Imagine this scenario: a Year 9 science class is studying food. They're using the school's vegetable garden and tracking soil types, rainfall, mulches and yields over time.
Our Year 9 kids are from a wheat belt town in New South Wales and they're in touch with a class in a farming town in Idaho in the United States. They have decided they'll work together on the food project, compare their findings and publish their results.
The students attend a typical New South Wales public school and some of them don't have the internet at home. So how do they collaborate?
The answer is by using the software they have on their new laptops and interacting online through the school portal.
So how will our Year 9 students build their food project? They'll create a database in Access to collect and sort their raw data. They'll edit pictures of their research in Photoshop and report their findings with Publisher. They'll shoot a video to share with Idaho on YouTube.
They'll even create their own website using Dreamweaver and both the Australian and American students will make changes to the site using Contribute. And they will share their stories in a project blog. Using PowerPoint and Flash, they'll build and animate an end-of-year presentation.
Edit and publish a video. Animate a presentation. Collaborate online with a class in another country. It may seem incredible to parents that these are today's school projects. But students with access to technology can do just that.
What is it and what can your child do with it?
Photoshop Elements - Edit, enhance and share digital photos
Premiere Elements - Create and publish video
Acrobat Professional Extended - Create, publish and share rich PDF documents
Flash Professional - Create and publish interactive animations
Dreamweaver - Create websites and web content
Fireworks - Create, edit and optimise images for the web
Contribute - Work as a group on web pages. Version control, work flow and publication made simple
Captivate - Create online demonstrations or simulations
Illustrator - Create vector images and diagrams
Word - Create text-based documents (word processing)
Excel - Present, calculate and graph data (spreadsheets)
Publisher - Create visually rich publications (desktop publishing)
PowerPoint - Create presentations
OneNote - Record and organise notes, multimedia or information
Access - Collect, sort and organise large sets of data (database management)
Internet Explorer 8 - Browse the web
iTunes - Organise and listen to music
Audacity - Record and edit audio
Plugins - Include Flash, Shockwave, Java, Silverlight and Quicktime
The laptop also has applications for art, science, music and maths. See the full list.
For more details on Adobe software, see: http://www.adobe.com
For more details on Microsoft software, see http://www.microsoft.com
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