East Lothian Education’s Exc-el development has gained momentum this month.
The 2-month-old WordPress-based Exc-el Edublog system is extending its reach into classroom teaching, with large numbers of students now able to contribute. Some have their own learning blogs, others are contributing posts for their class, and some are simply using comments to ask for help with exercises – and to help support other students. There are now over 130 blogs and over 200 registered users. A number of these blogs have been publicised through links on the Exc-el web site, and are generating positive feedback, and interest, well beyond East Lothian.
We’ve also been exploring how best to develop school web sites. Schools have been asking for tools that make it easy to keep their web site up-to-date, and which aren’t expensive. We’ve now got a couple of schools, Preston Lodge High and Law Primary, developing websites on Exc-el using the free, easy-to-use Website Baker product, and feedback is very positive.
Plans are under way to migrate Exc-el to a new, more student-friendly name that reflects the emerging focus on the use of web-based conversation and narrative to improve teaching and learning. As part of that, we’ll be redesigning the web site to make it easier for visitors to find, and contribute to, those conversations.
Training in new technologies continues to be in demand. A new, short, whole-staff TeachMeet Roadshow format was tested by the Education ICT team at Law Primary on Friday 24th November, and proved successful. The format was based on staff groups working together to share hands-on experience. This one was on digital imaging, and included how to use existing software as well as some newer web-based tools. Others are planned to cover such things as video, blogging and podcasting.
A range of new technology CPD courses has also been arranged, and can be booked in the usual way.