Wednesday, 2 November 2011

zondle @Oakdale School

Oakdale School – year 5 Zondle Day!

Zondle were asked by the amazing Dawn Hallybone (@dawnhallybone) to come to her school in South Woodford to talk to the Year 5s about zondle and to create some topics around Space and some games too! We had such a great time that we had to blog about the experience as soon as possible (on the Central Line!).

Before the day, we received a bundle of Year 5 pictures in the post which were quickly scanned and put into the zondle builder so children could create games using their own characters and backgrounds.

How the day went
We worked with 3 different classes (5P, 5T and 5H) for 1.5 hours each. The session started by thinking about the sorts of questions you could put into zondle. We explored why ‘bigger’ questions – Why is there Space? might not work so well in zondle as we needed a question AND an answer for these games.

It was useful that the children had worked on zondle before so they knew the basics of multiple choice and true and false questions.

After the children had written between 3 and 5 questions we raced (walked quietly) to the ICT suite where the children worked in pairs.

Logging on and creating topics
Once the children had logged on we moved them through the ‘create a topic’ section where they named the topic and then keyed in the questions, answers and wrong answers (distractors) into the zondle interface.

Some of the discussion around questions and distractors was amazing:
      You can’t say Buzz Lightyear was the first man in space that’s just silly…
      No, it’s one of the wrong answers, I put Neil Armstrong

My favourite question was: Would you fall through Jupiter? Yes, No, Kind Of!

Encouraging the children to think about writing questions for children in Year 3 really helped them to focus on the type of questions that were at the right level and had the right sort of incorrect answers.

It was incredible how much the children knew about space including what atmospheres were like on Jupiter and Mars, how many gas giants there were in our Solar System and what was the first animal into space.

Creating Games
We then worked step by step through the ‘create a game’ process starting with naming the game and adding a background – including some brilliant space backgrounds we had prepared earlier.

Children could then search for characters (including their own) to add to the background. It was amazing how the children ensured that everyone in the group had a character in the game.

Using the animation tool we showed the class how to move, resize and rotate (very good space topic word) the characters as part of the Introduction animation.

It was at this stage that the groups’ own knowledge and ability took flight and given the tools they then began to work on their reward animations.

Despite a slight glitch when some were logged out without saving (zondle’s fault – sorry) we created some amazing games with fantastic reward animations that the children could then play at the end of the session.

Hats Off and Thanks
Hats off to Lewis’ amazing animation of a character drifting off into the Sun before disappearing. It was very atmospheric.

Hats off too to Cassius who finally taught me how to score a goal on Penalty Shoot Out.

Thanks Dawn and everyone at Oakdale for making us feel so welcome and working so hard in Space this Wednesday. The children should all feel very proud at being able to develop so many great topics and wonderful games. The teachers were so helpful with the children and kept it all on track plus they were very comfortable when the 9 year old was the ‘expert’. Amazing!