Monday, May 30, 2005

Multimedia Fun and More

Sorry I have not been in touch recently, but life has been hectic - summer term and all that!
We have been having lots of fun with 2Create, the multimedia package. The children have been experimenting with sound and moving images, exceeding my expectations and skill level! The tables are turning a bit and they are showing me how to use the software! However, to stand back and watch the children, they are all completely involved in their tasks. There is also a lot of collaborative learning going on, with children showing one another how to do something, and if a new part of the program is discovered, the skill spreads like wildfire throughout the classroom.

We have not been without blips, however. The 2Create application has frozen on several of the machines, several times. I have been in touch with 2Simple, and they are sending me a newer version as soon as it is out. The company have been very helpful and are super to deal with - very user friendly!
I have also tried reinstalling the software, which has seemed to help a little.
Despite the problems, the software is definitely a popular addition to the tablet package.

The children have also been using an application called ‘Ultimate Maths Invaders’. This company got in touch with the school a few months back and guaranteed us a site license if we organised the sale of the software to parents. I liked the idea of children working on the same software at home as in school - an opportunity for a nice home/school link. We sold quite a few copies throughout the school, and the children now have a copy of the program on every computer in school.
Once a week the children play ‘Ultimate Maths Invaders’ on their tablets during mental maths time for about 10 - 15 minutes. They absolutely love it and say that it has helped them speed up their tables recall. Some of the children have the software at home as well and they say that it has really helped them. We also have a ‘Highest Score Challenge’ ongoing in the classroom, which also helps them with their place value.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Term 4 - A New Focus

A new term and a new focus for our work on the tablets - this term we are going to be exploring the world of multimedia! Last week I introduced the children to the Appleworks Presentation application, as I had some slideshows made by other children to show them as examples. As an introduction we looked at a couple of examples and discussed them. We then explored why we would use a slideshow and what sort of things we could do with one. At this point I explained that the tablet partners were going to be split - half the children were going off to make a traybake (Heinemann 4 & 5 Maths - measure!) and the other half were going to begin a slideshow which would explain how to make the traybake. When the bakers returned they would take over the slideshow and the rest of the class would have a turn at measuring and cooking. The children had about 15 minutes to put together a rough plan and then half went off to bake. The children had to make up a slideshow with at least 4 slides. This task went on for the afternoon but what fun we had! The slideshows were completed and the traybakes were made. We sat and looked at the slideshows while eating the traybakes on Friday afternoon. By carrying out these activities in such a way we were able to cover maths - measure, Language - functional writing, and ICT - presentation work - a successful afternoon’s work which only lasted an afternoon - the slideshow did not eat into the following week because the children were new to the application but familiar with the skills required to carry out the task.This week we are trying out a new piece of software called 2Create, made by 2Simple. It’s a multimedia package which we have just started to get to grips with - I think it ‘s got a lot of potential for use with the tablets. I’ll let you know how we get on!