Sunday, March 30, 2008

Setting Up for Panwapa

I am planning on introducing the Panwapa website to my first graders on Monday and Tuesday. I was having all kinds of visions of the difficulties of signing up twelve children at the same time. My plan was originally to ask volunteers from the upper grades to help for a few minutes, then I started looking at the Apple Learning Interchange - Learning with Panwapa - Formal Lessons online. It was pointed out in the comment section of a previous post by Brett Pierce. He is the Executive Director of Panwapa for Sesame Workshop.

Step three in Lesson 1 - Who am I.PDF says "Each student should log on to Panwapa using the username and password created by the teacher". So I realized that I could sign up each child without having to worry about being required to set up the Panwapa profile.

It took me a while to accomplish this. I wonder if they would set up multiple accounts for a teacher the way that Wikispaces does in step five of it's help screen. It would be a huge time saver.

Tomorrow morning, I plan on printing out the Parent Welcome Letter found at the bottom of the Apple Learning Interchange - Learning With Panwapa page. The students will be able to use the paper to sign on during class and then bring it home. Most of the students have access to the Internet at home, if not all.

When I signed on to Panwapa and created ids I found it useful to create a list in Excel to keep track of student id, password, first, and last name. I for each password I used sms2015##. SMS stands for Saint Michael School, 2015 is the year the first graders will graduate from the eighth grade, ## is a number in series from one and up. This way each student has a unique id so they don't sign on to someone else's account by mistake. It will give us a chance to talk about keeping private sign on information private, as well.

Once the list was set up, I checked that each id would log on. This is essential to having a smoothly running 35 minute class. I learned that when using the site wit
h students, if the name is not on the list, you have to click:
Select the country (USA) from the drop down list.
THEN Type the student id number (15729)

Type in the password.
Click Sign in to Panwapa World.

It was not apparent and I spent a lot of time typing USA15729 into the white box. I couldn't understand why it was saying the user id and password were wrong.

The system will remember certain things if you sign out early. It will remember the character’s body attributes, home, and flag when each section is completed. I tried to put a couple of items on the flag, then sign out and sign back in, but the flag was reset.

There are a variety of movies to show in class. I don't know if I will use that feature, but it's nice to know it is available. I tried the option to download the files (much safer in advance than worrying about connection speed in class) but the download wouldn't start. I don't know if that is a Mac issue. I didn't try to download it on the Windows machine yet.

I will write up the actual lesson once I work with the students tomorrow, but I will follow Lesson One from the Formal Lesson Plan for the most part. I'm looking forward to seeing the student's reactions.

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