Recently Redbridge bought a bank of Apple Mac Laptops. I was lucky enough to be the first person in the borough to get them in my school. (Thanks David)
Now this was the first time my school had, had any contact with Apple Mac's as well as laptops in the classroom.
This was a bit of a learning curve, but one which I relished. I took a Apple Mac home, played with it and after a while, was happy with the interface. (Its not that hard once you work out that everything just has different names, they work in a similar way to a PC.)
The kids, took to the Apple Macs instantly, I just needed to compare some things to windows and they where away.
I had many plans for these laptops, over the term that we had them. Some worked out, others unfortunately fell to the side.
The most successful use, was when I used them with my year 5 Literacy Set. We were working on writing reports, so I planned to use the laptops to turn the children into newreporters. The children in my class where to become roving reporters, and then present their newsreports. We all worked on the same report, finding out "What kids are into?"
We used a program called iMovie, a really nice easy to use video editing tool. (Similar to windows movie maker) Since the purpose of the lessons, would be to create a newsreport, before those lessons came around I taught the children to use iMovie. This I felt was very important step as I didn't want to get bogged down in teaching the children how to create a newsreport, instead of them creating their newsreport.
So we did our interviews and then spent two lessons, working on our newsreports. The results where amazing. I should mention that my class is the lower ability set, but you wouldn't guess that from the results. The children where motivated and wanted to make there newsreport as good as they could. Some children even taught me a few things about what iMovie can do. You can view some of the results here, on our school site.
The Appple Mac's where also used a lot in year 6, for work in the foundation subjects. They where used for research and presenting of work. The teachers using them commented on how motivated the children where in their work and how useful it was to have the opportunity to use the Internet with the whole class without having to use the ICT suite.
Year 5 also worked on the Apple Mac's to plan and present a geography field trip on the local high street. The children used the laptops to create their questionnaires and then collate and present their findings.
One project I wanted to do was an animation one. But while the iSight cameras built into the laptops are of great quality they are in completely the wrong place to allow for animation work. Next time though.
Overall the Apple Mac's where a excellent resource. They allow a flexibility that you can't get with just having an ICT suite. Apple Mac's themselves have brilliant tools, for video, music and photo editing.
We'll miss them at Nightingale.... but lets hope we can get them back in the future.
Thanks again to David O'Neill for getting them in the borough and letting us have them first.