Saturday, 23 June 2007

SQA Computing Showcase Event

Les, Carol and myself all attended the Showcase Event. It was very informative and worthwhile. It also gave us the chance to catch up with Deryk Nutley about the Microsoft Academy and the problems we have been having with Virtual PC. Hopefully his input now means that this issue will be resolved. Carol and Les are going to be working on this over the summer.

I particulary enjoyed the session with Mike Janetta about what is planned in terms of National Progression Awards, but the one that was of most interest to me was the Adobe session given by Anuja Dharkar from Adobe in the USA. Her presentation was excellent and it gave me real food for thought. I think some of the Adobe qualfications could tie in really well with the equipment we are going to receive as part of the Highland Lives project. I could see the whole, sound, animation, video as a real attraction, particularly for school kids.

Excellent day, and we got to have tapas the night before! When we left Glasgow though, the weather was terrible, I could hardly see 3 feet in front of the car for the rain. That's the west coast for you!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Summer Time!

Only 2 more days to go, and we are away for both of them! Yipee!

We've had a big clear out her in Thurso and moved desks into the bargain. Can you believe we were throwing stuff out from the early 90's - little wonder we had no space to move! I will be good to come back to a clear and tidy desk, although I guess by the time we get bag there will be plenty stacked up to great us.

Looking forward to the SQA Showcase Event, should be informative and again build up a bit of networking.

Happy holidays everyone.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

UHI Computing Subject Network Development

Well, Thursday/Friday saw Les and I attending the UHI Computing Subject Network Development days. It was very useful and things were actually achieved.

We now have a Shared Area for resources (although we in Thurso can't access it yet for some reason) and this will also be used for cross network verification purposes. I agreed to be the Unit Leader for the Software Development: Event Driven Programming unit, but that should be a relatively straightforward task as it is only Orkney and ourselves that deliver it. Carol, I think I volunteered you for something but I can't remember what is was. Ooops! I will check this out with Val and get a copy of the agreed list from her as we can't access it in the shared area yet.

Also got the opportunity to speak with some of the rest about the NC Digital Media and got a few ideas/pointers and suggestions for it. Chatted with Darryl from Moray who has come from a Software Development background and he put my mind at rest that what I am doing with the Software Development unit is valid. Hoping he might be able to provide me with some examples of 'real' documentation to use as examples in class - that would be really good.

We had a great night out at the Indian and there was lots of hilarity and fun. The bars shut awfully early in Elgin though and we were all tucked up in our beddie byes by 12.30am.

The Perth guys are going to the SQA day next week but aren't staying over - pity. Derek did however suggest that we get together for lunch. I said we were up for that of course! Nobody else appeared to be attending so looks like we will be making our own fun on Thursday night - Ikea here were come!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Treasure Hunts & Web Quests

Well today it was staff development in creating Treasure Hunts & Web Quests. Nothing technically difficult, especially for us computing bods, but good ideas and templates to help us on our way. Of course, the key thing was the time to play around with them and find new resources to use with them.

Treasure Hunts being an excellent tool to guide your students through a maze of sites, gathering information along the way. The addition of a list of resources (links to the sites used in the Treasure Hunt) making it easy to check they are all still active and valid. Could see some real uses for this, especially at NC and Non-Voc level. I also like the idea of getting the students to create these as a formative assessment method, which we could then use as a resource in future years.

Web Quests again an excellent tool to get the students working in teams and by using something like blogging or wikis, collaborating online. This one has real potential for use with project work, team work and graded units. I think this could be a really good one for ITAS 1, which would make it very innovative and fun. Again, why not get the students to create some as a means of formative assessment.

In addition we were given some pointers to other resources to use.

Favourites From Anywhere at -
Digital Photo & Media Sharing at Flickr -
Free Digital Media at MorgueFile -

Happy browsing!!