Plenary

Last week, I was asked to write some script for a learning package; part of one chapter was about ‘plenaries’.

Definition of plenary

adjective

  • The meaning of plenary - Google search return

    1 unqualified; absolute:crusaders were offered a plenary indulgence by the Pope

  • 2 (of a meeting) to be attended by all participants at a conference or assembly, who otherwise meet in smaller groups:a plenary session of the European Parliament

noun

  • a meeting or session attended by all participants at a conference or assembly: working parties would report back to the plenary with recommendations

Origin:

late Middle English: from late Latin plenarius ‘complete’, from plenus ‘full’

From Oxford Dictionaries – link.

I’d never understood the word plenary to mean anything other than that hinted at by adjective 2 and noun above. I suspect that many of my readers have a similar understanding? I certainly had no inkling of the Pope’s indulgences.

It concerned me therefore to think that I could write part of a lesson planning chapter titled ‘episodes’, which included ‘plenaries’ in the outline brief. Sadly, it made little sense to me.

Plenaries were often the least active part of lessons. Teachers tended merely to sum up what happened during the main phase and pupils did not have the opportunity to articulate what they had learned*.

So I had to research the subject and although none of the literature I found suggested that plenaries were anything other than a bringing together (usually at the end), I found that in educational circles they don’t just happen at the end of a given session, especially if you are using ‘episodes’ of learning activity. It would seem that plenaries occur after and throughout each activity – who knew!

We always called this reviewing and it happened at the end of a lesson and at the beginning of the next. Words eh?


References:
http://www.teach-ict.com/teacher/plenary/plenaries.htm

http://francisfarrell.blogspot.co.uk/2006/05/good-lessons-4-plenary.html

*Source:

http://bit.ly/WYuy4X

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Hosting

 

Nutella

Where did January go? 

Whoosh – it’s over month now, since I wrote anything on here. I’m sorry if you follow this avidly ;-(

My Moodle installations are hosting by Siteground in America. I’d rather have a friendlier host and a more user-friendly interface, but let’s face it, once you start messing about behind the front pages of web sites and VLEs* they all tend to be unfriendly for a non-technical bod like me.

I have three Moodle installations at present at http://eduvel.org.uk, two are sub-domains of the older Moodle 1.9 (I also have Moodle 2 and Moodle 2.3) and until about ten days ago they worked fabulously. There are drawbacks to using a server in the States, but as far as my requirements go – it’s all worked well.

However, Siteground changed their server address last month and I haven’t been able to get onto my sites since then.

They had said that the transfer from one server to another wouldn’t be a problem:

1) We are happy to inform you that the shared hosting service you are using will be upgraded to a conceptually new hardware configuration. […]

2) All these improvements will result in better loading speed for your website.[…]

3) This will not result in any downtime, but you and some people who have recently visited your website at the old IP location may experience problems accessing it for some time after the change due to IP data cache at their local Internet providers.

4) Once the files are transferred, your account will be assigned its final new IP, but this time the change will not result in any DNS cache problems, as we will set up your domain name and we will redirect any traffic coming to the transitional IP used during the process to your final one.

So I waited until this week and I still couldn’t get on!

So I’ve wasted lots of time today sorting it out.

I suspect that Siteground are on the West Coast, so replies to emails come overnight – delaying the process somewhat. Luckily, my domain name hosts 1and1 are much quicker off the mark.

1and1 host my now defunct Village-eLearning Consultancy web site and over the years I’ve bought several domain names through them. It’s easier then when renewal time comes along to just say yes to the one company, rather than lots. However, this does mean that I have to go through the (to me) nervous process of re-directing the domain via DNS settings. Siteground had told me that despite the notes above, I had to change these manually. Grrr.

Well, I couldn’t see any of my sites on the 1and1 dashboard – they’ve changed the dashboard since I needed to do anything like this – so I had to email their support team. There was a problem with the email address I was using, so I eventually had to ring them.

The lady I spoke to – Indian I suspect – was very competent, very patient and very helpful. It took me very little time to change the DNS settings once I knew where they were. And, despite the promised wait of 24 hours, I’m already back using my Moodle pages. Whoo ooo.

Moral? Don’t be impatient, read all of the little tabs and links on a dashboard and don’t trust ‘trust us’ notices from Siteground. ;-(

*Virtual Learning Environment – VLE. Moodle is an example of such a thing.