We've added some great new applications and updates to the EeePCs and community sites that we'd like to make you aware of. EeePC programs will automatically install on your EeePCs the next time they connect to the network.
Google Earth: Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others. Great for all sorts of classroom activities across a variety of disciplines. For a great example and lesson materials on erosion, see David Lindsay's Post here.
Pencil: Pencil is an animation/drawing software that lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using both bitmap and vector graphics. Saves files in Flash format (swf) which is easy to embed in a Student Community blog. Could be used for a number of creative activities and demonstrations in the classroom.
Multimedia support for StarOffice: Software to support a variety of audio/visual media within StarOffice documents and presentations, including a number of video and audio formats. All media types kids can create on their EeePCs using the Sound Recorder (Audacity) and Webcam are supported.
Scratch support in the Student Community: The Student Community now supports playback of Scratch projects directly in a student blog. A number of students have already posted their projects. For an example of a Scratch project in the blog, click here.
If there are any other things you would like to do with either the EeePCs or the Student/Teacher Communities, be sure to let us know. Feel free to comment here with your ideas/suggestions.
In this episode, grab a roster and add some students to your classroom blog. I discuss some tricks for creating usernames and give some strategies for designing passwords that are strong yet easy to remember.
This is the first in a series of podcasts about student blogs and, in particular, our Student Community. While the nuts and bolts of using the community are best viewed in the tutorials found here, this Tech Bytes series will focus more on tips and tricks, as well as best practices.
Episode 1 of this series explains what blogs are and why they're important in education.
Notice that "discussion" has a 50% retention rate, only to be eclipsed by doing and teaching others. Of course, on the student blogs, chances are that the students are doing because they are posting work that they, in fact, did. And aren't they, in a sense, teaching others?
For any of you who have followed our 2 "blogging" communities, you will have noticed the explosion in the use of the Student Community. If you haven't, please take a look.
The two Saugus learning landscapes provide teachers and students a place to connect, collaborate and, especially for students, provide them with a place to post their creative works for an authentic audience.
We have students posting from first to sixth grade, and David Lindsay's sixth graders have recently been very creative with posting essays, classroom designs, and Roman mosaics.
The one huge incentive for all these posts has been the comment area. Just think how great it is to have your work reviewed and commented on. For Saugus teachers, if you are interested in having your students participate in the Student Community, let me know, I'd be glad to help. If you are outside the Saugus USD, let me know anyway. I can always direct you to a resource to get you started. We love to collaborate here.
If you are reading this and are not a member of Saugus' staff or student body, take heart! The software is open source (of course) so you can download the very same software we used to create these sites for your district or school. Enjoy!
Some of our teachers have found it motivating for students to post or read their writing and poetry. This give the students an authentic audience to comment on what they have done. The only problem here is the lack of comments on the Student Community.
If you have a little time to take a look at what our students are doing on the Student Community, please take a moment and comment on a student's work. You can even have your students comment on their work. There is no need for an account or log in, jut click on the word "comments" at the bottom of the student post and scroll down to the comment area. We do ask that you do identify yourself in at least a general way, like "A Saugus 4th grade teacher", "an interested parent", or "a North Park student".
Don't expect the comment to show up immediately as all comments have to be cleared by the students' teacher first.
It's amazing what a few words of encouragement can do.
We are pleased to announce that the first beta release of the SUSD Student Community is now online and ready for testing. This new version allows teachers to create and manage accounts for their students, including moderating their content, in the same familiar way as this teacher community site. Teachers have complete control over all posts, and must approve all content before it is made available to the public. Best of all, student portfolios can travel with them as the promote through the district's classrooms.
We believe this new tool will be an excellent resource to encourage kids to write and share all their digital creations. We're excited to see the new and exciting ways students, teachers, and parents will use this tool to learn, collaborate, and grow!
If you are interested in using the new SUSD Student Community site, and would like more information, please contact Arlene Anderson or your friendly neighborhood IT guy.