Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ECER08 - Teaching uses and Innovations in a Virtual Educational Space

Live blog from a session at ECER 2008.

Presentation from Christian Derrien, Université de Rennes.

Christian talked about the new wave of digital spaces. Four broadband programmes have been operating since 2003.

Eduvisits: Online visits to sites of educational interest, for example castles, salt-marshes etc.

People of Brittany: A portrait gallery of people involved in social, cultural and economic life. Designed to challenge and inform. [Looks like video portraits from the screen dump - DM]

Oceanimages: A thematic video library. Includes documentary films, poems, etc. "right-free" online audiovisual programmes for use in schools.

A portal site links these four projects together. Teachers had input into the design of the portal. One of the functions the teachers had added were buttons that link teachers to collaborative projects. Teachers also wanted more training and the opportunity to add their own input.

Currently used in about 100 schools but about to be rolled out to every school in Brittany. Schools prefer creative programmes rather than content. The most popular is the Oceanimages. [Not clear to me what is meant by "content" verses "creative" as the Oceanimages looks like content to me. The next example makes more sense. - DM] However, the People in Brittany project inspired the teachers to create their own portraits - written, slideshows, ... [This seems to suggest that the People in Brittany site was envisioned as a kind of online encyclopaedia but creative teachers were taking the content as an example and then getting pupils to produce their own multimedia portraits. Of themselves, or other people in Brittany? - Not sure. Either way it would be good. :-) - DM]

[More detail on Oceanimage helps me understand - DM] Oceanmages is a toolbox of multimedia resources (images, sound, animation, video, ...) that schools used to create their own multimedia projects "audiovisual writing". For example, teachers set their classes projects and the pupils then use the resources on the Oceanimages site to create multimedia projects. The example given was creating a montage to illustrate a song.

One of the positive outcomes of the programme is the collaborations between teachers. The research highlighted the positive uses of the material - some expected and some (pleasantly) unexpected.

My comments: I like the term audiovisual writing. I'm not sure if this is a widely used term or a fortunate translation of a French term. However, it is a great term for what should be an important literacy skill for today's learners. It made me think of SCRAN and I must admit that I do not know how much research has gone into the classroom uses of SCRAN. There is obviously a lot of research going into the resources made available through the Ticeo portal and the research is feeding back into making it more useful for schools and teachers.

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