August 02, 2006

MFLE Strategy meeting - Sexy...

Sexyfood Part of my new job as New Technologies Research Practitioner will be to direct the strategy of the Modern Foreign Languages Environment, a website which will form an integral part of the piloting of the Scottish Schools Digital Network. Yesterday, we discussed how this project would develop over the next two years... and had 'Sexy Food' from Stirling. It was, indeed, very nice.

I took over the project last year, creating the public website and getting a 1000% growth in the number of 'community members'. I was frustrated at not being able to introduce half the new technologies I had wanted to - notably RSS feeds on Early Years, Primary Education, ICT... - but am determined that when SSDN does bring these technologies along modern linguists will be the first ones using them, along with the Marratech video conferencing and Virtual Teaching and Learning Environment. I'll be looking for schools whom we can film making use of the technologies particularly well. All this is in the hope that more people will join our community. In the meantime we are happy to be one of the most popular websites in LTS' family.

One of the things we will also be encouraging more of is the creation of teacher blogs. We've already started featuring several of these alongside our own, redesigned MFLE blog (particularly like the Chinese field trip ones). The great thing about these is that teachers can share their own stuff for free without having to worry about stuff being axed through some archaic quality control mechanism. For us it's great, too, because we get a constant flow of resources we can publicise.

The mflePodcast will also remain my responsibility - a pleasure in any case - and will continue to cover a range of topics which are not strictly MFL, but more generally linked to teaching and learning. I am also hoping to launch a new range of podcasts with colleagues across LTS and East Lothian. These podcasts have constantly been the second favourite after the homepage (knocked to third place by the World Cup pages last month), helping to bring in about a third of our traffic each month.

My role in East Lothian is the main part of my new post, though. My thoughts on how this might develop will be posted later next week after I've chatted to the team. What should be clear, though, is how a Modern Languages project is benefiting the wider educational community big time. Maybe this will change the way Directors of Education and Head Teachers view foreign languages - the subject, which is all about communication, really is at the core of our country's school and business life. And that can only be a good thing...

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What exactly is your new job?....pardon my ignorance!!

As I say, you;ve heard part of it, the rest comes later. Patience, Luke, Patience...

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

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School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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