Saturday, 19 April 2008

The IWB Challenge: Week 2

The IWB challenge with Jess McCulloch carries on…

The sound on my whiteboard got fixed on Tuesday, so I was able to use it for a listening comprehension activity. Nothing unusual here apart from the quality of sound and the possibility to combine it with extra prompts “frozen” on the board while the sound file is playing-lots of opportunities for differentiation ….

I also tried out the Word Magnets programme with the IWB. Word Magnets is free and can be used to practise word or letter order through drag and drop exercises on the IWB.

You need to type in your phrase or word with appropriate gaps, click 'Next' and let Word Magnets do the rest. You can also type accented vocabulary in Word first and then copy and paste it across. As the colour and size of the magnets can be edited, you can colour-code parts of a sentence or parts of a word like prefixes or suffixes.

The only issue was that I was not able to upload the words beforehand, so I used this as a “warm up" activity rather than a proper starter. I included the Url on a powerpoint slide and used it to input the key words to be put back in order while students were copying their lesson objectives from the previous frozen slide.

I have also looked into getting students to use the onscreen keyboard for such activities but felt that a lot of student training was still needed as these activities are often affected by the orientation of the board.

The students liked the activity but I felt that it was difficult to ensure complete engagement from all students. Drag and drop activities like the ones with Word Magnet should really support other kinaesthetic pair activities in the classroom-e.g. students do the activity with dominoes made out of card and only come to the board the model their or the correct answer.

I did look at Notebook and discussed useful features with my colleagues. The gallery has a lot of resources like a scrolling heading that can remind students of lesson objectives-or number of days before the exam!-, templates for questions and answers games a spinner and a timer.

I managed to design very basic drag and drop exercises but was unable to import powerpoint into Notebook, which is what I wanted to do in order to develop the interactivity of all the powerpoint resources we have already available. I put the question to my Twitter network and lots of advice and trouble-shooting links were suggested to me. One of the reason why the powerpoint presentations could not open in notebook could be that they contain pictures and they are large documents.

Next week, I will need to develop my knowledge of what are transferable features from powerpoint to Notebook and what features are unique to Notebook… and more importantly, how they can translate into more interactive and engaging activities in the classroom.


Lisa Thumann said...

Rather than importing your PowerPoints into the Notebook software, would you consider using the "Ink Aware" feature of the Smart Tools to interact directly with the PowerPoint? Using Ink Aware allows you to move from one slide to the next, write directly on the slides, add a new slide with the same theme as well as some additional features. Ink Aware also works in MSWord and Excel. It's really a great feature of the SmartTools and I think you'll find it very useful. Tweet me if you have any questions.

IC Jones said...

I will certainly investigate this... Thank you so much for all your suggestions and support.

Anonymous said...

I am so so impressed.