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Enchancing creativity and communication using ICT at St Albans Catholic School

Context

This year at St Albans Catholic School we have been continuing to explore how we can best utilise a combination of our class iPads, laptops and our class blog to enhance student learning. We have used Teaching as Inquiry as our tool to explore and reflect on the effectiveness of a range of apps, software and approaches to using the ICT in the classroom.

Our Goals

  • Utilise the iPads and laptop software to provide opportunities for our students to be creative, innovative and reflective
  • Utilise the class blogs to share, celebrate and reflect on our learning with an authentic audience 

Strategies

  • Teachers to attend PD sessions that focus on developing student creativity through the use of iPad and other PC software apps
  • Teachers to select 1-2 apps to implement into their classroom programme
  • Students encouraged to reflect on their learning activities via a` class blog (via the BlogPress App)
  • Class Blog to be shared with buddy classes that havde been set up across our cluster
  • Each buddy class required to leave comments (feedback) on the blogs, giving the students a real sense of audience

Outcomes/Evidence/Reflections

  • A huge shift has been evident at each level of the school -  from using ICT tools and especially the iPad for doing and playing  - to creating.

    I use Book Creator to make class stories using photos of activities we have been doing. The students love to read them over and over.” Jo Gill Year 0/1 teacher.

    We use Book Creator to write class and individual stories. Little Bird Tales is a great writing tool because it can be used on both the ipads and the laptops.” Sanne Kampschreur Year 1/2 teacher

    A highlight in Room 3 has been using PowerPoint to reflect on our printmaking by uploading photos of our art and recording our feedback and next step learning. We used Book Creator to make reading books for Room 1 to use.” Catherine Quinn Year 2/3 teacher.

    We enjoy using Book Creator to write. We collaborated to write an A-Z of London Book for Olympic Games tourists to use. In pairs students re-wrote and illustrated Traditional tales using the Book Creator and Free Draw aps.” Kath Roach Year 3/4 teacher.

    Developing our on-line environment using Ultranet has been a focus for Room 5 particularly uploading own work using the ipads.” Joanne Foote Year 5/6 teacher.

  • Teachers are all actively contributing to their class blogs via the BlogPress App and finding this process a lot easier than posting from the laptops.
  • Commenting on other school’s blogs has had a slow start with issues concerning accessing each other’s’ blogs but with these problems resolved classes have been able to communicate online.
    • Room 4 really enjoy looking on other blogs and like the connection of what others are doing eg First Communion photos on St Mary’s blog as most students in R4 were about to celebrate First Communion.
    • Working as a class, comments have been posted on partner blogs and classes responded to comments posted by the other classes. This situation has created the opportunity to discuss appropriate on-line commenting.

Links to Evidence

http://sac42012.blogspot.com/

http://sacr5.blogspot.co.nz/

Link to Buddy Class Initiative:http://kura-iwa.wikispaces.com/TAI_2012

 Next Steps

-continue to explore new tools and share our learning with each other and via our class blogs

-continue posting comments as a class on partner blogs.

-build in some more direct teaching around posting comments and providing feedback.  We will also make use of the ClassSpace modules (Media Gallery, Discussion Module) to achieve this.