Laptops for schools should have been iPads | Delimiter

Laptops for schools should have been iPads | Delimiter.

For an interesting read, have a look at this recent news article. To emphasise the use of technology and its continuing advancements in todays society, this article discusses how the use of Ipads within the classroom could have been a more successful government initiative rather than the laptops for schools program. Yet, it is hardly the government to blame, as Ipads were yet to be revealed by Apple when this decision came into place. It just goes to show how hard it is for educators, and even our government, to keep up with the fast paced advances in our technology!

Also, today I found that the ‘Press This’ Icon that you can drag onto your Toolbar makes it very easy to share information on the internet such as the article I have attached to this Blog post. You simply press the ‘Press This’ button whilst browsing the web and it will immediately bring up a new blog post page, with the article link attached and ready to go! It really makes life easier!

Liana.

Something to think about…

I found this video really hit home for me the amount of technological advances that are rapidly occuring around us. It really shows the importance of the responsibilities teachers will have in preparing the next generations to successfullybe involved in their society, and not just our current society, becuase things will be very different for them!

 

Realisation…

So after looking around on the net I discovered my Photo Story will not upload due to the fact that I forgot to compress the photos I used prior to uploading them to Photo Story 3. Makes me a bit sad that I cannot share my video, but at least I understand Photo Story much better now!

Looking at Photo Story 3.

Today I have been looking at photo story. It’s very easy to use and I think children could use this software in many aspects of the classroom. To demonstrate the use of photo story I have used some photos from a past family holiday to Tasmania and am currently trying to upload my Photo Story (dealing with some very annoying ‘security’ issues preventing me from doing so!) Within a couple minutes it was easy to use photo story as its set out step by step and its quick and easy to upload the pictures you wish to use. I just attached the sound file to my slideshow at the end by browsing in my iTunes songs folder.

I think children could use this program in many engaging ways, such as creating a story board for a story in groups, taking photos that go with a short description of the story below then collating it into a photo story to show the class. This would be great in developing children’s concepts of narrative structure.

It would also make a great addition to classroom portfolios that go home to parents. The teacher could create a photo story for their classroom and what activities they have been doing in class during the Term. This would be a great way to enhance teacher-parent communication within a classroom.

Photo story could also be used for an ‘All about me’ project, or something similar, where the children could have personal photos and images from the internet (such as a picture of a cricket bat if they like cricket) and put text with their images and create a photo story project.

I’m sure there’s plenty of other ways to integrate photo story into the classroom and I would love to hear of any that you have because I think it’s a very valuable classroom tool!

Liana

Technology has its bad days…and today is one of them.

It may be my lack of knowledge about computers or something has actually gone wrong, but I have made a lengthy audacity sound file talking about the ways to use Photostory in the classroom, but due to some silly reason I cant upload it due to Edublogs security reasons… I don’t know how to get around this so any help would be much appreciated!

On top of that my Photo story that I have spent a lot of time creating is too big to upload and I don’t know how to make it any smaller. Has not been the most successful of nights!

Help! Help! Help!

 


Finally I’ve figured it out!

Today I finally decided I was going to try and customise my blog despite my past troubles with trying to do so. After a considerable amount of time persisting to get my blog individualised I have finally had some success! It wasn’t as hard as I thought. I’m sure most of you have already figured out how to do it, but for those who are still frustrated over it here’s how to:

1. First you go onto google to find a background, I found it easy to type in google images ‘free blog background’ rather than sifting through the thousands of sites to find one. Then I made sure I had google set to ‘large icons’ on the right hand selection column. Once I found an image that I liked I brought it up on the screen in its actual size.

2. Once you have your image, right click and save picture as. It might take a moment to download but not too long!

3. On edublogs, click on the appearance button at the top of the screen, and click the option ‘background.’

4.  Here you need to browse your computer and click on the saved background file, then once selected click the upload button.

5. Then you have the option of centring the background and all those kind of things underneath a preview of your new background.

6.  Then, to have a look at it, just click on ‘visit blog’!

 

I’m no expert so there may be an easier way to do it, if so let me know with a comment!

I’m particularly interested about how you can change your background using a hyperlink of the background image and a customizable widget. I would love to know how to do this!

Liana 🙂

Audacity…still building up the courage to post a sound file.

I’m not sure if many of you would agree, but my first dislike about audacity is I cant stand the sound of my own voice recorded. I just don’t like it at all! So hopefully I can record something for my next blog post. I just downloaded Audacity and after watching the youtube clip John supplied us with I found it rather straight forward. Although I did think that without the extra guidance it may be quite difficult in the classroom to locate the two websites needed and navigate around the slightly confusing page. I was a tad confused by the two dowload options, as I have windows 7 I was required to download the 1.3.13 Version, yet in its description apparently the version isnt quite finished and may have a few technical issues. Fingers crossed these  technical issues dont occur for me! The actual layout of Audacity itself is quite clear and easy to use, which I think grade 3-5s would learn quite quickly.

Within the classroom audacity could be really useful. I always remember dreading oral presentations during my upper primary school years, as it was a new concept to me and the thought of standing in front of the class was quite daunting. I think by using audacity you could get children to create group oral presentations or even individual presentations, which could be burnt to a disc after converting the file type and then played back to the class or teacher. In the younger years (Years 1-2) I noticed while on my rounds that they are just developing an understanding of the different types of texts there are, including the set out of the writing of a play. I think audacity would be great for a literacy/writing project where the children could write their own plays in small groups, and then record themselves with different character voices and sound effects on audacity. I’m sure there are many more ways audacity could be integrated into classroom learning and I will keep you posted! Hopefully my next post includes a sound file if I’m feeling brave!

Liana.

Blogs…keeping people in touch in times of need

Whilst on my second year rounds I heard about a heart warming story that really brought home to me the importance software can have within a classroom. Within the classroom I was placed in there was a beautiful child who sadly was diagnosed with leukaemia late last year, which in this blog due to privacy reasons I shall call her *Clara. Clara had to go to a hospital in the city away from her friends which is a pretty frightening experience for a six year old! During her long stay in the hospital, Clara’s teacher back home was determined to keep in contact with Clara to try and support her through such a difficult time. Within this teachers classroom they constructed a class blog, set up in order to communicate with Clara, despite her being in a hospital five hours away. Over this blog, the class with the teachers help updated what had been happening in their classroom, they sent her supportive photos of class members, and photos of artwork made for Clara by her classmates. They wrote supportive posts to her, video messages, and even made a photo slideshow with an uplifting song, showing photos of her and her classmates prior to her diagnosis. The teacher also sent some school work across that Clara could complete when she was bored. Clara has now made an amazing recovery and is back at school with her supportive teacher and classmates. By having a private class blog it really seems to have brought the classmates together and built on Clara’s positive outlook on life and successful recovery. I think the dedication and care Clara’s teacher showed towards her with the use of a blog is quite inspiring!

*Name changed.

…and I’m back!

Well hello! Sadly my blog took the back bench during my last two busy weeks of placement in a year one classroom! But I’m back. During my busy two weeks of placement I found myself using a couple of software tools within the classroom on a day to day level, and also discussed the use of software in schools with the placement teacher. The most commonly used tool within the year one classroom was their SMART board. It was used every morning as a sign in for the kids, where a page is set up with photos of the kids’ faces and superhero costumes. The kids come in and move their face on the board and put a costume on their head photo. This helps give an indication of who is at school before the roll is even taken, and it also seems to settle the children into their routine, as they always know they need to do their spelling activities next once they have dressed their SMART board character. The SMART board timer was used extensively, and I made sure to use this within some of my lessons, as it really organises the children and gives a window to redirect the children onto the next activity once the timer sounds.

Aside from all the software talk, my placement was a great experience! Now that we have been taught some of the theory behind teaching practices I thoroughly enjoyed my second placement experience and being able to apply the learnt theory and to build on my knowledge. I view our practical work as one of the most important and key components to my university studies and I can’t wait for next year’s!

I hope all my fellow bloggers that also just had their placements found it rewarding also!

Liana.

Dabbling in Diigo

So for this weeks task I have signed up to Diigo and joined our EST340 group. Diigo is a great way of sharing resources on the net and sifting through online materials, making it easier for both yourself and fellow Diigo members to use the bookmarked web pages. Within classrooms this would be highly useful and save you plenty of time in finding resources, as it can often take up plenty of time to find a useful website, or even interactive online educational games. I found it easy to set up and just dragged the ‘diigolet’ onto my task bar. I just need to work out how to use it as the button doesn’t seem to be working! Hopefully by exploring diigo further this week I will become more familiar with how to use it!