Home Mark's Blog
Jun 23
2009

Firrhill High School business placement

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

FilmingLearning Curve has a good relationship with a large number of schools around Scotland, of which Firrhill High School in Edinburgh is just one example.  Pupils from Firrhill have appeared in a number of Learning Curve productions, most recently Cav's Story as part of our e-safety range.

So when Firrhill contacted us to ask whether eight S3 pupils could come to our offices to complete a 2 day business placement, we were only too happy to oblige.  The only question was, what would we do to occupy and challenge 8 young people for 2 days.  There is after all only so much tea that we can drink!

We decided that the first morning should be presented as an opportunity for the Firrhill pupils to discover what it is that Learning Curve do.  We have a range of roles within our organisation including film crew, software developers, admin assistants, graphic artists, content developers, sales staff and of course managers.  We set the pupils up in our boardroom, and each member of staff took 10 minutes to explain their job and highlight an example of their work before giving the pupils an opportunity to ask questions.

Fo

May 07
2009

E-safety - if it moves, block it...?

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

I attended the Yorkshire and Humberside Grid for Learning Cyberbullying Conference in Wakefield yesterday.  It was a fantastic event attended by a range of education staff from across the 12 LEAs within this grid for learning.

Learning Curve was exhibiting at the event, and it was a great opportunity to meet with schools and LEA staff, and to demonstrate our e-safety resources.  I am delighted to say that the feedback to Keeping Myself e-Safe was extremely positive.

What was also interesting was that this was an opportunity to see the different e-safety solutions currently available to schools all under the one roof.  Unfortunately, most products seem to work on the principle that e-safety means blocking content or resources, or tracking everything which goes through the school network.  I simply cannot agree that this approach is a worthwhile or justifiable  e-safety solution.  Whilst this may tick the “it’s not happening on our PCs” box for schools, it does nothing to educate young people about the e-safety issues which they face.  And of course most young people have online access in all sorts of places away from the school: at home; at a friend’s house; on a mobile device; or even on a games console.

Imagine if w

May 02
2009

Forrester High School and Exam Technique

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

Forrester HSOn Thursday I went out to visit Forrester High School on the west side of Edinburgh.  I enjoyed 8 years working at Forrester, initially as a computing teacher, but also for 5 years as head of department and ICT coordinator for the school.  I left in December 2000 to set up Learning Curve, so it was great to get the chance to go back and catch up with a few ex-colleagues.

The reason for my visit was to involve the school in a new project we are working on.  The Learning Pod: Learning will be a collection of 14 short films and animations designed to help young people understand the principals of learning.  The first film in the series, Study Skills, has already been completed.

The film in which Forrester are going to be involved is called Exam Technique and it tells the story of Laura, a 16 year old pupil.  The short drama, set on the day Laura's first exam, will give good practice and advice in relation to preparing for and sitting an exam.

Apr 23
2009

Extending our social media channels

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

I have become an avid user of Twitter over the past 3 months, and have seen two major benefits arise from this.

1.  I have been able to communicate with our end users, keeping them informed of product developments

2.  I have been able to interact and engage with teachers across the UK.  This is proving to be of significant value.  Yes, a number of Learning Curve employees are former teachers, but most of us have been away from the front line for a while.

Mar 24
2009

Now I get it

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

We received a comment on our YouTube Learning Pod channel yesterday which was very short, but at the same time to the point and a fantastic vindication as to why we do this.  We currently offer a small number of free Learning Pod digital tutorials on YouTube, and someone had viewed the lesson covering Area of Composite Shapes.  The comment they left was:

now i get it

Four short words which sum up perfectly the aim of The Learning Pod.

Mar 23
2009

A different approach to revenue streams

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

The recent debate regarding Twitter's revenue model has been an interesting one.  No one yet knows what they will do, but it's clear that from their recent $35m investment, there is a strong belief that there is a profit to be made one way or another.

I believe we are now starting to see a shift in the way in which technology users pay for their applications and resources.  Instead of asking users to part with their cash up front, many of today's most popular applications are provided completely free of charge.  So how does this work?  There are a number of revenue models which are currently being used, but in my experience the most common are:

  • Linked or embedded advertising
  • Free basic product, but fee for additional feature set
  • Application free for a limited period of time

Each of these approaches has its own advantages and disadvantages, but they all follow broadly the same logic.  Maximise the user base and then use that to make a financial return.

Mar 11
2009

Dysphagia DVD

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

Today marked the culmination of a project on which we have been working in association with NHS Education Scotland for over a year.  The final output is a DVD which provides support and advice for carers and relatives of patients who are unfortunate enough to suffer from Dysphagia.

Dysphagia is a condition where the sufferer has difficulty in swallowing, because the muscles involved in the swallowing process no longer work as they should.  Dysphagia is often brought on by a stroke, and usually means that meals and drinks need to be specially prepared to a specific consistency in order that they can be more easily swallowed.

The DVD sets out to explain what Dysphagia is through a series of interviews with NHS staff and other carers.  It also provides invaluable advice about the preparation of food and drinks to the specific consistency as determined by the patient's condition.

Mar 02
2009

Learning with Twitter

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

Twitter MathsAs a Twitter  user, I have been wondering about the ways in which the micro blogging tool might be used in a learning environment.  Last Friday, I saw Twitter in action in the classroom for the first time, and even had the opportunity to get involved – from the comfort of my own office.
 
The lesson was organised by Ollie Bray , DHT at Musselburgh Grammar .  A Maths class from the school were learning about bearings and directions, and their teacher had asked Ollie if he might like to be involved in a treasure hunt around by following a series of clues.  A nice concept and a great way to get a member of the SMT involved in teaching and learning.
 
But what made this lesson dynamic was the way in which Ollie kept the class up-to-date with his progress.  It would have been somewhat impractical to drag 28 pupils around the school with him, so Ollie used Twitter to keep the pupils abreast of his movements.  By using a simple hashtag (#mgsmaths), the class’s Maths teacher was able to broadcast Ollie’s tweets onto a whiteboard.
 
Feb 18
2009

Learning Curve future developments

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

coming 2009

This is a very exciting time for Learning Curve Education. Just as we sign off a couple of major resources in Keeping Myself e-Safe and Red Snapper, so the planning begins for our future developments. I have listed below a brief summary of what to expect from Learning Curve over the next few months. These are our agreed projects, with more in the pipeline to be announced later in the year.

Project: Keeping Myself Safe for 4-9 year olds

Description: This will be an addition to our hugely successful Keeping Myself Safe range. Currently we offer Keeping Myself Safe for Young People, Keeping Myself Safe for Teenagersand Keeping Myself e-Safe. Keeping Myself Safe for 4-9 year olds will be produced using a similar format - short digital animations which can be deployed across the web, within a VLE or via DVD. Each film will be accompanied by support materials containing advice for teachers, together with pupil activities. The full list of themes to be covered within Keeping Myself Safe for 4-9 year olds is:

4-6 Years

Feb 11
2009

Learning Curve in the social media

Posted by: mark

Tagged in: Untagged 

Twitter Logo

As a FaceBook user since 2007, I have always been interested in weaving social networking into the Learning Curve marketing mix.  But if I am honest, I have probably been of the opinion that it is more effort than it’s worth. Furthermore, along with the majority of my generation, I have found the open broadcast nature of status updates just a little uncomfortable.  After all, who really wants to know what I ate for breakfast!  Indeed, I have only just begun to feel at ease writing my Learning Curve blog.

However, I have become a recent convert to Twitter and suddenly a very powerful lightbulb has burst to life in my head.  The possibilities offered by social networking to a company like Learning Curve are boundless and incredibly exciting.  It gives us the opportunity to provide our customers and clients with regular updates about the company and products, in a way that is part of their daily data feed.  The key of course is to provide informaton that is of genuine interest to schools, teachers and parents; information which rises above the signal noise.

<< Start < Prev 1 2 Next > End >>