Tag-Archive for ◊ wizkid ◊

A little smile
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 | Author:

A very quick post today. I was having a very quick chat with @gideonwilliams at his (secondary) school and collecting my webcam that he borrowed and I was talking about a few things and happened to mention Wizkid, our county-wide VLE. From behind us, a young girl of about 6 was with her mum and she shouted ‘I use Wizkid, I know how to log on and I love it’.

It made me smile and made me think the past two years have been worth it when a child tells her mum how great it is. I mentioned I had trained lots of teachers in how to use it and that little comments like her daughter’s made it worthwhile.

Very happy end indeed.

Wanna share?
Thursday, July 08th, 2010 | Author:

This post is aimed at Hampshire people, but feel free to read it and give your opinions!

Ok, so we have a county-wide VLE, Wizkid/Studywiz. How much do we share across the county? A little bit, we have some schools discussing transition with their feeder schools or working in a cluster, we have a county-wide group for us to publicise information and documents, but I want to think BIG.

We currently have 410(ish) primary schools on Wizkid. How many of them teach the Seaside? or Victorians? or Plants? Ok ok so some of them are creative, child-led or dynamic, but still, they need some help and inspiration don’t they?

So let’s plan together. As of this week, every member of the Hampshire Shared Resources Group will have full teacher access. This is 900 teachers. You can come into this area, see what people have done already and export the folder into your class/year group. Nothing wrong with taking this and using it, but wouldn’t you rather be a sharer?

To be a sharer, why not add an activity to a folder? Why not add a useful website? Why not create a new folder? Why not upload your planning? Imagine if we could get 2 or 3 teachers helping you to plan that seaside topic. Imagine if we could get 20 or 30. Exciting innit?

How about you plan with someone else and then communicate with them during your topic? You could message them, email them, video conference with them…what are their children doing? What are yours doing?

So go and take a look, if you’re not a member of the group go and join it (Tools>Group Membership>Search) and then follow the instructions once inside. If you get stuck, give me a shout. There’s a help video in there under ‘Info’. I look forward to planning with you all!

PS: I have to say a massive thankyou to @simonhaughton, the man is a genius and we have stolen borrowed, lots of links from his school Parkfield’s Delicious account. Do thank him if you get chance.

Let me map it out for you
Monday, January 11th, 2010 | Author:
So what did you do today? This morning I spent time using Google Maps to create a map of all schools in Hampshire that are using our VLE, Wizkid. This is the Hampshire name for Studywiz.
Why do we want a map of our schools? Well, there are a few reasons:
*To see which schools have signed up to the county solution- many of us are visual people!
*So schools can see if the others in their area are using the same VLE and when they started using it
*To help us plan support sessions depending on the amount of schools
We have around 400 schools that have started, finished or are halfway through their VLE training. The last batch of schools are all starting this term, so this is the last map we will be producing. In the past, I created a map at each phase of training. This was fine for the first 100 or so schools, but Google Maps had the odd problem of allowing 200 points on a map. This was an issue and meant our map didn’t look very good due to the second page.So something else was needed.
We created 4 maps, splitting the county into areas. They can also be overlaid to produce the picture below.
Now, why am I telling you about our Google Map? If you are outside of Hampshire, surely this is pointless?
Well, no…
For those of you that are thinking I spent hours plotting all 400 points, you are wrong. I used a fab service called MapAList This is a service that allows you to create a map using a Goolge spreadsheet.  It is designed for businesses to map their customers, but I thought it could help me too. 
I had a list of schools already in Excel, I deleted the information that I didn’t need and then uploaded this into Google Docs. MapAList then links with Google Docs and transfers the data into a map. You can give all points the same pin or use the advanced tool, as I have done, and assign different colours. All of the pins with the same colour started their training in the same term. You can then save the .KML file and import it into Google Earth or Google Maps.
So how would I use it within school?
@deputymitchell is teaching a zoo based topic(starting today) and asked for people to suggest zoos for his children to investigate. Putting these onto a Google Doc would enable him to map them across the globe.
What about plotting the countries in the World Cup/African Cup of Nations?
Where do we have relatives? Plot their locations on a map and investigate different parts of the UK.
I saw a school that had a local map on the wall and they had put sticky labels to represent children. This showed how far and wide the children had travelled to attend their school. This could be done very quickly and simply using Google maps and an exported CSV file from the school office.
How would you use this mapping service? It would be great to hear your comments.
If you wish to see the maps, click below:
My 2009
Monday, December 28th, 2009 | Author:

So as we come to the end of the year, I thought, like others, I should look back on what has happened over the past 12 months. Looking back is always scary, because it means you also have to look forward, but it is incredible to see how far we/I have come.

For those that don’t know, my day job at the moment involves teaching teachers using Studywiz, the chosen Hampshire VLE. At this stage last year, I had been in post for a term, and we were about to start with the second batch of schools. We had 70ish schools using the VLE across the county and we were slowly finding our feet.
Fast forward to now and we are about to start the final push to bring our total schools to around 420 across the county. We have a VLE conference planned for the end of March and constant comments from teachers about the enthusiasm of their staff and children. This has been a very good year for the VLE! One group on Studywiz has over 600 people in it already. I wonder if we can get this past 1000 before we finish? We have schools using Studywiz to discuss the XFactor results

For me personally, I have learnt a massive amount. Most of this is due to the huge potential of Twitter. I wasn’t using it at the start of the year, probably didn’t see the point. Now, I can’t get enough of it. Whether it is listening to @tombarrett‘s latest idea, discussing studywiz with @primarypete_, finding out about new ways to use 2DIY from @porchester or listening to @chris1974 tweeting about the xfactor, it has been an enjoyable and very rewarding experience.

With Twitter, it is all about who you follow. Follow the right people and it can bring you a wealth of knowledge. I am constantly being sent new websites or ideas to try. Teachers always say that the best way to share ideas is to talk to other teachers or to visit their classroom. Blogging and Tweeting allows this without having to step outdoors. Very useful indeed. My inset next week will see if I can convince non-ICT people that blogging is useful!

As we sit on the edge of 2010, I am excited about the potential of some new technology that others have been using in class for a while, but because of my secondment, I haven’t had chance to use yet. Sites like MyEBook or Animoto keep giving me ideas for sharing ideas with an audience.

I wrote earlier about the problems I had been having organising information for the ICT cluster and I think that I will have this sorted in the next week or so, it’s all looking good indeed! I’ll write about my professional and personal targets later in the week.

Ian Addison
@ianaddison