CAS South West Wales Hub with Technocamps

Enjoyed the CAS South West Wales Hub meeting (and buffet!) with two very interesting main speakers on YouSRC and Raspberry Pi.  Looking forward to trying YouSRC out.

Taken to using Twitter as a note taking tool – so here’s the highlights of the backchannel on Storify.

First workshop

A few inital hiccups (Moodle ones not Pi ones again!) when the open guest access meant registered learners too were deposited in the course without enrolling.   Sorted temporarily during the day by turning off guest access.  On again now, but learners will have to manually enroll from a link at the side rather than being prompted.

As discussed here we went through some aims and objective.  Interesting to see where the learners priorities did and didn’t match ours!  (The bid objectives tallied up but their assessment of what they wanted to learn and what we thought they needed to learn were rather further removed!

ITeC’s Aims

Our Cross-curricula requirements to get the Welsh economy and culture involved in everything we do is still proving a challenge to get learners to fully take on board.  Surprisingly they don’t prioritise awareness of the job market either – we definitely need to work on that!

Skills The Project will Need

The research and self study skills which have been a concern to the staff in the past still are not seen as a priority either.  I wonder if it’s because they think they are already good?  And how they’re defining ‘good’ – any of you out there care to comment? 😉

Most learners engaged well with the activities although I think we’ll add more direction to what we mean when we say have a god and tell us what you think!”  They have had very little practice in using different applications and systems and comparing the advantages and disadvantages – probably comes of always having been told “Use this””

We watched the following video.  Probably it’s more aimed at tutors, but we keep saying this is, in effect an adult programme and this is the level of learning that their CPD is going to need in an IT world.  Part of the Moodle course involved summarising the aims as stated in the video and everyone got the gist.

The cloze exercise for the background reading working well, prompting lots of discussion and some unexpected literacy work as we discussed how we could get clues from whether the sentence meant the gaps needed a singular or plural answer!  I’ll definitely use that again!

For the practical part we had two Pis (one a learner’s own) between 8 so had a two small groups working on the Pis and a third using live USB boots to try out Linux itself.

There’s some more writing to be done on the wiki but overall it went well.

Moodle Underway

Started doing some planning for the project today (setting up this blog was a bit spur of the moment based on other blog projects we’ve done so didn’t need much forethought!

We use Moodle a lot so that seemed like the logical place to start.  The course is now underway here: ITeC Moodle Raspberry Pi Course,

I did look at the eLinux Raspberry Pi wiki which has an education section but it seems rather chaotic (even for a wiki!).  I added our project there, but if anyone knows any structured collections of resources we’d like to hear about them.  Part of the bid was that we’d release anything we created back into the community so the Moodle course is open to Guest access and we’ll be making it available on the likes of Moodle Commons and Moodle Share once it’s fully populated.

So far an intro and the first section, on OSes is done (or at least ready to try out with learners).  I’ve tried to steer clear of too much reading – where is there is background reading to be absorbed, I’ve gone for a ‘close’ approach so a bit of thought has to go in as well as just plonking it in front of eyeballs.  (Idea from a post about Textivate on m-learning, Lilian’s blog)

I went off on somewhat of a tangent here because while the idea came from Textivate, the actual implementation of the cloze I did in Moodle for ease of assessing and tracking – and there’s a bug in Moodle’s Quiz activity that adds an orphan paragraph tag to cloze tasks if the “HTML Tidy” filter is switched on, resulting in an ugly looking screen where the first ‘gap’ forces a line break whether it needs one or not!

Half hour research to fix that!  (Well, we said the staff were going to learn from this project as well as the learners – though I rather more had in mind RasPi skills than more Moodle ones! ;))

The ‘Research’ activity has been added retrospectively – really it’s what the learners have done here (although in some cases we’re still waiting for comments adding a few more of their own thoughts to the bare facts and news stories they’ve found.)

There’s a couple of survey’s to get people thinking about what they want to get out of the course and it’ll be interesting to see how well our learners’ priorities tie up with ours!

There’s also a wiki where they can start compiling info about different operating systems they want to try out.  I’m hoping to link this in with some literacy activities to do with writing reviews and text types.  (Persuasive vs informational)

Not entirely sure how long it’s going to all take yet really.  Lesson plan might just be written retrospectively!

Upcoming Events

We’ll be attending a few of these to rummage for idea and inspiration!

Computing at School South West Wales Hub (with CSoftware Alliance Wales)
6th November 4PM – 7:30PM
The Village Hotel, Swansea
A free event for teachers and educators interested in computing education where they can find out more about exciting new initiatives to engage young people – includes raffle for brand new Rasperry Pi!
Booking and Agenda on Eventbrite

Swansea Raspberry Jam
1st December 11AM-2PM
Technocamps (407, 4th Floor), Vivian Tower, Swansea University
Guest speakers will extol the virtues of the Raspberry Pi and teach you how to do some pretty cool things, plus everyone can have their moment to ‘show and tell’.
Book on DoAttend