ICT Fun & Games

This was the title of the last teacher training. Covering Bloging, Video Conferencing and National Education Network.

The day started with introductions and a quick demo of the FlashMeeting software which was new to myself. This was quickly contrasted with a link to the Nation Coal Mining Museum using a PolyCom system.

There was a marked difference during the day between FM and the previously used PolyCom;

FM is an entirely web based video conferencing system free to educational establishment. PolyCom is a professional stand video conferencing product which need to be installed on the PC and costs around £60.

FM is quick to set up but lost connection repeatedly throughout the session. It is also difficult to communicate with a group, as only one web cam can broadcast at once.

By contrast the PolyCom software is more technical to register and setup particularly the first time (the phone book makes repeated contact a lot easier), but it is more reliable once established and allows multiple cameras to be broadcast and be seen on screen simultaneously.

My group AKA Lucy's Groupies hosted the first game Count Down our Carol appear in rainbow coloured tutu. The team gained extra time to think of words when our connection was lost and we haloginback to login. Even so the teams still attempted to claim words Dictionary Corner had to refute. No time was left for the number round following a total of 4 disconnections from the different teams.

Lunch brought an end to the VC games and move to The Woodhouse Bookworm Blog. Firstly the concept of a Blog or Web Log a sort of online diary (a collection of posts sorted in chronological order with the most recent first) had to be explained. A quick demo on how to post and the teachers were sent for lunch, with the challenge to blog over the lunch break (no eating in my ICT Suit though!).

The bloggin went a lot smoother compared to the events of the morning. Many of the posts supposedly about the three books the staff had read; Goodnight Mister Tom, The Secret Garden and Carrie's War, descended in to humorous remarks complete with a dash of innuendo, all adding to the fun of the day.

The last session was a look at the NEN resources that are access able to use because of our subscription to the local broadband consortium, YHGfL, which allows use to access resources for all the broadband consortium's nationally.

The site allows you to select a curriculum area and year group and it will provide a list of all the activities suitable. Most people found something of interest.