Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tech Tips Tuesday

No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the planet, I just had to re-prioritise last week in order to meet a bunch of deadlines and maintain my sanity! But now, I'm back and have much catching up to do.

Last week I began the Microsoft Peer Coaching Training and came up with a plan for how to support teachers in my school. Theoretically, I am supposed to be focusing on the Year 5/6 teachers in preparation for the introduction of the laptop program in coming weeks (or months!), however, I'd also like to help teachers in the other grades to try out some new things. I see some great possibilities given their integrated inquiry units. We've fallen into the pattern of using the World Wide Web as a resource - you know the drill, "Google it, then use it". But I want to help teachers to move beyond that. I want to help teachers to make REAL connections with REAL people and use this to enhance learning. So...

This week's tip: Connect with us!

We're looking for schools, classes and individuals to connect with. I'm going to give you a brief outline of what we hope to achieve, and if you know of anyone doing something similar, or want to connect up with us, please email me, tweet me or leave a comment on this post.

Our Kindergarten students are learning about "6 year olds around the globe". They want to learn what life is like for other kids. Some ideas I'm thinking of for ways to collaborate on this include a Flickr group, a Wiki, or emails between classes. I don't think we're set up for web conferencing yet, or Skype calls, but I could look into it.

Our Year Three students are learning about Australian Geography. They would like to connect with people around Australia maybe via postcards or email, but they're open to suggestions.

Our Year Four students are learning about "Textiles and Design". We hope to learn some of the skills needed for sewing, knitting, crochet and the like. As we teachers aren't so competent in this area (mending is as far as I go!) we are looking for online communities who can help us with this. We will be looking for tutorials on YouTube in the hopes that we will find something there!

Our Year Five/Six students are learning about Australia's relationship with it's nearest neighbours. While this unit will probably lean heavily on the historical and political aspects of our relationships, wouldn't it be nice to give students the opportunity to build some real relationships with other children and play a part in the future relationship between our countries? I'd love to set up student email in ePals in order to build these bridges.

So... do I have any takers? Please spread the word and help me in my quest.

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