Week of April 12, 2010
Hey, all. It's a big week in the Lower School Technology for Learning Lab!
The Short Story:
3rd graders continue making progress in Keyboarding for Kids
4th graders are introduced to our new mobile netbooks lab!
Kindergarteners and 1st graders visit and produce art at Kerpoof
2nd graders create their own business cards using a Microsoft Word template
The Long Story:
3rd graders continue making progress in Keyboarding for Kids as we position them for writing success upon entry into 4th grade next year. The first 3rd grader has FINISHED all 64 lessons in K4K and has started through his second course of it, so it's proven that with diligence and effort, even when that effort is optional, we can do this! Please encourage your child to work and let them do so at home if at all possible. They need simply to visit the Webliographer and click the Keyboarding for Kids image, log in as they would at school, and carry on!
4th graders are introduced to our new mobile netbooks lab! This is a tremendously exciting new development that's been months in the planning and setup, and I'm proud to say that we are rolling (literally) the laptops out to the students this week. We'll talk about care and maintenance, rehearse how to login to the laptops and set up the necessary shortcuts on each child's individualized desktop, how to troubleshoot in case the wireless access is lost, and all manner of new things presented by the Windows 7 operating system and Microsoft Office 2007, which you may know is quite different from the Office 2003 the kids are used to using. Stay tuned for pics and more description of this newest innovation in the lab. By the way, MUCH thanks to Technology Assistant Spencer Engelbert for all his help, and also to the whole tech department...
Kindergarteners and 1st graders visit and produce art at Kerpoof, the immensely rich online drawing, painting, and moviemaking tool. K kids dive into the "Make a Picture" function, producing a printed coloring book sheet with their name on it and customized with a background and images of their own choosing, 1sters produce interesting wordlists and pictures with the "Spell a Picture" interface, printing those out at the end of the session. It's FUN! We'll do more yet at Kerpoof next week, after student accounts are set up with my new free teacher account. This will allow us to save, to customize each child's avatar, and to start building a collection of drawings. I am careful to talk about how this is a "commercial" site and though it offers lots of options without logging in with a paid account, there will be stages along the way where students may want their parents to upgrade. I encourage them to use the site's free parts instead...
2nd Graders create their own business cards using a Microsoft Word template, simply highlighting and typing or pasting clip art into pre-defined fields. I would love for them to be able to create these on their own, free-form, but having them only for 30 minutes limits me to this procedure. It works, but it is really hectic as each child works to complete his or her own single card on an Avery-based template. After the class leaves, I copy that card and paste it into each of the 9 other positions on the page, and I'll do all the printing after all classes have completed the design work. Here's an example of what the final product looks like:
That's it for this week. See you next!