We had an interesting visit recently from some members of the work based learning Regional Support Centre. They’ve recently set up a “Ning” (Innovate) for providers to share good practise in the use of ICT. So far it’s quite quiet, but these sort of things seem to need a sort of “critical mass” to become self sustaining so I’ve been keen to post a bit on it.
I mentioned in particular the work I’d been doing with trainee blogging. This led into a discussion, the upshot of which was two of the e-learning advisors who’d started the Ning coming down to visit and have a chat about it, with the aim of putting an article about it in the newsletter.
“Focus on… Blogs” is the end result and is a nice summing up of what we’ve been trying to achieve.
Meanwhile the latest batch of learners have started on the “sandpit” phase of their project, experimenting and trying out the WordPress software. It’s a bigger group than normal and proving difficult to do whole group teaching. (Our classroom is long and thin and the distance from the whiteboard at the back of the room is a bit of nightmare). I’m heartily glad the main body of the taught sessions are now done and they can start working in smaller groups.
In order to try and catch the copyright issues early this time, and make sure people know what is expected of a typical post, I created a practise exercise for them to work through, which is embedded into the Sandpit practice blog itself. I’m still having a bit of trouble getting some of the class to see why copyright is important, as opposed to something to be “got round”.
Not all the practise posts are in yet, but it’s showing up some interesting problems and misunderstandings already. I’m using the comment feature to point out corrections which need to be made. I also put together a “model” blog post for commenting on other sources, since wholesale copy and paste continues to be a bit of a problem. Since I can’t seem to stop them doing it, maybe I can at least get them to do it properly so no one gets sued!
I think I’ll try and use posts on the Sandpit to cover more of the skills as we’re going along. Maybe have them post responses to things like the planning documents.