I popped into a primary school yesterday to show a member of staff how to use the Smart Table, borrowed from the CLC. Anyway, due to some sort of mix up, the laptops Y3 had intended using for an animation afternoon hadn’t had the software installed, so the session was looking like it was heading for restart another day. Normally OK, but parents had been invited in. Ooops!
Luckily, one class was able to use a different set of laptops, but the other? Well, I took a chance and called J2E and asked if they could possibly set up some demo accounts of J2 Spotlight in double quick time. Danny, owner/director and now soon to be given the Freedom of Cleeve Primary set up 15 guest accounts on J2Spotlight within 10 mins and we were off.
Well,once we’d got the accounts set up and the in built web cams to work on the laptops the pupils were suddenly faced with a piece of software that wasn’t the one that the teacher had demonstrated to them the previous day. It didn’t phase them one bit and they were able to adapt very quickly and begin producing their first animations.
Anyway, once the crisis had been averted I was interested to see how the combination of a good wireless network (click here for more information) and software hosted on the web would work with 15 laptops at once. Marvellously is the answer. The teacher was very impressed with the software and the pupils too thought that it was very easy to use.
I’ve mentioned before my enthusism for web-based software, or Cloud Computing and this experience has strenghtened my belief that it is no longer ‘pie in the sky’ to consider adopting cloud-based software for a primary school. 24/7 acess, no software compatibility issues and it can be embedded into your Learning Platform if you choose.
Caution: I woudn’t recommend every school ringing Danny from J2E and asking for users to be created at 15 minutes notice. I have known him a while and it was an emergency! However I would point out that schools can try J2Spotlight for 30 days.
My feeling that J2Spotlight does ‘most of the things, most of the time’ but if you do have pupils that outgrow it, or unearth a budding Nic Park, then something like I Can Animate or Revelation Sight and Sound are available.