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Nick Falk

Virtual School Co-ordinators Meeting

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Co-ordinators meeting – Content management tools workshop

Chui introduced the co-ordinators to the new Virtual School website. The opening page will provide not only the gateway to individual departments but will focus on the principle theme for the production of educational material. This year’s theme is the Olympics.

Many Virtual School members have in the past expressed the wish to have more direct control over content. To this end the workshop at Fontys – University of Professional Education was an opportunity to learn to use the newly created content management tools.

Departmental co-ordinators and department members will now be able to populate their own areas using the online tools. In fact this will be essential as much more responsibility is being devolved to the virtual school members.

The tools require some technical knowledge but will need little more than practice for those used to webpage production and FTP usage.

The control of page look will still be limited but links to material on external servers will still be possible. Future developments will include the integration of more interactive applications e.g. flash.

The use of the tools will probably be a feature of future departmental meetings.

The new site should be live at the end of May.

While at Fontys we also so some of the work being done on new approaches to classroom practice, include was ITALES (Innovative Teaching And Learning Environments for Schools). Further details can be found at

http://www.itales.ltscotland.com/itales_frameset.asp

The free authoring tools used to create 3D learning environments look promising especially in the context of the Olympics project.

Fontys itself is a specially designed learning environment of minimal physical barriers. The open surrounding support the thematic approach to learning. Laptops and the availability of network points throughout the establishment further supports this approach.

A productive weekend with only some frustrations associated with an unexpectedly slow server in Brussels. This should be sorted out soon.

Thanks to Anne Gilleran (European Schoolnet), Wim Diddeeren (Fontys University) and Chui Hsia Yong (European Schoolnet).

Nick Falk

Virtual School Chemistry Department

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