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Nature Sound Map ~ for World Earth Day

| April 22, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Nature Sound Map, enables exploration of the wonders of the world, in some superb ambient audio recordings of landscapes, and animals, across the globe ~ from a rock pool in Devon, to jackals in the Kalahari, …& beyond. Sound!

A group of professional nature recordists from around the globe have collaborated to develop Nature Soundmap, an enjoyable and interactive way of exploring the natural sounds of our planet. Combining high-quality field recordings with the latest satellite imagery, the project brings together some of nature’s most beautiful, interesting & inspiring sounds.

Hear the World Like Never Before

Immerse yourself in a pulsating insect chorus in Borneo’s tropical rainforest, or climb the Himalayas and relax to the melodies of birdsong in an alpine meadow. Use Nature Soundmap to discover the wonderful soundscapes and wildlife sounds of our planet.

Many recordings in the collection are ‘binaural’ soundscapes, in other words, stereo recordings made with two microphones which capture sound in 360 degrees.This recording technique most accurately imitates the natural experience you would hear with your own two ears and provides a realistic representation of all of the sounds in a particular habitat or location. If you sit back, close you eyes and relax while listening to a well-recorded soundscape, it doesn’t take long before you feel like you’re actually there!

Great to enhance the atmosphere of a space, or create the soundtrack to the piece of descriptive narrative perhaps. Enjoy your exploring. Sounds good eh?

New Horizons Federation, Oakwood School, Bexleyheath, 1

| April 22, 2014 | 7 Comments 

The first of two days alongside the staff of The New Horizons Federation, ~ today with 150 folk at Oakwood School, one of the Federation schools, in Bexleyheath, in Kent, and what a full on two days awaits us all.

The federation Provides a continuum of provision for young people in danger of missing education.

We worked alongside John Moore, Head of Pathways, many years ago, so it was a pleasure to be invited back to work with John again, in his new, special, setting ~ The New Horizons Federation. John shared these thoughts:

New Horizons sounds like it should be part of the Star Trek franchise and in one sense our mission from the outset was to boldly go to where no one has been before!

The New Horizons Federation  came together five  years ago to bring together the provisions in Bexley for young people who were struggling in mainstream schools or who had been permanently excluded and those young people whose social and emotional needs could best be met in our specialist settings.

Our schools and provisions are creative and innovative and collectively and individually we offer an exciting and engaging curriculum.We are always exploring new ways to engage our young people in learning.We are acutely aware of the need to ensure that young people leave school equipped for life in the 21st Century but giving them more of a diet of what has failed them in the past is clearly not the answer!

We have been looking forward to working with Tim and Sarah to recharge our batteries and to challenge our thinking and open our minds to new and exciting ways of teaching and learning.

John Moore, Head of Pathways

Did you miss? Did you Sir? 12

| April 17, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Did you miss? Did you Sir? 11

| April 16, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Pho.to ~ Image manipulation

| April 11, 2014 | 0 Comments 

There are quite a few, free, online photo and image manipulation programs (we have mentioned many including PhotoFunia, iPiccy, and Lunapic to name a few)

Whilst Pho.to is full of the inevitable advertising that supports many such sites, there are a few fun effects, and frames, you can apply to your images.

You can touch up your photos, smart fix to make quick changes, edit your picture, make avatars, or even send “free” ecards. Some fun and possibly useful results.

Ysgol Gymraeg Casnewydd ~ Day 2

| April 11, 2014 | 5 Comments 

A second day at Ysgol Gymraeg Casnewydd, this time with the staff, looking at a vast amount of digital delights to bring learning even more alive.

What we shared today fits so well with the school’s ethos, and ways of working, already. We experienced some of the confidence, sense of humour, and imagination, of the children yesterday. Carrying out lessons, both in English, and Welsh, is a superb way to develop written, aural, and oral, dexterity. We looked at a huge range of tools that can be used in developing that word play, thought juggling, and imaginative inventiveness. Continue Reading

KidsRuby ~ Programming on many platforms

| April 10, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Whilst not initially simple in its set up, and use, KidsRuby could be another interesting exploration of the art of coding. You can see your code, run it, and see what it outputs all at the same time. This makes it a lot more fascinating to learn inputs and outputs, and what changes to your coding achieve. Works on Windows, OSX, Linux and Raspberry Pi.

Like Hackety-Hack, another program we have written about, this is real Ruby programming, but in a slightly simplified introduction. We don’t have a lot of experience with this but you might find it worth investigating, then (please) …tell us how you get on.

Ysgol Gymraeg Casnewydd ~ Day 1

| April 10, 2014 | 13 Comments 

Great to be back in Newport, for the first of two days alongside the children, and staff, of Ysgol Gymraeg Casnewydd.

Welsh really is a beautiful language, and perfect for poetic, descriptive, invention.

We carried out our lessons in that fascinating cross between two languages. As someone who grew up only a few miles across the River Severn, yet never managed more than a poor impression of spoken Welsh, it has always been intriguing to carry out lesson sessions in a mixture of tongues. Continue Reading

GapMinder ~ A “knowledge-based world view”

| April 9, 2014 | 0 Comments 

“The Gapminder Foundation is a non-profit venture that makes current data about the world freely available in a format that is accessible, meaningful and dynamic, a kind of modern ‘museum’ on the internet”.

The Gapminder website is free and is a great resource for geography teachers and students. Animated ‘bubble graphs’ show how countries of the world have changed. Change the parameters and so create your own graphs and animations. Endless fascinating explorations.

Gapminder World is an easy to follow guide.

Music Droid ~ An Android programming game

| April 8, 2014 | 0 Comments 

MusicDroid is a surprisingly challenging, FREE, Android puzzle game, designed especially for children, to develop programming skills and get them in to coding and maths games.

The goal is to power your Droid companion around the golden music plates and proceed to the next level. To move your Droid you need to build a set of functions across the screen using instructions.

MusicDroid might look look a little simplistic initially, but it is a great educational tool and makes learning the basics of coding fun by combining enjoyable challenges and an engaging droid character.

Explore the temples of Angkor Wat & other world wonders

| April 7, 2014 | 2 Comments 

Thanks to @amycoole1979 for the nudge to the new chance to explore Cambodia’s most famous ancient temple, Angkor Wat, through Google “Street”view experiences.

Julian Wood (@Ideas_Factory) also told us of the Google Cultural Institute, which includes this and other wonders, such as The Ancient Kyoto: Daigo-ji Temple, The Grand Canyon, the Pompei, or even as remote as Scott’s Hut in Antarctica,