Lakeside Blog

Sat in the sunshine on the bank of Windermer blogging and getting paid!

On the recent year 6 school residential to YMCA Lakeside on the banks of Windermere. I was, in the first hours of been there, sat in the sun overlooking the lake setting up a blog on Fronter. Over the week each pupil sent a message home to school and parents.

Each evening I sorted through the photos from the day, the most in 1 day was 1200 from just 6 cameras, someone was a little trigger happy. I selected the 'best' and uploaded them to Picasa using the app installed on the laptop over the centres free wifi. A slide show of the 2 albums was embedded in the Lakeside room's frontpage.

The staff also added blog entries of our own, a maths challenge based on the day's events for Mrs Hussey's maths group. They were asked to work out, the total distance travelled on the zip wire, the amount of water removed from the lake by people falling in and the cost of food (taking in to account Mr Haighs' double helpings!).

We received messages back with the answers and comments on our photographs. Reports from the school showed a 'buzz' of excitement around the school. The whole school was taking part in this trip not just those that were there!

Next Year

Progression next year I think will be to video conference back to the school and maybe a video diary?

Parental Access

Unfortunately we didn't have time before the trip to sort out individual parental logins and not wanting to condone the use of pupils logins by parents (in the pupils absence particularly). It was therefore decided to use a single shared login for all the year 6 parents. I am not a fan of shared logins, if fact I oppose the in almost all situations, but this was to be read only access and it was the most simple most sensible solution.

The next problem was to make the account read only, all the room tools were removed or hidden except the frontpage and a link to our photo albums on Picasa. A personal toolbar was set up to replace the default Calderdale one with nothing on it. A few other loose ends and it was done, access to only one page and read only.


I'm not very impressed with the blog function built in to Fronter. It is actually just a forum which I thought about using but even as a forum I find it somewhat cumbersome to use and cluttered with its layout. However we, very successfully, used the Frontpage tool adding a new box for each blog entry and the member of staff supervising would add the date, time and an interesting title!

All in all a very successfully use of this still new tool to the school, just hope I get asked to go again next year - need to be things of some more complex ICT things to do there to justify it.