Interesting couple of days

7 02 2010

I spent Thursday afternoon in my own school in primary 4.  I was doing some Glow with this class and it was great to see that they knew exactly what they were doing and were obviously using it.  Their teacher is a friend of mine who works part time and so wasn’t in that day, missed a lot of Glow stuff initially due to being on maternity leave but has the IT skills to be able to pick it up quickly and use it for learning and teaching.  The pupils were excited to be using it, knew their passwords, knew how to go to the LTS website to get the link if the portal on RM explorer wasn’t working and knew their way navigating about and how to use the learn news desk and discussions which was the parts I had used to set up a quick task for them.  They told me how they use it at home sometimes as well.  Nice to see that the kids had been using it and it didn’t have to be all singing and dancing for them to enjoy it and see the usefulness.  It also let the DHT who was in with me see how it could be used. 

They were however all dancing for the next part of the afternoon.  The class (and the other classes presumably) have been having their full allocation of PE a week which has included some fun fitness that the pupils take a bit more ownership of.  I did a bit of a dancy/Body Attack type warm up with them and then some of the pupils had their own music in with them and did  a bit of a routine for the rest of the class which they then taught to the class and did altogether.  They all loved this and were very good at watching and following what their peers were doing.  We then put on a piece of music and asked the pupils in their own space just to make up their own little routine and this next bit really surprised, and pleased,me.  It was the boys, and this was all of them, who straightaway started dancing and making up hip hop/breakdancing routines and got really into it without any shyness.  A lot of the girls on the other hand were not sure what to do and stood about and needed more direction from us before they got started.  Programmes like Britain’s Got Talent, and the two dance shows on BBC 1 and SKY 1 are obviously having a big impact on boys and seeing groups like Diversity and George Sampson winning these is having a really positive influence.  Being slightly obsessive about exercise myself and having danced for about 18 years (before switching to playing rubgy!) it was great to see the boys getting into this and discovering another form of exercise.

On Friday I went to a meeting at one of my secondaries about using Glow for transition.  I have already started this in more of a PSD format with another of the clusters but this secondaries English department was very keen to do a transition project and link it into Glow.  They had two ideas to choose from and I think they will go for the one on advertising.  They are going to look at advertising in general before asking pupils to make an advert for visiting Scotland, tie it in with their two day visit and then produce writing on it when they arrive in secondary in August.  They are going to design a glow group to aid with this which I think will lend itself to this type of idea, with using a lot of media really well.  They also had the idea of a separate glow group just for all of the P.7 teachers and secondary teachers involved to swap ideas, concerns etc.  I am really interested in seeing how this develops as I think the teachers would like somewhere to do  this but am not sure with time factors etc how much they will get into it, particularly in the first year, although I would like it to.

I then visited the primary school where primary one have been doing the glow chat as well as using it for lots of other things.  I happened to be in the ICT suite while they were doing this and it was great to see it in action.  Last year the teacher had a P.1/2 and said that the P.2’s were good and went on with the P.1’s and they could manage themselves.  This year it is a straight P.1 class and she said they are struggling more so P.7’s were working with them as buddies.  Great for both sides!  However I did get a shock when the P.1 pupil beside me started to tell his P.7 buddy about playing the latest Call of Duty game.  I think I’m correct in saying it is at least a 16+ if not an 18 and I’ve played it – it’s so not appropriate for a 4/5 year old as far as I’m concerned!

On Tuesday I  am going to my sis-in-laws school to help her with her glow club as ever since her P.2’s have first been on they have been desperate to make a voki like hers!  I said I would help her out with doing this as it could be rather chaotic and we are just going to use my log in to the site.  We have put the xml web part onto a page of her group multiple times and put the kids names on each one so that they can all see each others!