A week or three ago I mentioned that I’d been at St George’s with some Y2s and a combination of netbooks and the Just 2 Easy Infant Toolkit (JIT). Well, one week later saw me with Y1s and a similar scenario.
Well, it was pretty much more of the same setup in that we had to introduce them to the netbooks, logging on to the Learning Platform and accessing JIT, but the result was just splendid. Sure, a few had log-in difficulties, but the Deputy had made cards for them with the info on, so they managed with these and the occasional bit of adult assistance and in less than an hour most pupils were writing away with the JIT word processor and some producing writing of a quantity or quality that they’d not shown an inclination to do previously.
I think it be fair to say that both the Deputy and I had some qualms about whether this whole class use of netbooks would work with Y1 pupils, but they were splendid and coped admirably and in short, it worked! Speaking to the Deputy, it’s something that she wouldn’t shy away from in the future but can also see how the netbook/JIT combo would sit as another activity in the classroom with a small group. She’d never seen JIT before but she’s now a convert.
I’ve thought for a long time now that whilst ICT suites served their purpose that, by and large, their time has come and gone and seeing young pupils with (insert your preferred mobile device here!) on their tables with appropriate software confimred this as the way eLearning ought to look
I’ve been back a couple of times since and the class are becoming more confident, less seeing the netbooks as something new and a ‘treat’ and just as something else to use in the classroom.
If this appeals, and you’d like to try it in your school, Just2Easy will provide a 30 day trial, but as with a lot of new ICT initiatives/software, I think some initial support/demonstration/in class CPD would be useful. Well, I would woudn’t I?