April 26, 2007
One of the things we’ve struggled with this year’s Y11s is the Eportfolio. We’ve been using frames in Dreamweaver with students of all levels and many just don’t get the frameset idea. What is the frameset? Why is it called index? How do I open the plan page?
Ken said at Peacehaven they use a template file with a layout using tables. And I have been experimenting with this system with this years Y10s. The template file has the disadvantage that you have to know exactly the names of every page you need before you create the first page. The other disadvantage is wobble, a photo or large amount of text can open up a table and if the links are achored to the middle of the cell (the default) the links start to wobble.
The advantage of templates is that if you want to change the Plan page you open the plan page – simple. But if kids have an error in the template then correcting problems is painful because they have to re-make every page again. I can see teachers have to spend a lot of time fixing Eportfolios in this method too.
At the Assessing Unit 1 course the moderator (Bob Bishopp) did mention Incomedia’s WebsiteX5 as a better alternative to Dreamweaver. Given the man hours spent on this problem better software could well be a cost effective solution.
In the mean time, I’m favouring returning to frames.
April 17, 2007
Just got back from school.
Tuesday night is department detention night. This runs in the same room as catch up sessions from DIDA/GCSE course work. A few weeks ago I made a naughty Y8 boy write a behaviour statement. He finished this very quickly I told him to write lines. I don’t normally do this in an after school detention, but I wanted to get on and help the Y11′s with their coursework. And the Y8 boys were demanding a lot of attention.
My head of faculty suggested that lines weren’t a suitable punishment. This left me thinking what are we doing on Tuesday nights? Detention and punishement or private tuition? Of course, either way, I’m not getting paid for it.
Tonight was the same (although only 3 Y11′s), naughty Y9 girl won’t work without constant attention. It didn’t feel like a punishment, it felt like private lessons. If only we could send parents the bill.
(image by flickr.com user WallyG under Creative Commons Licence)
April 3, 2007
Last week I went to a Dida Assessment course (GCSE equivalent qualification). We spend 2.5 hours going through a level 1 paper then 2.5 hours going through a level 2 paper, both of which got distinctions. I asked the moderator how long he expected marking a paper to take and he recommended 1 hour. Even if it takes half an hour I have 100 of these to mark which means 50 hours work extra work next term (minus the 5 hours of Y11 per week who will have left and who’s papers I will be marking.)
Other news from the moderator
The walk throughs are up on the Dida site and should be useful. We used them extensively in the training (no doubt they will break this link, try searching for ‘getting the standards right’ or gtsr).
Copyright will be treated even more strictly in 2007 than in 2006. Students must act as though they were working as professionals for the organisation in question (ie. a Make Space club or for Unit 3 the London2012 organising commitee). So that means forgetting that the project is actually a school project. I assume that as the Make Space club is a non profitable organisation (as is the Make Space organisation) you can get away with using Flickr.com’s creative commons database. However I have doubts that for London 2012 you can use photos with the non commercial licence, as London 2012 is actually a limited company.
Arcane? don’t you believe it. I think we should be teaching our kids these things. Only problem is that your average GSCE student doesn’t want to know, they have be copying, and watched everyone else copy, images from the internet with impunity for all of their school lives. Try tell them that they can’t.
Here are some notes I took Assessment Notes