Wednesday, 24 September 2008


It has been an interesting last week of term at school, and I am feeling lost in the mayhem that it is. I have marking to do with the senior exams that have been happening over the last two weeks, reports to write and teaching to do as well. I also lose my junior classes that I have had for the past 9 weeks. I am always at a loss at what to teach them in the last week. I want to play with scratch but the network is playing up and not allowing them to use it due to a software restriction, sometimes I hate RMSmartTools, it will work one day and no another.

I am starting to think what I want to teach next year, though I am somewhat scared of this. I have 3 year 12 programming classes, 2 year 13 programming class, and then 1 web at year 12 and another at year 13. I have no idea what I want to focus on. I love programming and the challenges that it places, and what the students get out of it. Though it is rather difficult when you are trying to find resources and get the students interested in working on a 16 week project that requires you to learn and work through solutions in the same context. Maybe I need to think about how this works a little bit better, how are other teachers making this work.

I also want to revilatise the school intranet. It is a system that has been running for 6 years and is looking rather old and silly. I don't want to use knowledgeNET as it requires outside connection and internet access. I want to use what we have but make it interesting and fun, and that we can change the theme on it when needed. We can also get the year 13 students developing the themes and content and teaching others how to manage and use it. I know I want to do this each year, but I feel I can do it now with new management in. I am thinking about using silverstripe to do all the management behind the scenes, but this requires I update mysql and php on our IIS box. So I need to write some documentation to allow this to be done, so our IT Manager will allow it to go through. I can see huge benefits, however it will come back to why don't we use knowledgeNET to do this, why are we using another CMS system to do this. 
I believe that we have the students that are capable of being able to create content and keep it up to date and run it like a office. We need to have procedures in place and trust them. Make it part of the course. Though I will have to think about how much we open, do we make a student in charge of a department and get content from the teachers or do the designs and implementation of what we have there originally so they get an idea of structure. 
Do I look at the students being in charge of events through the school that they have to report on, linking media studies into web design and art design into the course as well through the creation of a theme as part of there assessment. How do I manage this.
These are just ideas and thoughts as I sit here trying to work out how I am going to complete this year and get the assessments completed in 4 weeks time, well 6 weeks time including holidays. 
Are there any templates or teaching getting the students to run a web design company through there school and procedures as I think this would be a great opportunity for them to do something productive as well as doing there normal studies.
What events do we have.

House Events
International Day
Special speakers
Music evenings
Parent Teacher Interviews
Open Day
Next year we have a production
School original Music CD
Exchange with another school

This needs some more thought and a discussion with the students on what they think.

Developing a theme for the departments - tutorial for silverstripe

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