Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scratch and wix.com - new programs and ideas!

I have been lucky enough to have a technology learning person come to my school to show my students some fun animation programming and a flash webpage builder. Of course I learned as much as the students have, and have seen some really cool uses for it in all subject areas!

We have been learning about Scratch. Scratch is a downloadable program off the internet - free I believe - and it is a fun way to bring animation and programming together. You create "sprites" and put them on a "stage" and program them to do actions. It is really quite cool. We have done etch-a-sketch, pong games, and we are now starting to do interactive quizzes. I am doing a History 10 and 20 project where they create a 10 question quiz on the unit they are working on, as a pre-test for their tests coming up. Really neat!

Also, the other program that he has been showing us is wix.com - a free (you can make only so many sites though) - flash website/page builder. I have started to make a To Kill A Mockingbird page for ELA 20. I will share the site so far - it is under construction so be kind!
But the neatest part is that you can create your own widgets, insert videos straight from youtube, etc. He did most of his work with grade 4-6 kids with this program online, but I used it myself, so it is definitely possible to use it with the older kids as well.
The younger kids created small webpages about whales, and sent home the links to their parents - really cool!
My idea, is to create my TKAM site that kids can go to and find their assignments - paperless novel study!!! Other colleagues can use it too as a resource page!
It is a bit novice and limited but works well for a quick gathering of information.

"It's easy people! All you have to do is try!!" -Mrs. Stratton