| January 18, 2008 | 4 Comments 

A good response to the new look to the blog. Thank you.

A fun day today working for the Monmouthshire Local Authority at THE HILL EDUCATION & CONFERENCE CENTRE

We had a few folk running the games on their Macs. As a man who “swings both ways” 🙂 ie who uses both Mac and PC, I have been really excited by the announcement of the new MacBook Air. The tag line is Thinnovation. I have a bit of a mobility problem so am intrigued by this lightweight and elegant machine. It doesn’t have a disc drive but uses wireless technology to access remote disc drives.

The new laptop, small enough for Steve Jobs to pull from a manila envelope during his unveiling, is just 0.16-in. at its thinnest on the keyboard-side edge, and no more than 0.76-in. at the hinge. It weighs about three pounds.

It is a remarkable step forward. I am sure that it is just the thin end of the wedge for light weight laptop development.

After a discussion at lunch time, I thought it was well worth another nudge in the direction of the game, FreeRice. FreeRice is a vocabulary “test”. For each click on a correct answer, the website donates money to buy 10 grains of rice.

Companies advertising (discretely) on the website provide the money for the World Food Programme to buy and distribute the rice.

Have a go with your lot, perhaps as a dictionary chase.

Well done to Cheryl for navigating through a tense Doors of Doom Challenge! in Monmouthshire. Congratulations, too, to Mostyn for conducting an excellent soundtrack.Thank you to Karen Cristofi, Frank Terrell and their colleagues, for organising a superb day.I will complete and add to this post on my return to base.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (4)

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  1. Sean Allen says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable day all round… The pace of the day was superb and Tim’s delivery was first rate. I look forward to using the Myst software to inspire my class of magic weavers..!x

  2. Cheryl Barker says:

    An inspiring day! What an exciting way of stimulating discussion and extending children’s thinking skills. I have spent a few hours this evening looking at Myst lll with my 13 year old son, this has generated lots of discussion and ideas for lessons. I would really like to try this out with a class myself. I will have to persuade one of my staff to give up their class for a regular slot this term!
    It would be great if we could organise cluster group training so that other Headteachers and their staff could benefit.
    Thank you Tim, I am certain that the children at my school will be ‘switched on’ by this.

  3. Frank Terrell says:

    When you organise a course for teachers you know that they can be the most critical of audiences:
    “Oh, I wouldn’t have done it that way!” or “So they mean to take me away from my class for that?” When you book Tim for a course the teachers turn into pussycats, just sit back and listen to the purring.
    The Monmouthshire teachers who dragged themselves away from their classrooms on a wet Friday had been warned:
    bring a laptop and a percussion instrument and be prepared for a rollercoaster ride. Tim never fails to deliver. Karen and I, who had organised the course, began to worry at how quiet everyone was, they didn’t even have any questions. We then realised it was because they were hanging on Tim’s every word trying to absorb his wisdom. That wisdom is delivered through anecdotes that are often funny but poignant. Each one is based firmly in the classroom and his audience never fails to recognise the link with pupils they have taught themselves. The comments of children are the best pricks to pomposity and Tim’s digs at his own disability and recollections of humorous episodes travelling the world or delivering in schools mean that learning and laughter are never far apart.
    Tim’s request for delegates to bring a laptop is so they can use the Myst III interactive computer game on the course to find out how he has used it so successfully with children in his own class in Chew Magna Primary School and subsequently all over the world. If Monmouthshire teachers thought that was all then they had a surprise since Tim’s courses offer so much more: tips on engaging the disengaged, exciting the bored, thrilling the reluctant reader with the joy of reading and filling the unwilling writer with the immediate need to write and at such great length that it is hard to get them to stop.
    The teachers who were worried that the course was all about using computers soon found that, once the game was loaded, the had to do little beyond move the cursor to unveil a magical world for all learners regardless of their age. When Tim gave us fifteen minutes to produce a mind map of the school subjects and topics covered he had to give us an extension and still it wasn’t enough: all of the curriculum could be covered, all of the Key Skills seemed to fit and many other things beyond.
    The percussion instruments came into their own when we had to compose a soundtrack with Mostyn, one of our number, leading the way as the conductor. The result was stunning and we had had no time to rehearse. One of the delegates, an NQT, thought Tim should be compulsory on all ITT courses. We want Tim to come back to Monmouthshire to work with some of our children so that more of our teachers can see this inspiring wizard of the walking stick in action and share the joy we all experienced in learning some of the methods that make Tim the magic man of Myst III.

  4. Anthony Parker says:

    A great way to finish the week – probably one of the most beneficial training days I have attended during my time teaching. It is obvious that Myst has the power to inspire children’s powers of creativity and imagination and I can’t wait to use it with my own class. Your day was also inspiring for me as a teacher – the endless range of possibilities you showed for engaging and stimulating the minds of the children in your class reminded me of why I came into teaching in the first place. Plenty of ideas for future lessons – I’m sure the children in our school will benefit enormously! Thanks again for a superb day!

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