It is nearly half past seven on Friday evening, I’m sitting at my desk in Cleveratom (2006-2011)’s offices in Ongar, Essex. What a seven week rollercoaster it has been for Alex, Hal and myself as we’ve worked hard to establish and build up Cleveratom (2006-2011) from scratch.
People often ask us ‘what exactly is it you do’? We do three things, as listed on our evolving website!:
Digital Creativity: We know how to empower and enhance learning and teaching through new and emerging technologies and we continue to conduct our research. Our team have been working in the field of Digital Creativity for the past seven years. We work with and advise learning institutions, governments, broadcasters, charities, community groups, corporate organisations and individuals on the impact it can have on learning and teaching. We also run workshops and present at conferences and seminars. Our track record, details of projects and research findings are all available at our digitalcreativity.org website.
Social Software: We understand how online communities work. We know that ‘one size does not fit all’. We have been working with online communities of practice since 2001 and before, and have a wealth of experience to share. We also develop online spaces for collaborative activities that can be just as easily used by one person as many. We specialise in designing, testing and implementing web based tools that are delightful and engaging, and will work with you to find the right solution for your needs. We also advise schools and organisations about the use of virtual learning environments and how they can be used most effectively. We do not recommend any particular flavour, but will work with you to help you decide which will suit you and your setting best.
Learning Environments: We have been researching the use of ICT in learning for many years, and work with schools, colleges and organisations to advise them of how to make best use of technology for education. The most important aspect of this is to get the environment established so that it is conducive to learning and suitable for different learning styles. Whether it is a physical space or an online place we will act as consultants to ensure that your organisation is making effective use of ICT within the spaces that you create. Much of our work is within Building Schools for the Future and we bring a wealth of experience to schools wanting to engage in a design process with children, or simply wanting to find creative ways to work.
- School Design: Our team is leading a Community College in Essex towards defining a vision for ICT and further defining a flexible technology infrastructure to support their curriculum, now and in the future. The new Community College will replace two existing schools.
- Virtual Learning Environment Evaluation: Working to evaluate the impact and application of virtual learning platforms within schools across the Yorkshire and Humberside region. Cleveratom (2006-2011) will disseminate the findings to a further 2500 schools within the region, helping them understand the positive impact of VLE’s in learning and learn best practice from each other. This project will become the first Filming, DVD production and booklet publication undertaken under the Cleveratom (2006-2011) brand.
- Online Creative Spaces: We are working to develop cross-school, social, project-focussed environments using our experience of social software and online community environments. Of particular interest is a heavy emphasis on peer assessment models to better inform the assessment process, and a focus on learner-led exhibition and defense of work.
- Learning in Education Systems: Working closely with a client to help Governments assess capacity for learning within their education system.
- Digital Teacher Network: We continue to support the free home for creative teachers and educators online to manage projects and share, knowledge, experience and creative potential incorporating the very latest in Podcast technologies to celebrate success.
On Monday Hal presents at a BSF (Building Schools for the Future) conference in Kent while Alex and myself help run a day of creativity at the Science Museum in association with our friends at BBC Blast. The rest of the week Hal MacLean will be working with the students on creative projects and I’m sure he will write some more about this project on his blog. Hal’s Blog.
Watch out for us at various conferences around the country, where we are demonstrating creativity in education and podcasting over the next few months. We also begin a series of training sessions starting next month, specifically for creative software technologies – watch out for flyers detailing some services.
Alex has been working hard on our website, which is being launched in stages, watch out for more next week, sign up for our newsletter too! We also have a number of interesting project proposals which we are working on at the moment.
Our really great friends at Reflecmedia have sent us their Chroma Key products, watch the attached files below. We use this brilliant innovative technology in schools, get in touch if you want to talk to us about how the technology can be used in education, we know.
We also have our office network now working, telephones in place, tea, coffee and if you want to come and chat, we’ll put the kettle on.