|Training & Development :: Technical Mentoring|
I was the Technical Mentor for an IBM Extreme Blue project which developed a collaborative virtual learning environment for use in schools.
The role involved coaching and guiding a team of University student interns on a full-time project.
What was Project BlueLeaf?
BlueLeaf investigated how technology can be used to support education, focusing on how it can provide value in three key areas:
Providing a work environment for the information age
Students today need to be able to manage and interpret information from a wide variety of sources, in a variety of different multimedia formats. BlueLeaf aimed to support students in today's information age by providing a virtual learning environment where they can seamlessly gather, manage and study information, alongside their own work. It did this while maintaining the original source for all information, allowing students to easily collate references and bibliographies for assignments, without needing to worry about forgetting where any single piece of information came from.
BlueLeaf enabled flexible real-time collaboration between students. Students were members of different groups depending on the context of what they were doing at the time - a group for their whole class when listening to the teacher, groups for different team projects and assignments, and peer support groups for studying. BlueLeaf allowed students to easily move between these groups, by integrating tools to enable this collaboration within the learning environment.
Shortening the feedback loop
Teachers typically collect a wide range of information about their students in order to provide them with the attention and support that they need. BlueLeaf was designed to support traditional teaching methods while shortening the feedback loop between students and teachers - providing teachers with a variety of information about their students in real-time. Through continuous background collection of the information that the teacher is interested in, BlueLeaf aimed to help teachers ensure that all students receive a high level of attention. Ranging from instant assessment to gauge a class' understanding of a topic under discussion, to longer-term analysis of a students' progress, BlueLeaf aimed to quickly provide teachers with relevant, accessible information.
Planning, managing and delivering lessons
The same learning environment that students use to do their work could be used to prepare and deliver lessons. Assessments could be linked against lesson plans, school targets or national curriculums - allowing progress to be mapped against goals and supporting teachers with lesson planning for all students.
BlueLeaf maximised the amount of time which teachers can spend teaching. It was designed to be used in a variety of different contexts, depending on the level of computer literacy of the teacher and the availability of I.T within different schools. The virtual learning environment raised the potential for distance-learning, and collaboration between students at different locations.
What is Extreme Blue?
Last updated: 17 Oct 2006
design: Dale Lane
||Training & Development :: Technical Mentoring|