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| August 28, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

Wiggio is a free, online, toolkit that makes it easy to work in groups.

The team developed Wiggio out of their own frustrations with working in groups.
They were tired of sending eleven emails back and forth to set a meeting time.

Wiggio dotsThey were fed up with “that guy” who just never knows where and when to be for meetings. They were tired of multiple mailing lists, contact books, phone-chains and incompatibilities. They wanted everything to be in one place, and we wanted it simple.

The platform was designed to be easy and straightforward, even for the least tech-savvy members of your group. It provides everything you need to work productively in your groups, without bogging you down with complexities and unnecessary features.

Host Virtual Meetings and conference calls. Create to-do lists and assign tasks. Send email, text, and voice messages. Manage events with a shared calendar. Poll your group in real time. Upload and manage files in a shared folder

Water Hall Primary, Milton Keynes ~ Day 1

| August 28, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

Waterhall Primary

Water Hall PrimaryWaterhall entranceThank you to Tony Draper, Head Teacher at Water Hall Primary, Fern Grove, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, and Becky McGuire, Assistant Head Teacher, for organising our first day (back in the UK) of the new academic year, with staff from across this remarkable school and colleagues from their neighbouring school, Brooklands Farm Primary.

WaterHall is a remarkable building too. As Hollie, Lauren, Kaci & Saffron, from 6CP said:

Water HallWe would describe our building as a ‘unique work of art’. Our school has got all the necessary facilities that are needed to meet our learning requirements and more. From our outstanding classrooms (with special lights which stop us getting headaches), to our unusual and impressive 4D and Kaleidoscope spaces; Children can engage with their learning in a way which suits each individual. Those of us who can still remember the old building are grateful for what we now have.

It wasn’t always as beautiful as this…

Waterhall-school-2008-pix-Jason-Hurst-53Prior to 2008 we had a very different building to what we have today. Our memories of the old school aren’t so pleasant, our highlights or shall we say lowlights, were; the disgusting toilets which really smelt bad; the broken windows which would cause classrooms to be unbearably cold; the holes in the roof which meant that buckets had to be placed to catch the leaks and finally the stairs which felt very unsafe due to their condition. We are really grateful to Mr Draper and all the staff for giving us this wonderful building which has provided us with a fantastic start to our lives and made us proud to be students of Water Hall Primary School.

Thank you to Karen Roberts, Deputy at Water Hall, for sharing these thoughts:

Water Hall Primary school is an outstanding school rising to challenges. It got there by doing things differently, by not doing more of the same but always looking for alternative solutions to age old problems.

Being rated outstanding by OFSTED brings about it’s own challenges but has also lead to looking for even more exciting ventures to improve the life chances of the children from the poorest families.

The school has invested in its IT provision. It has a 4D room which provides learning experiences for children which they would not usually encounter. This year they have purchased tablets and chrome books for classes. All classes have wide screen T.V.s and will use ‘chromecast’ to project work onto the screen.

Staff at Water Hall are dedicated and enthusiastic, they always put children first and are comfortable taking risks.

When the Head sat next to Tim, at an education conference dinner, a plan was hatched. The project with Tim aims to pull it all together. The equipment is ready to go, the staff are enthusiastic. The project with Tim Rylands will bring together the enthusiasm of staff and the investment in resources to bring about improved outcomes for children

Thanks all. We look forward to returning in October, for a second visit, working alongside the pupils.

(Bletchley is best known for Bletchley Park, the headquarters of Britain’s World War II codebreaking organisation, now home to The National Museum of Computing.)


| August 27, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

StudyStackstudy stack typessslogo-noreflection gives you the chance to create, & use, different forms of quizes, flashcards, (and even games of hangman) on any subject.

The Classroom of The Future…

| August 27, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

The Classroom of The FutureIngram MicroThinkbdaThank you to Chris Gent, and Steve Hudson, of ThinkBDA   (and Tony Draper, headteacher of Water Hall Primary, Bletchley in Milton Keynes, for the location), for a session of filming, on behalf of Ingram Micro, about the classroom of the future…

Find Sounds

| August 26, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

palette_animation2.gif“Do you know any good places to find sounds?” How about trying a useful little site which is appropriately called just that, “Findsounds“:

| August 25, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

3054014574_8faae07ec4_oIn our sessions on mind mapping how some of the many ideas might be applied back in the classroom, we often have a quick discussion on the power of recording ideas visually, and a discussion of how it can confuse some students who DON’T think or work in a visual way.

It is useful and reminds us of the “old style topic webs” we started using to plan at the beginning of our careers. lets you create thought bubbles and connect them together.

You also can easily move the bubbles around or change the links connecting them to each other.

Being an online application there are some collaborative feature, and if you can fit your thoughts into little connected bubbles, try it.

There are several “mind mapping” software products available, a favourite being 2Simple’s brilliant, and adaptable, 2Connect. isn’t in that class. But it’s free and it’s fun, and it might help you see connections in your own thoughts.

• Brainstorm online
• Create colorful mind
• Share work with others
• Embed your map in
your blog or website
• Email and print map
• Save map as an image


| August 22, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

StudyblueStudyblue enables quick creation of study aids, and revision tools. Useful when reviewing information on a vast range of subjects. There are iOS, Android & Web Apps. (Requires free sign up)

Kahoot ~ Games based response system

| August 21, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

kahoot-for-educatorsKahootKahoot is a great game-based, blended learning tool, & classroom response system. Kahoot doesn’t take a vast amount of time to set up, but is superb for engagement, and involvement. Enjoy!

Ystad, Sweden

| August 21, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 


Our last event, for this tour of Sweden, and now we have made our way down to Southern Sweden, and the coastal town of Ystad.

In a meeting with the directorates and principals, and a long afternoon/evening session with the teachers, we looked at how education has to start running in order to catch up with the pace that some young people are integrating new technologies into their daily lives. It is hugely encouraging that children and young folk, who can be demonised by the press, are actually being remarkably creative, inventive and innovative and it is our challenge to keep up, let alone attempt to run a pace ahead.

It is an interesting thought that learning needs to change to harness the opportunities of technology. However, it is the challenges and tasks we set children, and the ways we expect them to present their results, that are sometimes possibly struggling along in an analog crawl.

That is why it is important to set an open ended challenge and guide children in ways of tackling that challenge creatively. If we set a discrete task, we can end up being glorified Microsoft Office instructors. Some children feel the need to be “taught” but that might come from an historical impression that learning is being fed a body of information. Structure is still necessary in these tasks but supporting flight in thought is an essential, for children of all abilities.

Thank you to Niclas Olsson, ICT-coordinator, at Sydskånska gymnasiet, for sharing these thoughts on their strong approaches to education:

YstadWe are a relatively large school about to embark on journey that will change the way we teach, assess and work with our students. Our focusing is on assessment for learning and technology will be a tool to support the change. During last year much time was spent gathering information from schools, organisations and agencies in preparation for the year ahead of us. One-to-one computing, a changed culture of teaching, a higher level of job satisfaction for everyone, more efficient use of time, competence and other resources.

A few of us had the opportunity to listen to Tim at BETT in London. Now you are invited to talk at our school and kick-off the implementation of a changed teaching culture. We believe that our experience can contribute, especially in regards to using technological tools in teaching, but also as inspiration in our up-coming process of change. Also, the schools management can benefit greatly from your knowledge about the experiences of other schools.

Thank you

Google for education ~ Classroom

| August 20, 2014 | Add Your Thoughts 

Google for educationclassroom-logo-heroIt could be so easy to overlook, or take for granted, Google for education, and a great collection of teaching and learning tools.

Classroom integrates Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail to enable teachers to create, collect, and organise assignments, and extend classroom communication. Google is offering Classroom to anyone with a Google Apps for Education account. Classroom is intended “ to give teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn.”

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.