Whilst pupils tend to be enthusiastic about the use of technology in the classroom particularly whilst it has that ‘brand new’ aspect – finding projects to keep involvement going is not always easy – not to mention stretching pupils who may have got the coding and computing curriculum covered.
This post then is nothing but a signpost to collaborative projects which can help take your pupils to the next level. Collaboration can develop all kinds of skills – including a reflective and evaluative approach to your own learning. For pupils, the chance to ‘debug’ programmes is a Key Stage 2 Objective – whilst the opportunity to share your work with the wider community can force a more detailed and critical approach.
Many of these projects are incredibly easy to get involved in – and most require a little work from both ends – if you need any help and advice just ask!
A word about e-safety : It goes without saying that anything that is part of the wider internet will contain links, comments and images you can’t always control. Best way to tackle this is to ensure your children are e-safety savvy. I talk about this here.
I talk about the value of blogs here. A great way to develop literacy skills and to develop and understand ‘digital etiquette’. Many schools will have web presences and blogs can either be a completely separate addition to this, or enhance this provision. It can be hard to develop a sense of audience though and that is where collaborative projects can work so well.
QuadBlogging – a more formal approach which puts groups of classes into and asks schools to ensure they not only post, but comment. It has been well received and I have seen it go from strength to strength!
Digital Leader Network – a shared blogging platform which, whilst giving your Digital Leaders a platform, could just as easily be used for a class project. Details regarding how to get started can be found on the site.
The Blog Exchange – a new site aimed at building mutual audiences. http://theblogexchange.wordpress.com
Whilst I wasn’t sure if this was the same as blogging, I’ve included these as a separate category as they can be much more individual than blogs – in fact these could be used by targeted groups to support confidence and practice key skills!
100 Word Challenge – a great idea with some really fantastic responses. A writing prompt is displayed weekly – which other pupils are then invited to comment on – it’s a good opportunity to give pupils an audience, create a competitive atmosphere if need be and teach digital etiquette skills!
DigitalTeacherLink.Com – this time linked to specific projects such as Scratch games – register at this site and your pupils can then request ‘testers’ for projects and then act on the feedback given. A really unique chance to put pupils in the seat of ‘game tester’ (or indeed developer)
Film Club – I’m a huge fan of Film Club – if you’ve not come across it you can probably guess what it does! The great thing about the site though is that members of Film Club can post reviews of films, with ‘star’ reviews winning prizes. A real audience – and the chance to win things too!
Of course sometimes you might want to set up a collaboration that is a bit more ‘permanent’ – The British Council Schools Site do an excellent job of forming partnerships – and I can recommend browsing through their ideas for activities once you have found a partner.
Sometimes you just want to be able to set something up that will get the whole school thinking! YOu could try a school ‘book review’ blog – browse Woodlands Junior for inspiration! Federations and Academies can easily create shared blogs – photo / short stories – anything really that will allow the pupils to share ideas!
Using blogs to collaborate and share – reading.org