We’ve been experimenting with tilt shift for a while now.
Tilt-shift photography is basically using your camera to make the photo taken seem miniature.
You could spend hours with camera movements, selective focus, shallow depth of field, a tilt-shift lens, rotation of the lens plane relative to the image plane, “tilt”, movement of the lens parallel to the image plane, shift…
Or you can try the cheats way and use this website. Tiltshiftmaker, a free and powerful site.
It makes the whole process easier, however you still need the right type of photo to get a decent effect. Start with stills, and you may be able to take the next step in to motion minis.
You don’t have to use tiltshift on a large scale image. It can focus attention within close up shots.
Talking of Vincent, have a peak at Van Gogh’s art after the tiltshift treatment.
A pretty detailed description of how to do Tiltshift “for real” can be found at the Cambridge in Colour website. However, as well as Tiltshiftmaker, you could also try the slightly more detailed Art and Mobile Tiltshift Generator which is now also available for the iPhone.
Circuit GoGo Lite is a great way to investigate, and learn about, circuits and electronics. An interactive electronics handbook for kids ages 6 – 12.
Follow Loopie, the little alien, in an adventure to build simple circuits for Neanderthals living on planet Earth. Aspects of circuitry are revealed in one bite-sized chunk at a time.
Whilst you can only go to level 1-6 in the free lite version, it is a great starter, and is great fun too. Go go get exploring!
Great to contribute a keynote session to The Shropshire ICT Computing and E-safety Conference, at The Shropshire Conference Centre, Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury.
Steve Compton, Education Improvement Adviser, from the Education Improvement Service, Learning and Skills Group, shared these thoughts:
A day of juggling? 70 staff from schools across Shropshire attended the Shropshire ICT, Computing and e-safety conference in Shrewsbury. Will the delegates really be juggling? There will be no juggling balls but they will be juggling with the dilemma of how to balance digital literacy, creativity, computing and e-safety in the new National Curriculum.
Our keynote was an exploration of technology, virtual worlds, Web2.0, computing and visual literacy elements, and how they have had a huge impact on raising children’s confidence and collaboration, across the creative curriculum.
As well as Tim’s keynote there will be a range of computing workshops, e-safety workshops, exhibitors and sponsors.
In addition to school staff, 7 pupils will be joining the delegate list and will not only be roving reporters for the day but they will also be doing a min-keynote on e-safety.
Closing the day, there was a keynote from Dai Durbridge, of Browne Jacobson Solicitors, looking at “Top ten e‐safety issues and how to manage them”
Yes we’ve never used a solicitor before but our Safeguarding Children Board colleagues have heard Dai Durbridge at several conferences. He is covering ‘top 10 esafety issues and how to deal with them’.
We are also inviting 60 additional voluntary/private sector staff to the esafety part – it will be interesting to see the response of school staff to a solicitors take on e-safety!
Dai specialises in advising schools, academies and other education providers on all pastoral matters, including managing allegations against staff and all safeguarding matters. The keynote will help schools and non‐school settings understand the legal issues surrounding e‐safety.
The Shropshire’s Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) took questions via their Twitter feed, and shared their website: http://www.safeguardingshropshireschildren.org.uk/
Thank you to Steve, and to Sian Wilmot, Conference Administrator, for organising a superb day.
If you are free on 20th of March, so is the AT Education Conference, “Creative approaches to Education Technology”, at Cheltenham Racecourse.
The AT Education Conference is a free-to-attend conference and training event. Organised by AT Computers, a veteran Apple Solution Expert for Education, the conference will explore the innovative, the bold and the creative uses of technology in education.
The day will feature an exciting mix of presentations and workshops; an exhibition covering finance, technology and solutions; CPD and more. Hopefully, this will offer inspiration for using technology in your school, and also demonstrate all the components needed to make a solution work.
Workshops will be delivered by Apple Regional Training Centres, Master Trainers, great companies and outstanding local schools. The sessions are designed to provide solid CPD on subjects from coding and content creation, to 1:1 financing and literacy.
Over the years, we have seen many technology fads come and go. We have also seen companies and organisations ‘ride the waves’ of this, or that, development; insist one thing or another should be the focus, or claim this will revolutionise education today.
This conference is about getting back to the core of what technology in education is all about. Away from the marketing and buzz, edtech is really about three simple things: Engaging Learners. Inspiring Creativity. Aiding Teachers.
….and these things don’t just happen overnight. But with the right planning, infrastructure, and an emphasis that technology is one tool of many, they can definitely be built towards.!
Although the iPad is featured at the conference, the device is just a jumping off point. The idea is to tap into a larger conversation about the role of technology in education – not explore one specific device.
Registration link: events.atcomputers.co.uk/midlands-conference
Cheltenham Racecourse – 20th March 2014 – 9:00 – 15:30, Cheltenham Racecourse. Lunch & refreshments will be included. We look forward to seeing you there!
Take part in an Hour of Code™ (as a starter, & more) with your students at Code.org
The Hour of Code™ is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour. You can also teach the Hour of Code all year-round. Tutorials (which can be found HERE) work on browsers, tablets, smartphones, or “unplugged.”
An established, and well used, site Code.org is an ever increasing collection of persuasive reasons to try coding in different forms, and a set of useful methods to start your journey. Powerful pointers for preparing pupils for programming.
With the Superlame speech bubble tool, you can add life and comments to a picture with great ease.
Add zaps, kerpows and thwacks too!
Whilst there are many comic creators, this tool is quick and easy, quite simplistic, but powerfully intuitive. Bubbles can creep outside the edge of your picture too. A useful tool when investigating speech marks, or story planning?
Great to deliver a couple of keynotes, and workshops, at the Raising Standards Using ICT Conference, Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough’s renown ICT Conference is back! This superb event featured a wide ranging ICT marketplace and top “inspirational ICT professionals” from across education.
Middlesbrough is very proud of its ICT achievements over the years. Supported by the now disbanded LA ICT Team, Middlesbrough schools have enjoyed national acclaim from BECTA, were early pioneers of the ICT Mark and won multiple awards for their digital creativity.
Darren Gamble shared these thoughts:
It is hugely important for our schools to continue this momentum and drive forward the next generation of digital learners and our ICT Conference is key to inspiring our educators in this ever changing landscape.
The title ‘ICT’ may have disappeared from the new Computing Curriculum, but never have ‘information’, ‘communication’ and ‘technology’ been more important to continue to raise the standards in our schools.
Addressing issues from the new ICT curriculum, cyber security, digital creativity, long term visions and so much more; our conference gives us an opportunity to dispel the myths surrounding the ‘coding’ agenda as well as offering inspiration and creative ideas for this new chapter of the digital age.
Alongside our opening, and closing, keynotes, and workshops, there were other sessions from some key providers:
Andrew Morrish shared ways of Becoming a Stand Out School:
Andrew is currently Executive Principal of Victoria Park Primary Academy in Smethwick, a school he led from special measures to outstanding in exactly 1000 days. Prior to this Andrew was headteacher of one of the largest primary schools in the country in East London, a school that he also led to outstanding. Andrew is now in his 3rd headship having started his teaching career in Liverpool. More recently, Andrew has become CEO of the Victoria Academies Trust, a school-led multi academy trust with Victoria Park as sponsor academy for schools placed in special measures. Andrew is passionate about the innovative use of digital technology and immersive learning as key drivers for transformational leadership in challenging schools. Andrew is also an Ofsted inspector, chair of governors and Fellow of the RSA.
Delegates got to hear how one school removed barriers to learning and closed the achievement gap by enabling children to become social entrepreneurs and creative planners.
Simon Finch @simfin – Towards Safe, Confident and Considerate Learners
This session looked at the latest development in how esafety and digital literacy are essential (and Ofsted required) elements of the school curriculum across ALL Key Stages.
Simon Finch is a long-time friend, and long-time friend of Middlesbrough. He is an E-Safety Guru, and was welcomed back to MTLC to share his wisdom.
Simon is a presenter and guide on elearning, esafety, safeguarding, IPR and themes relating to technology and learning. With 20 years experience in leading workshops and training sessions in schools and local authorities. Keynote, conference and exhibition speaker for Becta, Regional Broadband Consortia, universities, LSCBs, local authorities, schools and public services and charities. 2013 NAACE Impact Award winner for leadership ‘for his commitment to ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment for the education sector.’
2Simple @2SimpleSoftware – Coding in the New Curriculum
In this session 2Simple looked at the coding requirements of the new curriculum and how their new software, 2Code can deliver this through Purple Mash. 2Code has been tailor-made to hit every aspect, and best of all, it requires no prior knowledge of coding!
Espresso Coding - @EspressoCoding Routes to the New Curriculum
Espresso shared their new curriculum product Espresso Coding which can provide schools with everything it needs to get up to speed with this new and challenging area.
Mapping our World from Oxfam, is a whiteboard teaching concept for 8 to 14 year olds, which explores the relationship between maps and globes, and how different projections influence our perception of the world. It challenges the idea that there is one ‘correct’ version of the world map.
It shows that the sizes of countries and continents are not always shown accurately on world maps & helps develop an awareness of the relative sizes of countries & continents.
The Gall-Peters Projection map could be thought to be (generally) more accurate about its depiction of true country or continent size, than Mercator’s map, but it also opens up a lot of discussion, about developing countries for example.
Education Innovation is a national conference and exhibition taking place in Manchester that brings together leading education experts, thought leaders and inspirational practitioners to share expert advice, training and guidance about integrating innovation and technology into learning.
In our session, entitled “Out of This World”, we shared some accessible, and hopefully inspiring, tools and ideas, for raising the level of writing, speaking and listening, and creativity in children of all ages.
An exploration of virtual worlds, Web2.0 and visual literacy elements, and how they have had a huge impact on raising children’s confidence and collaboration, across the creative curriculum.
Using, and creating, relevant, engaging resources, to motivate, and enthuse, children of all ages and abilities.
David Ventris-Field (Event Manager for Hamerville, the company behind Education Innovation) shared these thoughts:
The second Education Innovation Conference & Exhibition here, and, after a full year of planning, organising and cajoling, it is easy to avoid the rather pertinent question of why.
There are an awful lot of events in the education world: conferences, exhibitions, trade fairs, webinars, teachmeets, tweet ups and this is to be fitted in amongst the not insignificant task of educating the nation. Did we need another event?
Hamerville are event experts with over 30 years’ experience of running national scale, successful shows. We are not education experts however and this lead to the rather refreshing approach of starting with a blank sheet of paper and consulting with a wide and varied range of educators to establish the sort of event that would be useful.
It became easier to initially establish what was not required: “We don’t want to be sold at or talked down to”; “events are always in the south”; “FE always gets forgotten” etc. This made it easy to understand what kind of event not to put on, but it is quite easy not to put an event on.
We arrived at several key points about what Education Innovation should be:
- Helping raise achievement through innovation
- Enabling educators to harness technology
- Provide opportunity for free CPD
- Be cross educational: primary to adult; teacher to bursar; head of IT to principle
- Be consultative rather than sales driven or didactic
- Explore venues north of Birmingham
After an initial launch show that was very well received by visitors, but still relatively small in scale, for 2014, we have been able to build on this platform and really get a sense that we are achieving in these objectives.
We know for example, that although integrating technology and innovation into education can help enormously to support educators to raise achievement, but that it has to be done in a holistic way that brings even the most tech-sceptical educator along for the ride. The event provides advice and guidance to people that would shun the interactive whiteboard, tuck the tablet away and develop a sheen of sweat at the mention of Raspberry Pi. It also provides plenty for the geek, the Head of IT and the network manager, but will also show them how even the latest ideas can be fused with great pedagogy and successful implementation.
Overall, our hope for the growth of Education Innovation is that it can provide a fantastic platform for education professionals to enhance their skills and their own knowledge to the benefit of their students, whatever their confidence level with technology or geekery.
A forum for discussion about the benefits (or otherwise) of the latest technological advancements, whilst placing them in context with a shifting curriculum, changes in procurement and developments in the briefings from Westminster.
Why do we need Education Innovation? Because innovating in the right way can lead to massive improvements in the way we all can learn. Technology is a big part (but not the only), part of that innovation and gaining a better understanding of what is possible can open new doors to exciting worlds.
We are really excited about the 2014 show as it has come far closer to achieving our aims than we were able to achieve with the 2013 launch show. We have over 120 fabulous exhibitors, 60 inspirational speakers including Tim & Sarah, and a plethora of features, advice hubs, workshops and CPD.
We are looking forward to hearing what visitors think of the show and we are incredibly keen to hear ideas and thoughts about topics and features we should look to investigate for 2015.
Bee-Bot, an established name in the world of programming in schools, have developed a FREE app that acts as a superb introduction to control. The familiar yellow and black striped robot character, we have seen whizzing across the floor of many classrooms, now forms the central character in an iPad/pod app.
Use the Bee-Bot keyboard functions to program directions, and turns, in to a sequence to guide the bot through engaging garden scenes. Twelve timed, and star awarded levels, will appeal to children from aged four up.
There is an advert for the Bee-Bot pyramid game (which is not free) but no other product placement. Well worth an investigation, to get younger children thinking.
Today, we had dun, at The Windsor Business Centre, with 24 teachers from schools in the Dudley area, and a full~on practical day with a focus on the use of ICT to ignite writing. Looking at how innovative approaches to using ICT can help children to acquire a transferable set of skills to apply to a variety of situations, enabling them that they may access the technology for them to apply it in a creative manner. In other words…. teachers experiencing, first hand, the joys and challenges, of working inventively, and collaboratively.
A huge amount was achieved with just a few laptops, mobile devices, some cameras and a vast amount of imagination! Having the chance to have a practical hands-on experience, as teachers and support staff, is a powerful learning experience in its own right.
It also gave us the chance to investigate ways to expand our own teaching ~ looking at many different ways to motivate, inspire and enliven the curriculum ~ experimenting with multi-media, as well as various apps and gadgets freely available online, meant we could have been sucked in to a focus on the technology ~ but folk today kept a clear eye on “the tale (and learning) rather than the tech”.
Groups worked together, to create a practical presentation, based upon a story, and using online tools to manipulate, create and modify images, words and audio. The folk here today were up for all the challenges we threw at them. Each group presented their ideas in such different ways. Well done all!