St Helens ICT Conference, Haydock Racecourse

| June 13, 2008 | 5 Comments 

At today’s St Helens ICT Conference, Haydock Racecourse, I gave an opening presentation and, later, a seminar on the power of blogging. (I will include, in this post, a few of the links and resources I mentioned.)

Apparently, blogging is good for you.

I mentioned the Sandaig blog which is, for me, the best school blog, in that it is updated regularly with a huge range of original material, the majority of it being written by the pupils of the school. In fact, Sandaig have a few blogs on the go.

There is also the excellent Hope School blog with their Rules for Safe Blogging.

Visit, a small site myself, Andy Hutt and Clive McGonigal, set up to accompany an article we wrote for Junior Education Magazine, on blogging.

Blogger (free) (free) Typepad (One month free, paying thereafter) 2. Modern Foreign Languages Environment – uses for blogging in the languages classroom

A really useful tool when recording podcasts or filming films with a large amount of script (e.g. reading out some Myst writings) is Cue Prompter, a free autocue.

Cut and Paste text into the window and it automatically scrools up the screen at the speed and size you find most useful.

Try this nifty little tool: an on screen/ whiteboard friendly way to make your own word magnets. This clever idea transforms your text into ‘magnets’ which can be dragged around the screen, colour coded and re-sized. You can also add new magnets at any time and remove any magnets that you no longer wish to use. Great for writing a shared text or looking at word order in sentences.

Also, come up with your own Thriller Story titles.

A HUGE thank you to Debs Ayerst, from Rainhill CLC, for LOADS of ideas and hints on the blogging process. Some key questions for potential ed-bloggers:

  • How does blogging help you as a writer? As a reader? As a publisher?
  • What are some tips on how to proofread on a blog?
  • When you post, how do you get the ideas to post about your topic?
  • What is your favourite blog, your favourite post, and your favourite comment and please give your reasons for your choices?
  • Has anyone given you tips about blogging? What would be the 3 most important tips you would give?
  • What is your favourite or the most interesting thing you like about blogging?
  • What makes you want to comment to a blog?
  • What is the worst problem you have in blogging?
  • How does blogging help you in school or anywhere?
  • How has your blogging got better since you started?
  • What does blogging mean to you?
  • How have other people’s comments helped you in blogging?
  • What are some verbs you would use to describe blogging? Some adjectives?
  • What inspired you to blog? Do you think you will blog later?
  • How do you feel when you get comments?
  • What have you learned in blogging?
  • How does blogging help you make friends?
  • How did you feel when you first started blogging? Were you nervous, scared, happy? How do you feel now?
  • Does blogging help you learn more in writing and language?
  • What do you think of your blog?
  • Is blogging a part of your life?
  • How do you respond to other blogs (what sequence)?

Thanks to Phil Hackett, for some of the pickies here today.

We were supported today by the Mouchel I.T. Team who provide services into the St. Helens Local Authority. Excellent!

I would like to thank Mouchel and in particular Maxine Morris and her team, Lee Pearson, Gail Booth and Mick Doyle!) (not to mention Steve Knowles!) for the fantastic support throughout the day.

Visit the conference working blog HERE

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Julie Hart says:

    I really enjoyed the presentations by, Tim Rylands and Russel Prue. Both were entertaining and factual. They reignited a passion for ICT and provided us with inspirational ways to use ICT with children of different ages. Thank you to all the team for the insightful and productive day.

  2. Claire Andrews says:

    Thank you so much for an inspirational day. I am itching to get into class and start using what i have learned, and tell my colleagues all about it too. However as an interim measure i am showing my 7 year old daughter how to use windows movie maker… and guess what she has picked it up a lot quicker than i did today… Fabulous!! She has also told me all about myst as her school uses it (Eccleston Lane Ends). I am behind the times apparently, but i will catch up soon. Thanks again!!

  3. Joe Leather says:

    Tim, good to see you and even though I have seen you in action before it is still a treat and continues to inspire. I left my class using photostory to design a new world for Atrus to write for Yeesha, hope the supply teacher wasn’t too confused! Great conference despite it being a rush (as always) and a couple of gremlins creeping in (as always).
    Hope I get chance to see you “perform” again soon.


  4. Terry Naylor says:

    Great day on Friday and thanks for your inspiring input. Amongst other things, it was good to see powerpoint used in an imaginative, original way. Must make my ICT teaching less pedestrian. Bought Myst IV over the weekend, hope you’re on commission.
    PS. The Love Constellation, what a great name for a band. Go to MySpace right now and websquat on that one.

  5. John Sutton says:

    For a much more local example of excellent blog practice you could have cited Green Park School in Maghull:

Leave a Reply