Myths and Legends is another fantastic free resource for schools, provided by the South West Grid for Learning (but actually designed by their equivalents in the East of England). You can watch a range of myths produced by adults and children, with text to read, cartoons and some speech and animation. Then make your own with Story Creator 2: you can register your school, then all your children can have a go. It’s a great multimedia authoring tool in its own right as well as being superb for visual literacy. As an extra incentive, the excellent multimedia myths your children make can be published to the whole country!
Self Review Framework March 25, 2008
The Self Review Framework (http://matrix.ncsl.org.uk) is an extremely useful tools for schools assessing their level of ICT in eight areas. It is also the application form for the ICT Mark. This page also contains a link to the Learning Platforms Functionality matrix (under ICT Infrastructure) which is designed to help schools identify their readiness for Learning Platforms.
The South West Grid for Learning Media Gallery is a developing tool which aims to overcome the two problems with children using Google Images: breaking copyright and the possibility of coming across unsuitable images. The gallery contains pictures, sound and video, all of which can be saved into your favourites, and if you register you can upload your own content for children to use throughout the South West: by doing this, you are guaranteeing either that you hold the copyright or that you have the permission of the copyright holder for children to use it.
Big Day Out March 21, 2008
The Big Day Out is a set of modelling activities aimed at Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, though many are suitable for older children. The online communication element is where children can email what they’ve done in a “postcard” or, at school, send their work to a class scrapbook where they and their teacher can add comments. To use the scrapbook feature, you need to be at school and the teacher needs a password (which Anna can provide for Swindon schools).
Blogging March 18, 2008
This is blogging! A blog (weblog) can be an online diary. It can record thoughts, web links and embedded videos. Most of all, it can allow a user quickly and easily to publish their writing to a potentially infinite audience. To set up your own blog, sign up with www.wordpress.com. There are three main security settings:
totally private (only registered users can see it: you can have up to 30 users for free)
public for reading, but only registered users can comment (or you can prevent comments entirely)
totally public for reading and commenting
Either of the first two would be suitable for children’s use. This is an open blog: only I can write and edit posts, and put up pictures and videos, but anyone can add comments. Please comment on any uses you can see this being put to, or any links to great blog sites you find.
Another similar site is Making the News (http://mtn.e2bn.net) which has been designed for schools: once your school has registered, anyone can write posts or add comments without a password, but the school Making the News administrator (usually the class teacher) vets everything before it goes live. Have a look at the work of children at schools across the South West at http://mtn.e2bn.net/swgfl_central/.
Teachers’ TV has a video on children’s blogging: http://www.teachers.tv/video/167
Here is a document explaining how to use Making the News.