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Crawford School, Johannesburg

| October 12, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Crawford School
Logo_Preparatory_FourwaysAfter a few spectacular days exploring the realities of this remarkable country, we are blessed to head back to Johannesburg for a day of exploring in the world of words. A full day of lessons and training for Crawford School, Johannesburg. Thank you to Robyn Hardy for coordinating our visit and to Ian Rothman, Principal, for his support and to the team at Fourways for their expertise and enthusiasm.

Today, we went wandering in the world of words, yes, but also way beyond. These journeys are extremely hard to define or describe. They are, inevitably, different from what is expected. Importantly, slower in terms of distance travelled geographically, yet we journey many miles in the world of language and imagination.

Essentially, your idea could be in complete contrast to the person alongside you, but you’re both right:

There is no “right idea,” because, even better, there’s no wrong idea.

Seeing the products of such work and the boundless enthusiasm that flows from it (where some pupils actually have to be asked to wait before writing down their thoughts!) is an impressive and influential experience.

We ran a session with Grade 7 students developing speaking, listening and writing, and then an exploration of a virtual landscape with children from the foundation phase. After this, we took the staff on a whistle stop tour of the wondrous world of digital delights there are out there to extend and broaden the curriculum. Well done all! ~ some great thoughts on careers

| October 9, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

“Need some ideas for the future? Some inspiration on what kind of career might be right for you? Just want to find out what’s out there? iCould can help you to discover what you could do and how you could get there”.

iCould features videos of people sharing stories and experiences from the working careers. Many types of job are covered, from Accountancy and Advertising, through to Travel and tourism.

The site contains a huge range of very well produced films and could be a realistic, yet inspiring, guidance to many at a secondary level, when students are making those crucial decisions about their future. It could also be a great way to help younger pupils realise what it really entails to become, let’s say a sports person, or a pop star!

Image manipulation

| October 6, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

If you find blank spaces in our blog posts, then it is probably because your school filtering system is blocking what it thinks to be “dodgy stuff”. Things like social networking and images get filters in a jitter.

We sometimes use Flickr to host some of our pictures and, unfortunately, this is sometimes blocked. A real shame as we have so many delightful pickies of smiling folk on our days around the country. Have a look at home and you’ll get a lot more out of the experience.

One of the best elements of Flickr though, is that they allow outside (”third party”) applications or websites to communicate and exchange information with the images you host there.

Some of the best websites for creating cool new images and fiddling with Flickr Photos include:

PicJoke …What fun and madness you can create, so easily.

It is free but does require logging in (easy and discrete.) Look what Sarah did to the bald bloke! The (Toblerone) cheek of it!

Big Huge Labs Flickr Toys

and our old fave, Spell with Flickr – not a way to edit or alter your images, but a neat little tool to create pictures from text. Try it.

The Digital Education Show Africa 2015 ~ Johannesburg

| October 6, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Digital Education Show Africa

The Digital Education Show AfricaA keynote at The Digital Education Show Africa 2015 at The Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, with its title of “Empowering learning through technology”

We explored the power of inventive technologies and visual literacy elements, and saw how they can have a huge impact on raising confidence in children across the creative curriculum.

Animal magic! A mission improbable

dig ed showAn intriguing, imaginative and exciting exploration of tech, leaving folks with copious amounts of practical ideas, approaches and tools to take back and use in your own teaching. We investigated how fascinating challenges can be used across subject areas and age ranges, with remarkable effects: developing speaking, listening and writing skills and raising confidence and self-esteem.

With a focus very much on creativity, particularly to inspire writing, we explored ways of working that are centred on innovation and capturing children’s imagination, and left folk with many ideas, mostly free, that they could be using from the web and beyond.

We need to inspire young people and work with their imaginations; enhance their creativity and confidence so they can pick ideas up and start to juggle with them; encourage resourcefulness through challenge, but also the ability to reflect, and benefit from the experience of others; to motivate a love of learning for life.

We shared an accessible, range of ways to engage, and motivate learners of all ages, and abilities. We reinforced how these elements are not only essential for quality learning experiences to take place, but how they can also have a massive impact on standards, achievement … and enjoyment!

Thanks to Tanja Du Plessis, Project Director, The Digital Education Show Africa 2015, Miss Jerodé Moodley, Conference Manager and Operations Manager and Tanys Goosen, Experience Manager for Terrapinn Ltd

Vcasmo ~ a handy way to record presentations

| October 5, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Screenshot 083Vcasmo means that you can film a presentation and synchronise it with the slides a presenter is talking about

Useful for recording the goings-on at a conference. But also in a classroom environment, perhaps when preparing for an interview or other presentation.

We have used it with great success in a “challenging” setting, and therefore we wouldn’t have clearance to show you how the children flourished using it. A great boost to their confidence to see themselves and their presentations “as one” though. Also a good opportunity to discuss presentation styles and techniques. Powerful! Continue Reading

Behold ~ Creative Commons Image search

| October 2, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

The search engine Behold helps you find good Creative Commons licensed images for your presentation, blog, or video. Behold sifts through tens of thousands of Creative Commons licensed images on Flickr. This is an advance on the Search by License option in Flickr as it also factors in the quality of the found images.

Behold searches for actual image content rather than just on the tags that the originator has assigned to the image. Useful when you are preparing material, or when helping students find appropriate, and useable, content.

We Tell Stories ~ Interactive Fairy Tale & more

| October 1, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

A couple of years back, Penguin set six authors the challenge of creating online stories, that would develop as they were written. This was called We Tell Stories. Some of these tales were aimed at a mature audience.

The result of the third week was the interactive, personalized fairy tale by Kevin Brooks, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen. This could be useful when investigating the structure of traditional tales.

Knoword ~ quick thinking word game

| September 30, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 18.03.52Knoword is a game of quick thinking, smart decisions and great words. When you begin, you will be given one randomly generated dictionary definition along with the first letter of its corresponding word. You must fill in the rest of the word to experience a gain in points and an added time bonus. You will start off with one minute before the game ends, and every word is an opportunity to extend your time.

If you’re ever stuck on a word, just hit the skip button and a new puzzle will present itself.

If you’re able to string together correct answers, you will notice your Word streak counter increasing. You can accumulate badges and additional points by achieving certain amounts of consecutively correct words… How far can you get?

A good warm up, or end of the day activity, maybe
If you’re ready, click here to get started!

Don’t forget FREE-RICE as an alternative and help to raise much needed funds too.

Little Wheel ~ an intriguing game

| September 29, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

We’ve mentioned the delightful and engaging game Little Wheel before, but rediscovered it and have enjoyed its potential.

A challenge, and great to discuss with a class how to solve the problems encountered.

Lovely music, reminiscent of the Pink Panther theme: slinky, lounge-lizard jazz, – all muted-trumpets-and-brushes-on-tom-toms-sophistication.

Cool, man! Cool!

“Wall-e” like, in the isolation of a poor robot who’s mission you assist: to find and restore the power from the main generator.

Does that sound familiar to any of the Myst players amongst you? Think Myst IV:Revelation and Yeesha’s resigned comment of “Don’t tell me! Dad blew the power again, didn’t he?” Play The Game here

Have fun, and good luck! Here’s power to your elbow, metal or otherwise.

Masher ~ mash video clips, music tracks & photos

| September 28, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Masher let’s you easily create a video by mashing together video clips, music tracks and photos- all for FREE! Whatever you have to say, a video speaks a squillion words, so get mashing!

Mix, Mash, and Share.
Continue Reading

Join Me ~ screen sharing

| September 25, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts could be a good way of delivering an online presentation that many others can participate in. Get everyone interacting, instantly. Review documents and designs. Train others. Demo teaching ideas or just share ideas . is a ridiculously simple screen sharing tool.

In the FREE version, you can have screen sharing with up to 250 viewers, share control, chat, send files, and even communicate with those who are on iPad/iPhone or Android