Tuesday, 23 August 2005

Cool Tools + Access = Motivated Learners

Well I hope so that's the idea. Me being an idealist again... I think there are a few other important factors to go into that equation like purposeful learning objectives, student driven opportunities & teacher support. What else belongs in the mix??
Don Tapscott in 'Growing up Digital' has this to say "Access is a critical first step...
Wiring the schools and populating them with computers is necessary but insufficient to ensure equal opportunity to share in the digital revolution. Children need access to computers and the Net, but they also need appropriate software and services. They need motivation to learn. They need a redesigned educations system and teachers who have retrained and reorientated. Innovative technologies cannot make up for educational professionals who lack innovative methods and merely replicate learning models that don't work."

Well Rome wasn't built in a day so the last couple of days I have been working on the 'appropriate software' @ SPS with the senior classes. Our sessions were called 'BEYOND PAINT' Drawing & photoimaging tools are really expensive (I wonder what a site licence for MX 2004 would be!!!) So we have been working with DrawPlus from http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/ I was amazed at the quality & range of 'higher-end software' that you can download from here now - desktop publishing, photo & image editing, graphic design, 3D animation & web publishing. All the kids had some hands on time exploring the features of DrawPlus in preparation for using it to create logos for their upcoming icecream project...
Here's a little jpg I threw together in DrawPlus:

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