Learning how to Frog: Training complete

March 1st our Frog champions completed two days of Frog training. I had also done one day of Frog Architect training. So, what do I think of Frog now I have dipped my toe in it’s inviting water?

Frog front page screenshot

It is a great communications platform. The social networking feed it generates on the front page means that when users do anything on the platform it is posted to the feed of those who need to know, be they teacher or learner. You can place widgets of choice on your own customisable front page. Links, twitter feeds, mP3 players, timetables, class lists; whatever you like that is available in the widget store. And you can make your own widgets with html and javascript. Admin can set compulsory widgets that everyone must have.

So, how does Frog work? It has a three-pronged attack as far as I can deduce at the moment.

1. Static web pages scaffolding content of your choice that will remain the same until you choose to update them.

Department homepage draft 1

Department homepage draft 2

2. Assignments set through quick issue or via more complex lesson plans which I believe are being redeveloped as learning activities to bypass the traditional lesson plan style structure teachers roll out for special occasions.

creation Quick Issue Assignments

Lesson Planner tool

3. Workspaces. These are a recent development that exploit the social networking features of the platform. Essentially a workspace automatically creates something akin to a facebook group. In reality this is a window with a tabbed folder in it that the teacher can customise each tab. But the first tab generated is a wall-like page where informal chat can be posted by members only. The other tabs can be set to contain videos, links, webpage embed, text, images and all other frog resources like forums or widgets. The concept here is a conversation space that would stay live whilst you had reason to be communicating with that group of people. Class or club or team.

Workspace

There are many more elements to Frog that might be of interest to teachers and learners. I will write about those later. It’s not all good news unfortunately. What I am trying to grasp here is a structural methodology for how users will utilise Frog in their daily school workflow.

 

Any current Frog users reading this might enrich the post via the comments to let me (and other readers) know about other techniques for teachers to employ. Things I have missed. Cool tools/strategies? Link back to your blogposts or videos.  The more we share, the better we are.

Learning how to Frog: Training complete

3 thoughts on “Learning how to Frog: Training complete

  1. Dominic Tester says:

    Great post Dai – so, what are your initial thoughts on the product as an overarching approaching to supporting E-Learning, is it going to work for the school in its current context? What have initial reactions been from staff, favourable? How are their expectations being managed? I really need to update a few things on my blog, but there may be some things of interest on there.
    Dom

  2. An interesting read. I have my own reservations about Frog as a tool for supporting learning, so I will be interested to hear what follows. Sadly, of the three aspects you mention, I think we only really make successful use of the static web pages (department sites).
    I think that once they have Google Apps SSO sorted I think it will become more appealing. 

    Are your Frog champions colleagues or students? I would really like our Digital Leaders to be able to build parts of our VLE, but the training required has put me off so far. 

  3. Launched frog for Surrey PRU’s back in September. Staff already making use of the quick issue work function which suits the service in helping hard to reach students. Workspaces, i would suggest is one way to quickly let staff see the benefits as they are easy for them to set up rather than getting them to develop websites (which could come later). I made lots of 5 minute video tutorials and put them on the vle so staff can self pace their own learning. Frog staff all very helpful.

    I think embedding a vle in school is a real challenge as you have to mobilise a large body of staff, therefore senior management have to be at the forefront with some carrot and a fair bit of stick!

    In terms of carrot we spent some money buying in some web resources and placed quick links on the dashboard for staff and students so that staff have ready made stuff on the vle.

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