We had a fantastic trip to the Brighton & Hove Albion AMEX stadium on Thursday 15th November 2012 as part of the Cherokee Nation Project. We had 33 year 8’s from Blatchington Mill School many of whom had taken part in the launch event in September. The Cardinal Newman students are having a separate visit as the numbers would have been too large for both schools together.
We split into two groups: one group went on a stadium tour to collect photographs on 10 ipads to create short films. The remaining 15 students Skyped 15 Maryetta students using 3 iPads in groups of 5. Similarly, the Maryetta kids had 3 MacBooks with 5 children around each. Each Maryetta student had prepared two questions to ask the Blatch kids and we let them loose! It’s probably fair to say they loved it – the number of kids meant there were no awkward silences and they would have gone on for longer than the 15 minutes we allowed if they could have. The portability of iPads allowed the kids to show off the football pitch and the stadium out of the window and for them all to have a chance to show their faces.
We had intended to use FaceTime instead of Skype but this required having an iTunes ID (need to set up with a credit card) for each MacBook and iPad which Maryetta didn’t have. The Albion iPads did as they use FaceTime a lot. But Skype was fine on both sides of the Atlantic and worked without any technical hitches.
After the Skype session that group had a slightly shorter tour and collected photos for the short films, again on 10 iPads.
The two groups came back together to make the films using iMovie (which the teachers had been trained in at the Albion training session on 25 Oct) which they found very easy to use. They added voiceovers, titles and music and then they showed their movies to each other. It was easy for them to share the 20 iPads between 33 students as they had been working collaboratively anyway to take the photos and ensure everyone was included. The films are being uploaded to the Albion secure YouTube channel and I’ll upload them to Edmodo (the platform we are using to communicate between kids and teachers) as well to share with the Cherokee schools.
To keep the momentum going with the Skyping and to allow the other group to participate we are trying to arrange for Blatch to use the end of their Wednesday ICT lesson (between 2-3pm) to Skype from school hopefully every week. This is being facilitated with Maryetta.