On Thursday Kate and Simon spent an enjoyable couple of hours giving AutoKitty a trial in the classroom. The class of roughly a couple of dozen pupils used PCs and iPads to complete a partially created project about electrical circuits, created by their dynamic and unflappable teacher.
Although the software was designed with adult users in mind, Year 7 showed very little difficulty getting to grips with it, in no small part thanks to the carefully designed task given to them by the teacher.
The class started off by using the content of the video to answer questions about how the bulb lit up. Some of the later questions were much more difficult, involving the idea of ‘short circuits’ which the class had not previously encountered, meaning that they had to do some independent research to supplement the content of the video. They then progressed to selecting the correct facet values to display in each section of the video and finished off by adding in a link to the resources they had used to find out about short circuits.
The software held up well, although the iPad users often needed several attempts to save their work once everyone started playing the YouTube video over wi-fi. We should certainly investigate the new HTML5 “local storage” features as a standby way of saving your project when the network becomes congested or unavailable.