24 Learning: March 2007

24 Learning

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Writing tool

Cool little web 2.0 tool for publishing writing. Not at all fancy but very simple to use. If you have littlies who you don't want to get buried in Publisher or Word this might be worth looking at. It comes from Thinkfinity.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

21 Classes

I'm always on the lookout for web2.0 tools that are teacher and child friendly. I know Classblogmeister is available but I haven't had a reply to my request to set up a class blog. I saw 21classess on Will Ricardson's blog and thought I'd have a go. So far it seems pretty easy. It is a bit light on features like templates but I'm just exploring at this stage. The 2mb limit for a free blog space might kill it for me. Also the fact I can only have 50 blogs is a bit of a downer cause we have 64 children in the class. I know, I know, I could just register two classes but that is more hassle. I'm not yet convinced about it but it certainly is worth playing with. I'll set up a few kids and see if I can get them enthused about it. I'd really like a free, ad free, blog/podcast combined that will allow teacher management of content and comments and unlimted student accounts. Any suggestions?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Change Projects

I mentioned earlier that we are working on 'Pay it forward' type projects. Today was the first day I have seen the class really coming to grips with the projects. There are a number of great ideas and it will be fun to see them develop over the next few weeks. The thing that excites me about what they are doing is that they are all real projects that will make real changes if the kids work through the process and actually complete their goals. I'd love to see more of them get excited about international changes they can get involved with but at this stage the projects are mainly local school issues.
I'd love to link them up with some other children around the world who are making changes in their own schools. Maybe we could share stories. If you teach in a middle school class and have your children engaging in social action projects I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Two games have caught my eye.

These two games have caught my eye in the last couple of days.
At school we have been watching "Pay it Forward" and we are encouraging the children to start thinking about a project they can initiate that will involve some social action or service to others. I've been thinking about how to incorporate video games in a meaningful way and these two certainly get you thinking. The game Ayiti is part of the Taking It Global website which has a whole range of social projects that kids can get involved in or initiate themselves. I played it for a bit last night and quickly became engrossed in trying to achieve a better life for the characters in the game. So many factors to think about and take into consideration. This is a really powerful game for having kids think about the interrelationship between health, work, family, education, happiness and success. Certainly made me think.

Dafur is Dying is also powerful for conveying the desperate situation that exists in Dafur. I wondered if it almost trivialised it too much by turning it into a game. I'll have to think about this but I think that maybe World Vision do this better by connecting children to real stories about real children in real situations. What do others think?