Ellie: The Voice is a social network built using Elgg open source software. It is a safe, secure and customisable website. The voice is a website that is used by St. James students and teachers. You can access this from school and at home. From the voice you are able to chat to your friends; use it in lessons; look at the schools events coming up; update your status’ to tell the school and your friends what you are up to and upload photos and any homework.
Beth: This is the visual navigation bar containing icons to the most visited places. By clicking on each of these icons it takes you to a different part of the voice. Starting on the left we have the have Events, Groups, Members, photos, uploading files, the wire. Above we have Search bar and logout.
Megan: This is the 2 nd navigation bar that contains links to all of the areas of the voice. When new tools are added to the voice they appear here (for example, polls and mood posts).
Ellie: Every member has their own profile where they can upload there own picture, write there own status, provide information about themselves and arrange there widgets (message board, calendar, contacts)
Beth: The dashboard is the first thing that you see. You can comment and like on what is going on with your friends at the moment.
Emma: Some classes have a group page, where their teachers can upload work for lessons, have discussions about topics that are being studied in class or upload homework. Everything you need for a lesson is on the voice. Students can upload files onto group pages as well. You can see other students work, and they can see yours meaning that you can make comments on their work or they can comment on yours. This can help with your work as you can improve it. The group calendar is used to remind you of dates homework is due in. Group pages (which are like wikis) are also used for learning journals to document the learning taking place in each lesson.
Megan: On the voice you can post discussion topics with in your groups. Here you can upload your work for teachers and other pupils in your class. In a IT lessons teachers can post questions onto the discussion board and then in your lessons you can answer them. This gets us more interactive with our lessons and we can ask questions to our teachers. The discussions are often displayed on the board and then talked about by the whole class. Discussions are often used as homework to get us to think about key points of the lesson.
Ellie: Blogs are used in a number of ways. The two examples on the screen show how they can be used to generate support for campaigns and charity causes and for teacher reflections. You can write a personal blog or a group blog depending on the task in hand. You can add links and images to your blog that people can comment on.
Beth: The wire is where you write status’ to tell everyone what you are doing and anyone can comment and `Like’ your status. The idea of this is to let people know what you are doing and to know what is happening and be able to get involved. The wire is also used in lessons for mini plenaries, starters and for defining key words. You can also do Mood Posts, which is an additional tool that Mr Farmer added to the site.
Emma: The idea of messages is to chat to your friends at home and at school. Once you have sent a message only that person and you can see it. In your messages you can add pictures and change your font and sizes of your text. This allows you to talk to your friends and see what they are doing and can also chat about your daily social life. This also allows you to ask your friends privately for help with homework or school work that you don't understand.
Megan: Chat is another way to talk to friends without having to send messages. Its exactly the same chat as you would find on facebook so many people know how to use it.
Beth: Using the files you can upload lots of different file types such as Microsoft office documents, images, music and movies. Files are mainly used in lessons to upload completed work or homework. Once the files are uploaded they can be commented on by peers and the teacher. Sometimes files are used to transfer documents from home to school, or school to home.
Emma: On your calendar you can see upcoming events that are relevant to you. This is good for keeping on top of your homework and any school events that you are a part of.
Megan: If you find a page that you think could be useful or relevant to you or other students in the future you can bookmark it. This means that you can find it on your profile page or by visiting your bookmark page. Teachers and students can bookmark pages that other people and yourself can comment on.
Beth: the website has a swear filter and replaces every swear word “with please do not swear.” Every time someone swears it is reported to the administrator (Mr Farmer). He then speaks to students about their use of language. There is also a report this button on every page which makes the site safer and allows Mr Farmer to deal with the naughty people.
Ellie: it is good how you can upload your homework for your teachers and can get your homework sheets from it. This is a more interactive way for our learning. Emma: I think that it is good because you can send other people messages and you can talk to people who you might not normally talk to. Megan: It can allow you to access the website from home and its better for us because in ICT lessons we can communicate with each over and our teachers in different ways. Beth: I like it because you can ask other people for help on your homework, rather than getting stuck and not being able to do it. Also, it is quite similar to Facebook without the dodgy perverts.
Emma: Having instant chat and messages in class. Ellie: I don’t like that teachers can see what your doing on the voice. Beth: Less strict on the swear filter because it can filter words that we use that don't class as swear words. Megan: I think that games and other applications should be added. So that at home and with friends you can play them and go on other sites.
St James Voice TeachMeet Exeter
St James School TeachMeet Exeter - #tmexe Social Networking for Learning Presented By: Stephen-Lee Farmer @stephenfarmer Head of New Technologies @stjamesschool Presentation Created By: Beth Foweraker, Emma Garton, Megan Hawker &Ellie Walford