Last night I was reading an interesting post And, don’t forget to breathe! on GD’s Random Jottings a blog by a teacher in Argyll (one of Andrew Brown’s 118 I’d guess). It was an interesting post from the chackface, I was especially interested in
But I’m beginning to wonder how many others have stalled ICT projects, their progress barred not by large rocks but by small, irritating pebbles of problems.
There are plenty of rocks in the way of progress, but the small technical details are often a show stopper, things that work at home or on an inservice or training day just don’t work in the class where the pressure is on, frustration will lead to the stall. And there are so many pebbles.
At lunch time I was planning this post, it was going to be about the use of wee cheap devices, namely the iRiver and cameras and just getting things done quickly and generating excitement in the class.
This morning I was doing a bit of talking in one of our primary six classes, the one that is ‘not ‘mine’ (or half mine, I am sharing one of the p6s this session), we were looking with a projector at some posts and comments the children had made, following links in comments, and talking what makes a good comment. 15 minutes before the bell we decided to blog about the French lesson from the previous day, the children’s second one. The children wanted to blog about it, but couldn’t think of much to say so I pulled out my iRiver and recorded a short song about the alphabet, we uploaded that onto the blog and the children were delighted (I am not sure how delighted their teacher was with their accent). I was pretty pleased with myself, and thinking about the afternoon.
The day before my class had been working on electric circuits and a group made a tiny movie with a digital camera, they has written a good report and were going to blog it, with me giving a hand to get the quicktime movie in the post.
I’ve installed the stuff from embedthevideo.com to make it simple to generate code to popup movies.
We uploaded, blogged and tested. The video was blank and QT said it needed a component. Eek, I then spent any free seconds for the rest of the afternoon trying to get a move exported from QT pro that was a small size and played on our school PCs, needless to say I didn’t get it to work until after the end of the school day. The problem was I had encoded the movie in H.264 format, doing it again in H.263 format worked fine (and the movie was smaller). I uploaded the replacement file and the post is now working well.
Anyway, this post was, in my imagination, going to be about the ease of using small devices to make quick, simple and exciting posts with children.
It turned out not to be so simple. I’ll know the next time.
The idea of making really short, small video and audio clips and blogging them easily was really attractive, getting away from the larger scale podcasts and dv projects to something more spontaneous, this technology should be transparent but it is full of grit and pebbles.