Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Teaching across the world - again!

The second of our 'teaching across the world' sessions took place today. Despite skype dropping out a couple of times the children were able to follow David's lesson and today they highlighted the shares they wanted to buy and then linked them to their stock portfolio tables, ensuring that the company name, current price and hence the buying price were recorded. There was certainly more interaction between David and the children via the chat facility in dimdim so David could respond to specific questions.

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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Dimdim Success

Today saw the first sessions for our Stock Exchange competition. The sessions were led by David Kinane offering his expertise on web queries in Excel. The children could hear and see David via our free Skype video call and they could see his desktop using the shared desktop feature of Dimdim once we had all joined his meeting.

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David explained the challenge for the students over the coming weeks, made more difficult in the current stock market climate!! We are looking to see which school (exchange) has the best trader, making the greatest percentage gain on their initial investments (virtual not real).

The session included using Google Finance to look at stock performances over a period of time. The children soon noticed the downward trend in stocks recently!

The web link for linking to Excel was from importing the data from the FTSE 100.

Our sessions will continue next week after the children have researched stocks as possible investments.

You can read David's perspective on his blog, Turning the Supertanker

Saturday, 28 February 2009

New collaborations on the horizon

Next week will see the start of two new collaborations between the students and staff of Woodford and Meadowbank. The year 6 children will undertake a challenge on the Stock Market, using Excel to track stock shares of up to 1000 units in their own currency. David Kinane will teach the Woodford children, via a free Skype call and Dimdim's shared desktop feature, how to add a live web inquiry to excel. The challenge for each trader in the Exchanges (schools) is to choose their stocks carefully and over a period of time track the profit / loss, selling and buying new shares where appropriate. The trader with the greatest % gain on their initial investment will be our best trader. We will post examples of the children's work here over the next few weeks.
The second project will be a collaboration of groups of children from each school designing and creating a global themed game using GameMaker. Again Woodford children will benefit from the expertise of David Kinane in the basics of using GameMaker. The children will use a wiki to collaborate: sharing ideas, discussions and resources to ensure that tasks are allocated to each member of the team.
We will share our collaborative triumphs, despairs and progress regularly via this blog. Who will be a best trader? Which "Exchange" will make the best gain on their initial investments? Who will create the most interactive and challenging global game?

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Wildlife from Meadowbank

This is excatly what this blog was initiated for. I have been watching with excitement some of the live feed that Mr Kinane and the children have been broadcasting from Meadowbank Primary School. How often do you get to watch the groundwork of swallows as they prepare a nest for the rearing of their chicks? Here we can observe this remarkable event happening on the other side of the world! What a great way for us to learn about the life of these birds from the comfort of our own classrooms, whether in New Zealand or in the UK. This is the perfect opportunity for children to share and view the wildlife of their own countries.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award poster

After a flight delay hassle, reminiscent of flying Easy Jet in Europe, we finally arrived in Christchuch for the annual Ulearn conference, the biggest gathering of ICT focussed teachers in New Zealand. I had to set up my poster that illustrates the link between Woodford and Meadowbank. Other candidates spent hours taping up their posters and making their boards just so. I did mine in 5 minutes and as you can see it fits perfectly!

I have now made my presentation and tomorrow I will know if I am one of the lucky four who make it to the next round in Kuala Lumpur. Wish me luck.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Inkscape Digital Portraits

Since Mr Kinane's visit to Woodford, the Year 4 children have been working on their digital portraits. The results can be seen in the Rogue's Gallery below! We are off now for a long earned rest! We will be back in September and look forward to continuing our partnership.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

From Virtual to 3-Dimensional!

The year 4 children at Woodford were delighted to have the opportunity to meet their 'virtual' teacher, David Kinane. After a week in Prague at the International Federation of Information Processing conference, David took the opportunity to visit us at Woodford. We took advantage of the visit to continue our inkscape sessions. Using to ICT suite, whiteboard and projector the children could now see in 'real' time the new skills that were being taught. In this case how to trace their own portraits using the pen and calligraphic tool to create a 'digital' image of themselves. The children worked hard and were encouraged to celebrate being stuck, as this was the forefront of their own learning. Layers were added over a photograph and then a face was created on one layer with eyes on another before the eyes were 'cut' through the face!

A special school dinner had been requested of shepherd's pie followed by apple crumble and custard, which he said was his favourite school dinner when he was a child.

David also took the opportunity of visiting the infant school with letters from children at Meadowbank. After a question and answer session with the year 4 children, he taught them a popular game that the children play in the New Zealand playground.

The day ended when David shared his and Meadowbank's vision for ICT with the joint staff of Woodford Schools. A real inspiration and long may our partnership continue to flourish! Thank you David for your time and enthusiasm!

Jack: It was a great experience and I will always remember it. The game ‘six square’ that he taught us was great.
Sam: It was good to meet Mr Kinane face to face.
RebeccaMr Kinane looked different in real life!
Lauren: Mr Kinane’s accent was very different to ours.
Joe: I enjoyed meeting somebody from the other side of the world.
Maya: It was fun, having him teach us in ‘our’ ICT suite.
Megan: It was enjoyable and I learnt that although NZ is on the other side of the world the people aren’t very different to us.
Megan: I got stuck, but I got there in the end.
Charlotte:Mr Kinane told us that if our brains were hurting we were working hard! And they were!
Andrew: the day with Mr Kinane was great because we learnt a new game for the playground and we learnt some new Inkscape skills too.