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Magpie ICT Cluster's blogs

  • I shared the powerpoint used in our breakout by Suzie Vesper - embedded here: http://digistore.wikispaces.com/Support+Guides

    Join the Digistore group on the VLN here, it will replace the wiki eventually:  /groups/profile/724225/using-digistore

    The most difficult part is actually logging in! Whereas we used to have a whole school login, now each teacher needs to apply for their own individual Education Sector login. You need to have your school MOE number and your own Teacher Registration number.  This page on the Digistore VLN group shows the steps to registration:  /groupcms/view/724228/accessing-digistore

    There are is a subject catalogues link on the VLN sidebar but I suspect it's not all transfered over yet. The wiki has them here: http://digistore.wikispaces.com/learning_areas

    There are so many learning objects (the "games" the children like!) and digital images, sound and video files and the key is on the third slide: "The learning objects available within Digistore use multimedia to engage, are based on authentic contexts and have been specifically designed for New Zealand and Australian schools." (from Suzie Vespers presentation)

    The best thing to do is register then get in there and explore! 

  • Ulearn 2012 was fantastically inspiring! The hardest thing to do was come back and decide what to do first!  In a way, I've linked three of my breakouts together in the pusuit of curating original content to share.

    Add together "School Libraries of the Future" + "Free to Mix - digital content" + "Technologies and Literacy" and you get student created eBooks.

    With eBooks becoming available in city libraries and school libraries around the country, it is inevitable that Frimley will go this way at some point with dedicated ereaders available in the library. Making sure we are being good digital citizens and using web content appropriately is also something that needs to be modelled and taught to children. With this in mind, we can get the children creating their own original content which can be compiled in a number of ways into an eBook and shared as an epub file.  We can then apply a copyright or creative commons licence to it and share it with the world (because we wouldn't want anyone taking something that is ours, using it how they want and saying it's theirs - so copyright or the CC licence is an important real-world context to talk about)

    The main way we have started to do this is using the Book Creator app on the iPad. One class has also produced their first original story book using Pages, which also saves as an epub file. We're still working out the best way to get things on and off the iPads but here are some links to our first attempts.

    Disclaimer: We've been focussing more on the "What can we do?" and "How can we do it?", rather than exceptional content at this stage ;)

    Frimley eBooks

    Room 20 book (link at top of side-bar on their blog)

    What we did:

    • use Drawing Pad to create picture (or camera to take one), add to page in Book Creator
    • original hand-drawn art can be scanned or Kidpix art exported as .jpg
    • Room 20 used Pages and simply exported as an epub (pictures need to be set to "inline")

    Getting graphics onto the iPad:

    • initially used email, from laptop to iPad - bit fiddly though
    • Dropbox seems to be the easiest way (have a junior team dropbox that can be installed on all of the team iPads)

    Sharing the ePub files:

    • as a download from website - each iPad can access the page and download the eBook they want to view in iBooks.
    • anyone should be able to download the file and open it on their device (if anyone tries please let me know what happens!)
    • from a public dropbox
    • any help or suggestions welcome!

    The junior classes are excited about seeing their work and reading about it in a book on the iPad and the teachers who have taken up the challenge are keen to carry on and make more and better eBooks. Sound and video can also be included. The beauty of this is that it can be applied to any curriculum area and at any level of the school. 

    Some ideas:

    • A Day in the Life of Room 1
    • Talk your stories - draw a picture and record the story - great for ESOL as well
    • Counting or Alphabet books
    • Add a photo of your art work then explain it orally
    • Our School Garden - How to look after it
    • Safe Walking or Safe Cycling - Do's and Don'ts
    • Marine Life - A study by the Senior Team
    • think outside the square - leave a comment with your ideas on book topics
  • What a resounding success the recent Magpie ICT Cluster Expo was. With hundreds of students, parents and teachers participating throughout the day in a wide range of learning activities, all intended to demonstrate the fabulous learning that has taken place over the previous 3 years, the event was a buzz!

    Students ran the day presenting and demonstrating on a wide range of topics including Google, iMovie, QR Codes, Animations, Comic Life, Photopeach, Augmented Reality, iPad integration etc. It was an amazing opportunity for the students and hundreds of keen learners to participate in this exciting event.

    Huge thanks to the support given by Noel Leeming who kindly sponsored the prizes for our Cluster wide photo competition and also demonstrated their latest products.

    Thanks also to ClassWall Systems  who demonstrated their new Interactive Whiteboard solution to hoards of eager students who wanted to give it a go.

    The photo competition was judged by two professional photographers who commented on the "amazing talent" of the students with the photos they produced.

    All in all the event was a highlight for all who were involved and even though it took a huge amount of organisation, it was absolutely worthwhile as was reported in the two newspaper articles below.