Thursday, September 21, 2006

Spencer and Cambell @ SETT

Infants can Communicate!

Campbell and Spencer
Campbell and Spencer,
originally uploaded by DavidDMuir
Marlyn Moffat and Morag Macdonald tell us about the Interactive Chatting Teddies (with primary 2 then primary 1-3 in the second year of the project).

Before the session started, they thought they were short of an audio cable, so I ran back to the car, fighting my way through what appeared to be an entire school's worth of pupils, ran back into the room (the very hot room), to be told that, "The man found us one after all!" :-)

Marlyn and Morag were both Masterclassers and wanted to do something for younger children because they thought most of the things were aimed at older children.

One of the first things they did was explain how they posted Spencer to Campbeltown... but even better than that, they showed us a slideshow with commentary from a couple of kids who took him to the post-office. The children were worried about putting the bears in a box, but reasoned that bears hibernate, so they would be OK. They sent him recorded delivery so they could track his progress on the royal mail website. Brilliant.

The parents got right behind the idea and between them they recieved 2-3 thousand images!

Both schools used Kidspiration to allow the children with pre-writing skills to write about what they were doing.

Marlyn and Morag were doing their own blogs, mostly about Interactive Whiteboards, on the back of Masterclass. But the bears asked if they could have their own blog. So the Interactive Chatting Teddies (ICT - I'd never noticed that before.)

Campbell got to sit in the front of the Logan Air flight and was treated as a VIB. :-)

The next trip they did was illustrated with more slideshows and GarageBand recorded songs from the pupils. I love this - not just talking about what they have done, but showcasing their children's work. The presentation was just full of examples of the children's work. They described the huge amount of writing their pupils did about the bears, the technology work, art work... loads of stuff.

Marlyn (I think) showed a piece of writing produced by a boy who normally hardly wrote, hardly spoke, but he got so excited about the blog and the international audience they had, that he wrote the longest piece of work he had ever produced complete with very detailed drawing of the computer screen. The site meter showed them where people were coming from to visit the site and that they had thousands of visitors. (Learning about bigger numbers from the site hits, estimation skills - how many hits will we get next week etc.) The children caught on to the value and importance of the audience before the teachers did. ...And Blue featured with Ike in the presentation! :-)

Children in Morag's class had seen Comic Life and asked if they could do a comic about the bears. They taught themselves how to use the software.

The work went on right through the holidays - even to the extent of getting him on a local radio programme. :-) {Think about it... a bear on a radio programme!}

Loads of work came out of this. For example, in connection with where visitors came from. How far away are the places? What do children do in these countries? what money do they use?

It also gave a context to talk about Internet safety - in fact the primary 3 class gave a talk to the primary 6!

What did the children get out of it?
  • Motivation
  • Approbation
  • Independence
  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
Seamless ICT. Cross-curricular instead of compartmentalised. Finished with video diaries from the children saying what they liked. Brilliant to see again the children and hear their voice, not just the teacher's interpretation. They spoke confidently and showed good insight into what they had learned. "Mrs Moffat thought we were whizz-kids ...and so do we!" Stunningly brilliant! :-)

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marlyn moffat said...

Thank you so much for this. Saw that you had intended to gatecrash in advance. Oh! might have been John, he did that too. Just got home around 10. Your support was invaluable, today. Made us feel that others who knew more than us,were encouraging, so we'll need to think of something to expand now.

David said...

You are more than welcome. Definitely one of the best SETT sessions I have ever been to.