all taught themselves how to use excel vlookups and Snell’s Law using online videos. Awesome stuff – saves time in class for discussion and application) (The Maths, Science, History, Economics, Art History video library in Khan Academy is impressive and really good – and its totally free.)

General Digital Literacy:  using Diigo to create personal online libraries (I’ve started mine… really helpful); using google search commands such as site/ link and various authentication sites.  Using twitter and various mapping applications to reach a global audience with ideas – this is the key driver of global business and I think we should be training students to be right up to speed with this.

Moodle:   The resource drop function is dominant but we already have an amazing resource for wikis, forums, peer evaluation of documents, workshops and various other things built into KEGSnet…  we just need more opportunities for students to use these things so they become more routine parts of their learning experience.

Android Apps:   I know nothing about this…… but there must be 100s of apps out there now that would make learning a richer experience.   Let’s find out!

There is a lot more beside this……..

I’m looking for some teachers who would be prepared to run a discrete IT-led experiment, with a group over the next year, testing out one or more application to evaluate how effective these ideas are.   This could be student-led with you just getting it going… not too much work.

So – long intro!!  If you are interested, please let me know and I will then fix the date.  It could be that you just come to the initial meeting before deciding…  Thanks a lot.

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