The Cloud in this case being the place where your work is stored and not the one that brought the midweek deluge.
I’ve spent some time over the past fortnight working alongside the Traveller Education service in their temporary school at the KC Stadium. The TES had borrowed some laptops from the CLC. Although there was some software installed I decided to see if an online service like J2E would be more useful than the installed range of Paint, WorPad and MS Office. There was some animation software installed, but they had used this last year so we wanted something different as our main focus.
There were a couple of reasons for choosing a cloud-based solution. Firstly I wanted to see how it would go down with pupils who’d not used it before and secondly, I wanted the pupils and I to be able to get to the work without having to remember which laptop it was on. I know you can number laptops, but I also needed to be able to see the work when I wasn’t at the school. I marked one pupil’s work whilst discussing J2E at Endike Primary, just to demonstrate the concept.
I set up accounts for the pupils on a trial J2E site and, working in small groups, introduced them to the software. I’d created a couple of writing frames for them on the chosen theme of re-cycling and their individual work was to design a recycling poster.
Well, the experience has firmed up my belief that having something like J2E as your core curriculum software, available 24/7 from any connected device, is a real possibility and for a population such as these pupils, it seems the sensible way for work to be available when some pupils spend up to 6 months away from their base school.
Kath Guthrie, Head of the TES in Hull, saw the potential of this way of working and we are probably going to demonstrate this to the Showmans’ Guild sometime in January with a view to them looking at adopting some form of online working with their pupils. It might be J2E, or Purple Mash for creativity and something like I Am Learning or BrainPop for more revision-based activities. Perhaps they’ll consider a Learning Platform? We’ll know more later, but one thing I’m certain of is that schools adopting Cloud Computing (See June’s entry) is more of a ‘going to happen’ than ‘might happen’ in the coming years and whilst this article is about primary pupils and appropriate software, secondary schools can consider Google Docs and Live@Edu…… though I reckon I could deliver a fair proportion of the KS3 PoS with J2E.
If there’s a primary school out there who wants to take this step into the world of Cloud Computing, just get in touch.
Oh, and just in case this all looks to be an adult’s perspective on the whole Cloud concept, Kath and I had a long chat with a selection of pupils who a) found J2E a really friendly and easy piece of software to use and b) were very enthusiastic about the idea of being able to access their work from any location on the mobile devices thay had access to.