Monday, February 05, 2007

My Old school in technology forefront youtube assemblies and Suffolk school communicate closure via Bebo

found this on Merlins blog

What is really really scary it is my old upper school !!!! Ghosts in the machine six degree of seperation what ever what ever or just plain spooky .

Some of the buildings don’t appear to have changed I only live 24 miles away but havent been back to the school in 18 years might go back for a visit.

Sleepy Suffolk is a hot bed of web 2.00

Heres a great story from Another Suffolk School in his own words better than mine

Social networking solution to rapid school communication

You've probably experienced the difficulties of
communicating a simple message using Chinese whipsers. Following a fire alarm
raised when gas was smelt within school we had 800 students on a field, on a
cold Thursday afternoon in November. They were instructed to go home as the
school buses had started to arrive, but must to their annoyance many students
had to leave their mobile phones and wallets in school until engineers arrived
to check the building.

The school office was also off limits until the
risk could be assessed and staff returned home not knowing what would happen the
next day. Once a decision had been made that school would remain closed on the
Friday staff started to receive information through the telephone tree with
department heads contacting their staff. The message that school would be closed
was also broadcast on the local BBC radio station, Suffolk radio. Not the
students first choice of listening matter.

These established methods
were not effective in reaching our students. My experience was:
After arriving home at 4:15 I started to receive messages on my Bebo home page (
) from students asking whether or not school would
be open the next day. As I hadn't yet been contacted by telephone I was only
able to assure students that I would post a message to my Bebo whiteboard when I
had information. I was contacted by about 6 students through Bebo, using both
private messaging and the public comments feature. About fifteen students also
contacted me using instant messaging and Email. One of these students whose
father is a teacher at our school was able to tell me that school would in fact
in be closed. After checking this via an Email to this teacher, who was far
ahead of me on the telephone tree I was then able to post on my Bebo whiteboard
that school was in fact closed.

Posting the information on a web page in itself was not the most powerful use of the Internet. It was the fact that so many students were connected to each other through Bebo and instant messaging that the news was able to travel so quickly. Many students found out that school
was closed through Bebo and instant messaging before visiting the school website to check the information or receiving an Email.

Once the news was published on the school website ( was automatically available as an RSS feed and Emailed to pupils and parents. A significant number of these
emails bounced back however from unavailable email accounts. Either from these
Email accounts no longer being used or our messages being identified as spam
because such a large number were sent out.

Bebo and the power of community won. The message was quickly relayed from hand to hand with students
then visiting the school website to check the validity of the message.

I received my message from the telephone tree three hours after I'd heard it
through Bebo.

A wonderful example of the digital divide was that students without access to the Internet (or who hadn't been contacted by friends and didn't listen to radio Suffolk) were the ones who arrived at school to find it closed the next day!

And when the engineers arrived, they couldn't find any damage to our gas supply.

So all this social networking is evil I think not !

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