April 30, 2007

eduBuzz blogs the winning formula!

Over the past seven months I've been working with David Gilmour in building up a stable and fun-to-use web publishing platform for our kids in East Lothian, and the eduBuzz platform has helped some primary school kids clinch a silver medal in their regional ICT Fair. (via David)

But the kids are not from East Lothian. They're from Falkirk. We've started letting one or two schools from authorities outside East Lothian have some space on our platform, using our online wiki support to see where to go with it.

This was due initially to frustration they had with spam-hit platforms or blogging tools which didn't really feature the add-ons and widgets that make educational blogging fun and more integral to the learning process. But it's also inadvertently a great way to show that the use of photosharing, rss, blogging and podcasting can help learning improve, provided the platform used is

  • stable
  • easy to use
  • part of a community (the Falkirk school have created several individual pupil blogs which are all interconnected with each other, as well as connected with students and schools outside Scotland)
  • personalisable (this means really personalisable - the kids have control of every detail on the page to make their site feel like theirs, not some centralised silo-ed academic project).
  • thought out and adapted every day by educators in the classroom and specialist teachers who have the time to experiment with new possibilities - the mix of input is vital to maintain something which is both usable and innovative.

I'm in the process of writing up how the eduBuzz platform and community has been built up since the beginning of this session. David will help later this year put together a technical spec to help other Authorities come up with their own flavour of eduBuzz.

We've gone from a fairly static 20,000 visits a month from 2005 until August 2006 to an exponential curve of traffic, reaching past the 160,000 per month mark, in the space of barely half a year.

It all seems simple in retrospect, but the combination of technology, training and community-building has helped change learning at the chalkface in many of our classrooms, helped our teachers reflect more on their teaching and helped more parents feel part of the school community than ever before. There's still a long way to go to sqeeze everything out of eduBuzz, but we're well on our way!


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Well done to the pupils achieving the silver award.

Pats on the back and smiles all round in East Lothian, maybe a few red faces in Falkirk.


I couldn't possibly comment, Sir Humphrey...

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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.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

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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