I’ve only been using 2Simple‘s Online Creative Tools for a few days and yet I already love them.
For those of you unaware, they are basically several online versions of their popular programs which can be accessed both in-school and at home.
To begin, I’ve followed my usual strategy of trialling/testing ideas outside of lessons by first introducing them in clubs – a parent/child Internet cafe one night afterschool and with a group of Year 5s during a lunch time session. For me, this always has two major benefits: mainly that if anything ‘goes wrong’ no actual lessons are lost and that since there is no planning/scheme to follow I can also just simply be creative and go in whatever direction the children (who have opted to attend in the first place because they enjoy doing ICT) want.
Setting up the accounts was pretty straightfoward – all I needed to do was log onto the 2Lasso ‘tool’ and add the usernames/passwords I desired for each user in turn – there is an option to bulk import from a .csv file but since I was only creating a few accounts at the moment, the simple one-user-at-a-time online method worked just fine.
Now to be honest, on the two ocassions when I’ve used the tools already, I haven’t really done anything structured – I just went to each child individually to show them the logging in procedure and then simply let them loose to explore as they chose. The beauty of 2Simple products is that they are always very intuative to use, so meaning that the children could quite easily get started working on whatever task they desired without the need to constantly ask for my assistance.
What they achieved was pretty basic given the limited time available, however when I told them that they could access their work (and thus finish it off) at home they all looked really excited. Clicking on any user in 2Lasso lets you view each user’s recent activity and so when I saw that nearly all of them had been logging in outside of school to do work I was quite impressed to say the least. I had given practically no demonstrations of how to use any of the tools and hadn’t even set them any work to do at home – yet they still went away and did work on their own, at home of their own choosing!
You can view some of their work which I posted onto the school website here. Obviously I plan to gradually teach the children more structured tasks (I can’t wait to show them how to design nets using 2Design and Make) and to roll out the tools to classes as a whole for use in actual lessons with curriculum links (I have grand plans for 2Sequence in KS1 and 2Graph in KS2), but for the moment I just want to enjoy looking back on what 2Simple have helped me achieve in just 3 days.