Friday, March 22, 2013

Where We Are and How We Have Gotten There

We are now in the second half of the school year and I thought it time to reflect back on what we have accomplished so far. I have selected different sections from our thrice annual LRC Report, that I thought worth sharing with everyone.

Cross Curricular Initiatives
The LRC and ICT departments work closely with other departments on many cross curricular activities over the course of a school year. So far this year we have completed the following:

  • English: 6th Grade Quest project-working with sound effects and podcasting using Audacity and Garageband 
  • English: 7th Grade students worked on Digital Video Production with iMovie during the Little Brother
  • History: 7th Grade students evaluated Historical Resources in ICT Lessons in support of their History work.
  • LRC Induction: The 6th grade worked on a library scavenger hunt, using iPads and QR Codes.
  • English: The 8th Grade students took their Juliet a Room as a Character's Mind and Outsiders  Projects to another level, when they created their rooms as 3D models using SketchUp.
  • Science: The 8th Grade Students learned more about classification when they ventured into our new ABC El Salvador Virtual World located on, Jokaydia Grid.
  • Minecraft: The 7th grade students are currently in the midst of using their History knowledge of castles and fortresses to create their own group constructions which they will test out  in survival mode three weeks after the Easter holidays.
  • English Podcasts: The 8th grade students worked with iPad Apps, Garageband and Audacity to create journalism podcasts for their English lessons.
  • English Digital Poetry: The 7th grade students worked with MovieMaker on the laptops and  iMovie and  Story Kit on the iPads, to combine voice and images in digital video or storybook format, to create their poetry projects.

Cal 2 Cross Curricular Initiatives coming up

What is New in ICT?

Digital Books:
Students in 6th through 8th grade will be creating digital interactive books this school year. 6th grade will be using Book Creator on the iPads and 7th through 8th iBooks Author on the new Macs to compile their books. Research work will precede the development of these e-books.

Minecraft has now become a part of the 7th grade curriculum this year. We have purchased a class set of Minecraft Edu accounts and have set up an ABCICT server. Students are now working on their structures in teams, having reviewed castles and fortresses and worked on floor plans in Google draw. The 7th grade experts and team leaders have been putting in extra hours from 2-3:00 most days (purely out of choice) working on the main structures. These experts are a part of the planning process, will lay down the rules for testing day and mentor other students as they work on their tasks.They will also take on the more difficult challenges creating traps and other devices. The lessons focus on building castles and fortresses in creative mode and testing will take place in survival mode, possibly with PVP.

Minecraft Edu, allows the teacher oversee student work, turn off building and chat, switch modes as well as allow teleports and freeze students. These tools have proven very useful so far. The one problem we have encountered in the project is that of respect for the property of others. Certain students have accessed the server during build time after school (incognito) and trolled the work of others. They have all been warned that the after school blocks will be taken away if this continues.

Jokaydia Grid: The ABC Avatar Club was a great success with a small group of students from 6th to 8th grade joining in. The younger students picked up the skills very quickly and soon the half region was well populated with strange alien plant forms. Science classes in 8th grade have begun to use the region with each class going inworld for two lessons to classify alien plant life using Earthly classification methods. Mr. Horrocks and Mrs. Garcia are preparing a blog post on the activity.

Diigo: 6th grade used Diigo in January, as part of their research project and their research based presentations will be done and ready to present the weeks before and after the holidays.

Evernote iPad, desktop and browser versions are being used as part of the 8th grade research project, for web clipping and note taking. We are hopeful that students will adopt it for work in other subjects once they become comfortable with it.

Easybib: 6th, 7th and 8th grades have all worked with EasyBib this year using their ABC-Net accounts and Humanities is now adopting it with their 9th grade students.

iPads: The iPads continue to be used heavily for a variety of activities such as lesson starters, animation work, sound recording, research and Voicethread presentations, QR Code scavenger hunts, and short video recordings, web searches clipping with Evernote. Much of the 6th grade curriculum is moving toward work with iPads, the are used in both 7th and 8th grades, for certain units and creative carrousel work as well.

7th Grade Carousel: an ongoing animation project in which the students are asked to create a one minute animation about the ABC Traits and Values. As previously mentioned, the iPads have allowed us to experiment more freely with different types of animation which were too difficult and cumbersome to work with in the past.

Extra Curricular
ABC Jokaydia

The club constructed ABC Pandora during a period of 7 weeks. The club was made up of 6-8th grade students. The 6-7th grade students learned to build in a 3D environment in-world under the guidance of 8th grade, Mr. Horrocks and Mrs. Garcia.

Robotics Club, which is supervised by Mr. Gray, has been organised and run by several 11th grade students who are teaching students to build and program robots using our Lego Mindstorm Robot Kits.

The Animation Club is an ongoing extra curricular club which meets on Wednesdays. The club is open to animation enthusiasts who seek to learn more about animation; whether it be the history of animation, styles of animation and workshops on creating your own animated short feature. Some of the animation styles which explored in the club are: clay animation, paper animation, classical (drawn) digital animation, pixilation and recently looking into incorporating a course of 3d animation with a free downloadable software program called Blender. We've also purchased a light table and classical animation equipment, alongside reading materials which are relevant for teaching and learning animation skills.

The following channels are those most frequently used to communicate with the ABC Community and share happenings at the LRC: Facebook, ABC LRC Blog
LRC Website, LRC Twitter, LRCABC Youtube, LRC ABC Flickr. These sites are updated by the LRC Staff members on a regular basis. The LRC newsletter has been discontinued in favour of the LRC Blog and Facebook Page.


Student visits on LRC passes: 1,203. (December 2012-March 2013).

The Top Read Books at the ABC from January to March of 2013

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