Sunday, March 24, 2013

Reflecting On Term 1

This year, I got some new Book Clubbers and some of the old. Two year 7 students have joined - hopefully, there will be more. I have had inquiries. We're doing a full meeting every second Wednesday (we used to do every Thursday half of lunchtime). So far so good - I hope to take them to the Reading Matters student day next term and perhaps we can discuss that this week. They are picking up this year's Allen and Unwin manuscripts - only four to choose from this time. No one wanted the Catherine Jinks novel, but we have takers for the ones by Sean Williams, Steven Herrick and a writer I hadn't heard of, but whose blurb sounded the most interesting.

We have been monimating books for the YABBA awards, too. That occupied an interesting lunchtime and I bought some new books on request.

The iPads - aargh! My class blog is a success so far and is good for what it is, but it's not enough for my needs. One of my students, who is an integration student, has been borrowing one from the integration unit, Lighthouse, to enable him to use the Book Creator app to make an ebook, but his aide isn't with us this week or the first week back and I found out only this morning that he is only allowed to use it when she is there. And he's been doing an ebook, which is not possible on his own iPad, because he doesn't have the app and can't access it. And right now, his own iPad is in for repair anyway. The system was down for a while, but after a time I managed to get him going on a school laptop and he was actually working! But we will have to find a way to get the photos he downloaded on to the camera roll of the iPad and I'm rather thinking it might work out simpler to get him to put them into a PowerPoint instead of doing the ebook I'd hoped for him to do.

Another student had his iPad confiscated for downloading games (and I want to know how he did that) - they ALL have games! So now the school is taking up all the iPads for reasons I don't know, but I'm betting that it won't be possible to download anything at all when they get them back. They have book apps on the computers, but no way of downloading books. At least, not with the school's approval. They still can't email their work to their teachers.

In fact, pretty much all they can do is type up work that they then can't email or even load on to their Home drives, make KeyNote presentations that they can present in the interactive whiteboard room, but not hand in (see above for the reasons) and look things up online. What's the point of having these computers if the best things about them are blocked?

Time to start finding more ways around this. Maybe it's something I can do on the holidays coming up at the end of the week.


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