Tuesday, June 27, 2006

useful stuff - i think...

Greetings fellow educators of the 21st century. Please read for meaning and not just to look for typos.
The world has changed. So should we. At least, in my opinion and the Ministry of Education's and renowned educational experts from around the world. Let me begin by reiterating what it states in my profile - I am not a particularly skilled user of ICT. Like a laboratory rat, if something changes slightly, I am lost in the maze. Changing computers, rooms, a shift in temperature, Meddlers walking past my room, the presence of a room full of my peers are all more than enough to throw me off my track. Most of the time I can't remember passwords, recall urls or navigate back to where I want to be. However, I know that the tools available to us help engage children and allow them to perform powerful, complex and exciting functions that 20th Century method and technologies do not.
In Room 9 we either are using, or hope to use blogs, wikis, chatrooms, the LMS, mobile phones, skype, podcasts, forums, vi casts, skypecasts, digital cameras, webcams, the interweb and whatever else crops up that may be of interest or use.

You are reading this on our class blog, controlled and moderated by me on a daily basis [most of the time], and allowing ongoing communication, feedback, support and encouragement, whether the kids are at school or not.
I post topic starters, clues, hints, and hope to entice them into learning and sharing skills, attitudes and feedback.
This is a freely available tool open to all the horrors of the net. By being part of the real world they can learn to fend for themselves rather than being protected from real or imagined demons lurking behind every corner.
They interact with their peers and teachers - including other teachers I met on conferences - and children around the world - potentially.
We are currently setting up an arrangement with Pitt Island school to compare and contrast our lifestyles, with a view to incorporating the information into our "Hamiltron, City of the Future" inquiry. To do this, we need to use "skype", a free tool for making international calls over the internet. With the use of broadband internet, a web cam, microphone and speakers, we can see, hear and interact with the children on Pitt Island - easy peasy - hopefully.
For those of you who doubt the relevance of these tools, consider the success of Point England school in Auckland who have raised literacy levels, increased student engagement, attendance, enthusiasm and parental involvement using podcasting. In fact, they have gone from low levels of success to being world famous! It is inspirational.
[-search this blog for access to previous posts about Point England's "KPE" podcasting on iTunes and feedback from Dorothy, who is a blimmin' legend.]

i have found the blog on its own has enthused children who normally would be reluctant writers. They write their entries on their own blogs then feverishly seek out feedback from others. They are learning to give quality feedback and monitor each others' posts for appropriateness of content. It is not difficult for them or me. In fact, it is fun! We all love it.
Why don't you try it too? We will help you.

btw - none of them will read this post as it is too long. [to prove me wrong, kids, post a comment saying " Mr Woody, we can read you know..."]

other 'things' of use:

online bookmarking - save your favourites to the "delicious" site and have them available wherever you are - rather than at just the computer you saved them at.


Skype - an easy download for free international calls, webcamming, chat, skypecasting


Flickr is a site for free and easy sharing of photographs and images. It is a social networking tool with heaps of potential for engaging children and teaching about photography and giving meaningful feedback - also for encouraging appropriate "netiquette".


wikis ["What I Know Is"] - a way of sharing information via the net - it is something which others can add to. e.g. wikipedia which i edited to add relevant information to for a project we started in Term One.


Also there are heaps of free tutorials online that you can direct kids to or use yourself. Webmonkey is useful. I found free tutorials to learn how to use "Flash" there. Macromedia Flash is a great tool for animating. It is widely used on the web and is something advanced students can tackle as extension work.


This is something i just whipped up last night to show you the capabilities of I.C.T. in the classroom...


[just kidding - the author is credited within]

Have fun - laugh at yourself - give the kids a chance to run with the tools available.

Mr Woody 8>) [p.s. that's a smiley]


Mr Woody said...

And just to prove I am a techno-eejit, I haven't managed to make my url's usable. Doh!
I bet Matua Haami can do it in the blink of an eye. Or Mrs McCullagh. Or Mr Ferry. If you can, post here to prove it.
I dare you.

【※ 『§mr. brainy§』 ※】 said...

A lot to read!! Anyway i cant download the flash thing cuz my brother will get upset!!!

Mr Woody said...

wow! you were fast, mr brainy - what are you going to do instead? I would love to see your animations. will you download gamemaker5 and make 2D games instead?
how's your blog looking? we [the teachers] might take a peek...

【※ 『§mr. brainy§』 ※】 said...

Maybe ill download gamemaker.....

laffydaffy said...

well, that was a lot to read.um, well from this blog, i've learnt heaps of things. I can post pics, writing, my thoughts. We can on-line debate and Mr. Woody is always giving us challenges and questions. We get feedback on things and it is really fun. There's always a few jokes here and there.

I think that sime classes get the technology more other classes. e.g. we have an data projector and a interwrite pad, do other classes? No! So how can students use technology (other than computers) if they don't have the equipment!

Mr Woody said...

thanks for your feedback Laffy - you are a motivated, mature student who works well and is thoughtful about your posts.
i am impressed that you are concerned with equity for other students. we are very fortunate to have this equipment and owe it to our clever principal. we will also have to start showing others how to use it so they can have it next year.

!~*ZuZu*~! said...

At my mums and dads we have Skype and we ring my grandma in hawaii on it and we have a webcam and its really fun!!

Howdy! said...

I think we should all have at least one of those things,
but if our parents don't let us, well, ask them to get you something else like skype.

Skype, skype, skype,
If we were sick, but the class had skype you could catch up on the things you were missing at home!

Wouldn't that be brilliant!

Bye Mr woody,

Your niece, or Aim

Mr Woody said...

good call, Ima.
Zulu - get well soon - we were very concerned to hear of you missing your flight. we all send our love. Room9 and mr woody

laffydaffy said...

it will be sooooo cool if we had skpe and if we had it at home then we could talk at home in the holidays!!


magster said...

I haven't used any of that stuff before but it sounds really cool! can't wait to try it
P.S please visit my blog I've got some stuff on it now

maxiboy said...

come on my blog Mr Woody i have heaps MORE info about hamilton you will be suprised.max

Triwoman said...

It's ok Mr Woody, I have just left 2 URLs for Pitt Island School and I couldn't make mine active either. It looks like its down to Matua Haami.
Double Doh!

Ernesty said...

You can download Pivot! Search for Pivot on google. Its mean as!

【※ 『§mr. brainy§』 ※】 said...

I think doing webcam thing on MSN is better

madam said...

Hey Mr Woody. I read through your small essay that you wrote. Some good stuff you have posted there. Haylee and I learnt about Skyping at our last course...I'm really keen to give it a go aye. Just got to get a web camera then it will be on. Anyway, keep up the good work. I think it's great that you are using all the technology in your classroom. Keep it up!

Mr Woody said...

cheers madam - nice to get feedback - and positive to boot.

Jess said...

Yeah loved the novel you wrote there Mr Woody!
But we can read! I showed my sister the animator vs animation thing and she laughed she liked the little person and wanted that to win not the mouse! (IF YOU GET WHAT I MEAN)

Sig said...

I know how to help you Mr Woody! if you want your URL's to work try it like this (I do it this way):


URL stands for whatever the URL is. Get it? If you don't I can tell you more.

Mr Woody said...

sOg, u loveable ejit - read your instructions and see if you think they are actually helpful. i have placed url's in before that work, and now, for some, unknown reason, they don't. it's a mystery.

Howdy! said...

Zulu and Ima, what is the world coming to?

Anyway thanks Mr Woody for your feedback,


blondebob said...

mr woody i didn't read that because it's too long