Friday, February 16, 2007

Half Term and Unit 5a

Back then- Learning Style and others
There are times when I wish I was back in the classroom. Just to close the door and try some ICT idea out with my class, without the fear of looking stupid. Others are doing some really exciting stuff in their classrooms every day. Simon Mills in Bristol is helping his children to create dances and games with Beebots and somehow finding time to incorporate assessment and a portfolio in the shape of pictures and movies. I am discovering that I am an intrapersonal learner who prefers to work in an environment away from the fear of failure or exposure. Therefore if I am participating in a course or cpd , I kind of wait until it's over and do it all again @ home. A bit daft I know but I am sure there are children that I have taught who performed better when there were no jibes or taunts from others around.

Half Term

This week being half term, has been half work half pondering, oh and a large dose of family time. One such occasion gave me an ICT thought...
On Tuesday we did the Ikea thing. You know the traipsing around trying not to look like the dozens of other stressed out couples with paper measuring tapes and those stubby pencils. Catching conversation bytes that go along the lines of- well if we moved the cupboard we could fit that steel bed thing in there or - gosh what a good idea you can buy this strip of plastic with holes and put all your old carrier bags in!

I digress- here's my idea..

QCA Unit 5A

So previously I`d have taught this unit by just using the excellent Spex software from Aspex.

see picture above

This has a 3d designing environment and simple spread sheeting. The children really enjoyed using it to create an ideal classroom and bedroom. But why not also use the Ikea room planner?

The picture above shows the bedroom I planned (in a hurry)
The picture below shows the cost:

The children could use the free download to plan their bedrooms and see how much they would cost in real money. They could maybe measure their own rooms for homework. This is using ICT in a real context and seeing how ICT is used in the real world. Something Russel Ingelby points out many children seem to be lacking, listen to Russel and Terry's excellent: "What does good like podcast for more on this issue.

Can I add that I would not advocate just using this software and I still think Spex is marvelous, but the Ikea site and other like it could augment the unit and give a real world example of object based programs/ tools
So I then tried to find some other good examples:

"A great back-to-school resource!
Class Set-Up tool is a new, easy-to-use, virtual layout tool that helps you design customized and effective classrooms to promote learning.Use this tool to rearrange and set-up mock classrooms, and map out virtual seating charts."

Actually I prefer the classroom Architect tool from classroom for teachers

How then to improve on QCA
I think I have hit on something here which started last week when I met with leading teachers to look @ how the renewed framework fitted into the QCA modules. I like the idea of looking @ a QCA unit and figuring how else could we do this or what else could we use? Instead of the stale response of oh we use (insert software title) for that unit.
I think I'd like to run a series in this blog of - how to enliven a QCA unit-it is what i try to do day to day but get distracted by other pressures.

More to come then!