Thursday, 26 February 2009

TDA Project Climax

On Tuesday morning, my colleague Robyn and I went over to Bulmershe campus to run a focus group with a PGCE course convenor, Judith Davies. This was the climax to a project Robyn and I have been working on with Judith since before September.

Robyn and I had been asked to look at the wealth of Web 2.0 tools out there, select a bunch of them and match them up against criteria which we had drawn up previously. The idea being to find at least one Web 2.0 tool that would fulfil a newly qualified teacher's portfolio needs.

Throughout the project, we kept a wiki within Blackboard (using the Learning Objects tool) to analyse tools and compare them with one another. When the New Year began we looked at all the information we collected and we picked two tools (and a spare) that we were going to focus on. We also prepared a slideshow (embedded below) and several handouts to make the day run more smoothly.

The idea of the presentation was to present these findings to a group of teachers who Judith had paid with funding to take a day's leave and give them a lunch while we were at it.

We took what I thought was a fairly "radical" approach to the slideshow - that is, there's hardly any text and the focus is more in images and making an impact with these to mark different parts of the morning. This was inspired by talks I've seen given at conferences recently and was an attempt to remedy the Powerpoint fatigue I've been afflicted by recently. When it came to the tools themselves, we simply logged in and did a live demo, showing some examples that we'd prepared earlier to inform them further. You can see the examples we created below:

And while we were eating lunch we recorded the discussion that we had around the table - about e-portfolios, their shortcomings, or rather the current lack of an adequate tool, and what they thought of the tools we'd picked out.

Robyn and I have yet to go through the feedback but as we do, I will try and post some of our findings here and perhaps some of the wiki notes we made in early on in the project too. All in all, it was a successful morning - so much so, that I'm now trying to take the same "radical" slideshow approach with the workshops that we run here and with future presentations.

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