Student-made Blippit apps, woven with project based learning methodology, focus on transition & creativity!
You get a positive gut feeling when a project is able to be summed up like this:
“9 young people, 3 apps, 3 days”
Dare we watch? How will they do? What if the pressure is too much?
The answer was that these young people, selected from 50 possibles who all wrote emails to say why they should be involved, did what most young people do and that is take it all in their stride.
Read Dave Cookson’s reflections on Blippit as an app making tool for schools
There’s a great blog here that diaries the three days and the project based learning principles behind the work and you can see for yourself how the comments of others drove reflection, re-versioning and improvement in the apps mad by the students using Blippit.
You’ll also see that the project had some very ‘can do’ people involved too like Assistant Head Teacher at Monkseaton Middle School Neil Cottiss @cottiss77
What was great for me was that I was treated just like a spare pair of hands by students who asked questions via email when they needed to. I was also invited to comment on the blog when a new version of their app was shared – a great way to engage when activity is really tightly focused around a set time frame.
If you want to see what Seaton Burn College achieved in 3 days you can go to their personalised school app space on Planet Blippit. No matter what phone or tablet they have, the Year 6’s & their parents are going to genuinely benefit from these apps. Will it affect their view of the college and it’s expectations of students? I expect it will. Great project & very proud to be involved.
Clare Berryman, Head of the first ever school we used the SocialSchoolMedia approach with to harness Facebook for parental engagement, told her story at a conference and here it is – much overdue but better shared late than never! Enjoy.
From the day’s agenda blurb:
Clare has a proven and recognised track record of innovation including the creation of a ‘much observed’ new school curriculum design. She is a Leader of Education with the National College and provides CPD and support within Lancashire authority on creative approaches to the curriculum and personalised learning. Clare is no technical expert but recognised long ago that if the school was to engage with parents early on in the relationship then social media was the right tool for the task; particularly Facebook. Clare is shortly to have her children making apps for and in the school and is looking forward to seeing the learning that will come from this.
(Originally posted on SocialSchoolMedia.com 01/14)
We’ve collaborated with many schools over the last 15 years or so and it’s obvious but I’ll say it anyway: Every single one, unsurprisingly, wants to be the very best that it can be for the children and families in their community regardless of size, budget, town, borough, county, country or continent.
By way of introduction, my story is unremarkable & feel free to skip it but sometimes I find it’s useful to know why someone would leave a good job to start up a new company whose mission is simply to ‘remove barriers for parents and children’.
- I was a primary teacher/IT coord who, by some quirk of nature, enjoyed finding out how stuff worked. My school received the only ‘very good’ Ofsted for IT in Bolton – literally.
- A job came up with the local authority who’d been told by Ofsted to sort out IT (as it was called then). Not knowing what I was doing I applied & got the job.
- Skip forward working with hundreds of schools in Bolton and beyond, speaking, training, publishing, winning BETT Awards, discovering the currency of collaboration etc.
- Skip forward with school websites, photo policies, getting my own kids, QCA, NOF, eLC’s, online shop, Year 3 email, VLE’s, learning platforms & BSF.
- Skip past the chapter where as Primary Strategy Manager I had to restructure ICT & Literacy and Numeracy teams; Buys new flash car, mid-life crisis – tick.
- Skip forward to a new Director of Children’s Services who tasks me with helping them improve Corporate communicate with Schools. Quick job.
- Skip past new corporate intranet design, stakeholder groups, mail management, Heads groups, strategy, Families Information Service restructure, Learning Platform Team restructure etc.
- Pause: Realisation that everything we have ever done has not really engaged one of our major stakeholders – parents. *shame*
- Restart: People nervous & risk averse; not keen or able to take on new ideas as Dark distant clouds gathered for likely cuts. I seize the opportunity to pro-actively tackle the parent engagement issue when the time is right
- Skip forward to the very first early wave of VR offers & me deciding to leap & pursue the dream.
That was over 3 years ago & now I’d like to share some things I’ve learned to be true (some obvious) as a Dad of three and founder of a company working with schools firmly in the 21st century communications mindset
- parents want schools to succeed
- the biggest monsters are usually in people’s heads
- supportive management, leadership and monitoring works
- many people don’t know what they don’t know – talking helps
- schools need to be where the parents are not the other way round
My next guest post will include a fabulous talk from the very first head teacher we worked with using Facebook with Parents.
John at SSM |
I’ve just reconnected a 1TB external hard drive to my laptop and I now feel sick to the stomach. Every single file, photo, family video and other bits have gone. Completely.
I used to feel an enormous sense of well-being safe in the knowledge that I wasn’t going to be one of those poor devils for whom dataloss was inevitable. To save space on my laptop I also stored years of video snippets of my young family on there too plus a huge iTunes library of music.
All was going well until about a month ago.
I started to receive some worrying emails from Western Digital, the back-up drive manufacturer, saying that a recent upgrade to my laptop’s operating system was causing complete and total backup data loss for many users with the same set up.
Was this spam? The birth of an urban myth? No. It was quite real but impressively two emails later WD had sorted some fixes out for the poor folks who’d fallen victim.
Western Digital released a firmware update and shared the link in their email but I had no need for their fix. I was an elite back-up ninja who had successfully dodged the bullet. A month passed and it looked like I’d got off scott free, right up until 30 minutes ago when the drive just formatted itself and caused me to write this post.
I reconnected the USB cable and noticed that the backup wasn’t mounting and after much Googling I remembered the WD emails, dug them out and forlornly followed their instructions.
Within the last 3 minutes after a firmware update, a restart and much sweat the empty hard drive has literally just re-populated itself. From nothing came something and like anyone who has ever had something precious returned to them I don’t know or really care how this worked but I’m just glad I can see my family growing up again.
You think it’ll never happen to you but it probably will. Hard drives break and software will go pear-shaped. Perhaps I need to sort out a Cloud based back up solution that’s more than just the free version of Dropbox though it is does do a very good job and this last hour I was very glad to have it. Time to go and watch some videos now that I thought I’d lost but if you’d like to share any backup horror stories or successes do feel free!