More Th>n Just Technology

This recent TV advert from the insurance group MORE TH>N started a few thought processes.

At DHSB we have been evaluating our Pupil Premium provision and how best to support these students, as well as other groups of students, in each of our Year groups. This review has led to several new initiatives, a few refreshed ones, and two recent staff meetings where small group, productive discussions took place.

Having seen the advert, I felt that there could be something in providing students with a type of “24/7” and “What to do in a crisis?” support. If I have a problem or issue, I know of several friends and colleagues who I can turn to. If I was a student, I might not have such a large network nor be able to recognise that I should, or could, ask for help. If I was that student and there was someone available to be re-assuring and to help me through that particular problem or issue then effective progress can be made.

At the same time as these thoughts, I have been exchanging ideas with Stuart Heaton at Learn Live. Our initial focus was on careers and bringing the world of work into the classroom. These web conferences are delivered through a facility called OmniJoin, which is supported by Brother. The quality is much better than Skype plus you have the facility to share files etc.

We have had a pilot session involving Nick Berryman’s Business class, the HR Director of Crown Paints up near Blackburn, and a class from Bolton 6th Form College. The forty minute session went off fine, with a fourth participant being added to the conference call via an i-pad. So very versatile.

With this developing work around Pupil Premium support, Stuart Heaton has enabled DHSB to have access to the OmniJoin facility. So, the sky’s the limit.

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We can set up any number of “web conferences” each week, or each month. Not only can we bring the business world into DHSB classrooms, but we can, through our extensive world-wide contacts, bring any field or organisation or topic into DHSB classrooms. We can invite former students “back to school”. Where will the technology take us?

David Butcher @DHSBCreative

Assistant Headteacher

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