As an ICT lead and Year 6 teacher, I was keen to start using SOICT as soon as I could. The mixture of easy to administer ideas and flexibility mean that confident teachers and newbies alike can pick up the scheme and run with it very quickly.
Our first foray at Ferry Lane Primary School was taking on unit 6.4 - 'We are web developers'. My class are pretty proficient (and prolific!) bloggers so this unit was a nice extension for them. Their e-safety skills were also very highly developed however, and I felt that creating websites about this might not spark the imaginations of my class.
So instead we created websites which linked with our topic on Ancient Egypt. The kids began using Weebly, which was new to me, and were very quickly exremely adept users. They considered audience, content, design and copyright; they peer-reviewed their websites; they thought about how to promote their websites and how to add the basic html coding that they brought with them from blogging; they discussed media, scanning and uploading artwork; they thought about how to write for the web; they looked at other websites and analysed their content. They did some of this at school, but their work was largely done at home, undirected.
Some highlights included Aiden's page about Howard Carter. He decided that his website, aimed at children, had some pretty tricky words in it, so he recorded himself reading the biography he wrote of the famous archeologist. He found that the computers in our ICT suite didn't code to MP3 properly, so he used media-conversion sites to solve his problem. You can see the page here. I also love Jessica's quiz. She decided that the children looking at her website might not read things very carefully, so a bit of comprehension might do the trick... Ah SATs! Leyla's introduction made me laugh too - "What was it like 2,000 years ago, before even our parents were born?" Sharon wanted a more graphical way to write her instructions on how to mummify a body, so she enlisted the help of Comic Life (another of my favourite programmes). This was her idea, and she had to learn how to save the file as a .jpg, how to upload it to Picasa and how to then embed it into her website.
I was hugely impressed with both the scheme and with Weebly. There was a great deal of direction in SOICT but it was written in such a way that I didn't feel 'naughty' deviating from the script. Assessment was easy and I could demonstrate progress in all children as a result of the unit. Hurrah! We're now working on unit 6.3, developing games. Again, we've strayed from the scheme relatively wildly, but that's the beauty of SOICT - we're working with the great ideas, not being dictated to by a restrictive and product-led approach to the teaching of ICT.
You can see all of the websites created by clicking on the image below.
, Switched On Computing