Parental Involvement starting to tip?

A couple of events over the past few days, each a new milestone in parental involvement, which together are giving me a sense that a corner is being turned:

  • a parent joined school staff at Dunbar Primary for an in-service session on web publishing
  • another parent got in touch to ask if parents were welcome to attend the eduBuzz open meetings

The one who attended the in-service session was particularly interested in helping the Parent Council get on the web, and has since done a wonderful job over the weekend of developing a new Dunbar Primary School Parents blog, including a beautiful bespoke graphic header.

Dunbar Primary Parents banner

Welcome to the new website dedicated to the parents and carers of pupils at Dunbar Primary School! This site is currently under development, but feel free to browse what we have here so far and leave a few comments.

It’s in development, but the site is active and he’d welcome feedback. Why not have a look?

And of course the Open Meetings are open to parents, so an invite has been sent.

First blog recovered from backup

One of our most popular school web sites, the Pencaitland Blog, has had to be recovered from backup.

What seems to have caused the problem was deleting a user record via the Site Admin / Users menu, when that user was the author of a large number of posts on the blog. Perhaps in an attempt to remove all trace of the user, those posts were also removed. Examination of the wp_<blog no.>_posts table in the WordPress database showed they had gone, and weren’t hanging around in some authorless limbo land.

I don’t know if a warning was issued. Maybe that’s something to try out one day when I’ve some time to spare…

This is the first time that we’ve needed to recover a blog from backup in a year of operation, and is the first time we’ve had occasion to think hard about whether or not it makes sense to entrust sufficiently experienced school staff with Site Admin rights. Continue reading First blog recovered from backup

New parent blogger Mumble: a must-subscribe

MumbleI’ve just read the first post from our new parent blogger Mumble. Put it this way, guineapigmum hasn’t just got company, she’s got competition.

Highly recommended: I’m looking forward to the next instalment already. Here’s a sample:

Yikes. Broadcasting is scary! I was aiming for the beginning of term for this but being a bit of techno-woose I had to go for a lie down after seeing the instructions and it’s taken a couple of weeks to get a calm clear space to try to work out how it works. I think this is that space, though the baby might wake up at any moment and snooker it. Link

Use of eduBuzz service is becoming embedded

There was a short interruption to the eduBuzz service around lunchtime today, which turned out to be again due to DNS problems at the datacentre where the site’s hosted.

The problem was quickly resolved. Again, as on the previous occasion, there was very little delay – less than 30 minutes – until reports of the problem started to arrive. It was quickly missed.

This provides evidence that use of the eduBuzz service, particularly the WordPress blogs, is now becoming embedded in teaching and learning practice across the local authority.

Of course that in turn has implications for how reliable such services may need to become in future.

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Education Policy Group relaunched

Today the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce relaunched its Education Policy Group which I attended today on behalf of East Lothian Education. The group is now chaired by the Principal of Edinburgh’s Telford College, and includes members from a range of organisations including SQA.

This group was started last year to try to help address a problem perceived by Chamber members of lack of uptake of Science, Maths and Modern Languages subjects.

Our contribution has included sending students from Preston Lodge, with Barry Smith and Elizabeth Douglas, to give their views. Members today pointed out that the sessions attended by school students had been amongst the most useful sessions.

The group are enthusiastic about making a difference, and could potentially help achieve one of the Principles for A Curriculum for Excellence, that of Relevance:

Children should understand the purposes of their activities. They should see the value of what they are learning and its relevance to their lives, present and future.