Thursday, February 21, 2008

Assignment 2 is DONE!

What a relief it is to have submitted the 2nd Assignment. I feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am so upset that I missed the end of Semester Conference. My Internet connection has been exceptionally weak. Jakarta is flooded and sometimes that means that the communications go under water. It has rained very day for weeks and my kids are running out of dry clothes. It is so cold that I have not used air conditioner for ages. I even sleep with a blanket. It must get down to about 20C at night - that's freezing!

I have just introduced Grade 3 to blogging. It is wearing me out replying to their panic emails asking "Where is the compose button in Blogger?" or "How do I put my avatar on my blog?" or "Please help me to change my blog template - I can't wait until Monday for computer lab time."

I will give a Parent workshop soon to help this. I'm thinking of going to a nearby Internet Cafe where we can sip cappuccinos whilst I teach about Internet safety and blogging. The school lab is impossible to get into.

Here are Some Comments From my Students About Using eBooks

Ebooks in Grade 3

An Ebook is a book. A book that is in the computer. Sometimes people like to read from a book. Now I have learned how to read an ebook. In the ebook I read The Famous Five story and I’ve read to chapter 13 only. Bu I like reading from this book better. Sometimes people like to read on paper or print the book out with a printer. We can read from the computer so people don’t waste paper. So they read on the computer and that’s called an ebook. Abby

What I fell to read the ebook? I feel happy. I see lots of words that I don’t know. I’m happy to use new technology. It’s fun to try new technology and new things. The Famous Five ebook is a long story. The difference between a book and an ebook is the pages. An ebook is an electronic book. An ebook doesn’t use paper pages but electronic pages. Raymond

An ebook is so long and I really feel like I have read one whole book. I feel that there are some difficult words. If I read the ebook on the computer it is blurry but when it is on paper it is not. Sometimes when I saw the hard words I looked at the computer dictionary and I can find the meaning. We couldn’t read too long on the computer of it will make our eyes hurt. It is fun to read an ebook. An ebook is an electronic book that is in the computer. Ebooks have long stories. Moelan

An ebook is a book but it is from the Internet. I like it because it got contents that let you click to go to the page. I like it and we can read it without paying for it. Yudhis

I was happy to have an ebook because its the first ebook that I have ever read. I like the ebook it’s fun but the pictures won’t come out on my computer. It’s really fun reading an ebook. It’s good and the story is really long. I like it very much. Kayla

Reading an ebook is like the same as reading a book, but an ebook is a book on a computer. Reading from a computer is fun. The first time I tried, I had trouble opening the Famous Five ebook. Ebooks are fun because it has the iTunes version. (audiobook) I heard the iTunes on then I read the ebook. I love to read the book. I’m a thinker because I think and read. Theo

An ebook is an electronic book. An electronic book is a book but we read it using a computer. When I read an electronic book I felt that I am reading a normal book. Now we are reading an electronic book called The Famous Five. Now we are making a summary about one chapter. Everyone got one chapter each. Jeremy

At school I learned about ebooks. The ebook title was the Famous Five and we were learning about ‘Famous Five on a Treasure Island’. There are four people and one dog. I really like the story it is really nice. I story has seventeen chapters. Priska

It is much easier to read on the computer that reading a normal book because a normal book must be flipped. If it’s an ebook I can just scroll down. Also if you are not doing anything, we can hear the audio. When I finished reading the Famous Five I sometimes write a summary. Nabila

Another Frustrating Lab Lesson

It's enough to make you cry ...

Finally after the kids waiting all week, today we went in to the labcom. The server was very, very slow and when I clicked on the class blog to show the kids how to access their podcasts there, the player was blocked by the school Fortiguard filter. So I tried to access by going there directly. It was blocked again. So I told the kids that they could have the time to catch up on the sites. 

Several students could log in and the Googlepages wouldn't load. Ahhhhhhh

After the bell rang for home time and the kids left the class. I finally caught up with the lab tech to ask why GCast would be blocked. He asked me to show him the site and you wouldn't believe it - it worked just fine!

Why why why? Is it just me or what just happened?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Googlepages Coming into Focus

Today I had a double lesson 90 minutes in the labcom with Grade 5. I got to the bottom of the missing sites for four of my students and managed to teach the kids about keeping a consistent theme and always putting the navigation in the same place on each page. I haven't had the staff support from school that I hoped for but at least the kids sites are mostly working and I can see it all finishing somewhat on time. Actually the computer teacher has made it know that she wants "Nothing what-so-ever to do with my Googlepages". 

Today I was even able to teach my students how to manipulate the Html coding on their sites and embed a video in the pages. It's much better now that I have uploaded all the photos to Dropshots and passworded the page so that the kids can pick and choose the pictures that they want to insert. I have had a few comments from others about how kids misbehave during computer time but I can't imagine that as my students are glued to their monitors. They even cry out at the end of the session as they want more time. I wish that I had a classroom with computers. Next year I'm going to try for a laptop program. All I need is secure lockers for the kids to store their laptops when they have break time or sport lessons. 

Today I also got my Grade 3 students to write a reflection of their first experience reading an ebook. We have been studying The Famous Five via ebook and audiobook. Their comments are very interesting and I will post some on the ebook wiki in kG. One kid said, "My eyes get tired reading from the screen and I like to read books in bed before sleeping. I can't really take my PC in my bed! I need something smaller to read it on." They all liked the audiobook as they could put it on their ipods. Unfortunately the words are different as I couldn't get the unabridged version of Five on a Treasure Island. My Grade 5s are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the unabridged audiobook. I must get them to write reflections so that I can compare.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Googlepages Getting More Interesting

On Wednesday there was a BIG meeting to sort out all the class times in the labcom. I managed to get a double lesson for my Grade 5! Now I can help them with their sites. I have the somewhat daunting task of uploading all the photos for their sites to Dropshots for easier access. Yikes it will take ages. I'm choosing Dropshots because there is a fast uploader.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


The Googlepages websites for Assignment 2 has been giving me so much stress. I must publish the other posts that I have written about it. The computer teachers have announced to me that they will not give any support even though I put in the proposal to my principal at the start and got the go ahead. Just today I had my computer time canceled at the last minute. That means that the whole project has been pushed back by another week again!
I feel like I'm really treading on the 'territory' of the computer teachers. I'm not sure if I will attempt anything like this again that requires support from different faculties in the school.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

PD Today

Today I gave a short PD at school about Emerging Learning Tools. I kept it simple and focussed on ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, videocasts and screencasts. My colleagues were most surprised at how many ebooks, audiobooks and quality podcasts are freely available over the Internet. I don't know if the teachers will try any of it but I think that it has made them more aware.