“Do or do not… there is no try.”

With 11 minutes left before the end of the first day of 2011, I am setting out my new year’s resolutions.

I had really hoped to begin the year with a really good, in depth post but a few stumbling stones have landed in the way. Moving into a new flat has meant I have been without a good wifi connection for a couple of weeks and so I’ve been working from my Samsung Galaxy S using the tether function. As great as that may sound to android fans, the 3g reception at my new place is pretty poor and so anything I now do online has become a a bit of a chore. With only five more weeks to wait until Sky install my broadband, I’m going to find an alternative tomorrow.

So keeping it brief I would like to make the following three objectives my focus for 2011:

1. Planning – More time spent on it, more engaging activities and deeper thinking.
2. SOLO taxonomy – In 2010 I read, heard and talked about SOLO, but did very little to implement it into teaching and learning. I’ll therefore begin to embed it from the first week back. Post to follow
3. E-learning – With a brand new ICT suite, my students have spent a lot of time doing online learning this past term. Tomorrow I am going to spend some time evaluating the positive and negatives of the experience and plan a route forward, hopefully making more use of the e-learning platform.

Finally, I’ll be taking on board the words of Yoda as consolation.

Its 23.59!


QR Codes Part Deux

A quick update to the previous post (a long time ago now).

After syncing the number of handheld devices, downloading QR apps and printing off a load of codes we hit a major stumbling block! No 3g signal!

To be fair you could get a signal in certain parts of the school site, which was why we didn’t pick up on the problem straight away. But in our new building it is almost impossible to get 3g.

@infernaldepart got on the case of getting them connected to the wifi around school. This should be done for the start of the new term. So hopefully I’ll have more to update here in the new year!

QR codes in the classroom

I am currently working with a colleague, @infernaldepart, to develop the use of handheld technologies in the classroom. Having acquired a small number of iphones, we want to use them to capture QR codes or other barcodes to extend their learning online. I have discussed with a number of other colleagues whether there is really a need for such devices; questioning why they can’t simply use textbooks, laptops etc; whether they it’s just me trying to be trendy or setting ‘busy tasks’. After reading a number of other blogs over the past half term, such as Tom Barrett’s QR Codes Improve Web Access I have been inspired and have come up with the following targets for using QR codes:

– Using handheld devices in the classroom will allow learners to access websites specifically set by the teacher info to avoid unreliable or irrelevant google searching and hopefully improve productive learning.

– QR codes aren’t simply for gathering information! They can allow the students to access feedback from teachers on assessed pieces of work.

– Give them to Sixth Form students to scan on their own smart phone to grab their home learning.

– QR codes could be put up around the school to get the learners out of their classroom or to share information with students across the school.

– Independence and enjoyment – As a teacher of RE, I sometimes find that students come into the classroom with a negative attitude towards the subject. Using new technologies may make them think again!

So far we have hit a few problems with 3G connection and wifi, but I will post as soon as we have them up and running (maybe this week!)

First blog post

This is my first blog post as LittleMrFrank. I will use it to record my thoughts, analysis and practice in education.

Please read, comment and enjoy!