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MultiColr ~ colour related image searching

| September 1, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

MultiColr is a very simple but powerful little search tool, that enables you to hunt for images that feature a specific colour, or range of colours.

When preparing posters, presentations, websites or blog pages, it can be handy to stick to a colour theme. Multicolr means you can search for images with one, two or more colours.

The more you add a colour to the search, the more prominent it will be in the outcomes. (Remember to check for copyright issues before using).

Springline Partnership of Schools, Oxfordshire ~ Day 1

| September 1, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Springline INSET

Wow! For 180 (ish) people (!!) to share a training day and tackle the challenges, and opportunities, with so much laughter, and focus, is admirable.

A superb way to start our 2015/16 year, back in The UK: a day of INSET for the Springline Partnership of Schools, their first as a cluster, at Stockham Primary School, Wantage.

Thank you to Ruth Burbank, head teacher at Stockham Primary for hosting our day, and sharing these thoughts:

Stockham School is a high achieving, busy and creative school with over 205 primary school children. The school is over subscribed and focuses on fun learning and has an individual and active approach to learning. The newly formed Springline Partnership of Schools (SPS) consists of 8 local schools working collaboratively in order to achieve excellence. The 8 schools include Stockham school, Stanford in the Vale, St Amands Catholic School, The Hendreds Primary, Fitzwaryn Special School, Grove Church of England School, Uffington Primary and The Ridgeway CE School. The partnership have been working towards becoming Storytelling schools and we are now very excited to be adding the ICT element into our schools to inspire our children and staff.

Today, we explored an increasingly speedy whizz through many analogue and digital gems. Folk were up for the challenges, and stuck with us on some quite technical wizardry, and a range of free, accessible tools that can be powerful in many contexts, in the classroom and beyond. Too many to mention in fact. Thanks one and all, for your laughter as well.

We splattered folk with oodles of accessible tools and ideas for raising the levels of creativity, writing, speaking and listening among children of all ages. We looked at the powerful effect of using games, Web2 tools, software, handheld devices and more and explored ways of teaching that focus on quality learning, rather than the latest gadget.

back to their future black backgroundBTTF DayWe are looking forward to coming back for a day with the children and a follow-up day of lessons on the 21st October 2015 on Back To The Future Day. Take a look at the countdown HERE

A toolkit for artists

| August 30, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

The Artist’s Toolkit provides guidance and support for students when learning the basic concepts of artistic styles and techniques.

It then gives the chance to experiment with these aspects.

Explore Line ,Edge & Outline, Primary & Secondary and Warm & Cool colours, Complementary , Natural & Arbitrary , Tints & Shades, Depth , Positive & Negative , Linear & Aerial perspective, Geometric & Organic shape, Symmetrical & Asymmetrical balance, Visual Rhythm and Repetition making a Pattern

The Toolkit also contains a chance to see a couple of artists in action, and an encyclopedia, which is an in-depth guide to learning more about the building blocks of composition. Go get arty!

Wraparound (Mac) & Unlimited Mouse (PC)

| August 29, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Wraparound is an application primarily intended for users with large and/or multiple screens, which allows the mouse cursor to “wrap” around the screens. Rather than spending time and energy moving the cursor across the screen, from one side to the other, simply drag it off one edge and it immediately appears on the other side. Wraparound can handle even the most abnormal of screen layout configurations, and even allow windows and other objects to be dragged though screen edges. And if you’re worried about not being able to hit your menu bar or dock without the edge to stop the cursor, you can always turn off horizontal or vertical screen wrapping to suit your preferences.

Unlimited Mouse is a free tool that allows you to move your mouse cursor from the right-end of your monitor screen to the left-end and vice-versa. Similarly, from the top-end of your monitor screen to the bottom-end and vice-versa without any stoppage. You can also move a window from one-end to the other-end of your monitor screen.

Run the tool and it will sit in the system tray. Right-click on its icon and select Unlock mouse. Now your mouse will move freely from one-end to the other-end of your monitor screen. To make your mouse back to default behavior, right-click on its icon and select Lock mouse.

Both of these could be useful if you use a split screen option when using a presentation tool, or interactive whiteboard software of many kinds. Off one side – instantly on the other…

Non Linear delights ~ Twine

| August 28, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Over the last few events, we have been investigating LOTS of creative ways of developing non-linear experiences.

Twine is another way to create branching texts. It is slightly less graphic than some, and perhaps more suited to older students, but well worth exploring as it can motivate and inspire some, often reluctant, writers to explore the power of words, and be in charge of an adventure, yet know that readers will also feel in control, to some extent.

We used this with some lads, as a way of taking the focus off the spelling worries they had, and placing emphasis on them using their imaginative talents to create engaging, intriguing narrative. Continue Reading

SurveyMonkey ~ a classic goes on

| August 27, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Screenshot 072“Intelligent survey software for primates of all species”.

SurveyMonkey has a single purpose: to enable anyone to create professional online surveys quickly and easily.

Using just your web browser, create your survey with the “intuitive survey editor”. Select from over a dozen types of questions (multiple choice, rating scales, drop-down menus, and more…). Powerful options allow you to require answers to any question, control the flow with custom skip logic, and even randomize answer choices to eliminate bias.

View your results as they are collected in real-time. Watch live graphs and charts, and then dig down to get individual responses. Securely share your survey results with others. Powerful filtering and cross tabulation allows you to display only the responses you’re interested in.

Kellett School, The British International School, Hong Kong ~ Day 6.2

| August 27, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

We come to the end of two superb weeks in Hong Kong, by sharing an evening session with teachers from Kellett School, and visiting friends from across the city. We brewed up our own concoctions of combination creatures,and shared a pethora of free online tools to bring those animules “alive” in fascinating ways.

Well done, and Thank You, indeed to all those who made the journey to the school, and for coming on a wonderful fantasy expedition with us.

The original idea, for the core creature, a Camelephantelopelicanary, came from Mr Rylands senior, Bob, a teacher, and head teacher, for many years.Camelephantelope

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 13.55.32A camelephantelopelicanary’s
A strange and wonderful thing
The bits of its body, are really quite shoddy,
So it’s all held together with string

Discovered, they say,
On the first day of May,
By an explorer out wandering the Nile,
The first thing he noted, was the fact that it floated,
And its face was all covered in smile

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 13.55.42Camelephantelopelicanaries
Came gasproodling out of the west
They laid their spherical cuboid eggs
In plastic cardboard nests

With two fore-legs, and two behind
(is that eight, or ten, all told?)
They prance and dance in the summer sun
To avoid becoming cold

Kellett School, The British International School, Hong Kong ~ Day 6

| August 27, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Kellett School Pok Fu Lam

Our 6th and last day with Kellett School, Hong Kong, we will be sad to say goodbye.

Today, at the Pok Fu Lam Campus sessions with Year 4 pupils, and their teachers in the morning, and Year 1 children, and their teachers in the afternoon.

In the morning we were joined by three classes of intrepid Year Four explorers. And, explore we did.

We changed gear, notched up a few paces and plummeted towards certain… … …brilliance, with this group of children.

Roller CoasterWhilst  wandering through one of the landscapes in Myst 4 Revelation, (after standing still, wnd then travelling through the power of the mystical necklace) we stumbled upon a mysterious contraption in Myst 3 Exile. Behind a creaking wooden door, we found a lever that helped us rise high above the shining golden seas around us.

Eventually, after a bit of investigation, we discovered that if we pressed an intriguing blue button, we could enter the icy globe created, and take a remarkable tumble down this metal and wooden rollercoaster to …who knew where?!

…And then an afternoon with the Year 1 pupils …  experimenting with words and phrases while standing still in one of the Myst 3 landscapes.

Kellett School, The British International School, Hong Kong ~ Day 5

| August 26, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Kellett School Pok Fu Lam

Our 5th day with Kellett School, Hong Kong, and today back at the Pok Fu Lam Campus for sessions with Year 6 pupils and their teachers in the morning, and Year 2 children and their teachers in the afternoon.

Again, well done all, for tackling the challenges we offered. Some imaginative, thoughtful and inspired thinking, talking, caring, sharing, inventing, creating, collaborating, building, developing, writing, laughing, experimenting… and SO much more.

The VillageThe morning with the Year Six pupils and their teaching staff, exploring the ‘hooks’, ‘nooks’ and ‘crannies’ that engage pupils in sharing their ideas with confidence and style. We explored a ‘Village’ setting in Myst 4: Revelation. Talk. speculation, sharing, thinking and taking ownership of this place, brought it from the virtual, into reality. Similes, and silences, enabled their ideas to flourish and take shape, forming images in our imaginations – gorgeous! We met characters, children up for tackling new ideas and risk-taking, found themselves becoming confident in their roles, expanding on fictional happenings with great detail and flare.

Edanna Spiral PlantIn our afternoon, we adventured with KS1 pupils, and teachers, adventuring through their creations, notions and persuasions, as we wandered through caves, climbed trees and became intrepid explorers. The children in this group wondered, and enthused, about strange objects as we investigated Edanna, the helix plants and the birds inhabiting this beautiful world, talking and writing with passion and interest – WELL DONE. The children made suggestions and proposals regarding the origins and purpose of items found; they considered different ways to ascend the plants and what might be at the top… and then, we went and found out. Would YOU like to know?…

A ha! That would really be telling. Why not have a look yourself one day?

Citrify ~ Online photo editor

| August 25, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Citrify is a browser-based photo editor, that lets you pretty up your headshot by removing blemishes, erasing wrinkles and whitening teeth.

ObamafyIt also lets you add effects to pictures — for example, you can Obamify your picture based on Shepard Fairey’s widespread red and blue image.

(Flash, so doesn’t work on everything.) Simple, but useful, perhaps because of its simplicity.

Kellett School, The British International School, Hong Kong ~ Day 4

| August 25, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Kellett School The British International School Hong Kong

Another superb day of inventiveness at Kellett School, Hong Kong. As with the adventures we set forth on yesterday, today had an analog emphasis. We set out, with scribbly sticks, into the world of words. Joined by Year 7 voyagers, we …went virtually nowhere. In a geographical sense that is. In terms of inventiveness, descriptive narrative, and playing with words, we travelled many miles. Our ideas were set free to wander, whilst we stood still, in an intriguing landscape, desperate to move, yet rooted to the spot.

Everyone was up for a challenge! They got it. What we do is not what “a lesson” should be”. More, it is a reflection of possibilities ~ too much (and too little) all in one go. Too many objectives ~ AND too few. Not what a “real” class would do in a “real” lesson, but “exactly what a real class does in exactly the space that a real class does it”. (What an empathetic, and real, comment). A chance to reflect, think, and consider, on what possibilities there are, using simple, accessible, tools.

After a good deal of discussion, the students wrote spontaneously, producing work of a high quality full of vivid imagery. They were also encouraged to refine their spoken language & clarify their ideas. They remained on task and enthusiastic throughout.

Modelling is often one of the best ways of scribing. It is a bit like reading a paper in front of a toddler. Turn around and you can find they are also sat with a newspaper. O.K. It’s upside-down, but they are starting off on the road to reading.

Writing, or any other challenge, shouldn’t be something we inflict upon children and then we go off and do something “important”, “intriguing”, “mysterious”, “enjoyable”, or “superior”. It is important to show a shared interest, willingness and openness to “having a go” as well. The “Big People” today, wrote and wrote. They shared their ideas with the children around them. They left their writing lying around as a hint, a guide, or an example of potential style, sentence structure, or vocabulary.They were stylish and original gems of invention too. Nicely spicely! Well done all.

Year 9 students for their second venture …

ShipThe students, in turn, offered suggestions, ideas or positive criticisms, to the giants there were sat next to on their travels through these mysterious worlds. There were a lot of us in some interesting settings, and it was joyous to see so much sharing taking place. Well done all today.

And a joyous afternoon session with the Year 2 children, juggling words, actions and ideas as we ventured through caves and up plants, meeting colourful creartures along the way.

Kellett School The British International School Hong Kong