Sunday, November 05, 2006

Staff Training @ TSOF

Our staff were treated to quick tour of current classroom software technologies by Jim Edson, consultant from TSOF (Technology School of the Future). He walked us through the TSOF website, highlighting the newly organised IWB page which is of particular interest to our school.
After a quick tour of some other links of interest, Jim took us onto the Audacity sound editing software program and shared some of the links and workshops available. With this free piece of software, a $12 microphone, Jim quickly demonstrated how to create a multi track recording utilising a desktop drum beat, some shaker accompaniment and the audience's second and fourth beat claps. I particularly loved Jim's term that summarises the impact that relatively low cost of digital tools. He called it the democratisation of creativity.
Jim also took us through the uses of Audacity for literacy development. One really unique application of this no-cost software was used as a way of preserving native language of the Arabana people, of north western South Australia.
We also got a good look at Claymation, where webcams, Audacity and Windows Movie Maker all combine with the use of play dough based characters. Jim said that his current Claymation sessions were one of his most popular courses. Now, I've been a bit sceptical about Claymation in the past but we were shown many curriculum purposes and opportunities. Claymation stories could be used in English, to demonstrate a Health issue or to reinforce concepts learnt as part of the National Drug Strategy. As Jim pointed out, these easy to use digital tools enable students to build their own knowledge. To further cement home this point, Jim ended the session with a quick tour of PhotoStory, which has been used a fair bit at our school this year. He also previewed another simple more junior primary based program called 2create a Story (unfortunately not freeware or Open Source). The session seemed to be quite popular with the staff - a mixture of new (for them) and familiar - and hopefully a few will sign up for Jim's Audacity or Claymation sessions.


At 10:21 am, Blogger Jo McLeay said...

Graham, this is a great post with lots of info to follow up. Thank you for this. I am always interested in stuff to do with audacity and podcasting as I am just getting into it and the idea of claymation: well I have to agree - it is the democratisation of democracy. I must remnmeber that phrase,

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