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The life and times of an elderly educationalist in a technological age.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What a busy week!

The teds have gone global! It takes such a long time for wee ones to type in their comments, so our next ploy is to improve keyboard skills. Just on time the software fairy arrived....with a wee programme that might help "Speedy keys" from SEMERC, so we'll see how we get on. The children have been tracking the visitors to the teddy blog enthusiastically and coming up with all sorts of notions to make it better. Sent them away on Friday, because they were hanging about so long after school to talk about it, I might have needed to give them tea! The more this goes on the more I realise how little I know in the great scheme, and this enthusiasm must be fed!!!!

I'd been spending many hours working on building a school website, having had a couple of days training on Dreamweaver/Photoshop Elements and Flash....I know... industry standard progs, that take months to get to grips with, properly and add several hours of support, from Maggie. When the site is uploaded to the server it is jumping about incontrollably, yet it looked ok. Maggie, from her position of superior knowledge spent many more hours rejigging and redoing my mistakes, which at the time of doing, were not at all obvious. I ostensibly, have a half day a month in which to do this to conform with the school improvement plan. I was able to work with the knowledge I had been given,but was trying to run before I could crawl. By the time I lift the material from its many and varied sources, the morning is over, and none of it is prepared for web. Dreamweaver is aptly named! Dream on! I try to do this as a fully class committed teacher....marking and planning already take place, too often, outwith the classroom, and without the children being present to get the right feedback. So I fail there too.I can master Dreamweaver. I know I can....When? Oh and ..If I am run over by a bus tomorrow...who will finish it or even maintain it, if this level of skill is needed.
I hear that the Argyll & Bute QIO's are to be given templates for their web presences. If they are to have a template, why not the schools? After all why does the school want a website? All the reasons you can come up with, don't involve skilling up a member of staff to create it. So just this week a solution may have arrived on my desk. Time to be independent. Web blender from TAG. Sooo simple. The children in my P3 could do it...You know what...they might yet!
And I hope you'll note from the heading that I have been mucking about with html just a bit. I suppose this proves that, at this great age, I am still trainable! :-)


Blogger Morag Macdonald said...

I too have dreamt about Dreamweaver but it turned into a nightmare. I have created some web pages using WebBlender and will now look into the use of iWeb.
I may not have scrolling titles on my blog Marlyn- but check out my groovy clock!

8:05 pm

Blogger marlyn moffat said...

Get it on the teddy blog and add yet another dimension..you can do it!

12:42 am

Blogger ab said...

There are numerous products out there that make creating a website easy. Curiously, this was not the driving force in my choice of Dreamweaver. I wanted people to use something that had potential for growth in it. Once people have made basic html pages, they will then be interested in having dynamic pages - which the vast majority of 'simple' web authoring prgrams do not cater for. So, to save people having to have 2 learning curves, it was better to get people used to using Dreamweaver in the first place.

Rest assured, if the QIOs are to get templates (athough I must point out that this has not been discussed at any formal meeting at all!) then the schools will too - I won't accept a two tier system. The reason I recoil from templates is without knowledge they are limiting - but with knowledge, you wouldn't need the template anyway?

I know it has been very time consuming - but think how long it took to get used to using a simple application like AppleWorks - Dreamweaver is a far more demanding app than that, so logically it will take longer. What doesn't help is that the majority of other apps we use still 'think' in paper sizes - Dreamweaver doesn't - as anything produced in it is for a screen, not for a printer.

10:37 pm

Blogger marlyn moffat said...

I can see where you'd like to be heading. I understand. I got to grips with Appleworks over years working with it daily, in class, mostly. This does take a long time and having to plan, prepare practical lessons and still mark at night, I've not a lot of time to maintain a learning curve. Despite all the initiatives, the reality is I am still helping teachers with basic Appleworks. To have a half day per month...to construct...How much time /cost do you suggest to schools, might be realistic to commit, using Dreamweaver? I wonder if they all have someone who is not going to leave the school, has the basic skills and is prepared to do it? I know ..aim high and all that, but there are many other factors to consider here. A wee simple website that can be maintained up to date, collectively, might well be all that some primaries can aim for and that would be high for them. I set off to create a masterpiece without the main ingredient....the canvas! Or was it frames? Disheartened....Very...If I'd known that, I wouldn't have wasted all the time on making and attempting to rectify my mistakes. Had bigger learning curves in the past...but then I had time, energy and youth on my side!

8:55 pm


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