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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 ledt 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

Sound FX Now!

| September 24, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Making a layered recording, using something like Garageband or Audacity, then is a great way to find, and download FREE sound effects.

Do a quick keyword search, using the search bar, or dig through the various sound effect categories. The great thing about search results, is that all sounds, matching your search, are presented in a “Sound Grid” for easy playback! Useful in its own right. Sounds good eh?

Isle of Tune ~ I love tune

| September 23, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Now, this is an intriguing twist on music creation, and one which some of yours will find enticingly challenging, and rewarding.

To build a hamlet, village, town, conurbation, or even a rambling city, and then hear that creation come alive, in sound, as vehicles navigate its highways – delightful.

Isle of Tune is a musical sequencer with unexpected twists and turns. Construct your layout- roads, houses, trees, streetlights,and other objects. Cars trigger sounds, making music as they travel. Aurally more attractive than any true-life township tumult. Continue Reading

Bannerman Road Community Academy and Children’s Centre, Bristol

| September 23, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Bannerman Road Primary School

bannermanroadA full on, fast paced, day Bannerman Road Community Academy and Children’s Centre, in Easton, inner city Bristol.

In this goal driven age, we could think that education is imparting a body of knowledge, rather than a shared journey of discovery. There are so many pressures put upon educators these days that enjoyment, inspiration, creativity, and fun can be forced out of the classroom.

We need to inspire young people and fire 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, change and benefit from the experience of others; to motivate a love of learning for life.

Fascination is a tool that can be easily neglected.

This digital world, when mixed with the analogue, brings such potential for communication. Technology, though, is also not the only answer… but it can provide some fantastic opportunities.

Great to spend another day with a team who are clear on the power of creative, inventive and imaginative teaching.

Thanks to Head teacher Paula Shore, our initial contact Samantha Fisher, Assistant Headteacher, who is now on maternity leave, Heather Beach, Assistant Headteacher, and to Adam Cattle, Schools IT Support Officer.

Well done indeed, and thank you, to the colleagues from Oasis Academy Long Cross, Elmlea Infants, Dolphin School, Westbury on Trym School, Blaise Primary School, Victoria Park Primary School, Ashton Vale Primary School, and St. John’s Primary.

Today was another culmination of hours spent researching in “The Shed” in Somerset. We investigated a plethora of free online resources to continue to engage, motivate and inspire children of all ages and abilities.

The school describe that they “are currently on a journey with developing the use of ICT in the curriculum”. Great to take these huge strides forwards with you…

Thank you to Heather for recording her thoughts:

Bannerman Road Community Academy and Children’s Centre

Bannerman Road Community Academy is an inclusive primary school in the heart of Bristol and shares its setting with the Children’s Centre, providing education and caring support for our children from 2 to 11 years old. We celebrate our diverse and multi-lingual community and believe that all pupils are entitled to high quality, engaging and exciting teaching and learning. We have high expectations and challenge everyone to reach his or her full potential.

We believe that our school is a learning environment for all the stakeholders – pupils, staff, parents and the wider community.

All pupils should have the entitlement to quality engaging and exciting teaching and learning. We expect our pupils to take ownership of their learning and to assess their own progress. To do this we have high expectations and aspirations for all our pupils

Personalised learning is about helping every child and young person to do better, which means tailoring their education to their individual needs, interests and aptitudes so as to fulfil their potential and giving them the motivation to be independent, lifelong ambitious learners.

We are proud of the relationships we have with our pupils, parents/carers and believe that it is central to the making our vision come true.

The Academy recently joined the Colston Girls School Trust and we are really looking forward to working closely with Colston Girls’ School, Kingfisher Primary, Dolphin Primary and Fairlawn Primary. Some of our colleagues from these schools have joined us for this INSET day with Tim and Sarah.

In addition we have staff from another 7 different Bristol Primary Schools here today and we welcome you all to Bannerman Road.

Tim delivered a great workshop at the Inspiring Leadership Conference last year. We knew that his ideas and passion for learning would match what we were trying to do at Bannerman Road so made sure that we booked him quickly for our INSET!