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ICT in action

What is happening in a school near you.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The best laid plans.......

It was my turn to do the assembly today. I decided on a theme of diaries...we looked first at my planning folder which is "enormous and full of all the stuff you want us to do" explained one of my class. Next I read some extracts from the office diary with many important forthcoming dates for our Primary 7's in their final term...visits to the Grammar...visits from Grammar staff....a weekend at Benmore and so on. Next, Anne Frank's diary and how she recorded her life in wartime and how we can read about it to this day.
In this way I introduced our blog- a web diary to the whole school, with projector- here endeth the lesson.
Despite checking that I could get on line in the classroom and making sure that the blog was up and running, a change of venue proved too much. A message about the computer not having the required privileges...a message I have never seen before appeared and prevented us from going online in the school hall. I have used the internet successfully in the hall before, therefore I do not understand. Back in class, access no problemo. The only saving came when what was stored in the cache came up so at least we were able to view one page, although not with all photos showing. My class enthusiastically oozed knowledge of blogs and slideshows, site meters and places in the world from where people had looked at the blog.
One of my colleagues noticed one pupil in my class who sat mouthing proudly, "our blog, our blog"...while their teacher muttered something alliterative.....

Friday, April 21, 2006

The day just got better and better

First thing this morning I navigated to the page where it was possible to record audio using Bubbleshare. When the children came in the page had been loading for a few minutes but unfortunately we have not been able to access the recording facility :-(
Two of my primary 3's have written an article for the local paper about our blog. With a bit of help from me they attached a photo and then e-mailed it. We hope to see it in next week's edition.
The interactive whiteboard is proving as popular as ever with the children and the latest CD in the At the Series is a must. As we are turning the house corner into a teddy toy shop they are very keen to use At the Toy Shop. This is a super resource which integrates ICT with role play from Granada Learning. We have already used At the Doctors and At the Vets. There are 6 in total so I look forward to trying the others.
Some of the children drew their teddies this afternoon using chalks, whilst others drew teddies using KidPix. Some photographed their teddies and added captions in ComicLife. If you have not got the new KidPix Deluxe 4 we can highly recommend it and if no one in your school has loaded ComicLife on your machines find out about it. The Beebots were out this afternoon as well and as I surveyed the children at work, engrossed in their various tasks, I couldn't help feeling a sense of satisfaction as they explored, investigated, achieved and enjoyed what they were doing.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

ICT inaction!

Today we were able to get online- hooray!!. We looked at the blog and Mrs Perlich our classroom assistant signed on as a blogger and posted a comment. We read some of the postings and then had a go at uploading the photo of Campbell onto Bubbleshare so that we could sing our song for the blog........there ended our joy... unable to upload..no progress in the upload bar...no apparent blockage from iGear but it just didn't work. Left it for 10 minutes but still no upload....sigh
In pairs the children then looked at the blog, 6 computers..all online and then the restrictions kicked in. Impossible for them all to look at the photos and Bubbleshare slideshows. They read as best they could the posts and comments, scrolled down to the sitemeter and marvelled at the number showing, but of course wanted to look at the slideshows...
If as Andrew suggested in his blog we are going to offer blogging and podcasting as a way forward with a web presence great...but not with these problems. Perhaps Marlyn and I are ploughing the furrow, blazing a trail....and I know that we have chosen to follow this path, excited by the new technologies and the possibilities. We will forge on but it will not be easy if we continue to be thwarted by the infrastructure!
Andrew's vision of a paperless world looks like a distant pipedream.....let's print what we've got so far and display it on the wall..least then the children can see it whenever they want!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

No blogging today!

We took Campbell for a Spring walk and took photos for the blog. We were unable to get online and post our photos. We were going to sing and record the song using Bubbleshare but no joy with getting online. I hope that tomorrow it will work as one of my P2's said "If this doesn't work, I'm going home!'
So frustrating for 5 and 6 year olds who had excitedly practised a song to put on the blog.
As Marlyn echoes in her blog how are we to encourage the use of these technologies when we do not get online when we need to or when we have our allotted use of the computers.
Thank goodness our kids are highly motivated and love computers and what they can do. I want to encourage the children to do as much as possible but if we can't get things to post or even get online reliably....
I know I can log faults, but when I am in class, with the children it will not be able to be dealt with immediately, when I need it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back to school

The children were desperate to see the blog as only one in my class had been able to look at it during the holidays. They were thrilled to see the postings by the Castlehill pupils and what an incentive to read...what do all those captions say?
The site meter continues to be a huge delight so Marlyn and I have decided to make an accumulator chart in our classrooms to show how the blog visits grow on a weekly basis.
We are turning the house corner into a specialised teddy bear shop where you can buy teddies and things for teddies.
We are also going to have a travel agents where bears can book tickets to go and visit the places shown on our Clustermaps and site meter. A giant world map will mimic the Clustermap with sticky red dots to mark the hits.
I have asked each child to bring in their own teddy to draw, which they will then write a profile for and post on the blog...and that is just for starters. If anyone has any other suggestions for us to consider, please post a comment.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Bute blogging

I spent a couple of days decorating at my friends' house on Bute, as they near completion of their renovations. Cathy teaches French and Drama at Rothesay Primary and as I mentioned previously she spent time in France during the holidays visiting French primary schools. At my suggestion, she took a little Bute teddy in the hope of beginning some e-mail conversations between the Gap and Rothesay children. I have set her up with a blog in the hope that this may be a way to further develop the link. Please post a comment to Cathy's blog, www.bute-bonhomie.blogspot.com

Friday, April 07, 2006

What clever girls!

Two of my colleagues have been busy this holiday working on their own personal developments. Marlyn has spent the week at Jordanhill on the first step towards chartered teacher. I had been considering this myself but must concentrate on my new PT post in the near future. I will be interested to find out about the course on her return.
My other colleague Cathy has sacrificed a few days of her holiday to spend time in a French school, shadowing a teacher who teaches English in a primary school, in a similar way to her teaching of French at Rothesay Primary. The fact that the school is in a ski resort in ' Les Alps' cut no ice with Cathy as she is not a skier ( well she might be by now! ). Not quite as exciting as a weekend in Campbeltown but I will hear all about it when I go overseas (to Bute).
I am going to help Cathy to set up her Skype account and I think I shall get her to start blogging! The more the merrier. Maybe our bears could learn a little French. After all, Cathy took a group of children to a French drama competition in Glasgow and performed 'We're going on a bear hunt"

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Look no wires!!

I continue to be amazed by technology. Today I took delivery of my shiny new wireless router from BT and proceeded to set up my eMac and then my G4 laptop to the internet. All went well but I had a problem with the wireless connection. I phoned BT and I was soon chatting to someone in the Mac department ( well done BT ) who was able to sort out the problem and within half an hour I was able to surf from anywhere in the house.
I shall no longer have to compete with Bebo and MSN messenger for surfing time with my daughter and my husband will be able to get to sleep without me clicking away in a dark corner of the bedroom of an evening, or worse.... Skyping with Marlyn even though I am using the headphones. Absolutely marvellous!
Been reading the e-mail from LTScotland with regard to SSDN mentors being the ones who will get accommodation at SETT 2006. We are having a Masterclass conference in June, when we will get up to speed with the developments...can' t wait!

Monday, April 03, 2006

New life...new beginnings

Easter Holidays have arrived and I am ready for the break and so are the children. Looking forward to the continuing exploits of the teddies and doing more with the whiteboard.
I always get quite nostalgic in April as it is the anniversary of my start in teaching, 22 years ago, as well as my engagement, 21 years ago and the birth of my eldest 18 years ago. And to add another new beginning -well almost in April - I have been successful in my interview for a Principal Teacher Post at Dunoon Primary.
After 22 years in our wee school I have decided that the time is right for a change and I feel the need to expand my horizons. An exciting new challenge awaits as I will have responsibility for Pre-5 and infants as well as my own class. Of course I have mixed feelings about the change but as I am often told ,"What's for ye will no go by ye!" I shall take up my new post in August which ensures that the Teddy project will have time to grow and develop... I wonder if Dunoon Primary have class teddies?....