Embedded image permalinkExciting  time ahead at school! This week we are organising the arrival of some living eggs.We ran this project last year and the kids took so much from the experience, the picture to the left is when our chicks were just a few hours old. They got to see this whole process, coming up and visiting the chicks during the day to see their progress. As usual we tried to add a little ICT to the mix by setting up a live stream via a webcam. This worked really well, with the classes checking the feed every morning during registration.

This year I want to add a bit more tech to the equation, and get the pupils using the experience more in the classroom. Applying the technology and making sure it is all up and running allows for the classes to make the most of the birds, and hopefully allow for some great learning to take place. Below I have listed a few ways that a school could use ICT to make the most of having living eggs, and some possible lesson ideas.

  • Set up a webcam with a live feed on your network. This can stream live on your school website for all to view. This could be used by pupils or parents at home. It could also come in useful for the member of staff who is in charge of the project, allowing them to have a look and check up throughout the day
  • Allow the pupils some time to work with the digital cameras. Pupils get the most from photography when they have an interesting subject to use. Allow them some time with the birds to try and get some interesting shots, then come back to the computer suite to do some quick photo editing.
  • Internet Research. Often it can be a couple of weeks before the eggs start to hatch, so keep the pupils interested and give them the opportunity to find out how the whole process works. Older pupils could research before taking younger pupils to see the chicks while explaining the process.
  • Google Sketchup. Anyone that follows my blog will know I’m a big fan of Sketchup, and using it with all ages. The idea of using it with this project came from a pupil last year who did it in her own time. She emailed me a file which showed a dream environment for the chickens to grow up in, all mapped out on Sketchup. The level of detail was superb, and the research beforehand to find out the ideal conditions was great. So I stole her work and got the rest of the class to do it!
  • Blog about it. Pupils could start a ‘Chick Watch’ blog, keeping other informed of developments and changes, the literacy coordinator loved this! Pupils can also learn to embed images to their work, and for the toppies they could embed the live feed or a video. On a similar note some pupils could create podcasts to broadcast on your website. These could be live updates or information on how they develop.
  • Literacy tasks. There are a whole heap of literacy based activities that could be done on the computers too. For example (big breath) letters of thanks to the farmers, descriptions, stories, newspaper reports, information booklets, instructions for care, day by day diary and invitations to parents.

 

Wow, as I was writing that I came up with a few more ideas that I originally thought! I can honestly say that having something like living eggs in your school can be a great inspiration and discussion generator. I can do nothing but encourage it! Please have a share or comment, and if your school is planning on getting some living eggs please keep up updated! I would love to link with another school doing a similar project.

Hi everyone, been a while since my last post. I had the summer away from everything school and tech, my eyes needed to recuperate!

streetmap

But I’m back and that’s the most important thing! My 1st little resource is one that I used a lot over the holidays. www.streetmap.co.uk is a great little website that uses the Ordnance Survey maps at different scales. The advantage of using this site it that it doesn’t have any data allowances. Users of the OS website will know that often searches can not be made as their daily usage allowance has been met.  this can be even more frustrating if you’re using it in the classroom, nothing worse than the tech letting you down. Give it a go!

snappy wordsWhat is Snappy Words visual English dictionary?

It’s an online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that helps you find the meanings of words and draw connections to associated words. You can easily see the meaning of each by simply placing the mouse cursor over it.

Why use Snappy Words visual dictionary?

  • Easy to use dictionary and thesaurus.
  • Learn how words associate in a visually interactive display.
  • Get ideas to help write content for your blog, article, thesis or simply play with words!
  • No limit on number of searches. Look up as many words as you need anytime.
  • It’s free and fun!

How do I use it?

Type words in the search box and click Go or simply hit Enter. Once the words branch off the main query, you can double click a node to find other related words. To explore the features:

  1. Place the mouse cursor over a word to view the meaning.
  2. Double click a node from the branch to view other related words.
  3. Scroll the mouse wheel over words to zoom in or out. This helps you see more
    associations or view words and meanings more clearly.
  4. Click and drag a word or branch to move it around and explore other branches.

toadLove this website! Animate, rotate and zoom through hundreds of different objects. Get pupils to play and explore with items you will very rarely have in school. The image quality is great, and the level of detail is more than enough for pupils to engage with. A site likes this works great when using Aurasma, really good for an image board.

curious

Yesterday I stumbled upon an amazing website. Curious.com is a fantastic learning zone filled with videos and guides for anything you can image. The videos you download run like lessons, with breaks and chapters for you to follow. You can also send the ‘teacher’ and work you have done from the lesson, or reviews on how you found it. As I said previously, I only found it a few days ago, but it looks like a brilliant educational community. My favourite tool to use is the ‘curious’ button. Almost like shuffle on your ipod, it randomly searches the lessons to find you something interesting. I can see myself losing several hours to this, filling my mind with yet more useless facts!

A few years ago I stumbled upon the amazing site that it Instagrok, and my pupils haven’t looked back since! It takes the basic features of a search engine, and adds on all the little extras your pupils will need.

It links your search with other related topics allowing your pupils to widen their further understanding of the subject. It also has brilliant extra features like:

 

  • Key Facts show important facts about the topic
  • Difficulty Slider adjusts the difficulty of the material
  • Quizzes to test pupils on the subject matter
  • Glossary for those tricky words your pupils struggle with

Give it a go and see how your pupils get on. While it’s a brilliant tool when conducting research, for a quick little question you still can’t beat Google!

 

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