A view of Taranaki from the Coastal side - not a speck of snow anywhere - an awesome day all around the maunga.
I had my first visit this year to Coastal School today. Coastal is unique as it is an area school with students from New Entrants right through to Year 13 (K1 - 12). It is great to be in a school where i may have a chance to work with the younger students again.
I met with Coastal VC students, a group of four Y11 taking Accounting, another taking Chemistry L2 & another Chemistry L3. They seem to have gotten off to a great start they couldn't tell me of any concerns they had. So just to make sure they were prepared for any eventualities i ran them through a few 'what if' scenarios to do see what they would do... All of these students say that having a class website with all their course work, notes & activities is really helpful especially when they may miss a VC from time to time. It is something that some of our own eteachers need to develop more fully and we also need to provide a better webspace for them to do that.
Joel our Coastal eteacher has developed his own website to deliver his own course content. A lot of work has gone into this site to prepare resources in a range of formats Keynote, PowerPoints, Flash & Podcasts and he is really happy to share these with anyone who visits his site. One thing i would say about this site is that it is static - a repository for the delivery of material, though there is a feedback form. There are no features for interaction here, such as bulletin boards, chat, IM. Having said that interaction around this class takes place in other forms - the weekly VC, emails, phone calls, & skype. We spent some time today looking at getting skype to work at school - we had the right settings from Telecom SchoolZone FAQs, i could get it working on my own computer but noone else could. Has anyone else had problems working skype through their school network - what are we not doing right?
I spent some time with Hamish, Coastal elearning lead teacher. Hamish gets a days release each week to lead elearning initiatives within the school and to work with teachers integrating ICTs in the classroom. Wahoo that would be a good thing for all our lead teachers :-) I am looking forward to my return visit so we can plan how i can best support him in this role.