Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Progression in Control Day

Last week leading teachers begun work on a progression in Control document. It was a complicated but rewarding task,as we found that it was more involved than we originally had thought. We persevered though, thinking that if we could establish what control looked like at each level it would aid us in our tasks of creating units or blocks of work.
We had gathered to produce some lesson plans and activities that would suit our post QCA, Web2 generation children. We (I) choose to look at Control, as though it can be cross- curricular it is more pure ICT than a strand like 'Exchanging and sharing' which has much stronger and clearer links with Literacy or music. Furthermore it is the area that many teachers and ICT coordinators struggle with!

We are 96% finished with the progression work and one group completed a unit of work using Control Station software. A difficulty we came up against was the wide range of software and hardware in use (or still in it's box). I am convinced of one thing though, for children to fully grasp the concepts that Control and monitoring addressed, they need to use real hands on tools and not just be exposed to -on-screen mimics. They should also be alerted to the range of control and monitoring applications in the world around them. A good way of doing this is to use the Flash application on the Economatics website. (see screen grab below)

One issue with a strict adherence to the QCA units is that it means children leap from a use of floor robots in Y2 to an on-screen robot in y4. We therefore started to work on a bridging unit for Y3. The ideal for this seemed to be the use of the Probot and it's associated software. We also followed the Renewed Framework Maths objectives on shape and touched on Geography local area work. By the end of the unit (that we have semi-written) children will be charting a route for an on-screen robot around a map of the local area. The software and hardware we used was PROBOTIX and Probot. This software allows you to load a background image to be layered beneath the on-screen version of the robot. One of our team meticulously found images form Google Earth of the areas around each of our 53 schools.

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