Serif in Education

Serif helped me be outstanding!

This week’s blog comes from Chris Bolus, Head of ICT at Ormiston Ilkeston Academy.

We recently had the dreaded Ofsted visit. The report hasn’t been published yet, but we know it’s not the outcome we were hoping for. In spite of this, my own observed lesson was judged Outstanding, and much of the credit goes to the support provided by the Serif software.

A bit of background; I use WebPlus to plan all my lessons on an Intranet. The features of WebPlus enhance students’ learning here as every lesson has “To achieve Level X for this task you will…” hyperlinked into a Lightbox, so students know exactly what they have to achieve. They are almost as accurate at assessing their peers’ work as I am!

All lesson resources are hyperlinked, so there is no hunting for worksheets. And I drive the pace by incorporating online timers into Document Frames (iframes).

The lesson that was observed didn’t even follow a standard pattern; students (mixed ability year 8) began by evaluating their DTP output from the last lesson, then they were shown how to meet the Level 5/6 criteria by editing their images in another program, then they had 20 minutes to improve their work. No final plenary… just a quick connector about how they would complete their final evaluation next lesson.

Much as I love the Serif suite, I do encourage my students to make their own choices about software, so about half were using PagePlus and the rest Publisher. The PagePlus students soon realised the bonus that Cutout Studio offers, while the others made use of DrawPlus & Cutout Studio, but had to export their edited images to put them back into Publisher.

The inspector walked in midway through my demo of how to use Cutout Studio to remove background elements from an image, so she missed most of my input, but could see from the rest of the lesson that the students were making rapid progress, and was particularly impressed at how well they supported each other. In fact I think the inspector was quite impressed, because she insisted on delivering the feedback to me straightaway even though I had another class waiting!

For the rest of the day I was like a dog with two tails! Thank Serif for helping me deliver outstanding lessons.

You want to see my lesson? Here: http://www.ict4ocr.com/ks3/y8_2012/lesson10aa.html

If you are a teacher using Serif and would like to provide a guest blog, please get in touch by posting below, emailing edublog@serif.com or tweeting us @SerifEducation.