Thursday 20 December 2007

Positive Feedback for the OLPC

I have long been following the OLPC programme. I see many parallels between the OLPC vision and my own for IHS. So it was interesting to read this article and the bbc artilcle, particularly the digital distraction part.

I particularly love the Audio Slideshow

What do others think in light of the Asus Eee (In Scotland the 'Wee') PC and the Samsung Q1?

Where does this leave education in the west? Are about to be leapfrogged as we have been with Mobile phone use?

Tuesday 18 December 2007

Palau - Borneo

Islay High has been working with with World Challenge for a number of years.

In the capable hands of Deputy Head Teacher (DHT) pupils have gained amazing experiences in Costa Rica, Ecuador (Pics and Blog) and Malawi (Blog).

Next summer expedition is slightly different. Its going to be a 2 centre adventure. First is the the island state of Palau. The second is Borneo.

The 20 pupils who will go this adventure will have to plan, fund raise, negotiate, develop team work, and so much more. The experiences they will gain will stay with them the rest of their lives.

I have asked for them to Blog not just the trip itself but also the training and development of team before the trip.

They will post as soon as we have the blog setup.

Wednesday 12 December 2007


Last Friday. myself and my colleague, Sandy Smith, were at a training course, Learn2Learn, run by Alastair Smith and Mark Lovatt.

They were demonstrating the Learn2Learn approach they have been using at the Cramlington Community High school in Northumberland.

Our reason for looking at this programme is the next part of our school development.

So far we have developed the curriculum with the introduction of Vocational Education, removal of the Age and Stage restrictions and the introduction of Project Afternoons.

We have developed the leadership of staff and Pupils

We have developed the use of ICT. (See the rest of the Blog)

We are now a Stage 3 Excellence as a Health Promoting School.

We feel that we are ready to introduce the basis for true independent learners and actively teach our first years, from next year, how to learn for themselves.

It sounds so obvious but this not done at the moment.

I have some personal reflections about this topic.

When I started at University I was 26. I had trained as an electronics technician, helped run a volunteer workshops on Iona, worked has a service engineer and ended up a service director but nothing had prepared me for University. I didn't understand the processes and systems. I didn't know the language being used and felt too insecure to ask. I didn't know how I learned and didn't know how to reflect on my learning to allow me to understand.

The result, as you can imagine, was that I barely cleared the hoops I was being asked to jump through.

The second example is a recent one, the Handheld Learning Conference. I didn't understand the process. From my paper, which I took to be a proposal of what I was wanting to talk about, to my presentation itself which was too much of a 'pitch' and not enough information. I didn't know the 'Rules' and the way things work.

Getting to understand the rules of academic writing is something I am fighting with at the moment.

So giving pupils the tools of learning is not only required but essential if we expect them to grow and thrive on a world in which the only constant is change.

One of the reason for using the Alite programme is that they have developed a load of software tools and and profiling apps. Therefore we can use the ICT infrastructure as tools to work with the pupils.

We are going to commit to this fully as we see it as the solid foundation for future develop. That means 3 periods per week.

Do you think this will take away from the subjects? Does anyone have any experience of this, or other programmes?