MEC clinic number one


The very first MEC online clinic was held on June 14th. MEC Sales Manager, Byron Russell, presented to participants in locations from Manchester to Hong Kong.

Byron Russell 

The clinic was entitled ‘Stories around the Campus fire – top tips for using MEC in your school’. The aim was to outline some case studies of how MEC has been used in various organizations including OPTI, IH Pisa, CISP (Cultura Inglesa Sao Paulo) and the University of Trento.

Here is Byron’s PowerPoint presentation: Microsoft PowerPoint – Stories round the Campus Fire.pdf (96.52 KB)

Online meeting software from Juniper was used along with a separate conference call run through Arkadin. The clinic lasted about 45 minutes – the first 30 minutes for Byron’s presentation, the last 15 minutes to give the participants time to ask questions and discuss their different techniques for implementing MEC.

One point raised was that communicating ideas and methodology is an important part of making the most of MEC. This can be done through regular cascade training from one of an organization’s appointed ‘MEC Champions’. At CISP, MEC is integrated into lessons as well as being used for assessed homework. This embedded model is supported by CISP’s teacher training site which is run on a Moodle platform. More traditional ways of sharing ideas, such as putting lessons plans on the staff-room pin board, are also used. It was suggested during the clinic that a blog shared by MEC teachers within an organization would also be a convenient way of communicating.

Another point was that the schools using MEC most successfully are creative and flexible (such as IH Pisa where a SKYPE distance learning programme is used) and integrate MEC into their overall programme of teaching and assessment (such as OPTI where online assessment and placement testing is used along with face-to-face computer-lab teaching).

Vic Richardson explained that at Embassy students use MEC as part of their coursework. Results in the MEC Markbook count towards their overall coursework grade. A recent survey at Embassy showed that while 75% of students give highly positive feedback on MEC, only 25% use it of their own accord outside class. Embassy’s method of using MEC for graded coursework ensures that students get the greatest benefit from it. In addition to this MEC Champions at Embassy meet every three months to share ideas for lessons and blended learning courses.

The clinic participants were:

James Frith of Bell International

Mark Jasper of the British Council

Neil Ballantayne of the British Council

Vic Richardson of Embassy

Thank you to Byron and everyone else involved for making the first MEC clinic a big success!

The next clinic will be with Judith Dick of OPTI on Thursday 28th June.


Keep watching the blog for more information or email

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