30 April 2013

iPad for Research & Presentations

Year 3 have been studying significant children's authors, and today they were looking for information about them. A simple sheet guided their research and the groups carefully searched the Internet for a whole variety of facts.

This information was then used to create a series of slides, in Keynote, to support their feedback to the rest of the class in a mini presentation. I was very impressed with how efficiently they used their iPads. Research skills are very difficult to develop, especially from the wealth of information that's available on the Internet, so small controlled experiences like this are perfect for building this ability.

24 April 2013

Digital Citizenship in the Library

Our students use an online library system called Destiny Quest. As well as looking up books and writing reviews, it also includes a messaging feature. The kids can look up other users and send them a friend-request. Once accepted, that are able to communicate with each other - in theory sharing views on books or making recommendations to their friends. Of course, they could message each other about virtually anything.

Our librarian, Miss Mandy, has used this as the perfect opportunity to introduce the children to the importance of being sensible and politer hen communicating with technology. Within this 'safe' online environment, they can practice using social media in a protected space, which is managed and monitored by the library staff. Hopefully, this will lead to a culture of safe and responsible online use as they grow older.

22 April 2013

QR Codes in Yr4 Maths

Pick a code, stick it in your book & scan it. This reveals a problem that needs to be solved. When it's been solved, pick another. A lovely little introduction to scanning QR codes for these 8 yr olds.

Creating the codes is easy. Our code generator of choice is goqr.me, and our favourite scanner app is simply called Scan.

15 April 2013

Girls & Technology

I received a list today of the Year 9 students who have opted to study the ICT iGCSE course next year. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many girls had decided to take the subject. There has been a great deal of concern over the years about the lack of girls taking ICT, and even the Computer Clubs for Girls organization had little impact. But the girls will make up 60% 66% of our ICT course at ISP, compared to the UK average of around 40%. Maybe the popularity of Computer Engineer Barbie, launched in 2010, has actually made a difference!

12 April 2013

Spanish Lesson

I was in a Spanish lesson this morning and was interested by the activity the students were doing. They've been learning the names for rooms and common features of houses and homes. Their task is to present their learning in any way they like. Around the room students were working in a wide variety of ways, using different methods - some involving technology, some not. In the picture below, two girls are creating a 3D house in SketchUp, which will be labelled and presented in digital form. The other two have gone completely down the hand-made route with drawings, scissors, glue and hand-written labels. I just love seeing lessons where the kids get to choose what tools they use and where they can go with whatever they feel fits best for the task. The technology just becomes another tool to select as needed.