Here’s short clip from the classroom this week. The pupils worked created finger paint portraits using the free app Doodle Buddy. They quickly figured out that they could share a paint document and co-create, paint etc. They have also been experimenting with “bumping” files to one another. Bump is a free piece of software that allows the pupil to literally bump or shake the iPod to transfer a file to another iPod! This helps them collaborate and get organised for group/paired work.
Viewing on Touch or iPhone try this link
Here is a scrapbook image of some of the activities today.
1. Some of the year 4 pupils experimented with "Bumping". Bump is a free app that enables one pupil to “pass” a file from one Touch to another (wirelessly). Pupils were taking screen shots of web images and saving them to the photo album. These were then shared, by selecting the file in Bump and then simply “bumping” the hands that are holding the two iPods. Pupils soon found that shaking the Touch at the same time in Bump would also work. We didn’t test this in anger with all 28 pupils at the same ( but we will explore this later). Sharing files like this is fun and physical. The Touch vibrates as it receives the request to share.
2. This is the Parat Sync dock. It weighs in (cost wise) at £800+. The window ledge location was for display/photo purposes only (we hasten to add).
There was some “umming and er….ing” about justifying the cost of this. However, when we started doing the sums, in terms of time taken to manage 30 odd cables being connected to USB hubs and then syncing to an iTunes account, the cost in tech time was high - Almost like disassembling a server, switch and client machines and then putting all back together again everyday. It’s a clean and robust solution. It is very easy to use. Hopefully the price will come down in the future. It also has 2 auxillary USB ports wich enabled us to sync more than 20 Touches in one go. We’ll write more about the Parat as we go on.
3. Today we made some sound recordings, using the built in Memo Recorder app. The picture is the stacked up headphone cases - something else to manage! The pupils had been desperate to explore voice recording. We’ve opted for the Apple headphones with built in microphones. Again combining the mic with the headphones simplifies the whole process. These are “in ear” headphones and so for hygene’s sake, each pupil has a dedicated pair. The pupils created little name tag with stickers for for the head phones; these are being stored in the pupils own personal trays alongside books and pencil cases. The headphones come with 3 sizes of ear buds and in a few cases we had to swap buds out for smaller sizes.
4. Recording - Here youcan see a pupil making a voice recording. Despite the position of the mic being on the headphone cable many of the pupils still spoke into the mic “graphic” on the Touch. Some of the older pupils set up short interviews where they positioned the mic closer to the interviewee (smart). Some of the yr3 pupils are very young and they were fascinated to hear their own recorded voices, possibly in some cases for the first time. This was a great experience for us never mind the class! It is also possible trim/”top and tail” the recordings which is a great introduction to audio editing.
We also set up email using the First Class app. First Class is the tool that binds much of the LA’s communications, so having this work, really does connect the learners to a safe learning community. It means that they can email research carried out on the Touch back to their own pupil account. There’s a lot of stuff in the FC app that they won’t use, but connectivity with other computers/laptops at school and at home is a crucial aspect to this project.
Pupils will be writing up reviews of their iPod Touch experiences and publishing them over the next few days.
This BBC news story caught our eye this week.
Every now and then the media jump on the “negative effects of technology” band wagon. This piece raises the issues of young people becoming technology junkies and the creation of a generation of short attention spans.
There have been quite a few responses on-line this a really good one…
In terms of our project, there is a fascinating tension between the careful pencil marks of early learners and the instant gratification of touching a screen that responds. This mix of the physical and the virtual needs to explored and understood.