Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday 31st January 2009

Well, I have just realised that I now have someone following my blog!!!! (Didn't think it was that interesting!)
Have learnt today, (courtesy of my 16 year old), how to download and upload music. Yesterday I found out how to put a url onto Facebook and share it .............. phew! It's all too much! tee hee
Didn't manage to collect the surveys from the libraryon Friday, but must do on Monday. Tonight will finish reading the Byron Report - some of it has been really easy reading, but some of it has been an extremely hard slog.
Visited our Inclusion Unit about my assignment and they have given me loads of stuff that they would like on a web/blog/wiki (they have no idea about the latter two though!), yet are genuinely excited about what we might achieve for the students.
Some literature arrived from Uni yesterday too - no Uni card though, which means still no library access. Although I joined the local Library, they have no 'record' of any of the literature listed on my module leaflet to read, so to date I have not been able to read any of that.
Anyway, after all is done, I reckon I deserve some time on the Wii seeing as only 2 out of 4 are at home tonight!!!! (That means I shall be able to choose what I go on as well ..... sheer luxury!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday 29th January 2009

Having thoughts on what my 'project' (and assignment) should be, I went to have a chat to people in our Inclusions unit. They were all for the 'self-esteem' line of thought and putting a WIKI together that "their" students could access, but that they could also monitor - suggested it might be good if being bullied could be included on it somehow (food for MORE thought!!). They also suggested something along the lines of looking at similar for 'bereavement issues' which also sounded a good idea. At the moment the only way they incorporate ICT there is by using a few sites with games on them. I would also need to get permission from the IT department (for accessing, etc) and the Head - to ensure appropriate.
The survey papers I put out in SSC, regarding the way in which students use ICT outside of the educators direction, were so interesting I have done some more to put in the library (wider spectrum of students still) - shall be able to collect them tomorrow after school!!

Oh dear!! Have just tried to delete a 'search label' on my first entry (Monday 19th January 2009) and deleted the whole page instead!!!! aarrggggghhhhhh HELP!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday 27th January

Having just read Carries blog I felt I had to update mine again! I am also not sure if I'm doing all this correctly, but I shall just keep going!! Something has to be right surely?! Someone suggested that I'd be better doing my assignment along the lines of 'what I work with' - on that thought, should I do something along the lines of ICT helping to raise self esteem in students?? Could I biuld a website for use in school for pupils to go to for resources,etc? Am I being too adventurous? I still really like my initial idea around EAL but I don't do any MfL at present! The assignement idea (or lack of it!!) is giving me real problems! (Mind you so is the size of the Byron Report!!!!!!!!!)
Still, regarding the task set for next session (finding out about how pupils use the Internet inside and outside the classroom), I decided to sort out a brief, easy to understand, survey to leave in our SSC and Library for students to complete. So far it has been rather interesting and not at all what I invisaged!
I think I am like the 'pragmatist' described on the powerpoint in the lesson - and I would definately like to learn more about the IWB. How to use it full stop in the classroom would be a pretty good start! Other areas, I have been trying to help other TA's overcome (emails, SIMS,Excel, etc) .... at least that makes me feel as if I know something!!!!! :)
Am looking forward to the next session and hope I have got done all I am supposed to have done as I seem to keep finding stuff that is "an activity" (to be done by next session?) and another task ............ sinking or swimming????? (maybe it's just a bit of a doggy-paddle at the moment!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

22nd January

This is one of our favourite places - (off Google earth) - it's our first house, on our return to the UK from Southern Spain. It was in North Wales, inb the foothills of the Cader Idris, Snowdonia National Park.
Tal-y-Waen ......... beautiful!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday 21st Jan 2009

Stayed over to do a bit of research (well actually the pub/drink option fell through, so it was second best!!) - got some interesting stuff off the internet to look into more at home. One was which has even got links to archive news reports (chronological) and one fantastic "food for thought" posting was all about "Virtual Learning Slow Starter" and "Online Safety Issues". Does this mean that virtual learning isn't as good as once thought? Or is it that we as a nation/people are slow to take the new on board? Are different departments slower at accepting ICT to assist in the classroom than other depts?
Also found out that Blogs are filtered and I couldn't get into mine on the school site!
My son's class has just been given a MP3 player (on loan!) from his French teacher to help with listening skills and pronounciation, ready for GCSE's - what a good idea!
This could easily be adapted for other pupils who have English as a second/additional language (EAL) couldn't it? Adapted in that some are likely to require basics and some maybe just to increase voacabulary bank. Must have a word with our MFL dept tomorrow!
There is a way obviously of viewing them (must find out!) as one of our students is on the Spirit of Discovery yacht (sailing to Australia with family) and their tutor group is following the voyage on the INTERNET via news clips and blogs. How cool is that ........ to be able to keep in touch with someone who is on a boat in the middle of the ocean?!?! It even made it onto Spotlight News at 6.30pm tonight - with video/audio links direct to the yacht and interviews from students at school!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday 20th January

Tuesday 20/1/09 - A maths (yr8) class have been having lessons on how to use
Found it really interesting myself due to the fact that I'd seen students working on this site but not understood how it actually worked. I now know how it looks/works for both students and teachers. A good way of paperless homework (and sometimes class work too) and ideal for monitoring by teacher. Some pupils will come in with excuse that they couldn't get internet access no doubt, (but it won't hold!) We have homework club with computer access daily and there is always access in the library after school on most days! Besides, if they come to the teacher/TA asap we will find a way around it. Unlike paper homework, they can have numerous attempts (it records how many) but will remember the highest mark. It's quick and instant as the pupil can see their marks immediateley by clicking on "markit" ... and no "Sorry. I've left my book at home!"
There are some brilliant maths 'games' on this site too - so when pupils are allowed on "something sensible" .... this is one of those sites!!