It’s been a while. I feel like I should give a brief explanation why. Here’s the short version. Having been lucky enough to work for Frog for over a year, I got the teaching bug back and I’m now back in a primary school teaching and using FrogLearn everyday.
I wanted to do a post about structure of FrogLearn as I understand it and how I’ve seen it used effectively. Anyone who has heard or seen me show FrogLearn to people will have heard me talk about a tree. I’ve tried to think of better ways to describe how I think it all comes together but they don’t work as simply as a tree. Basically it goes like this;
Imagine that your platform is a tree. The trunk of your tree is your dashboards. They hold the big content and the most important information for your school. They are your ‘core’ if you like. From these dashboards you then get large branches. Your branches are things like department sites (secondary) or class/year group sites (primary). There maybe some staff branches like CPD, planning and curriculum, policies and documents…you get the idea. From here we move to smaller branches and maybe even twigs. Think of these as micro sites. Areas that you might build for a one off lesson, an educational visit or an event in school. The content on these will be far less but what is in there is rapidly changing or focusing on very specific learning. A good example of this may be to be doing science and make a micro site (I’m being fancy, I just mean a small site) for reflection and refraction that only has a video, a quiz and a poll for self assessment. It may be a site with nothing but a timeline on to use FrogSnap when going on a bug hunt. Possibilities are endless really. To get to the micro site on reflection and refraction you would go through the science page which would show a link ‘branching’ off to it. To get to the science site you would start at a dashboard.
Then comes leaves and fruit. Just to be cheesy I’ll say the leaves are homework/assignments and the fruit is the work they hand in. You get the idea.
I have found that thinking of structure in the ‘whole platform’ approach really helps to guide the direction that is best for you and means that you can skip over some of the areas that may not be used as often and concentrate on something that will enhance your teaching, help with CPD or enable you to communicate with parents more effectively.
Why am I telling you this? Because FrogLearn is a blank canvas and can be a very daunting place. I once saw a painting in a gallery that was as big as a house and imagine the man/woman who painted it looking at the canvas on that first day wondering where to start. I looked like that at my first look at FrogLearn so I’m assuming others are too. Hopefully my ramblings and the idea of a tree will help when planning your launch and making it effective.