Yesterday, I was asked to compile a wish list for goodies in my school for next year. This is a daunting task for me, because I just don't know what I don't know.
I work in a charter school with grades 5-8 in a f2f program and K-8 in a virtual program, whose participants may be coming on site at least monthly for exciting program possibilities (art, science, job, math, and writing academies, to name a few).
I'm in charge of the f2f kids and we are very future- and tech-focused in our learning. Kids are already well experienced with setting up and running their own blogs/wikis, and have really eaten up Sketchup and Google Earth. They also love to make movies with iMovie, write music/create podcasts with GarageBand, and a few are also experienced with using Comic Life. (go Mac, go!) We've also begun experimenting with Open-Source games in order to begin to switch them from FirstPerson Shooter games to something with more of an academic bent. It seems to be working! (did I mention that I know how to use very few of these--but they are teaching me??)
One of my main goals with technology is to have them experience all sorts of tools that are the pre-cursors for their future tools and toys. We use those tools and project/problem-based learning to explore the traditional curriculum of schools. (we're not just messing around with gadgets)
I'd like to set them up with a video/audio studio where they can take their broadcasts to the next level by inserting their own backgrounds. I'd also like us to begin reaching out to the rest of the world with groups like Global Nomads (http://www.gng.org/
). I understand we'll be getting a polycom set up--as you can see, my wish list is not limited by dollars.
Keeping my situation in mind, can anyone suggest some good tools that could be useful to my students? Let me know the tool, an approx cost, and some ideas of usefulness. Thank you SO much! They've eaten up all that I've thrown at them this year (our first year of existance) and will be voracious for more next year!