June 9, 2008, by Teaching at Nottingham

Setting up project support

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Show and Tell event: Small group in conversation.


Gordon Joyes: “We had probably, I don’t know, two thirds or more of the school turn up to the initial briefing, and of that, well over half of those, two thirds of that two thirds ended up with projects that we looked at and then allocated mentors to.”

Do Coyle: “Then, members of the E-Learning Strategy Group were attached to each one of these small groups, in the role as mentor, and that was distributed according to where individual members of the group felt they had some experience.

“Again, I’d like to reiterate that it wasn’t necessarily that they were experts in that area, but they had some experience, or they themselves wanted to update themselves or upskill themselves in a particular technology. So that was how the small groups were actually organised with a mentor.”

Brett Bligh: “So I started off by going to meet the person I would be working with, and finding out what they wanted to do, and what they wanted to know, and what their current position was in terms of technology, in terms of pedagogy, in terms of their current level of use, in terms of their current level of personal experience, and in terms of their own vision.

“And then I, sort of, decided that, yes, okay, I can be a part of that, and I can assist in some sort of way, and so we moved from there, and it developed in a quite an organic fashion.”

Mike Sharples: “The purpose of the budget was to provide a small amount of money for each project, really to use as they wanted to. So they could use it for technical development, they could use it for getting resources, they could use it to buy out time, they could use it for getting some specific teaching support in.

“So they could decide how they wanted to use that budget, in consultation and discussion with a mentor. And then it gave them the resources and opportunity to take the project in the direction they wanted to with a little bit of support.

“And often, just a small amount of support, both human support through the mentors, and also cash support through the funding, can go a long way.”

Do: “We were worried that after such a, sort of, big bang start to the whole thing, and all the razzmatazz about, ‘Isn’t this wonderful!’ that actually, once that wore off, and we were down to, sort of, daily work, that the whole thing would just, sort of, die away.

“And I have to say that that really would have happened. So the Co-ordinator role is fundamental to keeping the diverse groups together and, in fact, instilling this sense of community.”

Elaine Arici: “I set up a couple of meetings with mentors, and with the ePioneers themselves. Lunchtime, informal meetings, so they could go and talk about what they were doing, share angst, talk about how far the projects were going or not going, and again, feel part of the community, feel that they’re not on their own, they’re not being left out, they are sharing the difficulties they are having with the projects, and finding a way through those projects as well.

“And then, we also set up, towards the end of the first year, a ‘Show and Tell’, where we got all the ePioneers to set up shop downstairs in the Atrium, and to share with the wider school exactly what they were doing with their projects, and how far they’d got.

“And that worked out really well, because it gave them an opportunity as a group, as a community, as this widening community, to actually show what they were doing, and also got the other members of the school to come and see what they were doing, and also pick up those ideas, and maybe take it away themselves, and also think about what they could do with it, with e-learning too.”

Show and Tell event: Small group in conversation.


Tony Fisher: “I think the showcase event was quite important because, in addition to it being an opportunity for the different subprojects to learn about one another’s work, it was also an opportunity for the school as a whole to see what was going on.”

In conversation with: Elaine Arici, Brett Bligh, Do Coyle, Tony FisherGordon Joyes, Mike Sharples
School of Education.

Extracts from interviews with staff who are starting to use technology in their teaching, and those who are mentoring them. This video was originally published as part of PESL’s ePioneers collection.

Posted in Curriculum designIntegrating technologyStrategy and policy