Tag Archives: IT

Blogging.

I love the idea of children blogging (and our digital leaders are proving they do too!). The thought of children writing and sharing their work with each other is a major positive of the ‘internet age’ I feel. The fact that children can have an immediate audience for their writing and can interact with each other’s writing is so far removed from life when I was in school (which was not quite in the Dark Ages).

One of the features of blogging I’m trying to develop with my class is the quality of their comments. Commenting on a blog post was on of the tasks our digital leaders had to do as part of their interview process. The comments they wrote (using paper 1.0 and pencil 2.0) were great, but too often comments are not written on the blog.

I have created a website www.commentsbykids.com and a twitter account @commentbykids to promote high quality commenting by children and share these comments around the world.

I aim to use it to inspire my children onwards to the great comments I know they are capable of.

It would be great if you or your digital leaders found the time to add some of the awesome comments from your class blog.

Digital Leaders @Uphall

After attending Naace’s amazing 3rd Millennium hothouse event in Crewe over the summer, one of the things I was keen to start at Uphall was creating a digital leaders group. It was the knowledge, enthusiasm and energy of @shellibb @chrismayoh and @lagerama who gave a wonderful presentation at which convinced us to give it a go at Uphall.

For anyone who is unsure of what a digital leader is, have a look at Shelli’s work here

The first step in selecting our Digi Leaders was to announce our intention in assembly and ask the children to apply online for a position. I created a simple presentation and online google form to collect the information, and you can see these below.

Once the children had completed the application, we made time for the HT (@fiona_macphail) and myself to interview them. We drafted 4 questions and shared them with the children the day before their interview. Having Fiona on board was great as it made things very ‘special’ for the children, being interviewed by the HT

The questions we asked were:

If you could show or teach children once piece of ICT software/website/program what would you choose and why?

Someone in a class you are supporting is stuck on their ICT work. What would YOU do to help?

What do you love about using ICT?

Are there any questions you would like to ask us?

Finally I selected a piece of shared writing from my class blog page, and ask the children to write a blog comment about it – this was an unseen task for the children.

We interviewed the children in groups and their answers were amazing.
I have created a tagxedo cloud of what the children said which really impressed Fiona and myself.

Since appointing the successful candidates, we have created a space on Edmodo for us to share ideas between ourselves and created a web space joined as part of the school website.
You can see our website here and see how we develop our digital leaders.

Fiona and myself do not know where the digital leaders @uphall will go, that will be very much up to our leaders. We do know that we have immensely creative, talented and thoughtful children in our group, and that wherever they choose to lead, it will be a great trip for all of us in school!

Appshed.

Appshed.

After an amazing 2 days at Naace, I thought I’d share some of the wonderful things we were introduced to in short blog posts. I will also post this to the www.uphallresources.com website for Uphall staff CPD.

Appshed is a web based program which allows you to create web apps on any topic you wish for free. The program is easy to use, once you have registered and logged in. There are a variety of wizards within the package which explain how to add all of the aspect you wish your app to have.

Have a look at the NAACE app in web form or on your mobile device.

Using the wizards and other instructions around the site, it seems easy to produce high quality, accessible apps and these could be created by adults or children – for children their desire to create the app will allow them to persevere and solve any problems that arise for them. This piece of software allows our children to utilise ICT to create their own work, online and make it accessible for all. It fulfils many key aspects of what 3rd Millennium education should be.

When we were being introduced to this piece of software, there was a real buzz around the hall with mutterings of ‘Is this free?’ and ‘How can this be free?’ Well it is free, the company charges for other services (such as creating apps for you and sending them to the apps stores for different devices etc).

The fab @squiggle7 has also written about this piece of kit and you kind find her writing here

Have a look at the site, register and have a play, I think you’ll be glad you did!

IT – What I want to see

Before heading off to #3mhothouse I’d been thinking about what I want IT to be for our pupils in the near future.

I want it to be an enabler. To allow children to create things they couldn’t otherwise, and produce professional quality products.

I want children to be good citizens in life and extend this into their online world. They need to see the benefits of social media/networking and respect both the people and the media. I would love them to be ambassadors for the good things young people can do with social media and battle some of the negativity that some traditional media writes about them.

I want IT to be enjoyable if it is being taught as a discrete lesson. Too many Fridays my step-daughter has come home moaning about how dull IT lessons were at school and then proceeded to spend 4 hours creating, curating and interacting wonderfully on the computer at home.

I don’t want IT to be limited by age or stage. I do not want a scheme of work where 7 year olds change font style, and 8 year olds change font colour. It will show a progression of sorts, but that will not be tied to ages.

I want IT to be chosen by children for a task. Another tool in the learning bag. Alongside this children need to be introduced to the vast range of tools which are available, so they know that you don’t have to use powerpoint for every presentation, nor kidpix for each piece of art. Fine tuning of tool selection will be vital.

As I think of more ideas and try to rough out an ICT framework for school I may add to this piece.

I’d be delighted if you added any ideas of your own.

 

 

Popplet – Multimedia presentation.

I’m spending some time looking at resources to use in IT across the school. I’ve been reading many of the blogs listed along the left hand side of the page and I came across Popplet via Ian Addison’s Blog. I’ve embedded the YouTube video from the site’s front page which will show you what the program can do. How it can be used is down to the children (and teachers), but I felt it could be used in many ways.

I like pieces of free software like this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they’re free – this means that school budgets are saved but more importantly I believe, children and their families can use the program for free at home. That ties into my second reason.

Children and families can use free pieces of software at home, friends houses, relative houses etc, as well as in school – sharing their work between the two places. This provides an added benefit being that this also allows children to share their work with their parents and family helping to ‘lift the lid’ off their education.

Watch the video and see if you think you could use it in school.

Free Technology for Teachers

This site, run by Richard Byrne is a wonderful resource. On a daily basis Richard highlights pieces of software (usually free) which can be used in education and some idea on how they can be used.

Here is his slideshow ‘Best of the Web’ which he presented at the Missouri RPDC Technology Conference.  For more of the resources and ideas he has found look at his website. He has also written several e-books which are available to read and download for free from the issuu website.

Automatoon- Easy Animation For The Web!

Really like the look of this. Hope it works on our computer network. I would like to use this next year with some of our classes. I think the children would really enjoy this and could create good results quite easily.

2011-2012 School Year

Next school year, which begins in August in Scotland, will be a very exciting one for me.

I will be teaching IT and some Games Based Learning across the school as the McCrone cover teacher. This is something I am really excited about. I have spent some time in school organising the new classroom/IT room and I am beginning to get stuck into some planning (bit scary when thinking about P1 as I’ve never taught that age range before).

I spent today printing and mounting a range of posters about ICT, these came from two sources, Simon Haughton’s blog and Teach-ICT.com The posters inform and explain a range of key IT skills and techniques, and I found a range which would be suitable for all of the ages I will be teaching.

I particularly like the keyboard shortcuts display, as I think this is an area all of our children could develop.

Once the displays are up, I shall photograph them and share them here. 

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