Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Exposure 2006

Thanks Mark for sharing this with us.
Exposure 2006 showcases the work of Digital Media students from Massey University.

RAM (Random Access Memory) is an animation about becoming too reliant and emotionally attached to your personal computer. Caroline Ting : RAM

Monday, 20 November 2006

Bard Kidz!

It's such a buzz to watch our Bard Kidz at play - oops i mean work ;-)
Dr Schmooze Clues is a hit with all the teams who have got involved and awesome to see their engagement and excitement with the game (teachers too) & some of the pictures they are sending in are very interesting. It was a great idea, as it turns out, to use photos to illustrate their answers. You can see a collection of them on our Interact site here or of course head over to Dr Schmooze's site and follow the whole game.
I know now why Matau have not joined the game this time as they are off to Rotorua this week for their school camp. They have been putting little animations on their blogs (using I Can Animate & original soundtracks with GarageBand) - very much beginners but very promising. Some other really cool videos on their blogs too. Go take a look - encourage your students to visit too and leave them some comments.
I watched Eltham Primary School kids working with Amanda & Marisa from Puke Ariki on Friday as they archived old school photos & records for the "Our Mountain" project - what a huge task - look out for their work on the PukeAriki wiki starting up soon.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Smart Kids @ Eltham

Smart Boards for Smart kids - let them tell you themselves. It was good to see kids hands on today - a learning tool as opposed to a teaching tool. Here they are constructing sentences on the bbc.co.uk site.
Lots of work going into preparing for the end of year school production - an international theme. Kids are creating presentations of images related to different countries. I helped out a bit with that & have been working at capturing moving images through Google Earth and Cam Studio (software that captures in a movie what is happening on your screen). The movies display on the big screen and will zoom into different places on Google Earth & link the various countries scenes of the production. (Well that's the idea anyway :-)
Here's an example:

Where in the world is Eltham? on Vimeo

Sharon continues to make and use WebQuests - with or without internet access. Without - she calls them PageQuests. Her feedback is that kids who have been through these quests have a greater understanding and recall of their learning long after the event. Hhhmmm active engagement probably key here. You can download these WebQuests from Interact.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Great Kids Sites?

Anybody out there want to help out with this one?
I have been asked to help create a list of bookmarked sites for kids to access in the SPS school library on wet lunchtimes - think i have been asked this question each year for the last 3 years & i still haven't got round to it...
You could probably have some interesting conversations about what are appropriate sites for our kids to be accessing at school, or accessing in their 'free time' at school - what even would get through the blocking & filtering of SchoolZone. (I know the ones i blogged about earlier probably wouldn't be) I would just like to know what are your kids playing, where are they going (at school) that our kids might like too? You can head on over to this wiki space & add your links - it would be greatly appreciated :-)


EPIC If you're not using it you should be! For NZ schools - find out what your school username & password is to access these awesome resources. Especially useful for those overwhelmed by Infoglut, infoglitz & infogarbage (thnx Jamie) that is often the result of a general internet search - go here first!

"What is EPIC?

EPIC (Electronic Purchasing In Collaboration) is a venture between New Zealand libraries and the Ministry of Education. EPIC gives schools free access to an unparalleled range of electronic resources from the following database providers:

EPIC is available to all registered New Zealand schools. The Ministry of Education has agreed to fund access for all New Zealand Schools in 2004 until 31 March 2007."

Schmoozing with the Dr!

Yesterday was kick off day for Dr Schmooze’s Clues. It was great to be in Charlaine’s class as they discussed and researched the first couple of clues and then the creative team set to work on constructing the photo answer. A bit of rivalry also between the two Toko teams always adds to the fun. Schools registered are Toko, Stratford, St Joseph’s, Ngaere, Midhirst & Marco. Not all teams started on the first day so I have spent some time this morning getting the SPS teams on board. Once the kids are introduced to the game there should be very minimal teacher input – this is their game they can do it all themselves (email, research & photography). Check out some of the creative pictures that are coming in as answers.

I sat alongside Dr Schmooze as the game begun yesterday & discovered, maybe, why the Dr loves these games so much. Its lots of fun to watch the emails come in & track the progress of the teams involved, to send another clue or answer a team’s question is almost a bit like ‘playing god’ ;-) I helped the Dr plan this game & maybe some extra things we could have done (that we have done in the past) is to create a formal lesson plan with curricula tie-ins etc. Just for teachers to explain why they are doing this & yes this is real learning. I know real learning’s not hard to spot when you see it in action, but some people like the piece of paper planning to go with it….

Any feedback from those involved would be handy in planning the next one 2007.

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Telling Our Story

These 8 year olds are reflecting on some of the highlights of their school year. What a great record to look back on over the years. As a parent i would think these were great :-)

Kids at School on Vimeo

My Fantastic Year in Room 5 on Vimeo

Photostory is such an easy, cool tool to use to tell a story.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

How many more sleeps till Santa comes??

Some teachers have already begun asking about Christmas activities. I was going to spend some time checking this out but look what i found in WickEd themes some great ideas to start with.
Lots more ideas turn up on a TKI search.

Thanks Richard @ Toko for this lovely Flash Christmas tree :-)

Still Lining up for Laptops @ SPS

Today I spent some time the Yr 5 -6 syndicate at Stratford Primary School as I followed the laptop pod around to see what was happening in our classrooms.
One class was using the laptops as part of their maths rotation & accessing 'tasks' from the school intranet that had links to relevant digital learning objects. Paul has shared his Maths task file with us here - thnx Paul. This gives an idea of how you can direct students to appropriate learning objects without students having to navigate through TKI's Digistore to find them. To this I would also add specific learning intentions to be clear about what are the purposes of this activity (beyond 'play these games'). Paul's class have also been busy with the new digital camera's - all classes now have their own. They have been exploring the Macro feature & been taking some awesome close-up photos of flowers to support their language programme (poetry writing). I suggested Paul take a look at flickr for sharing their photos with a wider audience.
Another class was publishing stories for their home sample books. I would encourage them to start using the laptops right at the beginning of the writing process: inspiration for generating & organising ideas, wordprocessing for editing & yes blogs for publishing! I spent some time introducing Lee to blogs & if time allows on my next visit will help her set up a classroom blog. I have tried to model this in my own use of blogs & today I created a new blog with some of the writing that Lee had collected over the years and produced in print format - just to showcase how easy & awesome blogging is. "A Collection of Literature" is a companion blog to the SPS Jubilee blog and is "A collection of stories by Stratford Primary School written over recent years. Chosen for their significance to our school, our town & Taranaki. These are extracted from an annual publication "Stratford Primary School A Collection of Literature"

I have been thinking lately if I was starting out using Web 2.0 tools for the first time (knowing what i know now) - what tools would i use? Would it still be blogger? Would it be something else? Would i forgo vimeo & flickr & go straight to Photobucket? (it does photos, video and flash) What would you suggest for a classroom teacher starting out at this point in time?? What would be in the basic toolbox?