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.