Saturday, 26 July 2014


The weekend of July 19th & 20th saw the 1st YOTA UK event take place in Wolverhampton UK. This event was to run along side the main YOTA event in Finland for those who couldn’t make the trip to the main event.

YOTA is a fantastic initiative to promote amateur radio within young people. The European event has been running for some years now, but the RSGB was invited to take part for the first time this year.

On Saturday we had young amateurs complete antenna construction (Available here). Complete the intermediate practical’s and examinations. In the afternoon we also hosted the buildathon with the hugely successful PSK receiver.  Throughout the day we had talks, presentations and a special event station (GB1YOTA) running alongside the indoor activities.  It was a bit warm I can assure you and with constant rain, thunder & lightening it was a great day.

Sundays activities took place outdoors. While the special event station still carried on- many of the participants took part in some ARDF, a spot of operating and testing their newly constructed antennas. You can see a small snapshot of the Sundays events in this video.

A big thank you to Wolverhampton ARS who are based at  The electric club at Wolverhampton – who were amazing hosts,  Camb Hams for supporting and supplying the Special Event Station and of course all the participants who’s enthusiasm and technical ability was simply astounding.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Distant learning

Here we go again. We have just started a new 6 month distant learning course for the advanced exam. Our recent in class success of 100% pass rate for the intermediate license was a fantastic achievement for the students and tutors alike. And this time we had quite a spread of student ages from 12 to 60+ all scored very highly in the exam and have signed up for the advanced course.

This term we have again used an online free resource called Edmodo. Edmodo describes itself as a social learning platform, and it really fits with our classroom platform.

Our classroom works like this. Each week we set a set of questions based on learning material we have covered in previous weeks. The material can be video, text, powerpoint or audio segments.  We follow this up with 3 weekly homework sessions and score each student individually.

Being distant home based learning its quite easy for the student to feel isolated. So to ensure the student is supported and has a mentor we assign each student a tutor who passes feedback and support to the student. Along with this we also set some motivational targets that can be gained when a student hits a particular milestone. It’s a system that really works. Our student retention rate for last term was fantastic. We have made a few minor adjustments to the classroom template – but it is pretty much the same as last time.

This term we have 80+ students signed up and already submitting responses and saying hello to other students.

If you run any training course I highly recommend it. Ok it takes a little bit of understanding but it is a fantastic FREE tool. And we all like things that are free don’t we.