All entries for September 2009

September 19, 2009

Website or Blog?

Writing about web page

It is the start of the academic year for schools.  I am working with Leigh Church of England Primary School, Tile Hill, Coventry to reorganise their web profile.  Many schools have a traditional website with static front page and sub pages.

At Leigh, I am offering the blogging concept.  I am interested to see, not only how the site grows, but in what direction? For example, there is a community of 155 children with home school links by the normal pupil-post.  Will it make a difference to have every newsletter, homework task or permission slip posted online.  The use of the mobile phone is also interesting as texting is everywhere, but rarely used from school to parent.  Furthermore, email is used in the real world, but again very rare from school/teacher to parent or child.

I am trying to close all obvious loops.  For example, the site should answer any and all questions a parent could ever ask.  By using the Google's Blogger and associated Picasa 3, documents and calendar, life should be simple and easy.  However, there are many barriers with schools.  I have found it frustrating and time consuming to negotiate the Virtual Learning Environment i.e. Moodledo.  For those of you who do not know, the government is states all schools should have a VLE by 2010, but little is said what the schools should do with it. OFSTED produced a report, but surveyed only six primary schools.

See the site at:

I would like to hear from anyone who knows of schools using blogging sites as their main portal.  Also, from schools who have broken from the pack to use technology that is fast and free, delivered to a mobile or even a school that uses Twitter.  In my opinion, using a blog site or twitter to distribute important and urgent information must be more reliable than the note home and lost in a puddle.

September 18, 2009

Must Add This

Follow-up to Prezi update from The Mike Downes Page

Just Spotted this called Choosing a Top University ( says Cardiff, surely someone out there can make us one!?

Prezi update

As you know, I believe Prezi will offer something for everyone - far beyond it's intended design as a presentation tool. 

So, I have spread the word today from Sports Centre to Med School to Library Teaching Grid to Arts Centre to Hospitality Services to Business School.

Thanks everyone for your time, mostly personal visits, (a few by email) namely: Robert, Dave, Peter A, Hannah, Peter L, Brian, Simon and Zoe.

Performing a Prezi Showcase search from the web...there are 21 Prezi's about Warwick, mostly about the castle see of the best at:

But, still none from the University...not yet anyway (Yes I know, there maybe private ones knocking around from those of you who have saved, downloaded & deleted public file...or even puchased the brilliant Prezi Desktop).

September 16, 2009

Prezi for everyone

Writing about web page

I am Mike Downes, this is my first blog entry.  I am Warwick Alumni and have been a teacher for eleven years.
A few weeks ago I watched the BBC tech show Click which featured Prezi, see
As a teacher, I have seen many great presentations and many 'death-by-powerpoint' ones that sent me to sleep.  But Prezi is fantastic software, all for free at Have you got it already?  I searched the Warwick blogs and not one hit at all.  So, I headed to The Learning one had heard of it...any new students would be directed to powerpoint I guess.
For those of you who do not know, Prezi is Dutch, released as free and still in Beta.  It is all based on the Zui (zoo-ee) concept like google earth, you can zoom from planet to chimney top in seconds).
My goal is to see Prezi used in the UK, Prezi themselves tell me they have no events planned in the UK. So, I would like to see what staff, students and anyone else can do with this software to create presentations yes - but so much more...see my first Prezi at: was for my daughter, but it showcases ease, simplicity and the odd embedded video).
Please comment back on what you have made and how easy it is to use.  The majority of Prezi's remain web public - but sadly not any from Warwick so far...if I have overlooked some, please let me know.
My first Prezi

September 2009

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