Wednesday, May 23, 2007

eLive - Learning2Go Project - Dave Whyley

Learning2Go project, also a Learning2Go blog.

Laptops are primarily about writing - give them a pencil, it's cheaper. Also, laptops are heavy, take a while to boot up and can be easily damaged. The advantage of a handheld device is, the camera/video capability means it's not all about text, they are easily transported and they are instant on.

It took a hundred years of schooling to go from the teacher at the front with a book, he only book, and the children remembering what they were told -- to every child having their own book and own jotters (that need to be marked!) Compare with technology devices where it has only taken ten years to go from one computer in the classroom -- to each pupil having their own device.

Some of the applications used include: eBooks, simulation, full powerpoint, mind mapping, full kar2ouch (sp?), digital video and pictures. Dave described the camera as the "killer app". It is the thing that has had the biggest impact (although it is not without problems. The eBooks have been great too because so many classic texts are free and you can highlight a word and ask for a definition. {Note to self - must find out how to do this.} Children can not only read eBooks but can easily create their own with a conversion tool from Word. Can include pictures and drawings as well as text. {Note to self - must find out how to do this too!} The free eBooks available can be quite challenging but boys and reluctant readers seem more keen to read off the mobile device and they access books that they probably wouldn't look at otherwise. They also use a mapping tool with GPS that can track where the pupils are walking on an OS map on which pupils can link photos, videos and documents to record the trip.

They are using software that can lock everyone's device, so that everyone is paying attention, they can then display in real time, what everyone is doing on their devices. Can also highlight and display just one, or group the small images together... and this is done wirelessly. The pupils can also submit the files to the teacher's computer - date stamped and labelled to the individual pupils. Also individuals screens can be broadcast to the other's devices. Software is called SynchronEyes and was developed with Smart (an evaluation copy can be downloaded). Can also use as the devices as a voting system.

Had all sorts of evidence of the impact on attainment and attendance. But it has also had an impact on parents and their attitude to schools and learning.

They use a package called Feeder Reader for podcasting.

Teachers are given at least three days training before the pupils see the devices. Also, the teachers are allowed to choose an aspect to lock into and roll out. They are then brought together for a half day per term for a "show and tell" to spread expertise and understanding of what can be done.

They have a lot of money to spend on ICT and Dave hopes they wont be spent on ICT suites!

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Andrea said...

Hi David,

As a teacher in California, I am also really excited about eBooks. I've been using them for myself for awhile, buying them off of and using them for reference. However, I can't wait until every child has all of their textbooks on a portable eReader: textbooks are instantly updated whenever needed, and the school doesn't need to waste room on a class set of reference books that are rarely used. And, if you're time line in correct, that day should come pretty soon...

David said...

What is the annotation/cross referencing potential of e-Books? I liked the idea of getting pop-up definitions of words but I suspect they could be used to do a lot more. Essentially, what I'm wondering is, what other ways can eBooks be used that makes them better (or at least different from) paper books?