Thursday, 18 October 2007

Little Cayman Technology Project

One of my many new projects has been to project manage the wiring of the education service in Little Cayman to a variety of technological devices, thereby enabling the four students (Grades R, 1,2 and 6 - all boys) to link with schools all over the world, but specifically to Stepping Stones School in the UK in the firtst instance(linked to Prof. Stephen Heppell). Providing each student and teacher with a Mac Notebook, as well as a iPod video Nano, as well as a super smart 24" Mac screen (above) staff and students now communicate daily to Stepping Stones in their lessons and developing a whole new focus on teaching and learning, with technology absolutley integrated into all aspects of their work. The Nano's enable podcasts to be taken home and shared with parents, (two weeks ago the question was "whats a podcast?) the Mac notebooks have enabled all sorts of new work including music, animation, comic strip work, creating blogs etc to be integrated into lesssons. What has been really cool is students from the UK teaching them how to use the software, and students in LCES teaching the staff. Importantly it has already raised the expectations of the staff about thier students because they have adapted to the technology so fast..... As they go live with their blogs I know that the staff are drafting posts for students - I want them to be brave and let the students post their work and learn from it that way as they discuss it......... this change in culture is challenging though and we must encourage teachers to go on the journey with their students, rather than using the computer as a final work presentation machine.

The next stage is to link LCES into schools on Cayman Brac so students can literally join lessons - both ways and have the benefit of interacting with their students as well.

Pictured above, Jonathan Furness (Stepping Stones) talking to students from the UK following his trip to LCES to set up the hardware and demonstrate how to use it to enhance teaching and learning, and yours truely talking to parents about why we have piloted this project in Little Cayman.

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