I visited Champion School last Friday (September 9th) to work with the students from grades three to nine on Read & Write Gold (RWG). This is an assistive software that Palliser bought a district license for. It is good for 250 ‘concurrent’ users – so at any one time, only 250 can be using RWG at the same time. For those teachers who do use this, be aware of this because on any given day, we might have more than the allotted 250 users which would result in some students not being able to use the program.
If you haven’t checked out the software yet, it’s worth a look at. I’ve worked with students from all grade levels. I worked with grade tens at one Palliser high school and I heard from the teacher that the students really took to using the program after I left.
What does the program have to offer? Word prediction, spell checker, dictionary, word wizard (like a thesaurus), able to read anything digital whether a document or online, speech maker (take text and convert to an MP3 file), translator, speech to text (not as nice as Dragon Naturally Speaking) and numerous research tools. This is really a great tool and it’s available for everyone!
If you are looking for some neat interactive tools and sites, check out the following LiveBinder URL – http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=51119. If you can fit in the time, I guarantee, you will find something that you could use in the classroom. Case in point, check out the “Too Cool” tab. Then select the ‘Super Teacher Tools’. This will take you to the following URL – http://www.superteachertools.com/index.php. The first thing you will see is a flash based Classroom Jeopardy file. You can download the flash file and then modify the Jeopardy game to meet your needs in the classroom – and it’s ‘free’!!
For those of us who used to venture to the ‘Blackgold’ school division site to find their neat online resources – they’ve totally revamped their work. To access their resources, you now need to go to the following URL – http://engagingstudents.blackgold.ca/. Have a look, new layout and lots of great tools for the classroom. To find the division level (I, II, III, IV) – check the blue band towards the top of the page.
Moodle still has a ‘bad taste’ in our district. I guess it’s fair to say it deserves it because it isn’t really a userfriendly program. But if we give a serious attempt to learn the basics, many of us would walk away feeling that it really does have potential – and it does. Having said this, I hope that all of you create your own Moodle account and that you register in the Collaborative Place so that Moodle can help your group out when it comes to Collaboration Day. Please don’t hesitate to call me if you ever need assistance!