Thursday, 18 October 2012

Your photo jigsaws on iPad, iPod Touch, wikis and blogs

A great way to start off and introduce your wiki/blog at the beginning of the year is to add a jigsaw using photos of your students or places around the school. Jigzone allows you to upload your own photos and embed jigsaws into your wikis and blogs. (It will not embed into Google Sites).
The jigsaws will also work on your iPad or your iPod Touch.
  • set up an account at Jigzone
  • Click on 'New to Jigzone'
  • Click on Add Photo (Make sure that the photo is smaller than 1 megabyte)
  • Click Browse, find the photo and then click Upload 
  •  Click Embed/Link
 Choose how many pieces you want the jigsaw to end up as

Embed in Blogs
Select Fixed size for Blogs, click in the html box and copy the code.
Go back to your blogger page, click where you want the jigsaw to go, click on the HTML button next to compose, paste code, click back on Compose, add a label to the right, click Publish

Embed in Wiki
Scroll down to Stretch to Fit. Click in the html box and copy the code. Go back to your wiki page, click Edit, click where you want the jigsaw to go, click on Widget, click Other, paste in code, click Save and click save again to save the whole page.

How can I use this with an iPad or an iPod Touch?
Go to Safari and enter your blog or wiki address, tap on the Share button and select Add to Home Screen.

Now you have a direct link to your blog or wiki.

You might want to consider setting up a Jigsaw blog or a Page on a wiki.
Ideas for photo jigsaws
  • kids in the playground
  • class trips
  • favourite areas of the classroom
  • kids learning in the classroom
  • pose a question and have a photo of the answer
  • spelling words jigsaw

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Junior Digital Toolkit for Writing

There are so many digital tools available to students.
How can you manage them?
Which is the best tool?
How can we share them out?
How can we remember to use them?

I have talked a lot about the necessity of students having their own 'Digital Toolkit'.
  • They need to know what is available 
  • They need to know 'how' they can use this toolkit
They need to be able to make choices for their own learning! This is all part of building up self management and collaboration skills.
The diagram below shows an example of an overall 'Junior Digital Toolkit'.
There are 3 main digital tools
  • Laptop
  • iPad/iPod Touch
  • Easi Speak
Now the students need to know how they are going to use these. With the laptop I have itemised the different uses and what software application they will use with it
Writing stories - Kidspiration or Pages
Playing Games -Wiki
Make Movies - iMovie

And then I have done the same with the iPad/iPod Touch

Writing stories - Notes or Pages
Drawing - Create a draw
Making Music - Garageband

As the students progress and become more proficient, I would add more software and apps tools until they have a wide selection and choice about what they could use.

Now let's put this into practice. Below is the Writers Digital Toolkit at the beginning of the year

Students are clearly able to see what their choices are for when Drafting and Publishing.
As the year moves on,  more apps, software and online tools can be added.

There needs to be a monitoring system put in place to see what students are using. For very young children I might have a Sticker chart.

For older, more independent students I would have individual Check lists that are either kept in a Clearfile folder or as a Google Doc.
Putting management techniques such as this in place teaches students to be independent, collaborative and self managing. Students need to know what is available for them to use and that they have a choice in the way they want to learn.