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Thursday, March 20, 2008


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Coooool! I want to play with it. I'm also looking forward to see what the kids make of it. Are the ideas being logged for future analysis at the moment?

Keiron Nicholson

Yep, ideas will be logged for the school trial so we can see how the kids get on with it.

Judy Martin

It's a great idea! I can't wait to use it. Some of my students are reluctant writers, though. They have trouble getting their ideas down in a readable fashion and would probably opt to skip this. Is there any way they could quickly access or select from a word bank (adjectives, verbs, adverb)to help them record their ideas on the fridge magnets - and make the mechanics of it even simpler than it is now?


Thanks for the comment, Judy. We will discuss this and maybe we could include it in a future version. We are also thinking of having a "lucky dip" idea where they get random ideas from a pool prepared by a teacher, or other kids.

Judy Martin

What kid doesn't love a lucky dip! Big kids, too, for that matter. Seems like a clever solution to that age-old problem of writer's block.

Gail Dyer

Wow this has really developed since last we saw it. So stimulating and motivating for the kids. How often do we find they think they have nothing to say . . . Judy Martin's idea of a word bank would be a great way of to engage non english speaking background kids who suffer from a deprived language background. Are the kids talking about what they are doing with teacher and others as thy construct and collate using their fridge magnets? or do they work alone on their story. What is the audience? Just the teacher or other students? Stars are a good idea but only from teacher?? Feedback from peers is very powerful is this incorporated? Will continue to follow on both sites. Can't wait to read more.

Keiron Nicholson

In the school sessions we've been attending the kids have had some discussion with supervisors and peers as they've been using the magnets. We asked them to pick their favourite ideas for us to save and show to other kids, and some of them were discussing their choices with others. Generally speaking it's more of a solo activity than using the toolset in general, I think because there's not the motivating factor of "how do I get the cool thing in your game into my game?"

The audience is mainly the child themself, and the teacher - it's a tool to allow them to 'save' ideas that they like, but might not be able to do anything with just now, or even in their current game. It also allows the teacher to monitor their progress in generating ideas, which is difficult if the kids aren't keeping track of their ideas, as it's more abstract than most tasks.

Currently we're just using stars to allow the kids to nominate their own favourite ideas - theoretically teachers and peers could also do this, but we're waiting to see how the kids get on with it before we change anything.

Feedback from peers is not incorporated into the fridge magnet software for various technical reasons, but we do have some software to design and fill out electronic 'worksheets' within the toolset, which will be used for self-assessment and peer evaluation.

Pawel Orzechowski

Briliant! :) I love the idea of using such a simple, familiar and ambient metaphor like fridge magnets! I always wanted to have sticky post-it notes that can be easily rearanged, and never stop being sticky - that looks like it!

good luck, and release this software. And please also on Mac, kids of my friends will go crazy!

Keiron Nicholson

Thanks Pawel! No plans to release on Mac I'm afraid, but with a bit of luck you should be able to download Fridge Magnets for PC by the end of next week.

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