eSchool News items and Tauranga sunset

From this week’s edition of eSchool News (which is worth joining for free), some interesting items. The first is a list of apps which can be downloaded for free or cheaply. Some look interesting enough for TLs to pass on to interested teachers, although some are fairly basic and assessment orientated. There’s also a useful guide to starting a virtual learning programme. It lists 7 questions which schools should ask. Now these questions will be familiar to any of you who have been involved in any kind of school ICT projects e.g. “What challenge are we trying to address?” but such questions are fundamental to successful ICT projects, as you can see from unsuccessful ones which have been designed by techies who rarely ask the actual users why this project might go ahead. TLs should be involved at the heart of the design of virtual learning environments in schools, so having questions such as these is a good start. There are also features on Facebook, Twitter and texting – so very much worth a look.

I’m back in Scotland now after 7 weeks away – in temperatures from 19-36 degrees. Back to 3-4 degrees might seem hard but when it’s a sunny day like today and you “rug up” (Australian term) in winter coat and gloves, it’s a great experience. One stop on my travels was at my sister and brother in law’s house in Tauranga, New Zealand. When the wind blows down the estuary, it can be a bit “coorse” as we say in Scotland. However, on nights like those in the photo below, when the sun is setting over the estuary and the tide is coming in, and you have food on the decking, and a bottle of Morton Estate (not far from Tauranga) Pinot Noir, life is pretty good.

Sunset in Tauranga


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