Neale-Wade Community College visit

My thanks to Andrew Field and his Year 7 ICT class at Neale-Wade for some fascinating classroom observation yesterday. Some issues that came out of the visit, in no particular order:

  1. Why are school ICT networks so hard for children to use? At every school I visit, I see some children unable to use some or all of the features they should be using for half the lesson or even more. I suspect many teachers think this problem is unique to their own school, but it’s not. It is damn near universal. I’ve only observed schools with PC networks recently; I wonder if Mac or Linux school networks fare any better?
  2. How can we assess children who work in pairs on an online system? Special joint logins? Could quickly get out of hand. For Yacapaca-type products I honestly do not think there is a good solution, but I have some ideas for an online project service that would actively support multiple authors. Look at the History on any popular Wikipedia topic, and you will see all authoring and editing clearly attributed. I’m sure that could be adapted for the classroom.
  3. Nice to see Neale Wade running Moodle as their VLE, and saving a fortune in proprietary VLE fees at the same time. Andrew is already getting it integrated with his quiz generating software.
  4. Also most cheering to see Yacapaca directly linked from their Moodle installation to facilitate student login.

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