The last couple of years I have been having a great time with the good folk of EducationCity. A good job working for a company still on the up but sadly 3 hours from home meaning time away from home every week and exhausting trips at 5.30 in the morning to commute to the office.
By chance I saw an oportunity at The Hereford Academy which not only ticked the boxes from a professional point of view but very much from being so much closer to home. So now I have a 20 minute drive each day which is bliss.
More than that, a chance to work in an Academy will give me valuable insight into the other side of the fence. I have been working with schools for near enough 15 years and the opportunity to experience the complexities and challenges of running a school will be fascinating.
After week one I have met many good people and I face the challenge of putting thoughts into order to come up with some priorities and plans.
This will prove to be a big challenge but a rewarding one if I can get it right.
During my last "job" I had the pleasure of working with a lady called Wendy Keay Bright from the then University Wales Institure in Cardiff which is now called the Cardiff Metrolpitan University.
Wendy has a very cool career path starting off with the SuperTed cartoon series. We worked on taking a research based project to a commercial release that could help the project self fund. ReacTickles uses technology with kids with Autism to help them explore self expression, communication, and motor control amongst other things.
Here's a video I made about ReacTickles back in the day that gives you the general idea...
After a recent Twitter catch up Wendy told me about a new project on the go called Somantics
which uses the iPad as the input device. Fascinating stuff and am hoping to attend a development day later on this year to get up to speed.If you are interested in the use of educational technology you should definately take a look at the following links....You can read more about ReacTickles here...
You can read more about Somantics here...
You can read more about Wendy here...
Yesterday I spent a day at Ashfield Park Primary School in Ross on Wye working with 4 pupils of different ages. Together we filmed 4 methods of multiplication that are used as a standard across the school. The purpose of the films were to enable parents at home to see directly how their children were taught in school. When it comes to homework time we should aim to achieve the same approach that the children acheive at school. If the feedback of the multiplication project is good we will look to extend to covering division, addition and subtraction and even some literacy topics.
I am delighted the school has embraced technology to improve communication with parents and the wider communty and it certainly seems to be having a good effect.
You can see the results of the work at
Here's a site I created for a local school. The effect of having the blog on the front page has really driven web traffic to the site and communication between school and community has been significantly improved.
Originally the site had a static home page and while the school community showed initial interest as there was nothing obviosuly new to see the people coming back soon dropped off. A quick move of the home page and the school committing to adding news a few times a day and visitors numbers are significantly up with lots of repeat visits.
The next step we are working on is to reduce the amount of printed paper being sent home to parents and utilise the website and email notifications.