Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Talking to the SLT & Governors

In my experience, starting any new initiative is about persuading the hearts and minds of both the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and the Governors of the school. For some 45 years of innovation in schools I have worked as 'an evangelist' in not only costing out the necessary investment (cost of resources and service support, teacher preparation, availability of equipment and time for student access etc)  but also the presentation of the innovation so that all stakeholders (including school leaders, governors, parents and students) should catch the vision, feel inspired and motivated enough to ensure success.

Click to view
With Paul Denny's kind permission I have modified the above PowerPoint in order to present to the SLT of  any Secondary school.  I have not included any narration apart from a few additional textual explanations.  Please let me know your thoughts.

Getting Started

Amongst the support materials available I found this excellent video that shows just how easy it is to get started.  The only advice that I can add to the video is that you should be careful to plan your course titles so that after a few months the titles will all stack up coherently.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Making it easy

Teacher sat at desk surrounded by work
One of my immediate concerns is that busy teachers may be put off struggling with new jargon and new concepts.  The language of PeerWise is fine for university students but needs a bit of transliteration if we are to put this amazing tool in the hands of inexperienced and possibly not always too ICT-literate students.  What I hope to do in the next few days is to create an on-line student-centred handbook that will support KS4/5 students and thus reduce the workload for staff.

If you have had any success in writing introductions for your students please let us all know.  I'm also putting together the finishing touches to a PowerPoint presentation for SLT, new teachers etc.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Not just text-based MCQs

One thing that sets PeerWise apart from other MCQ generators is the fact that a whole range of media can easily be embedded within questions:

Particularly for our students in KS4 the inclusion of visual representations or even a short video-clip that stops with 'What next?' questions would be most powerful.

Below is a simple example for a Yr9 Technology quiz as the creator of the question would see it:

It is then up to the respondent (or quizee?) not only to try and understand the implications of the question but also to evaluate the explanation and even add to it if necessary.

Introductions Please

Have you ever wanted to set revision questions for you classes but somehow have never found sufficient time? The solution is that simple Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) can be set up by the students themselves. PeerWise is an amazing tool that has found favour in Higher Education around the world.  However, its collaborative and competitive features will provide ample support for Secondary Schools, High Schools and Colleges.

Originally developed by Paul Denny of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, PeerWise has had amazing success, not only in New Zealand but also in the USA and UK.  An excellently crafted tool, it is an incredibly easy tool to maintain and is almost completely self-regulatory.

The purpose of this post is to encourage present users to vouch for the product (which is completely FREE!) and to share ideas that might encourage newcomers to get stuck in and bring a significant level of student enjoyment to the whole issue of revision or learning.

Over the next few days and weeks I hope to share more links and tips.  However, what would be nice is to enter into good dialogues.  Your comments or suggestions please.