Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bstabler/770416963/sizes/z/in/photostream/
Acceptable Use Policies are a necessary and important document – contract – for teachers in any school because it is imperative that we are protected from the potential danger working online can bring. Following an intense scrutiny of safeguarding and child protection at our school, we published a strict and comprehensive Staff ICT AUP. For example, staff should not connect with any pupil on facebook until one year after they are of school leaving age, and only then with caution as through siblings and friends it can connect you to current pupils.
However, two years on we have included in the new ICT strategy a review of this policy to incorporate a section for innovative teachers who want to employ a new service without seeking formal permission via the various committees in place to oversee the use of ICT. For example, I have been managing Sixth Form coursework using a project management tool called trello, logged into through pupils and teachers Google Apps for Education accounts. Or, should a teacher want to investigate and explore the use of edmodo in teaching and learning, they need to go about this in a risk-aware and cautious way without their enthusiasm being thwarted by bureaucracy. Equally you do not want to let every teacher engage pupils via services, that facilitate private and untraceable communique, without being aware of the risks involved. The common sense approach is simply not enough in this day and age.
There is extensive discussion of the issues involved and some research collated here on Scott McLeod’s blog, which also demonstrates that this issue is not only a concern for my school. Check out the links on Employee AUPs for material specifically relevant to this area.
We are proposing a clause to the ICT AUP whereby a teacher can sign up to be an ICT innovator and thereafter explore the use of such services with only an email being sent to a designated person. It might be that usernames and passwords, for the accounts being used, need to be shared which will allow monitoring of some sort. This will all be discussed in detail with the school’s child protection officer and the relevant committees. The priority is to enable teachers and pupils to exploit the innovations that specific web services can provide in a protected and safe way that does not impede the momentum of the creative spark that initiates the process. Our core purpose is to empower users who want to use technology to enrich teaching and learning.
If you have any thoughts about this, please do comment. Once the AUP is written, I will share it on a new blogpost.
Following James Michie’s persistence on the distracting quality of giphy, I opened up the site and found myself bouncing around animated images for a while.
Some of them are awesome. And because I thought so, others might agree and included one in my weekly ICT Tip newsletter.
The newsletter email was sent at 07:00. By 09:00, three people had said how much they liked the animated pooch! And one person said how much they liked the ICT tip. Go figure.
NB: interestingly, the person who liked the tip is an experienced user. Whereas the newsletter is aimed at beginner users, it seems it is helpful to untrained (self-taught – isn’t that pretty much all of us??) users too. Also, he said that he liked the fact the tip was only one thing at a time because it is easier to remember and bring into your skill-set.
However, the point is that a little bit of fun goes a long, long way.
- Frog learning platform comes to Bennies
I have to prepare for our first Frog INSET day for 80+ teachers – 17/4/12.
I had an afternoon with our excellent Frog Champions to discuss the detail of the day. We got to here:
||Intro and overview
||Breakout rooms for compulsory activities
- book a room
- upload file and multiple files
- create workspace
- if finished consult lesson plan
||Breakout rooms for differentiated activities.
Where have we got to and where do we go from here?
You can see all the planning and prep work that needs to be done on this Google Doc. I shared it with all our Frog team at the school but they haven’t edited anything yet. My problem is I need to set differentiated learning activities but I also want to make sure I have created enough instructional videos to satisfy the questions of the most able.
The video list (some of these will overlap on the same video)
- subject resources
- front page
- book ICT room
- file upload including multiple files
- quick issue work
- create and use workspace
manage files and folders:
- move files from subject drafts to subjects
- bricks in workspaces
- zip up folders, upload and unzip
- web pages including bricks:
- text and pictures
- tabbed folder
- collapsible container
- rollover image
- text and pictures revealed
- web files
- text box
- check box
- radio set
- form to diary
- form file select
- form results
Any experienced Froggers out there who might help me whittle this list down to a manageable size?
The conference at St Mary’s University College in October was a big event for me. It brought home the significance I felt about embarking on a Masters course and going back to university after fourteen years away. No-one had asked me to do it. I am not certain it will bring financial reward or move me on in my career. I wanted to know more. I was excited to hear Professor Dame Pat Collarbone was presenting the keynote. As one of the fore-runners at the National College of School Leadership, which I had visited in the summer, I anticipated an insight to school leadership national on a national scale. Having worked in many schools, I have evaluated many leaders, in my own way believing I knew enough to judge who was doing a good job. Now I was being invited to evaluate a leader of leaders. Continue reading