Another lesson failed by the filter …

Bianca Hewes on the frustrations of being too creative for your school’s internet filter. FYI I tried her lesson plan and followed the link to find the same result! It does raise interesting points about filtering, but also, as Bianca acknowledges in her post, about us preparing fully for lessons that are outside of the general scheme of things.
It is a fantastic lesson idea, I hope she gets the site unblocked at manages to teach it!

Bianca Hewes

Most schools have them, most teachers and students hate them. Internet filters.

This morning I spent two hours creating what I think is a pretty great mini-project for my Year 8 students. It’s based on the online game ‘Machinarium’ … using it as a stimulus for creative writing. Here is the outline of the project: steam-punk

I set the task as an edmodo assignment for my Year 8 class this morning. And guess what I saw when I logged-in to see how they went with it? A message telling me the game was BLOCKED by the filter. I can’t tell you how frustrating this is as an educator trying to use new media and digital/mulitmedia in her classroom. I’m not even in the classroom today and I’m still working hard to give the kids an engaging and effective project to complete … argghhh!! I know I should check these things…

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One Note- My Voice

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Today I am spending the afternoon assessing student essays. My year 7 group have been working on recounts about their recent trip to Camp Illuka. Usually this would involve lots of colored pens and highlighters and copious amounts of coffee!
Today I decided to up the ante and do it high tech. We have been using One Note to organise ourselves and to file our work. So far it has been a glorified note book and I have not really noticed that it is much better than old fashioned pen and paper other than its ease of use and ability to record multimedia. However, I had a rethink and decided that it would be much more worthwhile marking their essays on my computer. Normally when I do this I use the comments function in Word, and this works fairly well. Today I decided to use the voice recording function in One Note to read through the boys’ work and show them my thought processes as I read. This has allowed me to clearly articulate what it is that I am looking for when I mark their writing and then to talk through the process of filling out the rubric.
It took about 14 minutes on average per paper, which is a reasonable amount of time but allowed me to really unpack what effect their spelling, punctuation, sentence structure and overall structure has on the reader. I talked about their word choice and was able with some students to clearly articulate their goals in their writing.
I had several students who used run-on sentences. Now they can hear the impact of these. Others did not punctuate effectively; again, I was able to demonstrate how this affected the reading of their work.
The next step for this class will be to record themselves as part of the proof reading process. This should assist them to develop a clearer understanding of their own writing and to set future goals.
I hope to see improved results in their writing as the year goes on.

iAnnotate

The iAnnotate app has to be the best thing I have used on the iPad. The recent update mens that there are even more ways to annotate your documents.you have always been able to highlight, post notes and underline, but now you can draw with a variety of line thicknesses and the whole document can then be saved as is and emailed or added to your Dropbox.I am currently annotating the new Australian Curriculum document with a view to checking the digital technology requirements. It is definitely a ‘must have’ app.

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VATE Conference

Hi, to everyone at the conference. I hope you enjoy learning about using online tools as much as I enjoy teaching about them and using them.
I will be going through blogging, wikis and diigo. There are far too many online tools to go through in one session so I thought I’d begin with the tried and tested ones. My Diigo account (loremipsem.diigo) has many more links to other educational technology tools, so feel free to explore and play in your own time.

a wordle about web 2.0
a wordle about web 2.0