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?