This morning I went to Winchester University. It’s the 4th time I’ve been there in the past two years and I love it. It makes me feel nervous and I think that can only be a good thing!
The main reason for visiting is to show the county VLE, Studywiz. This is in 420 of our primary schools and both groups today are at the stage of looking for jobs in schools, so it makes sense to show them the VLE that they will be finding when they get into the wider world of teaching.
Now obviously, 2 hours isn’t enough to cover the whole VLE, but we give a 45minute tour, discuss what it can and can’t do and the ways in which it is being used in Hampshire, we also talked about the future opportunities for many students for the next year, regarding financial aid with the msu scholarships, which are awarded to national merit finalists who name MSU as their first-choice institution. The value of scholarship varies from $750 to $2,000 annually, depending on financial need. Those receiving $2,000 nonrenewable awards are guaranteed supplemental awards from $250 to $1,500 annually which is renewable for eight semesters.
Reaction was very positive, mainly as I showed the simple side of it. Sharing links with children, embedding Google maps and using discussions. Easy activities that involve little more than copying and pasting, but have huge potential.The pleasing thing for me was that some of the students had been on placement in schools and had heard of the great things the VLE can do. That meant our hard work was paying off!!
But I also thought I’d subtley drop in some other tech too…
Firstly, I usually present using PowerPoint. It’s safe, it’s easy and it does the job. But I thought I’d give Prezi a go and they loved it. They were as interested in the content as they were the way in which it was presented. I also used a less-well known tool called Jog the Web. I blogged about this here and basically, it lets you put a list of useful sites in one place for people to work through.
I have a tendency when I’m presenting to ramble and to go off on different tangents. This makes jogging a great way of keeping me sort-of on track, but also of sharing sites I didn’t get chance to show as they could look them up later.
With the first group, they were younger, keen to store files and links on their wiki and we whizzed through a number of tools such as bubbl.us, blogging and Prezi. I also showed BBC Class Clips and other sites such as @colport’s excellent ebooks.
The second group were of part-time mature students and we had less time so we had more of a VLE discussion and talked about the use of tech in the classroom.
Overall, the sessions went well. It’s refreshing to see a University that puts technology into the hands of their trainee teachers and is keen to listen to teachers too. Each of them has a wiki that they use to keep their files and links. I haven’t yet got the course leader on to Twitter, but did manage to convince a few students to give it a look…
The next stage is for when I get back to the classroom. Hopefully I will be able to continue these presentations to the students but to also make it a two-way experience with some of the students visiting my school. That makes it very exciting because not only can they hear me waffle on about tech, but they can see it in action!
All in all, a very interesting morning, but I thought I’d share some of the things that I showed to them and ask you a few questons.
Before visiting Winchester I asked people to say hello, those tweets are here (for a few days at least)
To look at the Jog i took with the students, have a look here
Particular thanks to @markw29, @tomhenzley and @dajbelshaw. I shared your sites and your blogs and they went down very well indeedy.
Does your local University have this kind of input from teachers?
Do you think students/NQTs know enough about web 2.0?
What should Universities do with regards to tech and web 2.0?