Blogging in Schools

I have only been blogging with university and to be honest, I’m not that keen on it because sometimes i feel that i don’t actually know what to say and i feel like I’m blabbering on haha! But Ive been asked to look at blogging so, in schools children could use make posts on a daily basis. Children will be able to learn that they write what they did, which could connect to being their school diary. School’s could have their own blogging sight which parents could access to see what a child has been doing during the school day; this suggests that parents would be more involved in what the children do, similarly school invite parents to come and watch the assembly on a Friday. With a blog parents and children would be able to comment on it. For example a child could state how much they enjoyed the day or what the best part of the lesson was. The blog could help promote the school for prospectus parents as they would be able to see different activities which children took part in and comments on what children and parents thought about it. KidBlog is a website used for schools and children to create blogs! Check it out.

Whilst browsing on the Internet, i came across 10 top tips which could help when blogging:

  • Start small- children will be engaged more with small tasks,
  • Use it for all lessons, not just ICT,
  • Regularly blog- for example every morning or after each lesson,
  • Start with a small blog before giving each child their own- build the blogging skills,
  • Share the blog- each child should have a turn,
  • Comment- get the children to comment on each other’s but also teachers must get involved as it will boost children’s self esteem,
  • Safe- blogging is a easy safe way for children to get involved with the online community,
  • get other pupils, teachers and parents commenting on the blog &
  • have fun- blogging shouldn’t be boring.

For anymore information on blogging visit: http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/ It has a project with different schools from across the world involved and benefits on educational blogging!

 

Interactive Whiteboard

Today we had a chance to explore the Interactive Whiteboard, also known as IWB’s, although you may already know a interactive whiteboard is a large display board which is similar to a normal ‘whiteboard’ with a difference, they have a projector which you can use to show children different material. The interactive whiteboards allow you to write on a blank page or onto of something which you are showing, you can edit these through using your finger directly on the board or a special pen. For example using the whiteboard you can write up rules for a lesson, so for example rules for a science experiment – e.g ’do not run’ and many others. These can all be permanently saved as an edit to your document, its so simple!

Also connected to the interactive whiteboard, is a camera which allows you to have certain things, which may be small, bigger on the board. For example when reading a book or looking at a specific object which you don’t want the children to touch. Many teachers and pupils use IWB’s on a daily basis. For example to show things to children such as pictures or a PowerPoint or to get the involved with games.

We started off with looking at the interactive software on the computers ‘Smart Netbook 11′, which you can download for free on a 30 day trail run. On this, there were many games for example word guessing, matching words and images and many other things! Whilst we were doing this I had a look on ‘The Human Body’. This allowed me to look at the different skeletons (as shown below), there was also games that I could use with children. For example; matching games or getting them to put it in the correct section of the body. When using this on the large interactive whiteboard as stated earlier you can get the children to use either their fingers or the pens.

On the Website ‘http://exchange.smarttech.com/search.html?subject=Science‘, it has many different sections that you can click on, you can search for specific subjects or year groups. In the science section there are solar systems, the water cycle and food chains. So if you want to get ICT involved in your lessons, have a look! There might just be something for you.

During this lesson, we also had to make up a game! I chose to have a matching game, this included having a picture of an animal and the name. The task for the children would be for them to match it, as shown on the image below.

We had the pleasure of Pei’s son Logan being in the class today and he very much enjoyed having a play around on the interactive whiteboard. This just shows that any children from aged 3+ can play even if it is just drawing images as he worked out how to change the colours via the bottom of the whiteboard and that by connecting the pen to the board he was able to draw pictures. They can draw things related to the subject in nursery. The image below shows Logan having a play around on the interactive whiteboard.

IWB’s are used across the curriculum and are used on daily bases which are very useful for children’s learning because they can get the children involved. With interactive whiteboards there are always pro’s and con’s, the benefits of them are as follows:

  • They allow children to get involved.
  • All children will be able to see what is being shown as a group.
  • They can store information and enhance presentation- for example class rules on the board during an experiment or tasks whilst children are working.
  • Research shows that they can be very useful when incorporated into the school day properly.
  • They are easy to use and be used in different lessons not just ICT.

The disadvantages include:

  • Technology can crash.
  • They are not cheap.
  • Small users may not be able to reach the top; this is because they are always fixed at a certain height.
  • Care is needed as they are easy to damage. So therefore no sticking blue tack on them.

More information about whiteboards in education is on the following web address: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/Interactivewhiteboards.pdf. This PDF file includes what are they, pro’s and con’s, how they work, issues, when and where they should be used, alternatives devices and many others. Other websites which are useful are: http://www.teacherled.com/all-interactive-whiteboard-resources/, this website has many different resources which you can use on the interactive whiteboards for example for maths- general maths, space, measurement, solving problems,  numbers and many more. Another website which has useful help is: http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk/kentict/kentict_iwb_home.cfm, this gives you information about how to use them, different types of whiteboards, and healthy and safety issues.

Within my school placement, I used a interactive whiteboard with my year 1 class during a PSHE lesson, I was using a CD disk which included a question and four different answers. The children were too able to click on an answer to see if it was correct or incorrect. Another game which the children participated in was a phonics game, they children had to use the pen to put the word into the bin or treasure chest.

Hope this helps,

See you soon!