Monday, 30 November 2009

Support Documents for K12 Online Conference

I will update this post as the support documents post for my K12 Online Conference Presentation.

More to come later ...

Saturday, 21 November 2009

My Facebook Results

I tried the "How Facehooked Are You?" quiz and my result was Good Facetime.

How Facehooked Are You?
Good Face-time You're on your way to becoming a Facebook addict, but you're not quite there yet.

How Addicted to Facebook Are You?

Created by Oatmeal

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Learning with Smartboard

Today 5 students from University Pelita Harapan visited SWA to learn about how technology is used in the teaching and learning process. When visiting Grade 4, the Uni students got to learn first hand from the kids how to use the Smartboard for Maths. They all agreed that using the Smartboard is really engaging and helps to consolidate concepts.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Interactive Storybook using iPhone/iPod Touch

I just found this today and thought that I'd share it here on this blog. SWA has just bought 15 iPod Touches to use as a part of our Digital Library resources and for class activities. I really like the way this syncs in with the story book holder. Next term at SWA I am planning an iPhone Game Creation EX (After school activity). I would like to share this with that group as something that we could try to produce as well.

Sky Diving via The Green Screen

Today the Grade 10 had some fun trying out Sky Diving via the Green Screen. Take a look at the demo video.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Blogging with MYP

As a part of SWA's new Netiquette program in MYP, I will be teaching a lesson a week in online learning. To get things started I have been teaching all the students to create a blog and getting them enthusiastic by customizing it with templates and widgets. Here is an example of one of the blogs using a beautiful template from BTemplates.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Playing Enter Zon in Intermediate Chinese Lessons

Here are some Middle School students at SWA playing the online role playing game 'Enter Zon'. It has become very popular as the game is quite engaging and encourages kids to immerse themselves in the language.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Google Safesearch - Updated Service

When you're searching on Google, SafeSearch, is a feature that lets you filter sexually explicit web sites and images from your search results. While no filter is 100% accurate, SafeSearch helps you avoid content you may prefer not to see or would rather your children did not stumble across.

Today they launched a feature that lets you lock your SafeSearch setting to the Strict level of filtering. When you lock SafeSearch, two things will change. First, you'll need to enter your password to change the setting. Second, the Google search results page will be visibly different to indicate that SafeSearch is locked:

Even from across the room, the colored balls give parents and teachers a clear visual cue that SafeSearch is still locked. And if you don't see them, it's quick and easy to verify and re-lock SafeSearch.

To use SafeSearch lock, go to the "Search Settings" page on Google. For detailed instructions, check out this video:

I will teach my Parent class this afternoon about using this new feature.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Apple Remote Desktop Monitoring

Here at SWA we monitor all the Macbooks in the school using Apple Remote Desktop. It is truly a powerful tool that enables all teachers to see the student's screens whenever they need to. Our IT Tech Dept monitors every screen in the school. We use an Internet filter but Remote Desktop enables us to interact with students through chat, control the screen, view a whole class at once and lock the screen.

As a teacher I like to use it to guide the students in their work. I send messages about what they are doing to help guide the students more individually. You might argue that walking around the class has the same effect. For me Remote Desktop allows me to send my students off to work on a project in a quiet place away from the classroom. I don't have to worry that they will be off task as I can see their screen and know what they are up to.

On the technical side our on site technicians can help students with troubleshooting remotely. Just yesterday in Grade 3, one of the students was about to use iMovie to edit a documentary, only to discover that his laptop (from the laptop cart) had iMovie '08 instead of '09. I used iChat to contact our Tech Dept and they were able to install iMovie '09 remotely.

The photo shows the student waiting for the update with his screen locked via Remote Desktop so that he cannot press the wrong key during the installation. The problem was solved within 10 minutes.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Remedy - Jason Mraz - video by Yoga Gr 10

The 'Make your favourite song into a music video project' has been quite successful with this Grade 10 class. Here is one of my favourite videos that was filmed and edited by Yoga. This is his first attempt to make his own video. I think that he has a lot of potential.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Playing with the New 3CCD School Camera.

Today I tried out the new school video camera which has 3CCD technology. It is a shoulder camera and one that I've not used before. I took some shots of the MYP building and the main cafe in the Admin building. It really is a pretty place to work in.

21st Century Shopping Documentary

This documenary was made by a Grade 3 student. All the students have been learning about different money systems as a part of their latest inquiry. Liam created this documentary by himself. He was able to edit, add voice overs, music, titles, transitions and credits. This is only one example of the films that were created by Grade 3. Each student has made their own documentary. The students in Grade 1-3 share a set of laptops on a cart.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Trying Out Apture

Today through reading online I learned about a tool for sites called Apture. It enables the user to enhance the site up adding links to other media. It is very easy to use.
I have now added it to this blog. You can see the site page here Apture.
I can even embed videos which can be very handy.

Hey, this is cool - link to Twitter. Just click the link to see the pop out.

You can see a demo of this here - video of Apture. Which I embedded via Apture.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

States of Matter - An Inquiry

The Grade 2 students made an inquiry into States of Matter. Next they will each make a personal inquiry into reversible and irreversible changes. The results will be made into a digital presentation using Keynote and Photo Booth.

Digital Nation - the sequel to Growing Up Online

I have used the content from the PBS documentary "Growing Up Online" many times in my seminar presentations. Now there is a sequel that is currently being developed. This program is called Digital Nation.
Here is a quote from the website about its' content:
"Digital Nation is a new, open source PBS project that explores what it means to be human in an entirely new world -- a digital world. It consists of this Web site as well as a major FRONTLINE documentary to be broadcast in winter 2010. Our production team is posting rough cuts and raw footage on the web, and gathering input, feedback and stories from users as we go."
I really like the episode from Korea about game addiction. See it here Gaming Addiction. I will show that film at my parent seminar on violent digital games this afternoon.
I like the interviews with Marc Prensky about eBooks and find the interactive Digital Native Map (see screen capture on the left) truly fascinating.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Violence in Video Games - Parent Seminar

Virtual Monas - created by Grade 5

Take at look at the sophisticated work in this Sketchup model that was created by a Grade 5 student. This was done as a reflection exercise after a field trip to the real monument.

Using Sketchup in Grade 1 - Yes Grade 1!

Today the students in Grade 1 made virtual restaurants as the final activity in the current Unit of inquiry about Healthy Food. The students had already made food drawings using Kidpix and Keynote presentations about what's in their lunch boxes. Today we decided to be risk-takers and try using Sketchup. I was quite prepared to change the activity if it was too hard.

So what happened? Amazing things happened! I am a firm believer that if you can use technologies you should so long as the activity is age appropriate. Some teachers prefer to only use some programs with certain classes. I think that by the time the Grade 1 kids are in Grade 5 (when we usually introduce Sketchup) there will be new software developed anyway.

So we tried it. Only after a few basic instructions the kids were off and running. One boy had finished his base, roof and windows and then went ahead trying out the different fill textures. I told him to 'go for it' and not wait for the teacher.

Soon others were looking at his screen and asking for his help. Even the class teacher was learning from the students. Of course there were some kids that needed extra help and more time - but doesn't that always happen?

By allowing the kids to go ahead the task was quickly completed and the fast finishers were able to help out their friends (which they loved to do).

The results were very good and now the class teacher will repeat this activity during Maths lessons (connecting it with the current work on 3D shapes) to further develop their understanding and skills.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Open Office for Kids OOo4Kids

Today I tested OOo4Kids or Open Office for Kids. It was fast loading as promised and I found the interface to be easy to use with lots of icons. First go to the website to download it OOo4Kids For installing on the Mac just double click the .dmg file to start the process and then drag the program icon to your Applications.

There are four different options: word processing, drawing (which includes a mind mapping feature as you are able to add what is known as 'call outs'), presentations and spreadsheets. The fifth icon is for opening a file.

It is important to know that OOo4Kids saves in its' own format unless you choose the 'save as' option from the menu. There are many formats to choose from. I really like there is a one click button that allows saving as a PDF.

Here is the word processor. Easy and visual - just like it should be.

Here is the drawing app. There are lots of customizations which are really easy to use.

This is the presentations wizard. You can use templates or make your own. There are a lot of features here that allow children to make a truly multimedia show.

This is the spreadsheet feature. It is a much simpler version compared to Excel.

I think that this is a fast, easy to use software that has a nice price tag. Schools should be taking advantage of OOo4Kids as it is affordable and user friendly.

Podcasting in Grade 5

The learning in a 1:1 laptop program never ceases to amaze me with how sophisticated and deep it becomes. Here is a podcast created by two Grade 5 boys. The process was to explore the workings of one of the human body systems. Initially as front loading the students watched the Human Body episode from the Magic School Bus and then took one minute of the film and created their own voice over explaining the scientific process. An example of their work in that activity can be seen here in a previous post - Body System Video
This time we wanted to go further. The students at SWA use the LMS Studywiz and were able to upload their podcast images to Studywiz to compare with the other students in the class. They were also asked to draw one image using Artrage. You can download a free trial version here.

The above screen capture was taken from SWA's Studywiz. What you can see here is the title page of the podcast and the student responses. I love the comment "Extraordinary and elegant work" made by Hansen. The students turned their images (online downloads and picture book scans) into slideshow screens ready to be placed into their podcasts as it related to the information being presented. This makes the podcast a multimedia experience. By using Studywiz, the students were abe le to share their work and get feedback from their peers. This helped them to make decisions on what images they would choose for the finished work.
Here is one of the finished podcasts.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Digestion Lesson - 21st Century Style

This film clip was created by Grade 5 and has used parts of the Human Body episode from the Magic School Bus. The Grade 5 students were asked to take 1 minute of film and explain the digestion process by making a Photo Booth movie capture and inserting it into the film using the picture in picture technique. The students were asked to research the digestion process first, to develop the script for their voice over. As well as this the students added a sound track to fit with the action in the film. This clip was made by Ena. Each student in the class made their own movie.