About 2 Years 2 ago we decided to move away from a traditional learning platform and build our own set of link instead. The main reasons were our provider never fulfilled the promises they gave us when we signed with them and our school improvement targets were, like most schools, focused on Literacy and Maths and whilst a traditional learning platform can influence those areas, they can’t provide quick wins or directly impact on attainment.
We tried a very interesting system out that would be perfect for some called onelogin.com which allows you to set up different websites and access them by using one username and password via a little plugin. However I didn’t think we would get 90%+ of parents to get it all set up and access at home so to meet the needs of our children, it meant the only solution was for me to manually set up accounts on sites that were hand picked to impact on learning in the areas of school improvement. I also added several sites that did not need usernames and passwords, primarily focusing on Literacy and Maths.
Our children named our ‘system’ Digital Wings’ and it can be found by googling it or going directly here: http://www.wldps.com/digitalwings
Basically it’s an HTML page that I hand coded with the addition of a Edu Symbaloo page embedded into it. In other words if you were thinking of setting one up yourself and had no HTML knowledge all you would need is a free Symbaloo account to get set up. I would, for ESafety reasons, recommend embedding the Symbaloo page rather than accessing directly as if you access directly you can get to other links, which lead to other links etc. You can start embedding just by adding an IFRAME line of code like this into a page on your school website.
Our children have really enjoyed the fact that the sites we have picked have lots of learning activities, are fresh and exciting and help them learn. Key Stage 1 children enjoy the freedom they get in learning to choose and login to different sites and KS2 children enjoy extending their learning at home through sites such as Edmodo and Storybird.
In terms of impacting on learning, it’s still early days as it has not been a focus of the school, rather a slow burner but it is slowly growing momentum as staff and parents realise the potential impact that some of the sites can give. No such worries with the children of course, they are always enthusiastic and eager to use ICT in their learning!