If you haven't checked out the other discussion I started, I'm starting my first year as a tech coordinator at a K-6 elementary school. I've got a lot of ideas and I'm excited to get started, except all my ideas seems to me like they're appropriate only for the 3-6 students. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the younger ones in K-2!

Any ideas?

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Have you also tried using MS Photostory, a free download if you have MS Office. It is quite simple to use and allows students to insert their (or yours) digital photos. They can do simple editing, motions, insert voice and place music in the background. We have used it with grade 2s and even our year 12s will choose this software because of its ease of use and professional outcome. We have just got MS Office 2007. MS Powerpoint has a wonderful photo album feature that is easy to use and gives gorgeous album qualities. Kids can add shapes etc for scrapbooking effects as well. I have had grade 2s for what we call "extra" lessons and have taught them how to use this.
I like Scrapblog.com. Here is a scrapblog Michelle did for a huge project.
I just want to add two things to the conversation. First, I think that if you have good ideas and are confident that students will enjoy them, they'll enjoy them. I'm, not sure why it works this way but it seems to do so. With regards to Nadine's comments about games, I'm not so sure that games are a bad thing. In fact, games can be wonderful learning tools. If kids are excited about the games they'll learn. Why do we need to push students to learn in traditional ways when we can push ourselves to teach in the way that they learn?
I'd start with simple projects like KidPix and Comic Life and work up to digital video projects. I've had success having first and second graders create their own films in class, though it usually takes until about Halloween before the class is trained enough to undertake more complex projects...it's not the technology part, that they get right away, it's the behavior and classroom management part that takes awhile. You can see some of our projects at http://www.videointheclassroom.com
Thank you again for all the great ideas and resources you've shared. You've all been a great help to me.
Comic Life is also an amazing program and now crossplatform.
I just got a wealth of resources by visiting this page. I used kid pix extensively with the K-2 crowd last year. In every class there were the kids who knew the prgram inside and out and those who were always asking for help.
For those of you that cannot afford software for your lab. Here are a couple of free things to get you by until money is available. Now some of you may not like these programs as much as licensed software, but you learn to over come some of that dislike when faced with budget constraints!

TuxPaint http://www.tuxpaint.org/screenshots/ is an open source software drawing software. FreeMind is a graphic organizer. Gcompris is educational software for children ages 4 to 7. Tux math has math games for students. Childsplay also has educational games for young students. Open Office is an office suit similar to Microsoft Office. Tux Typing is an educational typing tutor for children.

These are good suggestions and I appreciate the list. I have heard of some of these and have used TuxPaint. Unfortunately, it has some printing issues on Intel-based Macs. I have a Mac lab with both PowerPc and Intel Macs. Do you or does anyone else know of any issues with the other items this list running on PowerPc and Intel Macs? Thanks!
As an educator and Director of Technology, I to found it difficult in the beginning to find ways to work the lower elementary grade levels. As mentioned in an earlier post, meet with your teachers and see what they know and do not know. Then develop some training that will permit them to develop their self-confidence. If a person is not confident in their own abilities, they will be more resistant to what you want to see. In Lyons, Kansas we are developing our teachers by providing small group trainings as well as one on one time. I will also have each person take a survey created by LoTi (www.loticonnections.com) to get a good feel for each person's ability. The survey is broken in to three levels. We have been using Kids Pix and Kidspiration along with several web based applications via Learning Station. Here is a link to several websites used by our K-2 elementary teachers. http://www.usd405.com/vnews/display.v/ART/45ddd2e28149f.

Another suggestion is for you to join Classroom 2.0 on the Internet. It is a great social networking site for edcuators to communicate and share ideas and projects. I am currently developing some collaborative partnerships for my K-2 teachers with other teachers in Canda, UK, Virgin Islands, and within the US.
I work primarily with handheld computers and recently was asked to develop some materials for kindergarten students. I have to say that this age group has never been by strong point (I've taught upper elementary and up), and I wasn't' sure what we were going to do.

After working with the kindergarten teachers, though, I can away with a lot of great ideas. They supplied the pedagogy and teaching ideas, and I matched it up with what the technology can do. This is the most successful technology integration technique I've found for all age levels.

Now, almost a year later, this kindergarten group is having great success with the technology. Some of the things they are doing include: using mini-movies and related activities to practice sight words, practicing printing letters, practicing number, color, and shape recognition, and using multimedia books. (See http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=54de3ca4b0985b718fb9 as an example.)

Pretty fun and rewarding stuff.
Can they find and import the pics independently? If so, wow!



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