The Loughton School website, part of KMi’s ongoing work with the local community, has recently reached the point where it can be run entirely by the school children and one member of staff.
The site, inspired originally by the seminal work of Peter Whalley and Shamus Foster at Heronsgate Middle School, is still in an early developmental phase, but has reached the point where it is now self-sustaining. This means that the children in Years 6 and 7 (ages 10-12) can look after the contents, editing, and design of the site, under the overall supervision of Deputy Head Teacher Ken Behrens.
Loughton School benefits from a broadband wireless internet connection running from the top of KMi, which also feeds Heronsgate Middle School, Denbigh School, Lord Grey School, Leon School, and Milton Keynes College. The wireless facility is now managed full-time by Neil Roche in ACS, and is growing rapidly to become a Milton Keynes Wide-Area Network under the label ‘MKSchools.net’ (see links below).
Children work on the Loughton Middle School web site using a combination of digital tools, centred around Macromedia Dreamweaver. For those projects where individuality is strongly encouraged, the children have a free hand to determine the look and feel of their project work. For other projects, children are encouraged to develop their work using a variety of pre-prepared layout templates, so that they can concentrate on the contents rather than on HTML ‘trickery’. The children typically work in pairs, so they can distribute the load between digital camera/scanning activities and the writing of original content.
KMi’s involvement stems from the belief that the knowledge media children of today will be the workforce of tomorrow, and that great pride and motivation ensues from re-attributing content ownership back to the learning community.