Skip to main content

#MondaysDebate Project Uses Technology to Bring Together Thousands of Students

Doing anything at scale across 12000 students and 2000 staff can be a real challenge - but sometimes something as simple as a great idea linked to technologies you're already using can take on a life of its own.

Our Monday Debate programme is intended to engage all our students in debates about issues and current affairs - to make it work we've used several parts of our eLearning Toolkit.

Microsoft Stream (or as we call it, dret.tv) gives us a private video sharing service that allows us to publish each week a series of age appropriate stimulus videos that we know every teacher can access to use with their groups in the way that best works for them.



Microsoft Yammer allows us to run a professional social network in which staff can plan and propose ideas for the project, and share the outcomes from their groups with their colleagues.



Google Forms, with the ability to upload footage, will soon allow staff to upload videos from their discussions to share - ideally we'd have all staff uploading directly to Microsoft Stream, but one of the issues we've struggled with the new product (compared to Office 365 Video) is the limit on the number of contributors, which is not likely to be an issue for one school, but is an issue for a group of 34!

This week the topic of discussion was the impact of technology on our lives. Some comments from Edward Heneage Primary in Grimsby.
‘I wouldn’t mind having less technology because there are plenty of other games to play and a lot of other things to keep you occupied. For example: I could practise my favourite sport, play out, play board games, practise school work, play cars and lots of other things. You could, if you have another sibling, play around the house with them.’

‘I could play on the field with my pets instead.’

‘I agree that technology is important  but we do need to spend less time using it as it is affecting our family life.’

‘I would be like an empty shell if I had no technology because I use it all the time. I think teenagers love technology because they get bored with normal life and they find it fun to be on line. When people don’t use technology, and they go outside, it lets them appreciate and enjoy the environment.’
The general consensus was that whilst they enjoyed using technology the film made them understand that they should not use it as much as they do!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

So External Hard Drives and Pen Drives are going to be banned...

We've taken the decision to ban external hard drives and pen-drives from all Trust computers and from all of our premises with effect from 1st January 2018. From that date they just won't work when you plug them into one of our computers. This article hopefully points the way for how to continue to work successfully without that trusted friend. This could inconvenience people - people that use them and me*

Every school still has one or two people that carry everything to and from work every day on that external disc they bought four or five years ago - I know of one colleague who has more than ten year's material on there, and another that lost everything when the drive failed and they had no backup. The ban comes from a security review where these devices were identified as one of our highest risks because:

From a data protection point of view, we know people know not to put any kind of personal or confidential data onto one, but there is always the risk of human error.The…

OneNote and Google Drive in Harmony

Many of our staff use OneNote well and happily, as well as being a great place to keep everything for a topic in one place presented visually and annotated (in many ways better than with a specialist interactive board app) it is useful to share what you have had on the big screen with your class with a single link.

Most also use Google Drive as the main place they keep all their files to collaborate, share resources and work on them from anywhere.

When word reached us that Brendan Brannigan from Bringhurst Primary School had combined the two and now works on his OneNote files at home and school using Google Drive we asked to make a guide for colleagues - this video (also available on dret.tv, login required) is the result.

I must admit, after watching it I had a "why on earth hadn't I thought of this?" moment - there is absolutely nothing wrong with OneDrive which is where OneNote prefers to live, but it is one more thing to worry about.

Now all I have to do is work out…

Guest blog post - Pixi Maths

We recently started a new Spring cohort of our Challenge for eLearning CPD course with colleagues from the Corby area, including the author of Pixi Maths, Danielle Moosajee.
As a plenary activity for the first session, we used and demo'd Plickers - 'a simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices.' It's a great tool which we've blogged about before, and here are Danielle's thoughts on it after using it class post-training:

I left the first Challenge 4 eLearning session full of biscuits and inspired! In a way, it was a shame that the Easter break fell so shortly afterwards as I was keen to try out some of the things we’d been introduced to.
A couple of years ago, a colleague had shown me the Plickers app. Students each receive a QR code with 4 orientations (A, B, C and D) and they hold their cards up to be scanned by an iPad in answer to a multiple choice question. Previously, I had laminated these …