Much more than just a website

Diary: Got into work at 7.00am to prepare for a meeting with Prestonpans councillors at lunchtime; Opened the Support for Learning Training Week at the Quayside, Musselburgh; Policy Forum Meeting at the council chambers – this is a meeting of councillors to discuss policy issues; met with Prestonpans councillors – discussed SELS and midyis data; Prestonpans Education Centre to demonstrate Exc-el to the Support for Learning teachers; back to the office for exc-el board meeting.


At the introduction to the Support for Learning week I reinforced the place of Learning and Teaching as the main focus for all schools – as such SfL teachers have a key role in helping to develop our practice and influencing the change process in our schools.

At the afternoon’s session I introduced the teachers to exc-el, with a particular emphasis upon weblogs. There followed an interesting discussion about blogging – “will it become compulsory?” + “how do I find the time?” Blogging is not compulsory – nor should it become so. People find the time if they feel it’s worth it. I think this is the key – I keep my blog because it is something I have found to be extremely worthwhile. This blog now extends to over 150,000 words since I started it in August – there’s no way I would have invested all that time if I didn’t feel it was worth it. Speaking to other bloggers it’s very much the same feeling – I’d encourage others to give it a go – certainly – nothing ventured, nothing gained.

We continued this theme at the exc-el board meeting – we had a discussion about the purpose of exc-el – as someone said “it's much more than just a website”. I know this sounds a bit over the top but it is about a distribution of power with a view to improving learning and teaching. We’ve changed the homepage of the site to reflect this through the following bulletpoints:

By taking part in exc-el you:

1. Are one click away from influence

2. Open a door on your own practice

3. Break free from your traditional boundaries

4. Learn from other's practice

5. Contribute to a dynamic conversation about learning and teaching

6. See education from a variety of perspectives

7. Become part of a vibrant community of learners

Ewan Macintosh will be writing up the key points from the meeting