Friday, 5 December 2008


Gabcast allows to to record a message directly from your mobile phone and publish it on a Gabcast channel. From here you can embed it into your blog. Here is an example I did earlier today.

Gabcast! ILT training #1 - My test

Call from mobile phone

Monday, 24 November 2008

CPD record keeping & REfLECT

When creating your CPD records, please be aware that the records need to be more than a list containing the date, title of activity, description and length of time accounted for.

To help you improve your CPD record keeping, to meet ifl requirements, I have listed below the main features that REfLECT asks you to record within its CPD record assets.

The subheadings below (in bold) are the type of asset you might record. The bullet points are the headings that you should be keeping records of.


  • Reasons for undertaking the activity
  • Knowledge / skills gained
  • What was the impact of the activity?
  • Reflection on activity


  • Attendees
  • Outcomes – You are asked to describe what was decided and what outcomes resulted or what actions were set. Or you can add links to meeting notes.
  • Supporting resources - to help you achieve the outcomes set: books, journals, web links, people, training courses, electronic resources.
  • Reflection

Ability or Achievement

  • Evidence
  • Reflection


  • Activities – List the activities which formed part of the role.
  • Evidence
  • Reflection

Here’s a link to the full IFL CPD guidelines

The ILT trainers will be running sessions on REfLECT throughout the year. The next one is on Thursday 27th November

What else are we doing to help?
-The ILT Trainers are listing the Learning Outcomes for each session they deliver (on the information page when you book a session - Training Area of Intranet). You can copy and paste these into your CPD record (and edit them if you need to) to save you time.

Please comment below if you have found this useful.......

Monday, 3 November 2008

Creating screen tips in PowerPoint or Word - Accessibility

Have you ever heard the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words"? It's very true most learners will really benefit from visual resources, but there are some learners who have visual problems; these problems will vary and include; colour blindness, macular degeneration, cataracts and full loss of sight. These learners may have issues with getting information from visual media and the use of text will play an important part for them.

In any image there will be a wealth of information, and teachers will be expecting students to look at key parts of it. Usually this is done by using a key with letters or labels on the image which link to headings or notes on a different part of the diagram, or by using arrows and marginal comments. These methods disadvantage some learners. People who find it hard to track print get lost moving between the image and the explanation. Learners with motor difficulties cannot easily scroll from one part of the document to another, and those using a screen magnifier can get completely lost.
Learners may therefore benefit from screen tips over hotspots. As the learner’s mouse point hovers over a hot spot, the information appears in a pop-up window. As learners move on, the information disappears, so they are not confused by masses of print.

So what is a Screen Tip I hear you asking - It is a part of a picture that you have selected and labelled which displays the text when you roll the mouse over it.

Activity 1 - See what a screen tip is
1. Download the PowerPoint presentation Creating screen tips.
2. Now open the document and use F5 to view it as a slide show.
3. Roll your cursor over the shed door. Did you see the screen tip appear?

Activity 2 - Create your own screen tips
1. Open the PowerPoint presentation in Normal View.
2. Open word document Screen tips tutorial and use it to create the following hotspots:
  • "There are three steps to the lower garden"
  • "Keep children away from hot barbecues"
  • "Ponds should have grills over them to prevent children falling in"
  • "The sprinkler hose is a trip hazard"

Adapted from the NIACE E-Guides Training Materials 2008

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Blogs for supported experiments

Wow there has been such a big request for training in using blogs for the supported experiments. I've started to help groups of staff in 7 teams to create individual blogs. This isn't compulsory, staff can opt out of doing this but hopefully once staff engage in using this form of technology they will also start to get some ideas one how they can also use in in their teaching too.

Want to try to set up a blog yourself? Have a go - Please read the tips below to help get it set up quickly. And please don't forget - SEND ME THE LINK so that I can add it to your divisional page.

Setting up a blog
Here's a link to a short video that will explain it what a blog is.

To create a blog go to and click on the orange arrow - Create an account now.

TIPS for setting it up:
Password must be 8 or more characters
Display name - should be full name OR first name and division (Please don't use a Pseudonym as we won't know who "Pinnochio" or "bad boy" is)
Email address - use your college email address
Blog name - Wendy's Supported Experiment EHWLC
Blog address - Something short like wendyse (no spaces or capital letters) or wendysupportedexperiment

Ideal settings for your blog
Go to Settings Tab and choose Basics.
Change these two settings: Add your blog to our listings [choose NO]. Let search engines find your blog [choose NO].

Go to Settings Tab and choose Formatting.
Change the time zone to Greenwich mean time LONDON

Go to Settings Tab and choose Comments.
Change who can comment to [Anyone]

The next setting is optional for you. Now we have set your blog so that anyone can comment decide whether you want the comments to do on automatically or if you want to moderate them (read them and decide if they are published). If you want to moderate them scroll down in this same tab and choose Enable comment moderation [YES].

Email me your blog address once you have done it and I can link it to your divisional page. Tell me in the email what team you work in.

Here are some nice examples of other ways staff are using their blogs. Once you set up this accoutn you can have as many different blogs as you want in the account.
When using images of students we need to get a permission slip completed and filed away safely
ESOL media - Southall - Nadira Burki
Hair and Beauty - Hammersmith - Laura Birchmore
Sports Science - Hammersmith - Deniece Themistocli (will link this soon) Great example of peer review.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Blogs as a teacher's reflective diary

Are you

  • a new teacher?

  • on a teacher training course?

  • an experienced teacher starting a new project?
If so why not consider keeping your own reflective diary in blog form. Not sure what a blog is? Well you are looking at one now. Watch this 3 minute video to find out more in plain English.

Why use a blog?
Well, it is an easy space to organise your thoughts. You don't need to let anyone have the link if you don't want to, but it might be a useful thing to share between a group of peers or for mentors or the teacher trainers to check regularly. It could be a way, of others offering support within the college, to tap in easily to help you with issues you are facing in teaching.

Building a community
Once a few teachers start to use this as a way of reflecting it could be a powerful tool to share how they are feeling about or coping with the pressures of teaching in the first year, how new teaching strategies they tried in the class actually worked (or didn't) or how they are finding studying on teacher training courses alongside work. Teachers often feel they are the only ones facing certain issues. The use of blogs may help them to see that others are also having similar problems, concerns and eureka moments. The blog will offer a way of sharing your experiences with others.

Creating a blog
Watch a video tutorial here on setting up a Blogger account.

Follow this link to create your first blog or contact an ILT trainer via email or by leaving a comment here, to organise an introduction to blogging session.

Blogging in the classroom
If you don't want to use it for your own refelctive practice then consider your students using it. Here are some video clips to get you started.

This video clip explains one teacher's view on blogs from University of Padua 2 minutes.

Blogging in the classroom 5 minutes

CNN World report Blogging in the classroom 2 minutes

Please comment (just below this article) if you have anything to add or discuss about it and / or use the poll at the top of the page to let me know if it was useful to you. It will help to improve future tips. There will be more on building student communities in a future post.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Teaching tips for using Interactive Whiteboards

Get the most from your Electronic whiteboard. Why not use it to:

  • capture handwritten board work (images, notes and mind maps) for recap at the end of the session or later revision sessions. Captured board work can be saved and linked to a scheme of work for revision (must be saved in a way they can access it i.e. webpage or image. As you can add pages there is never any need to erase the information you write. A big advantage over a traditional whiteboard and it is also reusable.

Here's a video clip of the basics and one that shows a little more

Captured board work may also useful for colleagues teaching similar classes to exactly see what was covered in a session and the way it developed. This may be used to promote good practice amongst teaching teams if it is shared with and discussed with colleagues.

  • convert hand writing into typed text for creation of handouts which can then be printed directly from the board. Images drawn on the board can be exported and used in other packages such as Hot Potatoes, Word and PowerPoint or inserted into your blog or web page.

  • display visuals - Photographs, pictures, charts, graphs, diagrams, handouts, worksheets, timelines, clips can be accessed instantly.

  • play audio-visual materials. You can use them to explain difficult theories or concepts - Try accessing videos from or I know there is some rubbish on there but there are also some gold nuggets too. Try a search for "blogging" on you tube and see what you get (Blogs in plain English is a great resource - and commoncraft do a whole range of these videos). Do a search for "podcasts" in your subject area and see the amount of material you have at your fingertips.

  • demonstrate how a webpage is laid out (The student portal for example) or how a particluar piece of software works.

  • instantly access online resource banks. This should always be your first move. Don't recreate the wheel. You can access video libraries, newspaper articles, free discussion boards, Newsgroups, subject specific resources from National Learning Network and many other providers, access image collections, e-books and much more.

  • display the onscreen keyboard and work in any software application.

  • capture screen grabs from the web

  • add simple games and onscreen activities to your lessons to get the whole class involved.

If you would like to know more about Interactive Whiteboards please visit the ILT > Training > Trainer's notes area of the Intranet. There are some SMARTBoard ideas for Business and Health Care and a full document about Interactive whiteboards with activities for you to work through. You could also contact Wendy Peskett or Tony Welch or leave a comment below. Never used a Blog - Welll you can click on the comments link below and follow the instructions on screen. If you haven't got an account select anonymous. Make sure you see the message which reads "your message has been posted" If you don't see this it hasn't worked. You could also complete the poll - top right of the screen to let me know what you think of the tip. Happy voting!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Web 2 - Culture Change - StarTrek......

Thanks to those of you who read and commented on the Ebay idea. As you can see from the poll most people who commented thought it was a little interesting. Sorry about the typo - I definitely know how to spell definitely, but once the first person had voted I couldn't change it. I learned something important from that post - "Check your spelling!" Anyway I had some great emails regarding this post too - with very mixed views. One manager commented that there would need to be a culture change if staff were now expected to communicate online and that they were too busy wading through emails. Fair point, I think we are all suffering from email overload and sometimes it just isn't the best way to communicate, So maybe we need to explore the options. That still doesn't mean the ones we explore now will be the right ones either! Don't get me wrong, I am not expecting everyone now to forget the email and jump into blogging and twittering, email still has a vital role within the business. So along with others I am trying things out but don't think I am always bowled over or impressed by all the technology I see.

I was, after all, the one who many years ago was totally underwhelmed by video conferencing when others around me were so excited - I couldn't get excited, the technology was 40 years old - Captain Kirk had ship to ship live communication in the 60's. While I'm on the subject of Star Trek - Did you realise that Captain Kirk had one of the first tablet pcs too? Looks a lot different to ours BUT they read their books on it, and did their work and wrote on it too. Sound familiar?

I've started now. We have a lot to thank (or curse) Gene Roddenberry for. The mobile phone was the first piece of technology to come from Star Trek. Not far from what we have is it?

What about the hands free device? I hope he was being paid commission for his ingenuity.

Now back to the point I was originally on before I got sidetracked. We have all this web 2 technology which is supposed to be the next generation of the Web (no I'm not on about Star Trek again). But for those of you who have already been using discussion forums, groups or creating your own web pages from templates it seems to me that this supposedly new technology isn't really new, it's just been repackaged, looks fresh and has suddenly taken off big time. So don't be put off by all the new names floating about. Google them, speak to any of us in the college who can tell you a bit more and most importantly put them in context when you use them in your job.

Beam me up Scotty. (I am sick of the driving between here and Croydon let's hope the personal transporter is developed in my lifetime). Note: Before you ask. No I don't dress up in the uniforms at the weekend. Live long and Prosper friends.

Please comment below - click on the comments link below and follow the instructions on screen. If you haven't got an account select anonymous. Make sure you see the message which reads "your message has been posted" If you don't see this it hasn't worked. You could also complete the poll - top right of the screen to let me know what you think of the article.
Did you notice the two different polls on the right? If you see round tick boxes you can only select one option in the poll. If you see square tick boxes you can select more than one. Happy voting

Friday, 25 January 2008

Is there a place for Ebay in education?

I spoke to Martin several weeks ago regarding the college having an Ebay account. He has suggested I put the idea out here it so that anyone can comment. Ebay is a tool I use regularly and have been very successful with and if anyone is interested in finding out more on ideas for educational use please click on the comment link below and leave a message.

Ideas for use?
  • I thought about Business first as I remember my son was involved in a business trade/young enterprise project, where students had to create a company, design, create and sell a product. Ebay would be ideal for this as the audience would be so much greater. Students would also have to consider things like postage costs and selling fees in their price too, all helps with numeracy and planning.
  • Hair and Beauty - well, you are selling a product, maybe there are local people who don't know about your salons, maybe they would bid on a "Buy-it-Now" basis for treatments as your prices are so good.
  • Routes florists - Similar thoughts.
  • Tutor groups might like to take on selling some items for a charity etc....

Anyway I'm not going to say much more on this other than please comment below - click on the comments link below and follow the instructions on screen. If you haven't got an account select anonymous. You could also complete the poll - top right of the screen to let me know what you think of the article.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Getting ready to start the Cert Ed group off blogging on Saturday. I don't think any of them have used one before, I may on the other hand be wrong. The idea is to get them to use it initially for reflective practice for the duration of this module and then hopefully to get them to introduce blogs to their own students (who again may already use them). This is another update of the existing module as the tools we use change each time it runs . It's exciting that the technology is developing so quickly. The assignment criteria the blogs relate to is to evaluate the use of 3 communication tools they have used with their students. 5 years ago we were looking at email, discussion groups and Netmeeting. Now - Well it's blogging, twittering and facebook perhaps. I must admit it's not something I am entirely comfortable with yet but as always I give it a go....... I'm apprehensive about keeping it updated and it not becoming static which will be a real challenge for me. Well, let's suck it and see as they say.......... I'll keep you posted how it goes.