Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Blogging - the latest news

Some of you may have been having difficulty accessing our blog from the C2k network in school. Due to some changes in security settings blogs will only now be available if you contact the C2k helpdesk and ask for a particular blog to be released. Both this blog and its sister blog for technology teachers at http://selbtanddnews.blogspot.com are now available on C2k.

Remember if you are considering using blogs in school you might find the blogging tool, 21 classes, the most suitable. You can find out more about how it works at www.clounagh.org in the ICT section

You might also want to investigate moblogging - using a camera phone to take pictures and videos and create a blog. Find out more at http://moblog.co.uk/

Monday, 11 February 2008

Thinking Worlds

Have you seen this? It's called Thinking Worlds from Caspian Learning. It is a free piece of software which you can download from this link. Once this has been completed, you can then download Addons (or educational games) from the list, for example; Electricity, French Revolution, Volcanoes, Problem Solving, etc.

When you enter this 3D World, you are given instructions on how to proceed. You can move your avatar around using the arrow keys.

To get started with the game, you move to the 'Beam me up Scotty' area, choose the subject area you want to work on and away you go. As you move around your new world, you will meet other avatars who will give you specific information or ask you questions on your selected topic. If you get these right, you can collect points which you can spend later on.

For the more adventurous of you, you can log in as an author and make editions to the games, change the questions and so on.

Definitely worth a look.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

In class, I have to power down

At a recent digital education conference in San Francisco, one of the more memorable remarks quoted came from a child: "Whenever I go into class, I have to power down." That roughly translates as: "What I do with digital technology outside school - at home, in my own free time - is on a completely different level to what I'm able to do at school. Outside school, I'm using much more advanced skills, doing many more interesting things, operating in a far more sophisticated way. School takes little notice of this and seems not to care."

This is a direct quote from an article written by David Puttnam. Children have been quick to grasp the joys of new technology so why are schools lagging so far behind?

He considers the difference between the children's experiences in school compared to those outside of school. We should be looking at ways to harness their skills, knowledge, engagement, in a way that can feed into, complement, or act as a catalyst for formal learning.

Click here to read the complete article.

The document produced by Demos, entitled "Their Space", is available for download in Clounagh's VLE. The accompanying podcast is also available. Click here to access these resources.