The ICT Bill of Rights

I’ve been thinking, well scratch that the team has been working flat out on the finishing touches to c_space, our staff and student vle/intranet.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know I’ve been working on a section (once known as seeSpace), called c_live which is a brand new concept for the College. c_live is a new area on our vle that is the first step in changing how our students view what a vle really is and gives educators an idea of what can be created in browser.

For those who don’t follow this blog (shame on you!), c_live gives all students persistent, pervasive access to a range of tools and services they have not had available to them before.

For too long the answer to many of educations problems has been to grab a box off the shelf and make it fit the need, this is not only a self defeating exercise but it also makes it harder for the learner to use. I say this as that more often than not the user will have to click through to find the system, log on and only then get to do what they aimed to do in the first place!

So what should we be doing?

Make the system easier to use and ensure that its provides the information that students want.

Simple eh?

To this end, when our new VLE seeNet launches the VLE will be broken into four main areas:

The current week view of their scheme of work
A weekly view of their tutorial
Upcoming assessments reminders
Up to date attendance data
Email with 25 gigabytes of storage
Most recently set targets in their ILPs
Learning Resources:
Online databases of curriculum resources
Library catalogue and resources
Key skills and functional skills materials
Study skills, literacy and numeracy resources
Interactive learning resources
The Learning Resources Pool, which currently contains over 3000 staff authored curriculum resources
Student Information:
Student policies and procedures
Equality and diversity resources
Health and safety information
JobShop vacancies
Online forums, (in which last year students and staff posted over 25000 messages in 1023 topics in 24 forums)
Student Blogs, that can be shared with all student and staff with a click of a button.
A student noticeboard that allows students to inform students and staff of events
A feature to allow Student Council members to publish their own content that is shown direct to all students via c_live
seeLinks – a pervasive bookmark creator that will enable students to bookmark key websites and have them available where ever they are
seeK – a tool modeled on Twitter which will allow students to share updates regarding their work and collaborate both with staff and students
seeNotes – an in browser notepad providing students with a personal space for them to post notes, reminders or even a shopping list to seeSpace
An RSS feed aggregator allowing students access to the latest news and information
Weather updates! (one of the largest requests from students)
All that from just a browser, available inside and outside of College.

So how does the ICT Bill of rights come into it? (Apart from being a rather catchy title…)

VLE’s have in one form or another been around since the early nineties and yet they’re still finding their feet, I suppose, you could say that they’re running to stay still. I feel that this is in part to do with how they came to be and the damaged that caused, the hyperbole created inflated user expectations and the resultant dismay has had lasting repercussions.

And the fact that application and service development within education was in its nascent form.

It’s not been possible with the available technology to give students what they need.

The ideas have been there, blogs, wiki’s, collaboration, sharing, giving students the ability to talk back; but the technology has always been the millstone dragging the system down.

Until now…

With c_space we can guarantee the following:
Students can know what is happening with their College life at any time, day or night
That every student will be able to have a blog, just by opening the browser
That students can have bookmarks, and take them with them
That students can share links with their friends and peers
That Teachers can share important documents without having to use email
That students can get to the information and resources quickly and easily
That students can access all of this via a single sign on process
It sounds simple, but think about it, this isn’t miriad of different applications, this is one system.

And this is just the beginning.

Vive La Revolution!

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