Category Archives: Learner Journey

Chicago’s 5th Biggest Snow Fall

Sean in Chicago following one of the worst snowfall in years

Sean in Chicago following one of the worst snowfall in years

Having just returned from Chicago I can draw comparisons with Webanywhere’s journey in America to my very own personal journey which started early last Sunday morning.

I left the house in darkness early on Sunday morning, the first day of a new month. Thankfully the snow was melting in the UK as I made my way across the Pennines. At Manchester Airport I met up with a colleague and we journeyed together across the Atlantic. Our flight was indirect so a short layover would be needed before our onward journey to Chicago. I thought this would be good as we could stretch our legs and perhaps grab something to eat.

Little did we know what was about to hit us! Winter Storm Linus arrived on the Sunday creating misery for hundreds of thousands of passengers and the cancellation of thousands of flights. Apparently naming snowstorms is a new thing in the US, and Linus was unforgiving.

With our flight cancelled we booked ourselves in the Doubletree by Hilton near the airport. The only bonus was the ability to watch the Super Bowl, and I must say the Americans certainly know how to put on a show. The game ended in controversy with Boston’s New England Patriots narrowly beating the Seattle Seahawks due to some mishandling of the ball. Our journey onwards to Chicago was about to get more controversial as we started to worry about the handling of our luggage.

Having had our original flights rescheduled we decided to switch airline from American to JetBlue. The high passenger demand meant we needed to fly via Boston to Chicago, adding to further delays, and now the cancellation of some business meetings too. Remaining upbeat, we boarded the plane and took off from a rainy and drizzly Philadelphia.

Just as we entered Boston airspace the pilot came on the tanoy, saying “I’m sorry to announce ladies and gentleman but I’m instructed snow storm Linus is making it unsafe to land. We have been asked to turn around and head to JFK.”

Legacy Christian Academy

Legacy Christian Academy

We landed in New York thinking perhaps a short delay would prevail and we could set off again to Boston. This wasn’t to be the case. We then switched to another JetBlue aircraft with our bags still on the other plane. Again waiting on the tarmac, the snow continued to fall and once again the plane was cancelled.

A night in the Big Apple was inevitable so we rang around 10 hotels until luckily managing to find 2 rooms at the Best Western near the airport. The plastic plates for breakfast were not the best but on the upside we managed to get a direct flight to Chicago the following evening. Luckily we were reunited with our bags at JFK and arrived in Chicago under 19 inches of snow – the fifth largest recording of snowfall in it’s history. The greatest irony of all was that my brother had set off to San Francisco 2 days earlier had now beaten us to Chicago!

“Failing big” in America is embraced, whilst in the UK this is not widely accepted. Indeed, Webanywhere started it’s USA journey back in 2010, experiencing a similar stop-start scenario. Our USA expansion certainly hasn’t been a crash landing but nor has it been an easy passageway. As they say in business, it’s not the destination but the journey that matters.

Stop Start Journey to Chicago

Stop-Start Journey to Chicago

Equally, in online learning it’s easy to measure the outcomes of learning via the grade book, but what is more interesting is the journey and the learner journey. Measuring the progress and learning pathways of students online with big data is exciting. Mapping this big data to their final destinations will create a new industry for the acquisition of talent, and that’s a journey I find fascinating. Webanywhere might build great systems and radar for these student learner journeys, but organisations will always need great pilots – and that’s you, the educators.

Webanywhere is now taking off and is hitting new altitudes, spreading its wings across many States and corporations in America. We will continue to learn from our onward journeys as we meet new people and prepare for obstacles along the way.

Find out more about Webanywhere’s US division at

Webanywhere at Learning Technologies and BETT 2013

Leaning Tech 2

Webanywhere are taking up residence in London this week as we show off the latest in education and workplace learning technology at BETT 2013 and The Learning Technologies Exhibition.

My colleagues in Workplace Learning and I kicked off proceedings this morning at Learning Technologies, with a rush of visitors to our stand (122 – come and visit us tomorrow if you get the chance, it’s well worth a visit!). As well as getting a chance to talk face-to-face with workplace learning professionals, and promoting new offerings (such as the Compliance Module for Moodle, and a groundbreaking social video platform for training) we are also hosting our partner The British Safety Council on the stand, as they promote their great range of health and safety e-learning courses.

A big highlight at the show tomorrow is the joint Webanywhere-Google seminar – Stretch your organisation further with Google Apps for Enterprise – not to be missed.

Tomorrow also sees the first day of BETT 2013, the world’s largest technology in education show. The Webanywhere presence at the show will be our largest to date – here’s just some of the reasons to drop by our stand:

    • Free Mathsanywhere account for primary schools who visit the Webanywhere stand
    • 5% discount for BETT visitors on the Webanywhere product range. Simply visit the stand and get the promo code(s)
    • Launch of the new look Learner Journey e-portfolio and safe social network for schools, with enhanced functionality, improved user interface and a range of new themes
    • Demonstrating the great new Learnanywhere mobile app, which allows the primary specific VLE to be accessed on the go
    • A joint promotion with Planet Sherston (stand F310) – take a product demo at both stands and claim a sticker. Attach both stickers to flyer to get a promo code for a fantastic special offer

…as well as the chance to talk to our e-learning consultants, who I can proudly say are the best in the business.

I’ll have updates throughout the week; be sure to follow @WebanywhereWork and @webanywhere_ltd for the latest Twitter updates, or check out the show hashtags #bettshow and #LT13UK

Learning Tech

Learner Journey – Map a lifetime of learning

Learner Journey – Choose your Path from Webanywhere on Vimeo.

I would like to signpost our recent launch of Learner Journey, an online e-portfolio and safe social network used by schools to create a digital map of personal learning journeys, preserving each milestone and landmark along the way.

Using Learner Journey:..

Pupils can

  • create a personal document of their time in school, packed with multimedia content
  • share achievements with peers and the wider community
  • communicate and collaborate with fellow pupils in a secure online environment

Teachers can

  • assess and provide feedback on student work online, anytime, anywhere
  • store work and resources online – never lose work again
  • help meet Ofsted guidelines on e-safety

The product has been designed with e-safety in mind. The explosion in social networking, and reduced parental and teacher oversight of online activity poses new challenges for educators. Learner Journey provides a safe, positive introduction to online interaction and expression for younger pupils, and can form the central pillar of e-safety teaching and initiatives in schools.

We are very excited about Learner Journey here at Webanywhere, and I hope you check it out – it can become a really powerful learning tool, as well as a fun way for pupils to communicate.