Colaiste Muire Page SIP Page

Colaiste Muire, Harmony Row, Ennis, Co.Clare, SIP 081

Class Group:
First Year/Second Year Science class and First Year computer class

Interpretation of the Project:
We decided that first year students would be given the choice of what the content of their PowerPoint presentation would be.

Goals:
To reinforce the first year science syllabus. The students chose projects on all aspects of the course, chemistry, biology and physics.
To develop the IT skills of the students
To introduce students to a new collaborative software.

Approach:
We taught PowerPoint step by step to the first year computer class. We explained that each project was to include digital photographs of them at work in the science laboratory, and scanned photos on their chosen topics. We purchased science resources including books and CDs to encourage them to move away from the overuse of their science books, and to encourage them to research their topics further. The students were taught how to use Firstclass for basic email and conferencing. The students were very excited and positive about the new programme. When they found that they would be communicating with the other schools, it focused them even more.

Step by Step:
The PowerPoint presentations from our school were displayed in a Colaiste only conference to begin with, and the students enjoyed comparing the various projects on the various topics. They were then allowed to comment and encourage one another. They shared ideas on content and style of presentations. Once the projects were completed, we invited parents and guardians and staff to view their hard work. Next, the four schools viewed the projects from each school. To encourage collaboration between the schools, we structured a competition open to all the students between the four schools. The competition involved chatting and swapping answers between the students.

Outcomes:
The students' knowledge and confidence with computers has improved dramatically. The students now have a better understanding on how to integrate different subjects with their computer skills. The students have enjoyed Firstclass, they liked looking at each others projects and being allowed to chat about them. The collaboration between the four schools was the most novel aspect of the project from the students point of view.

Internal Dissemination:
Students displayed their work to parents on Monday 17th December, 2001. We had a lovely evening and Parents were very impressed with both their computer work and their colourful wall charts of their PowerPoint presentations.
The following day the teachers of the class involved were invited to the computer to view the display, during breaktime.

Collaborative Dissemination:
Thursday 16th May, 2002, was choosen as the date to display a sample of the PowerPoint presentations of the four schools.
Students and teachers were present to discuss and share their knowledge and experiences of FirstClass and PowerPoint.

Problems:
Losing PowerPoint presentations, this happened when students opened them in the wrong package.
The FirstClass structure of conferences and groups was time consuming to set up and to streamline. Giving preferences to different users for different conferences wasa trial and error process. Deciding on the groupings of students was particularly difficult due to the large numbers from the four schools which the coordinator was dealing with. Lots of mistakes happened. Often when the class were in the room, some of the students could not log on.
The first year class we began with did not have a computer class in 2nd year, so we found it difficult to organise to bring the class to the computer room during their science time on a regular basis. So we choose a first year computer class to benefit from the project.