School Editor : Bringing publishing into the school as a multi level strategy for quality management in education, adoption of technology and media tools that foster self expression, internationalisation and cooperation within the school.
This activity is intended for teachers of students from ages 8 upwards right up to secondary, senior and VET. Its content is apt for the teaching of practically any subject through cross curricular and cross disciplinary activities and through the use of a number of formats that we explore during the training. It is a training that can best be exploited if school management is also involved in the preparation, monitoring and follow up to the activity because the best possible way in which School Editor can be implemented is to make of it a school strategy making it a positive player in the community committed to quality and a space in which education means self expression for teachers, students and players in the community.
This training is built on the work of a Comenius network of which VisMedNet is now the technical leader and supporter during its life beyond funding period. RICK’S cafe’ was a successful story in the publishing aspect in which members of the network chose topics related to internationalisation, intercultural educaiton, quality and new management models in education. It was the members themselves who brought about the idea of taking publishing into the school in a manner wider than intended in the original project. Furthermore the key trainers of VisMedNet come from a background of publishing be it in printed and digital form, text, video and web based interactive tools. Put together this experience has produced this learning experience that is unique and innovative but fruitful and effective in the process of internationalisation and exploration of new forms of education.
In this training we work with participants on two levels. We use publishing as a quality oriented school in so far as management and teachers are concerned as well as publishing activities with students that can generate opportunities for cooperation, media education, collaborative learning environments and the inclusion of students with a variety of learning patterns especially those at risk of falling out with formal education patterns when applied in an exclusive manner. In this training therefore there is a school and education management training as well as teacher training in the imparting of skills that are transversal to various topics that inspire autonomous learning, independence, self expression, language, research and personal growth in the students. This training activity also imparts knowledge and practical skills in the use of video production and music – and song – both as a vehicles for learning as well as for extra curricular or youth activities.
Before the training the school shall appoint at least two teachers who will also take part in the training as “Ambassadors of Change in School Editor”. This means that these two participants will liaise with the trainers of VisMedNet about the content and structure of the training, with their technical person in the school who is conversant or manages the school website / intranet where exchange will take place to implement the publishing aspect of the training. This preparation exchange will drive into the minds and view of the participants in the training and school management that this activity is more than a course. It is a joint enterprise between school, teachers, trainers from VisMedNet and the community around the school.
School Editor has two main objectives :
– the setting up of a quality oriented strategy at the level of school management and teaching staff who set up a communications strategy with a view to communicating with the community around the school, brining more pride and sense of enterprise into the minds of the staff and have a quality agenda in the education profession through publishing. It follows the simple principle that when what you publish is to be read or watched by the public then you need to stay on your best quality mode. Publishing is not haphazard but calculated, organised, researched, backed up with sound arguments and supported through peer review. In this manner this becomes a serious matter and an excellent pathway for improvement of curriculum vitae of teachers and school management.
– the tapping of young energies within the school, and their aptitude and readiness towards self publishing, sharing, blogging, tweeting and public profiling. The school will introduce the concept of publishing within the school education through media projects, writing, video and other forms that coincide with the standard curriculum. This will help students be more aware of their public profiles that means also social media education. It will help introduce a sense of enterprise in the students through quality measures before publishing for a public audience. It will bring into the school a multitude of opportunities for cross curricular and cross disciplinary project work and activities, extra curricular work and a new more inclusive, autonomous and independent learning environment. This work is more viable with older students then the youngest for reasons of exposure to the net, autonomy and logistics.
These two main objectives are over and above the soft skills learnt in the process of production before publishing like IT, media, writing, research and critical thinking.
The contents and methodology of the training activity can be adjusted to the pool of participants and their audience in school and according to the decision by the school if it wishes to embark on the School Editor initiative at teacher and management level only or at student level as well. We believe in small steps so a school can also decide to implement parts at different times. The training activity itself is a complete exercise including the preparation and the follow up because this is what will make it a strategic plan for the school. It is important that the a school taking on the School Editor challenge appoints at least onet Ambassador of Change who will be active and key to the whole activity.
The training is a partnership activity between school and training provider. The days of the course will be interactive and intense because of hands on activities for the teachers who need to be alert and productive on their own and with others. They will practice publishing templates, techniques, systems and quality. They will have a strategic plan for their school when they go back to continue follow up.
Follow up to School Editor is as important as the training and it is directly linked to the preparation before the course. It will consist of one step forward into the implementation of the strategic plan made during the course after review by school management. It will also continue the forum of discussion about the changes the school made to become more of an international space for teachers and students after the course.