Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

Click on "contact", won't you, and wave right back at me?

Mobile blogging, deep breath in, here we go

Hello World, I've successfully moved my website from Drupal, which was clearly out of my depth, to TypePad, which any fool could use (that's me!).

Mobile Blogging
Right, here we go! I've not only got 5 or 6 mobile blogging projects about to launch at my school, I've also just heard that I'll be presenting at the Expanding Learning Horizons conference in August on these very projects. Click here for the conference program and info.

So... the projects had better go ahead, and I hope they'll be successful. I'm in the process of sending out permission notes to parents.

Mobile_phone_copy_3Why bother with permission notes? The most obvious issue is the costs involved with blogging from their mobile phones, and the possibility that students might not, shock horror, have a mobile phone, although any mobile will do.

I also feel it is important to be upfront with parents about the other two key issues: privacy and copyright. I think these issues are easily managed, so easily managed that it is almost not worth mentioning.

However, as a principle, fear is often generated by vagueness. Fear lurks in shadowy hypotheticals. There is a vague fear about the Internet. By breaking it down to specific issues I hope to pre-empt any parental anxiety that might arise from that vague fear about the Wild Wild Web.

"What could possibly go wrong?" I like to ask myself. Very little, when you break it down to specifics.

Although, I must admit, I've been a little hesitant about involving our music students in podcasting their music. It's been burning at the back of my head for months, ever since I heard a couple of students perform a brilliant song they had composed. In this case, copyright is a real problem. If we post their work to the Internet, they may get recognition, but they also lose control of their intellectual property. Is this a ridiculous concern? I know a lot of musicians publish their songs freely on the net, and there is a lot of truth to the new principle that the more you give something away for free, the more it is now worth. I'll have to sort my thoughts on this out soon.

Anyway, more on copyright and privacy in a later post.

In the meantime, welcome to the new version of www.happysteve.com, dedicated to my journeys in education, technology, and innovation. If you want to see my more casual material, not necessarily professional but hopefully entertaining, pop over to http://stevecollis.blogspot.com.

I welcome any comments, it will be nice to know if this is being read. Stay tuned for updates about how these projects go.

List of Projects about to Launch:
senior French students posting on Twitter
junior English students blogging about the novel "A Fortunate Life"
senior English students mobile blogging about Wordsworth, from urban and natural locations!
Geography students mobile blogging about landscape and cityscape features
online Software Design and Technology students giving mobile audio updates about their work as a means of being accountable

Stay tuned for more information.

I cannot say how impressed I am with the Primary School project-based learning website: www.nbcsgreenfingers.com, run by my colleague Anne Sharkey. The website has been a focal point for a unit of work on horticulture, and has raised over $100 via a simulated consultancy service. More on student publishing to come!