Outcome H6.1 - Solution for the 2010 aD team

posted Jul 16, 2009, 4:34 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 16, 2009, 4:14 PM by Eddie Woo ]
H6.1: Based on your answer to the H4.1 question, propose a solution for the 2010 apocalipticDesign team to develop and implement next year.

The most significant development, technology-wise, that will be affecting the James Ruse school environment during the next year is the introduction of laptops. As an accelerated HSC class, the 2010 aD team will be in year 9 as of now (2009) - they are the first grade to receive the laptops from the government, so this proposal should be particularly relevant to them. Besides the laptops, I do not anticipate that there will be any events more relevant to the members of the 2010 aD team. I also believe that with the new Intranet only just recently launched and finding its way into the school community, it is a little bit too early to begin trialling the system of distributing permission notes online.

Thus, I propose that the 2010 aD team investigates, develops, and implements a solution to integrate the work done on their new laptops with the school Intranet. This could involve creating a new subdomain, possibly laptops.jamesruse.nsw.edu.au or ten.jamesruse.nsw.edu.au (as they are year 10 in 2010). Ideally, once a solution has been identified and planned, their entire grade (equipped with laptops) should be involved in the trial.

From next year, it is expected that students will be using their laptops to some extent in almost all of their classes. As the laptops have a wireless network card, the school will be installing wireless access to the school network and Internet throughout all the classrooms in the school. This means that the laptops can access the Intranet at any time while in class.

A decision needs to be made as to whether normal work (such as classwork exercises) should be created in a Word document then uploaded to the site, or whether they can simply be created as new posts in an "Announcements" type page (just like this Project Register, or my Updates page). I propose that regular classwork should simply be created as update posts - special formatting is usually not required, and images can be easily inserted. Actual assignments and assessment tasks, on the other hand, should still be done in Microsoft Word (and maybe still printed and handed in as per usual) for presentation and marking purposes.

The layout of such a site would be vaguely similar to the Sandbox here on Woo Random Files or the current arrangement on Mr. Chandra Handa's Gifted Learning site. Each student would have their own personal page to decorate and personalise, under which all their schoolwork for different subjects would be posted. Perhaps at the end of the year students could look back at this digital record of all they have achieved and reflect on how this has helped their learning experience.

Of course, there are issues with students being able to view other student's work. However, the idea is that students should be collaborating and commenting on each other's work, not plagiarising. Students should be warned that Google Sites keeps a record of all actions.

The software included with the new laptops, including a suite of Adobe software, suggests that students will be involved in creating a variety of rich multimedia presentations. Indeed, the laptops contain an integrated webcam. Allowances on the new site must be made for the storage and sharing of such produced multimedia. One possible solution is to host the files on external sites, such as YouTube for videos and Flickr for images. However, negotiations with the DET will be required to ensure that these sites are not blocked.