Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Masters EDU 5471 Update

Wow so much is going on at the moment. I have to participate in an online debate with the people in my class from all over the world. I am on the PRO team and the debate is about 'Computers in schools SHOULD be placed in classrooms and NOT in labs.'
My persepctive is that if the computers are stuck in labs the students can only access them once or twice a week. If they are in the class they can be used as tools whenever needed. I wish that I had 5 computers in my classroom. Oh what I could do if that were the case! I don't acually need a computer per child. I prefer to use them in small groups so that the students can work collaboratively. I have one computer, SIGH which I use all the time in my teaching.

I have been so busy setting up a learning platform for my wonderful Grade 3 students to try out. I am using Moodle which is open source and very good. USQ, my university plans to switch from WebCT to Moodle next year. I have hired a hosting site with 100MB which has cost me Rp275.000 for a year. It's not that great but I only want to trial this. I hope that I can get my school to become interested in Moodle for our PYP. The MYP is intent on using Google Apps which is totally free. I have my reservations about free because Blogger is free and doesn't work that welll. Also you get bombarded with ads in Google Apps that are not suitable for my students. As well as this one of the MYP students has already successfully hacked into the school's Google Apps. Moodle is much more secure. It is being used by so many educational institutions. I like it because my students will be safe inside protected by username and passwords that I will provide.

My problem this weekend is, although I've got an ICT person helping me out at home (he's not free either!), it is really hard to figure out how to integrate Moodle with ELGG. I want to use ELGG because it will allow my students to create ePortfolios which are multimedia.

Anyway, on Monday I will tell my students in Grade 3 all about this. I will arrange a time during the week to have a special lesson in the lab with their parents to introduce them to Moodle. I set up accounts for the parents as well. The parents will have a special forum which is only able to be viewed by them. They will also have access to see all of the kids' work too. My students will get a forum and be able to submit their work to me via Moodle. Now if I can just get the ELGG to work they can have blogs in there too.

I am really keen to make eLearning a part of my regular teaching program. I think that other teachers in my school would be interested in this too. I know that I already have ibu Shirley converted!

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