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6 And action!

Getting the cameras rolling is just the beginning – there are endless possibilities you can explore.

As a visual medium, DV lends itself to the creative expression of ideas, feelings and information, but it is harder to define what constitutes creativity.

It's easy to equate a creative medium with a lack of constraints – an ‘anything goes’ attitude. In BECTA's pilot study, however, teachers reported that placing clear constraints on pupils’ coursework generated the best
Author(s): The Open University

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Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes for this unit are:

  • Develop an appreciation of the impact digital video has on learning and teaching;

  • Assess what hardware and software you need to deploy DV in your classroom;

  • Become familiar with filming and editing techniques;

  • Plan and deliver a project that uses DV as a teaching tool.


Author(s): The Open University

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1 The importance of school governors

I wouldn't have accepted the job if I didn't think that the governors understood their role.

(A secondary headteacher)

In March 2004, the DfES stated that school governors represented one per cent of the adult population, and constitute the single biggest volunteer force nationally. However, doing the job voluntarily does not mean that governors should aim to do it less than professionally!


Author(s): The Open University

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4 Effective governance

Effective teams have clear, agreed and common goals – their members must all be pulling in the same direction.

(Creese and Earley (1999))

The DfES, LAs and a number of authors have set out their own definitions of the elements that make a governing body effective. They have generally included the following:

  • having a sound knowledge of the school;


    Author(s): The Open University

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Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes for this unit are:

  • to explain the composition of governing bodies and to consider the respective roles of the ‘officers’ of the governing body;

  • to understand the sharing of the governing body's workload within an agreed formal committee structure;

  • to develop governors as effective managers of their role through critical self-evaluation;

  • to encourage governors to undertake appropriate training as a means of es
    Author(s): The Open University

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3.11 Accessible content and alternatives

Assistive technology can give access only to whatever is on the screen; it doesn't provide any alternative content, unless this is specifically added. For example, a screen reader cannot interpret visual content but it can read a description if one has been provided.

Multimedia content might need to be supplemented with the same content in other formats. Deaf students need transcripts of audio and for the audio track of video material. If the video is an interview, a simple transcript m
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3.10.1 Use of computers by dyslexic people

In general, people with dyslexia may have difficulty reading, and may also have difficulty in composing and physically writing or typing their own work. This group can be supported by assistive technology for both input and output and they may use a range of software to assist them in reading and writing, depending on their particular needs. People who have difficulties with reading may use text-to-speech software that reads out text. For example, the screen readers used by visually impaired
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3.10 Dyslexia

Dyslexia is sometimes referred to as a specific learning difficulty (SLD).

The British Dyslexia Association provides a useful description of dyslexia, its effects, and the numbers of people affected.

The word ‘dyslexia’ comes from the Greek and means ‘difficulty with words’. It is a difference in the brain area that deals with language. It affects the under-lying skills that are needed for learning t
Author(s): The Open University

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3.7 Deafness

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) estimate that there are approximately 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK (approximately 698,000 of these are severely or profoundly deaf) and this number is rising as the number of people over 60 increases. The RNID also states that approximately 450,000 severely or profoundly deaf people cannot hear well enough to use a voice telephone, even when using equipment to amplify the sound (RNID, 2005, ‘Facts and figures about d
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3.5.3 PC input by partially sighted people

Partially sighted people can learn to touch-type as sighted people do. However, this can be a difficult process if you cannot see the screen or the keyboard clearly. A simple, low-tech solution to make the keyboard more visible is the use of large print labels, which can be attached to the keys. Alternatively, a high contrast keyboard can be used; for example a black keyboard with black keys with yellow characters. In addition, speech output software can announce every key that is pressed so
Author(s): The Open University

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3.4 Activity task 3: using a screen reader

If you are already familiar with screen readers you can skip this activity.

A simulation that demonstrates how a web page might be read by a screen reader and speech synthesiser is available on the Web AIM site.

This site contains an audio file of a screen reader reading a website that has been designed with some common accessibility errors. It also provides a visual version of the site.

The simulation requires the Shockwave plug-in. If you do not have this plug-in on your c
Author(s): The Open University

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3.3.5 PC input by blind people

To input to the computer blind people can touch-type using a standard keyboard but can't use a mouse because this requires hand-eye coordination. Although it is possible to emulate mouse actions using the keyboard, it can be difficult to locate its position on the screen reliably. It is possible to use most Microsoft applications under the Windows platform without using the mouse at all by using keyboard shortcuts. The Help files of Microsoft applications and Windows provide lists of availabl
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3.3.4 Screen readers and speech synthesisers

A refreshable Braille display is a row of cells each containing pins that represent Braille dots. These pins are raised or lowered to form Braille letters. The screen reader program sends text a line at a time or as set by the user. The hardware is expensive, a 40 character display costs about £4000 ($7000, €6000); so this option is most often used by those in employment. Its main advantage over speech output is that refreshable Braille distinguishes between individual characters, so there
Author(s): The Open University

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3 The challenge of change

…although we may be striving to turn a profession that has the inertia of a supertanker, as individuals each of us is a speed boat that can turn on a dime…

(Pate and Hohn (1994), p. 217)

The American authors of the quote above suggest that PE needs to change so that it places primary emphasis on the promotion of lifelong exercise. However, they consider that this could be slow and difficult
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4. Music and learning

‘In music the sages found pleasure, and saw that it could be used to make the hearts of the people good. Because of the deep influence it exerts on man, and the change it produces in manners and customs, the ancient kings caused it to be one of the subjects of instruction.’

Confucius (551–479 BCE)

Dr Georgi Lozanov has done considerable research into the effects of music on learning,
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3.4 School Improvement Partners

Following the introduction of School Improvement Partners during 2006–7, governing bodies will no longer be required to take external advice on the head teacher's performance management. Instead, each governing body will be advised by its School Improvement Partner on its management of the head's performance and appraisal. This advice (DfES/Ofsted 2005) will cover the areas currently covered by the External Adviser.


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3.3 The purpose of the formal review meeting

The purpose of this meeting is to:

  • review performance against agreed objectives, and also in overall leadership of the school;

  • agree objectives for the next year;

  • set dates for in-year monitoring of progress.

A statement must be agreed between the headteacher and governors that covers all of these areas, and which may be seen by the appropriate committee of the governing body when they review the head
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3.2 Adviser time

The governing body is allowed up to eight hours of external adviser time. These are split roughly:

  • three hours for preparation before the meeting;

  • one hour for writing/checking the review statement;

  • four hours in school.

The time allows for both the headteacher and the appointed governors to meet the adviser separately to discuss issues and, in the case of the governors, to seek advice. To do this, th
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1 Performance management

Figure 1
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