“Ah, bless you, Sir. You’re really trying, aren’t you?”

My students are finding my attempts at using the computer thoroughly entertaining.

As a quick example, I’ve tried using a little bit of software to make the process of picking the next reader when we go around the class. It gets stupidly competitive at times, and I wanted to try to find an easy way to avoid the inevitable “you never pick me!”, and its contrary twin, “you always pick me!”

It’s called ‘The Hat’ and you can download it here:

http://download.cnet.com/The-Hat/3000-2056_4-10074565.html

It’s literally what it sounds like – a ‘hat’ you can keep open on your desktop out of which to draw names.

Firstly, you create a list with all the names of your class in it.

Then you press ‘draw name’ out of the hat – whilst the snazzy music plays.

What’s good is that the hat keeps track of who has been drawn and makes sure that you are ‘fair’ across a series of lessons.

With my younger pupils, there’s been quite some anticipatory tension created as the drums roll . . .

I have been stupidly proud of working out how to use this and have been showing it off in all my lessons.

It turns out, however, that Year 11 can be quite cruel.

You’ve never been patronised until a class of twenty-five, sixteen year old girls, in unison, let you know they appreciate what you are trying to do, “honestly”, but perhaps your time could be better spent on other things.

But hey, not the first time in my career I’ve needed a rhino-like skin.

As they were so clearly the technological experts, their homework this week has been to create a revision video – modelled on the ones I’ve been doing for them (see earlier blog posts.) – to help prepare for their forthcoming Mock examinations.

In the spirit of sharing, see below one of the more . . . unusual submissions I have received. It appears to be a duologue, from beyond the grave, between Hardy’s two wives, Emma and Florence. With some quotations spliced in.

It’s an experience. Enjoy.

Next week, I’m going to experiment with Prezi – I’ve heard great things . . .
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