Now that netbooks offer low cost, portable computing – and will only get better – how can schools best exploit them?
That’s the question behind a new East Lothian project starting this term. There’s been a lot of discussion of the potential of these technologies over the last year or so and we now aim to make a start on learning about the real-world possibilities. We’re deliberately trying to push this as far as we can beyond what we already do to improve the chances of identifying new benefits – and force ourselves to learn our way past any barriers that emerge. That’s why the project willinclude, for example:
- a focus on web-based collaborative working, using services such as Glow and edubuzz
- issuing netbooks on a one-to-one basis to every child (92) in the Primary 5 cohort
- giving children ownership of the devices, and allowing them to take them home
- encouraging connection to home or other wi-fi networks, such as in libraries, where possible
- encouraging multimedia use through provision of a few Flip video cameras in each class
We have been fortunate to have full support from our IT department for the project. The arrangement is that they will enable wireless network access for the netbooks in the school, but cannot offer software support – if any configuration problems arise, the devices will simply be restored to factory settings by the teacher.
Today Elizabeth Cowan and I met with the Primary 5 teachers at Kings Meadow Primary who will be involved to make a start on planning. The day included an intro to Glow from Ian Hoffman of the Glow team which included useful examples of work going on elsewhere.
Eliza Sparks, a parent volunteer supporting the Humbie After School Care Club as their special projects manager, shares with you the ideas and information shaping their project via her new Taking Care: Our Environment, Ourselves weblog.
“We are currently preparing funding applications for our “Taking Care: Our Environment, Ourselves” project. Thus far, the response to our ideas – by our, I mean the Humbie After School Care Club students, playleaders, committee and volunteers; the Humbie Primary School Student Committees (Health and Eco-Environment); as well as my own research into outstanding initiatives and projects from schools around the world – has been wonderfully enthusiastic and supportive. We might be one of the smallest primary schools in East Lothian, but, as ever, we have big ambitions.”
Read the full post here.
The ink on the first few posts has just about dried now. Why not drop by and take a look? You might even be able to help. Eliza says, “Feedback, comments, suggestions are very welcome!”
Today’s Stern Review on Climate Change includes this really powerful graphic as part of the slides for launch. This topic is important already within subjects such as geography and science, and has huge potential value as an alternative curriculum resource. Maybe it’s time to start tagging stuff that’s clearly useful for cross-curricular projects? The sheer volume of web resources is so high, anything that helps separate out the really good material could save teachers and students a lot of time. For example, I’ve tagged this in del.icio.us with the tags climatechange, impact, education, resource and graphic – and included some words to point people to the graphic:
edit / delete
Slide 2, Projected Impacts of Climate Change, is a great graphic showing effect on food, water, ecosystems, extreme weather events and irreversible change risk of global teperature changes of up to 5 Deg C.