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Langafel CE Primary School, Longfield, Kent

| March 4, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Langafel CE Primary School

New_3PLearning_2013_HRGreat, to work alongside the folk from 3P Learning and Mathletics, at Langafel C of E Primary School.

A day of laughter, and learning, with the children of Langafel, and invited guests. Some inventive, and creative, opportunities, exploring the world of mysterious, and magical, numbers and words.

A big thank you to Muhammad Daniel of 3P Learning, for organising our visit, and to Ruth Sivarajah, Deputy Headteacher at Langafel CE Primary School, for enabling the whole day.

The morning with Y6 pupils and colleagues from Langafel C of E Primary School, Borough Green Primary, Shears Green Junior School, Elliot Park School, Joydens Wood Junior School and Ayasofia Primary.

Then an afternoon with Year 2 pupils and their teachers.

Muhammad shared the following thoughts:

Mathletics-logo-trans-150‘We’re excited to be working with Tim, Sarah and Langafel school on the 4th March. Tim’s work inspires the love of learning that is our motto: our aim is to create software that children love to use. We’ve worked with Ruth Sivarajah and Langafel on innovative maths-focused events and find the same approach at the heart of what they do on a daily basis. This day is about bringing people together to learn: students and teachers from 10 schools across Kent and London will explore how technology can inspire creativity, imagination and most of all – be fun! From digital to analogue, and beyond…’

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 is not the only answer… but, it does open up some remarkable opportunities, to extend teaching and learning styles.

We are already looking forward to coming back, and doing more, soon. Watch this (s)pace.

3×3 links

| March 3, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Thanks to Jonathan (Johnny) Pearce, of St Mary’s Gosport, for sharing his use of 3×3 links. Give it a go! Useful:

3x3 web linksDo you ever have that problem where your children need to visit an internet address (URL) but they are unable to accurately type out the URL in the browser address bar? Do you spend twenty minutes trying to get your children to the website before you even start your teaching? Well, we may have the solution for you.

Before I found out about 3×3 links, I used a Word document as a workaround, in a shared folder on the Students Pool, that the children would navigate to, and press ctrl+ right mouse click to go to the link I had saved for them.

But this is quite confusing for the little ones, for lower Key Stage 1.

So here is our whole school solution to easy navigation to websites, for every lesson.

St Marys 3x33×3 links is a webpage which can be embedded on to your school site. This means that it can stand alone as a webpage, or your school website can host it as its own page. This is useful for when you need children to access links from home that you are using in school; all they need to do is go to your school website. For example, check ours out HERE

This is set as the children’s homepage for when they go on the internet at school – it goes straight to the school 3×3 links embedded page.

What you can see are nine ‘buttons’. These can either be links or folders. Clicking on, say, my Year 5/6 class button, (below) you are taken to their set of links:

Useful 3x3

As you can see, there is a home button to return to the previous screen, and eight other buttons which can be links or folders. On the image above, you can see two of mine are common links (Sumdog and Purple Mash) that the children use often. The others are further subfolders for subjects. This gives you scope to say, “Right children, go to the Year 5/6 Literacy folder and follow the link for adverbs” or something similar.

Before each lesson you can change and edit links which will be appropriate for what the children need to access.

All the children do is click, click and perhaps click again. It’s clicking easy!

So, what do you need to do to sort this out? Well, register with a Google account (Gmail, Googlemail etc.) at http://www.3x3links.com/ . You can then create your links page, changing folder icons to preset ones or you can upload your own that are relevant to the folder or link. For more popular websites, the button automatically draws a logo if there is one (like Sumdog or Purple Mash in the images above).

EmbedI would advise editing in the grid view as this is more visually in line with what it will look like when finished.

You can send out invites so that other teachers (with Google accounts) can access and edit the page.

For those people who need to embed their page on another website, you can access the code from the Personal Links tab on the Options page:

And there we have it, your very own host of buttons that your children can click without having to type!

Night Zookeeper & World Creative Writing Month

| March 2, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

The-Night-Zookeeper-1024x1024Creative English writing resource Night Zookeeper have launched a free global writing initiative on their website called World Creative Writing Month.

The aim of the competition is to inspire children to write more stories at home. Pupils are challenged to invent their own magical animals and then are given a series of creative writing prompts about them. The stories they write about their animals can appear within an online newspaper called the Night News and also can be assessed against National Curriculum or Common Core objects in a Teacher admin site.

Schools from every continent have signed up, no doubt hoping to win some fabulous prizes. To register to take part, simply visit the World Creative Writing Month competition page of the Night Zookeeper website.

Here is an overview of some of the exciting activities in store.

As a teacher, you will be able to measure the impact on your pupils writing here.

You can learn how other schools have taken to Night Zookeeper in their case studies section.

CESI Conference 2015: Beyond the Horizon – Technology in Education, Galway, Ireland

| February 28, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

cesi2015

conf2015bannerWe are delighted to have made the trip across the water to Galway, in Ireland, for Beyond the Horizon – Technology in Education, The CESI Conference 2015, at the beautiful Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) campus. Well done, and thank you, one and all, for being up for the craic.

It was great to also go to the Teachmeet, last night, on the eve of the Conference today. It has become CESI’s custom, since 2009, to host a Teachmeet on the eve of the annual conference. This year, they were delighted to announce that they were hosting a special event:

“We have invited our friends and colleagues from the East to come West and join us! Teachmeet East has been running successfully for the past few years in Leinster, so we were thrilled they agreed to host a special Teachmeet “East meets West” with us. This was one NOT to miss!”

Thanks to Mags Amond, for inviting us to CESIcon, and for sharing these thoughts:

CESIThe Computers in Education Society of Ireland, known as CESI to its members and friends, is an open community of educators and innovators who are committed to using and developing technology to support teaching and learning. Our tribe includes educators from all levels and sectors, formal and informal, both “inside and outside the box”, so to speak!

Our membership is mainly drawn from Ireland, but we now have many many valued global friends.

The main event of the CESI year is the annual weekend Conference, informally dubbed #cesicon, when the family gathers to renew enthusiasm, share new ideas, and catch up with friends old and new.

We are Ireland’s longest established Ed Tech group, having recently celebrated – with great pride – our 40th Birthday! Our celebrations have taken us back to Galway, the home of our birth, for our most recent conferences.

We are in constant contact with each other online, sharing practice and solving problems, via the CESI mailing list, which is the online ‘staffroom’ of our Teacher Professional Network. We can be found debating (tweebating?) at the #edchatie timeline on Monday evenings at 20.30 GMT.

Dickie RockSeveral times a year now, we gather somewhere in the country for a TeachMeet, an idea we ‘borrowed’ from across the water in 2009. The cross pollination of ideas and information that occurs in this pleasant mixture of professional and social atmosphere has proven very popular with the membership.

At this CESI TM, and #cesicon, in Galway, we are delighted to have Keynotes from Tim & Sarah of this parish, and also our own John Davitt.

Google Hangouts

| February 27, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

hangoutsGoogle Hangouts can be a superb alternative to Skype, enabling disparate groups to communicate, and collaborate, together.

Record your hangout to enable replay, or non time dependent interaction.

If you were to enable editing of a document on Google Drive, at the same time as talking via a Hangout, you’ve started some real interaction, whether your collaborators are near or far.

Google Drive

| February 26, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

GoogledriveMany users of web tools, in schools, are possibly already familiar with Google Drive, which enables collaborative editing, through Google Docs, alongside anybody else who has a free Google account. We must make sure we don’t let it slip, and work, collaboratively, on interactive resources. “All your files, ready where you are”. You might also try GoogleDrive Mobile, a place to create, share, collaborate and keep your stuff, accessible on all your devices. Work together, while you’re on the go. (Works on Android and iOS)

Education Innovation Conference & Exhibition 2015, Manchester

| February 26, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

eice Mancester 2015

edu_innov_logo_web1A keynote for The Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition (EICE) at Manchester Central.

Now in its third year, EICE provides visitors with the chance to get hands-on with the latest learning technologies & receive specialist advice on boosting achievement in their schools, colleges & universities.

The Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition is an annual event designed to help education professionals integrate innovation and technology into learning. EICE combines an exhibition with a conference that includes free seminars and workshops, featuring contributions from a fantastic range of education experts.

Today, we went wild and wooly, creating our own composite creatures, using some simple, and all pervasive tools: Padlet, Switch Zoo – site and app, Endless Ocean, Wild Earth, ZooKazam & Zoo Atlanta, Simple English Wikipedia, Spicynodes, Tagxedo, Snappy Words, ThingLink, ZooBurst, Nature Sound Map, GoMixIt, Ambient Mixer, Audacity, Garageband, RunKeeper, Google Hangouts and Skype.

EICE is designed to educate and inspire teaching professionals on how technology and innovation can enhance the learning experience. We provide you with the chance to get hands-on with the latest learning technologies and receive expert advice on how to boost achievement in schools, colleges and universities.

New features, at EICE, for 2015, included:

· the Tablet Village – powered by The Tablet Academy – with advice and inspiration on getting the most out of teaching with tablets

· the SEN Hub, which featured some of the latest products and solutions for those with special educational needs

· An e-safety clinic, offering advice on how schools, colleges and universities deal with the safety of their students

For updates and maybe to register, for free, for tomorrow’s second day, visit http://www.educationinnovation.co.uk/ and you could also follow @EICEmanchester on Twitter

Thank you to Laura Scott, Conference Manager at the education innovation conference & exhibition, for organising our involvement in this great event.

Yammer

| February 25, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

YammerYammer is a private social network. Work in groups, share files, co-edit content, even with their free, basic plan. As there is the chance to narrow down those contributing, but you can share thoughts, and ideas, you could think of Yammer as a much more private version of Facebook. Well worth investigating.

Whatever It Takes 3rd Annual Conference, Leicester

| February 25, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

menuBackgroundWhatever it takes Whatever It Takes, the Leicester city-wide reading initiative, hosted its 3rd annual conference, at the Leicester City Football Ground, as part of their year focussing on the of using ICT to inspire learning & creativity, with an emphasis & reading & writing. Their header is a plane, going for it. Today, we got them to take off & fly too!

Open BookThank you to Ellen Lee – Project Manager, Whatever it Takes, for coordinating the last three days. Whatever it Takes (WiT) is the Leicester city-wide reading initiative dedicated to ensuring every child in Leicester is reading. It was established since 2009 and was formed in partnership between Leicester City Schools, Leicester City Council and is Managed by the School Development Support Agency.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 10.01.20Thanks to Ellie for sharing these thoughts: The conference was lead by Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild and supported by a number of providers, exhibiting a range of products available to schools to support pupils learning by the use of ICT. The day included a presentation around ‘Raising the levels of creativity of children of all abilities’, a hands on session exploring the virtual worlds of Myst III and practical tasks delegates can undertake back at schools.
 
The follow up day,  with Feedback and Reflective Session, 4th June, has been designed to advance schools learning by  feedback and reflective sessions along with peer review. Tim and Sarah will keep in touch with delegates online, between events.

Given the ever changing and developing world of technology in education, Whatever it Takes (WiT) provides schools the opportunity to learn more about some of the effective and creative ways in which ICT can support a child’s learning and development, with a specific focus on literacy.

EduCanon ~ flipped learning tool

| February 24, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

educanon is a useful tool, especially if you are planning to use a flipped learning element in your curriculum. Embed questions into a video and receive feedback… and more.

EduCanon requires a free sign up.

Deliver video like you teach! This free tool enables you to embed dynamic questions into online video and track student understanding.

Through the eduCanon analytics, you can know who watched the video, where misconceptions arose, and what material needs to be retaught. eduCanon’s interface is simple ~ Build your first lesson in less than 15 minutes … like building a worksheet, except now each question is time-linked to a moment in your video. Add tables, images, audio clips, links, and even embed coded, as the question-editor behaves like a Word document

Whatever It Takes Training, Leicester ~ Day 2, Caldecote Community Primary School

| February 24, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Caldecote Community Primary

A second day at Caldecote Community Primary School, leading another two sessions, with children, and visiting staff, as part of the Whatever It Takes, training we are doing this week, in Leicester. Joining us today were colleagues from Folville Junior School, Christ the King Catholic Primary, Granby Primary, Glebelands Primary, Whitehall Primary, Rolleston Primary, Shaftebury Junior School, Forest Lodge Primary, Overdale Infant School, King Richard III Infant School, Humberstone Infant School, Uplands Infant School, Willowbrook Primary, Mayflower Primary, Catherine Infant School, Leicester City Primary PRU, Belgrave St Peter’s Primary and Inglehurst Infant School.

Caldecote

Dialogic talk and roleplay feeds directly into focussed and supportive writing tasks whereby pupils can, motivated by their excitement, experiment with formal writing techniques of description, even challenging themselves to go further and make use of simile and metaphor to enrich their writing. We are sure not to constrain this imaginative energy by having pupils overly worry about spelling and other ‘rules’. This is not to say that the importance of such conventions is ignored but rather that pupils are reassured that the objective of the exercise is to record their ideas and experiment with the description so that their expressive skill is not retarded by over-formality.

The products of all such activities are celebrated by the class; shared and appreciated. The ideas and creativity of individuals is fed back into the community of the classroom, further stimulating others to improve their own work.