While at the recent BETT ICT in schools exhibition and conference, I attended a seminar by Jim Fanning of Tideway School which is on the south coast of England. Jim was talking about personalised learning in the context of learning platforms. There is now much discussion about how learning platforms or VLEs can be used in schools. Jim Fanning’s site on learning platforms is well worth a look, as it contains a very practical guide to a range of aspects – opportunities and problems – relating to choosing, implementing, and above all, exploiting learning platforms to enhance student learning in the school. A very good example of this, which will be of interest to TLs, teachers and students, is the Model of Use (Students) , which presents a ladder up which students can progress from being technical users of a learning platform, to being independent learners. An example is that as an independent learner ‘I know when to work with my teacher and when to look for support and information elsewhere’. This is a site very well worth visiting.
In December, I bought myself a festive present. It’s the Poetry Calendar and it has been a joy so far. Each day, as you flick over yesterday’s page, you are presented by a new poem. There is a temptation – which must be resisted – to peek at what’s coming up in the next few days. The poems are a mixture of old and new. Yesterday’s poem was Emily Dickinson’s There’s a certain slant of light which has the unique image of winter light which ‘oppresses, like the weight of cathedral tunes’. Another recent example was “Casting” by Christianne Balk – “You step into the stream/In silt too thick to see and cast a line”. I’m not a fisherman but this is a joyous poem about fishing and life. One of hte great things about the poetry calendar is that it lasts for 3 years. I bought mine via the Poetry Book Society as I’m a member. Fantastic value – get one and enrich your daily life. Mine is pictured below.