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AuthorStream ~ do more with your presentations, online

| August 19, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

Author StreamAuthorSTREAM enables storage, presentation, and interaction with presentations of differing forms. Share your PowerPoints publicly or privately, for free. Convert your PowerPoints to video. Broadcast your PowerPoints live, communicate and collaborate in real time.
Unlike many online PP sites,
AuthorSTREAM retains your animations, audio narrations and in-slide videos. Useful.

Huddinge, Sweden

| August 19, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 


Our next steps, in Sweden: “To inspire teachers in Huddinge municipality, just outside of Stockholm.”

With more than 100,000 residents, Huddinge is the second largest municipality in Stockholm County. The teachers at today’s event came from Huddinge’s primary and secondary schools.

Thank you to Conny Steinmo, Deputy Director of Education at Huddinge Kommun, and Ostra grundskolan principal, Peter Bragner, for sharing these thoughts:

The use of ICT in the schools varies quite a lot. There are a few schools that are almost 1:1 and there are schools that more rarely use ICT in teaching and learning. There is, though, a firm intent from school administration and the local politicians that ICT should be more commonly used in schools. And quite a few steps have been taken to strengthen support and competence that schools are able to take part of.

The general interest in the use of ICT in schools on the part of teachers and school leaders is lively, but can use an inspirational push to be developed into even more action. This is where Tim comes in ~ to inspire, those already inspired, even more, and to show those not yet fully inspired a glimpse of how fun and useful the use of ICT can be.

One of the schools in Huddinge that has decided to leap forward in terms of how teaching and learning with firm use of ICT is – executed is Ostra grundskolan. They describe their thinking this way:

@Ostragrundskolan, our motto for our 500 students in grades 4-9 is “learning in the present for the future”. We believe that learning should be individual, understandable and meaningful, therefore we have an approach where we’re close, curious and innovative.

In a world where communicative, social and digital capabilities are important, now and onwards, learning rests primarily on four legs:

Firstly, we have chosen to equip all our students with an iPad. It is a planning and communication tool which in many ways supersedes and collects student learning. In our effort to work with visible learning, we have chosen to work with the iTunes U platform for teaching.

Second is the language development approach. Language is important not only to communicate but also as a tool to understand and experience their life with.

Thirdly, special educational approach, which means the assumption that each child is unique in their circumstances, and opportunities, and that every child has the right to reach their full potential.

Fourth, entrepreneurial learning, ~ the students will be the ones who create their own circumstances and opportunities based on the given conditions

A big thank you to Malin Broberg and Jonas Hammargren from Caperio for inviting us to Sweden.

ARdragon1Again, we looked at SO much, including Spicynodes, Chogger, Taggalaxy, Gadwin, Thinglink, Clevr,, Arounder, 360 Cities, Streetview, Photosynth, Streeview Stereographic, Nature Sound Map, Go Mix it, Ambient Mixer, Audacity, Garage band, Soundation, Dragon Dictation, Talk Typer, Nice translator, Ivona, From text to, Crazy Talk, Myst, EasyPrompter, Dear Esther, Jules Vernes Return To Mysterious Island, Epic Citadel, Thinking Dice, Ipiccy, Lunapic, Photofunia, Comic Life, Zooburst, String (the one with the dragon!),Pottery HD Lite, Idough, ColorSplash, PuppetPals, Wordle, Tagxedo, Snappy Words,, Greenscreening, Runkeeper, and more.

Thank you all.


Face Sketch

| August 18, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

Face sketchFace Sketch is a SUPERB tool for creating …sketches… of …um … faces! Who’d’ve guessed it eh?!

Indentikit and more. A great way to look at the proportions of faces on a whiteboard in an art lesson.

Face sketch is also really good for making some cartoon faces which you could animate in CrazyTalk, or Morpho, possibly the ultimate face manipulators.

Sollentuna, Sweden

| August 18, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 


Back to it, and in superb Swedish style! A great trip to Sweden, and the first of three big days of working alongside a few hundred teachers, from across the country.

Today, we shared some magical ideas with teachers from Sollentuna, near Stockholm. Sollentuna Municipality (Sollentuna kommun) is a municipality in east central Sweden, and is part of the Stockholm urban area. So, two big groups of educators, from across the region, joined us at The Star Scandic Hotel, and what fun we had!

We are grateful to Anette Burmann for inviting us, and organising this superb day:

Anette BurmanI work at the management of schools in Sollentuna, Sweden and after listening to your lecture at the Cumberland hotel (Caperio) during the week of BETT, the management have discussed letting all the teachers in the schools of Sollentuna take part of your interesting lecture.

Sollentuna is a municipality near to Stockholm and we would like to ask you about the possibility of having you coming to Sollentuna lecturing one day on August 18? Since we have about 1,000 teachers, we imagine that we divide them into two.

Sollentuna Rollup goalsWe, in Sollentuna, believe that all students are entitled to the same education regardless of background and, therefore, we have, for some years now, equipped our teachers and students, each with a computer, 1: 1. After a few years of unstable connections and troubled computers, we are now proud to say that we actually use computers in teaching.

We have a great group of teachers who are constantly developing and analyzing their own learning while they teach. Now that all teachers have access to a computer in teaching, we want to be inspired by Tim and Sarah, to think wider, longer and larger. We want to broaden our horizons and be inspired to try new ways to bring the world into the classroom, to see opportunities and not obstacles, to do what we can do with new technology!

Anette Burman
Barn-och utbildningskontoret
Sollentuna kommun

Thank you, too, to Executive Director Daniel Broman, and all of the (nearly a thousand) folk who joined us today.

ARdragon1We looked at SO much, including Spicynodes, Chogger, Taggalaxy, Gadwin, Thinglink, Clevr,, Arounder, 360 Cities, Streetview, Photosynth, Streeview Stereographic, Nature Sound Map, Go Mix it, Ambient Mixer, Audacity, Garage band, Soundation, Dragon Dictation, Talk Typer, Nice translator, Ivona, From text to, Crazy Talk, Myst, EasyPrompter, Dear Esther, Jules Vernes Return To Mysterious Island, Epic Citadel, Thinking Dice, Ipiccy, Lunapic, Photofunia, Comic Life, Zooburst, String (the one with the dragon!),Pottery HD Lite, Idough, ColorSplash, PuppetPals, Wordle, Tagxedo, Snappy Words,, Greenscreening, Runkeeper, and more.

Thank you all.

(Almost) Analog August

| July 16, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 


Traditionally, each year, we have Almost Analog (Almost) August, ~ a chance, and a challenge, to “switch off”.

This year, we will be working in Sweden for some of August so won’t be able to achieve the total shut down of previous years. However, wherever you are, and whether, and whatever your role, and setting, you are able to “power off”, we wish you a top up of energies, a regrouping and re-energising if you can take some time, however long or short.

Did you Sir? Did you miss?

| July 13, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 


Metro Map Creator (& a walking tube map)

| July 11, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

Metro Map CreatorMetro Map could be a superb way to draw things like a finished “mind map”, or a guide to an interesting process. You could use word, or PowerPoint, but this is easy.

Start a fresh map, draw your routes, and add stations. Choose the direction of texts, and other settings, with the control panel.

As an aside, if you live in, or are visiting, London, and want to be slightly more active during your travels, try THIS MAP to find out how long (or surprisingly short) it would take to walk between two locations, instead of take the tube.

Computing to Inspire, Nottingham

| July 11, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

Nottinghamshire Conference

A great, full on day, at The Nottingham Computing to Inspire Conference, Eastwood Hall, Mansfield Road, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, with opening and closing keynotes, and three workshops.

Liz Kitts, Education Improvement Consultant for the county, shared these thoughts:

NCC“Computing to Inspire”, the Nottinghamshire Education Improvement Service’s summer conference, was a great event for subject leaders to network, share good practice, gain inspiration, and ideas, for the teaching of computing, and the use of technology in primary schools.

The event built upon the good relationships the LA has developed with schools, involving delegates from subject leader networks, in planning the event. Suppliers, at the request of schools, provided an exhibition showcasing new technologies.

This year saw the introduction of the Nottinghamshire Computing Framework. This is an adaptation of the Nottinghamshire ICT Framework, updated to meet the requirements of the new curriculum. It is designed to give schools support in interpreting the programme of study whilst not having the restrictions of a scheme of work.

There was a vast range of workshops from local providers:

iPads EYRS KS1Joanne Bardgett shared how Annie Holgate Infant School uses iPads in both the EYFS and KS1 curriculum.

She shared her knowledge, experience and enthusiam of the apps that fit so well with children’s interests and curriculum subjects. There were some iPads and apps to trial to help us get hands-on!

AppsDr Craig Small, consultant educational psychologist, and Sam Whisker, HTML jedi-coder and industry expert, demonstrated how teachers and pupils can build their own web Apps for mobile devices using the Mobile Rockit platform.

This workshop gave absolute-beginner-HTML-coders live hands on experience using code to build, style and publish Web Apps.

Beyond a GameIn our workshop, “Beyond a game!” we aimed to build confidence and ideas on how to use virtual worlds and associated tools back in the classroom, inspiring speaking and listening, writing, and creativity in children of all ages and abilities. An investigation of how virtual worlds, with their stunning landscapes, peaceful characters and realistic challenges, can be used across subject areas, abilities and age ranges to deliver remarkable effects.

Primary ProgAndy Board, Headteacher of Tollerton Primary, and Clare Board, Computing Subject Leader of St Peter’s Church of England Junior School looked in to Primary Programming, exploring software and approaches to programming in the primary classroom, giving practical examples of programming in action in a primary school setting.

Coding for EveryoneMark Burrows, Head of Education at 2Simple, investigated Coding for everyone – the enthusiastic, the inquisitive and the slightly terrified, showing how the coding element of the computing curriculum can be taught across the primary school by teachers of all abilities, experiences and interest. So Simple!

Augmented RealityThomas Adby, Partake AR Ltd, Augmented Reality Education shared Virtual object investigation in 3D through Augmented Reality, demonstrating the app he has developed for the iPad and show how it can be used to enhance lessons and be used as a stimulus for creative writing, Design and Technology, exploring history and beyond …

the future is now.

Making Computing AccessibleKate Hudson, Valiant Technology, lead a session entitled Making the computing curriculum accessible & not scary, a hands-on workshop showing how the new Roamer provides a scaffolded approach to programming. Full of cross-curricular ideas that satisfy the requirements of the Computing Curriculum. A brilliant starting point to take back to school to reassure colleagues that they CAN do it.

KoDuAdam Newman, ICT Coordinator at Farmilo Primary School and Nursery School, gave colleagues a tour of the KoDu Game Design software and demonstrated how they can create a unit of work, showing what pupils can achieve and how this can link to the new computing curriculum. And it’s Free!

Self-review FrameworkChris Stott, Professional Officer for Nacce, looked at ‘School improvement with the Self-review Framework’, where the Framework has come from, who supports it and how it is a powerful tool for school improvement through the effective use of technology.

Notts FrameworkLiz Kitts, Nottinghamshire County Council Advisory Teacher for Computing/ICT, introduced the Nottinghamshire Computing Framework.

Thank you to Liz; Craig Wilkie who helped to plan and organise the conference; Lauren McGarry for providing admin support; and admin team manager Alison Fawley.

Wordles of Character

| July 10, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

Here are a few more examples of some Wordles of Character. They are worth watching through, or reading, slowly. Poignant and thought provoking. A real development of empathetic writing.

A slightly overworked and stressed doctor, an embarrassed teacher caught in a bit of a pickle, a “cool and trendy” vicar, (or so he likes to think) a farmer experiencing a bit of a flash-back to a slightly uneasy memory, a newspaper boy with an aversion to the colour red, and, for us, the most captivating, a teacher reflects on what sparked her career path all those years ago. Fascinating insights from ones so young.

Remember that these are designed, written and created by 10 and 11 year olds but I think they are of a quality we might expect from a design agency. Take your time, and watch these subtle animations…

Continue Reading

Freemake Video Converter & Video Downloader

| July 9, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

freemake-video-converter-logoFfreemake-video-downloader-logoreeMake Video Converter is a useful tool for any Windows users who need to change a file from one format to another.

You might also try FreeMake’s Video Downloader as an alternative to Firefox video Download Helper

You’d have to think about copyright elements, but you can edit out the culturally sensitive elements of a film, for example, to use in your classroom, and then in any format.

iFake Text

| July 8, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

iFake text Barak ObamaiFake TextiFake text, is not a new idea, but it is worth revisiting, to make surprisingly real communications, between characters, about something intriguing maybe…

Get children thinking, wondering, or writing, about the background to the texts, or creating their own conversations, perhaps between historical figures, or personalities in a play or novel. What would YOU talk about with… anybody… …