USN Lower School Technology!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Typin' in the Lab and a Thought-Provoking PowerPoint

Hey, ya'll,

Here's the breakdown of what's happening in the lab this week:

  • Kindergarteners continue to work through lessons at Boowa and Kwala's UpToTen Premium@School site. This is a site upon which I was consulted to design a useful tool for very early computer skills introduction and practice and I'm pretty proud of it. Parents should know that it's not necessary at all to pay for a subscription to the site to utilize a whole lot of great age-appropriate content at home. Just go to our webliographer and visit K1GoHere! (ask your child once you're at the page!), click center number 2, and instead of clicking "Premium," which is what we do at school, click "Enter Here" (toward the center of the page, right over the heads of Boowa and Kwala. The resulting page will, yes, contain some advertising in a little sidebar, but much of what the children can do in the way of games and songs and stories is accessible from this completely free webpage!
  • 1st and 2nd graders are digging into the freeware program, Drawing for Children, to begin to hone their computer graphics skills in a pretty powerful little program. I use this software partly because if you want to download it for use on your home computer (PC only--sorry Mac users) you may do so from the Downloads topic in our webliographer. 1st graders are free-exploring the program, discovering and sharing their discoveries; 2nd graders began "My hope for 2nd grade is..." drawings they'll finish up next week
  • 3rd and 4th graders are continuing their keyboarding adventures in Type to Learn 3, a licensed program that may also be found at our webliographer, though this one would be a purchase. I actually don't recommend home purchase unless your child is so completely excited about learning to type that you feel you must have the program at home. Use of any typing program must be monitored and encouraged to assure development of home-row key skills and the program here at school should provide most of our kids with what they need, monitored and delivered in a timely manner. 4th graders will be typing at home soon enough, with the homework they'll be doing online with Keyboarding for Kids! If you want a supplementary software, I'd recommend looking into a more game-like program like Mario Typing or Spongebob, programs all available from the link at our webliographer. Okay, I'll stop driving you to the webliographer :) -- Here's a direct link to the software page!
I also want to share this week a PowerPoint created by a fellow technology coordinator in Virginia. He didn't have the amount of time allotted this year for technology professional development the first day of teacher in-service, so he created a looping PowerPoint that he ran on a giant projector screen as the teachers entered for the day. I'm in the process of checking his facts and verifying their sources, but most of these are statements I've run across already in my own professional development and I'm pretty sure you can take 'em as gospel. His school specific facts finish after the first few slides. It's worth the wait...

Here's Karl Fisch's PowerPoint, Did You Know?

That's it for this week's post. I'm going to post a little .wmv movie separately!


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