after ulearn (and i thought the ulearn twitter page was great!), i am more envigorated than ever at using technology in the classroom. my headmaster bought newsmaker http://www.aboutnewsmaker.com/ for me, and i am trialling it with my low-level year 9 boys for their research projects. as i'm only using the starter pack this term, i am flying blind, but i figure at least class will be interesting! combine untested technology with a headmaster observation and you get...an ulcer! anyhow, i've split my class into groups, with one member being the boss. i meet daily with the bosses and instruct them for that day's lesson, and then each boss has to instruct their own group. so far (4 meetings), we have only brainstormed topics, narrowed the focus, and obtained one written source. today we will use the laptops (hoping that today, perhaps, they will actually work) to find at least one credible online source.
the overall goal of the assignment is for each group to present their formally traditional research project as a news report. http://www.aboutnewsmaker.com/HowTo.aspx they will record themselves presenting on a webcam on my laptop, then add one no-longer-than-20 seconds video clip, and whatever photos/sounds they wish, with each student speaking for 1 minute about one aspect of their findings, hopefully culminating in a coherent news report.
if we can do this satisfactorily, i will post the best one or two for critiques/comments. this is my first time trying anything like this, and without my own experience, i am scared to death, but if i don't get out and just do it, it'll never happen, so i'm just jumping in feet first. bell's rung - gotta go!