Last week at work (North Lanarkshire Educational ICT & Technical Services) we were being supported by Oggy East of Semantise, who is helping update the setup of our school websites. Oggy is an expert in FirstClass which NLC uses for emails, collaboration & school websites.

My colleague Ian suggested that Oggy entertain me with his interesting career path. This passed through doctoral study, pub management and educational technology.

At one point Oggy started telling me about an educational project he had worked on. This involved collaboration between pupils in the UK and France. They used text based chat to talk (alternating languages), translated each others horoscopes, passed audio and video files back and forth helped each other produce CVs and more. As I was becoming more and more excited about the project Ian suggested that Oggy tell me when this happened: 1998.


I got Oggy to record a quick podcast about this project for EDUtalk which you can listen to: Dialogue 2000 Electronic Village

Oggy is also involved in the wonderful Not School 1. I got a podcast out of Oggy about this too: Not School – EDUtalk.


The fact that Oggy was successfully involved in the kind of project that is still seen as innovative 14 years later is telling. I remember in 2005 feeling very proud of jumping of the blog wagon with my class the previous year and meeting Peter Ford who had pupils blogging several years before that. We had a flowering of blogging in Scotland in 2006 and this year pupil blogging has been hitting the headlines again.

What is interesting is that quite often these bit of innovation don’t seem to be connected, wheels are reinvented.

I wonder when ideas of audience, purpose, collaboration and connection using technology will really become part of the mainstream. Perhaps Glow, with all is faults, is driving this in Scotland. I certainly hope so.

1.I became aware of not school when I went to Be Very Afraid and was very impressed by the Flash skills of the a Not School ‘student’.

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