Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Been working with myclasses and mydesktop http://www.myinternet.com.au/ at our school. Using the desktop for information for teachers and students seems to be working well although you still have the comments "I didn't know about it"...."well it was posted in mydesktop" But I have noticed that more teachers are posting notices to the notice board-always a good sign.
Last week we had Year 7 & 8 students go on a week long field trip to Canberra and there were a small group of students who weren't able to go.
In order to try to give the students who stayed behind a sense of what the others were experienced I created a couple of online learning projects that had the students visit sites that I had found. They had to respond in a variety of ways to images and text on the sites. Mostly is was asking them to respond emotively to what they saw and read. I was hoping that in this way they would get a 'sense' of what the others had seen.
The other task was more a maths one where they were asked to imagine that they were going on a trip to Canberra with three other people. They were asked to research various ways of travelling, bus, plane, hire car and decide which is the most cost effective and/or most desirable. Not very imaginative I know, but the kids seemed to have fun.
We had the usual connection issues and challenges with getting kids on computers that worked but over all I think it did achieve it's purpose in getting kids to get a little bit of a sense of Canberra.
To pull it all together I created a class page where the kids could access all of the files and links that they needed. They then emailed their work to me. We had a private journal for the kids as well which seemed to work well although not too many profound relflections were seen.
One tricky thing though is that when you want to respond to the student's comments, if there is more than one maintainer then only one person can respond at a time.
Just a little hitch but would be good if it were fixed.
working with Year 8's has it's challenges as we all know but I think providing them with online experiences has helped a little with the engagement thing....more about this later