Some of you may have noticed that my blog posts – which were infrequent at best – took a nose-dive into the non-existent category last year. This was due to a number of factors, starting my new job and moving house being two of the lesser ones. The main reason, as it turned out, was the very demanding but exceptionally rewarding PGCert in Dyslexia & LiteracyI undertook through Dyslexia Action. I can honestly say that it is the hardest study I have ever undertaken, far outstripping the demands of my PGDE (Primary). Now there’s a sentence I never thought I would write!!!! After such an intense year, I was looking forward to a bit of an easier year, and the chance to focus completely on my work in school.
Unsurprisingly, things didn’t work out like that!
As many of you know, I am fairly active on Twitter. As is fairly common, I saw something appearing in my stream that really caught my interest. Dyslexia Action and the RNIB were looking for volunteers to pilot an online course they had been developing called Inclusive Technologies for Reading. This course will be a commercally-offered course, and the chance to take part in such high-quality professional learning for free proved just too tempting for me and so I signed up.
The course architecture is fascinating. Having used a number of learning platforms over the years – First Class, Glow, Moodle and now Fronter amongst others – I am finding this new platform that wee bit different. From what I can gather, it has been designed specifically for the course and has a real social media type ‘feel’ about it. As a result, I am finding it far easier to navgate than I have found Glow in the past or the exceptionally-bewildering Moodle that I had to fight my way through last year. Have a look yourself.
The course content is similarly fresh. Collaborative Google Docs, Live ‘webinars’, Discussion Boards, Link Repositories and Twitter Socials are hardly cutting edge in the tech-world, but it is refreshing to see them front and centre in a method of CPD delivery.
As it is with the web-engagement. the ITR12 course virtually forces participants to use Twitter and also to blog reflectively. This ‘compulsory’ aspect of the course will be a great device in helping other teachers to engage through such media.
The result on here, of course, wil be some semi-regular postings, as well as the creation of the #itr12 tag in my blog categories!