Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A snap shot of the Molenet project

A snap shot of the Molenet project. It has been very exciting to have the opportunity to try out new technologies in the class room through the Molenet project but it has been very time consuming.
I knew I would have to feedback on my experience of the project so I kept a note of the work I was doing...

Week 1 Molenet project
At the Weekend I researched possible technologies that I could use with my students with learning difficulties.
The week begins with:

Monday Milestone 4-8 Cookery AM We already had flipcams so I used them to record the student cooking activity. I was unable to play back the videos during the session because the room only has a register computer(main function is to do the registers anything else is a bonus) and the flip cam would not fit in the angled USB point at the front or the USB slots in the back. When I did get to watch them back later that evening the quality of the films was excellent.

Monday PM Off site class Managing Money -running a shop I filmed students using the flip cam . I showed a student how to use the flip cam and got her to film the activity. The quality of her filming was not as good as mine -too far away ,not focusing on a particular activity properly. There was no immediate playback possible,although there was a computer in the room it does not support USB. A student used her own Itouch as a calculator to add money. She was able to use the I touch independently but needed support with adding money on the calculator . In particular it was difficult for her to understand that 0.2 actually means 20p.

Monday evening. Further research . Created a Sqworl picture link :My Molenet

Tuesday 3.30 -5.00 Met with Molenet project coordinator to look at my list of ideas. I took PSPs home to find out how they work. Can't work out how to use Sums on Line. It seems to have disappeared.Would like to find out about Internet features.

Wednesday Enrichment Retail/Land-based E1-E3
Filmed the students throwing stones in the sea, paddling at the beach .Used the Flip cam. Some filming done by the students. On return we watched the film on the whiteboard.They loaded immediately (the software had been sorted by computer services). Excellent quality and sound.Thoroughly enjoyed by all the students .

Wednesday evening Found out a little bit more about the PSP and decided to use in my relationship lesson the next day. Downloaded 3 films from You Tube.Used Zamzar to convert to 2 Mpg 4 for lesson on Thursday (that's all I had time to do ) and transferred them to the 2 PSPs.

Thursday SLDD team meeting. AM Showed everyone the new equipment The Flip Cams had also been used by another member of staff on Monday very successfully . . The Curriculum Team Manager was very keen to use the two PSPs as an Autism resource.

Thursday Tracks Life skills D2 Friends lesson Am
We used the PSP to "over learn" by viewing the video about friendship on the PSP as well as viewing as a whole class.We watched movie clips/songs about friendship on the PSP. I planned to use the computer to view "We all need friends" on You Tube but the computer does not have the latest Flash and the You Tube video would not support it (will have to put a request into computer services) Viewing the DVD from the library would have been the ideal but I had not had time to pick up the DVD ! We therefore had to use the two PSPs as our main way of viewing "We all need Friends". We found out that sharing a PSP does not work. The sound quality is not good enough.We had to swap to individual viewing. This highlighted the problem of sharing headphones. Someone else had the box of headphones so we had to make do with one over the ear set and one in the ear headphones.( I don't like the idea of students sharing these) The PSP batteries were running low and one ran out of power in the break. The PSP viewing went extremely well . There were more request to use the PSP than I could accommodate. The students used them in their free time and were beginning to learn to use the arrows o and x controls independently.

Thursday Life skills New room! Friends lesson Pm
"We all need friends" from the library watched on the Whiteboard. PSPs used in free time to re watch the material from the morning lesson.We also used the interactive board watched a video jug film : How to make spaghetti bolognaise.We will be making this next week.

Thursday Evening Put a PSP format film on the PSP from video jug "how to make Spaghetti Bolognaise" for Friday lesson- so that students can watch and prepare for next week but it didn't work (unrecognised format)no time to do anything else. I also spent some time surfing the net for information on using the PSP in education.

Friday.Life skills Money/cooking
Set the tripod up with the flip cam to be a classroom observer and then watched it back at the weekend. I Observed my own teaching and it was interesting to be able to observe the students.

Sunday Downloaded flip cam films sorted into lesson folders and cleared camera. Only trouble is I don't have a memory stick with enough space to put any of the films on. I spent some time taking stuff off a stick but still not enough room.(may need to format but don't yet know how to do that on a Mac.) Loaded some photos successfully without changing format. I did however have to download photos to the computer first rather than directly from camera to PSP I learnt how to use slide show and flick through without using the directional arrows. I also tried again to load the video jug film but still unrecognised format. I then tried to transfer some flip cam films but they are in the wrong format and won't transfer to a PSP. I think I will use the PSP for filming directly and instant play back rather than trying to transfer photos and films as this is time consuming!! A colleague tried the Wii with his Arts and Media group for enrichment but found they were very unenthusiastic.

Monday M4-8 Cooking Showed photos to students using the PSP passed from one person to another. (a support worker passed the camera round) She found it was best used with the slide show option rather than getting the student to click through. Watching the photos seemed a very passive process . It didn't create language and next time the camera will need to be passed around with a Learning Assistant .

Tuesday Life Skills We used the PSP to video the recycling round. Individuals watched the film back but this can only be done one at a time.Some students re watched the videos used on the previous Thursday in the relationship lesson. A colleague used the flip cams today to produce an end of year review for the students - to be taken home on a CD but she could not get the flip cam to play back on the whiteboard.We need to contact Computer services as all our whiteboards are connected to register computers and need the flip cam software installed. Met with a Learning Assistant to find out how to use the Nintendo DS,which programmes work best and how they use it in their Entry level Literacy/Numeracy class. I took delivery of Talking Photo albums. I Have saved Flip cam Beach photos onto a stick - only three films will go on to. We will share in our lesson tomorrow.

Wed Enrichment Land based/Retail Didn't share photos as other activities took longer than planned (Edexcel portfolio work!)

No technology today !

Friday Life skills am Used the digital camera to take photos of the cooking session.

Friday PM Got some lesson cover and attended a Molenet meeting . There were representatives from JSIC and Lexdis as well as the local schools involved with the project. We watched a film about how a local special school was using the DS for cooking. We heard about the problems of mobile technology with classes of 30 A good idea of using the flip cam with students on extreme reading (i.e. taking photos of students reading in all sorts of places) We heard about the successful use of a class mate reader We watched a demonstration of samsung tablet and mobile projector I shared talking book and ideas for digital frame which I saw for the first time today. I also showed my PSP ideas .

Half term I developed skills with digital photo frame. I got it to work with the Tuff Cam but haven't been able to repeat this. I discovered that the Camera and PSP does work well with the digital picture frame but the Flip cam only via memory stick. PSP - I explored Sums on Line on the PSP and improved skills with video and camera function I showed staff who were also working at half term the new equipment on two occasions as well as sharing a sent list via email of equipment with quantity and its location
and so the story continues...

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