Archive for July, 2008


| July 22, 2008 | 2 Comments 

Been a bit quiet lately as I’ve been moving house and had a few unexpected guests.

Caldicot School, Wales

| July 11, 2008 | 1 Comment 

A day at Caldicot School, working with staff and students on the wonderful worlds of words and beyond.

There is SO much to cover, and I felt we had only just glimpsed the tip of the metaphorical iceburg. Well done to all of the staff and students today for rising to challenges and exploring the worlds of words with us.

ICT To Inspire Conference, ESIS, Wales

| July 10, 2008 | 3 Comments 

I have had the pleasure of working a lot in Wales, mostly in Bridgend and Monmouthshire, and beyond. It was a joy today to meet a lot of new folk from Bridgend , CaerphillyMerthyr Tydfil,  and Rhondda Cynon Taf 

The conference was also looking at implementing and using the BECTA Self Review Framework (SRF)

After a presentation from myself, Sally Davies, from Edwardsville Primary School, shared some of their good practice using the SRF. There are links to some examples of good practice on the ESIS Wiki.

Pam Mahoney also presented some impressive work from her school Maes-yr-Haul Primary in Bridgend. Visit both of these schools’ expansive websites.

Throughout the day, I worked with groups looking at Communication in the 21st Century, and ways to inspire children of all ages and abilities.

I promised I would put a link to a couple of the sites I refered to today…


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.

Thank you to Louise and Tina, and their colleagues at ESIS for a superb, very well organised and motivating day. Thank you. 🙂

Cambridge Young People’s Film Festival

| July 4, 2008 | 5 Comments 

 A very enjoyable day again today. This time, as Master of Ceremonies at The Cambridge Young People’s Film Festival at The Cambridge Corn Exchange

Posh frocks and DJs were the order of the evening.

The categories were really motivating and related to the new literacy frameworks across all Key Stages. You can view all of the superb films HERE

I had the opportunity to interview Will Poulter on stage during the event. Will is one of the stars of Son of Rambow.

I have the pleasure of working with some remarkable young folk around the country and, indeed, the world. However, I haven’t met many lads as enchantingly “there” as Will. He was almost exhausting to keep up with when it came to signing autographs and relating to our audience. Well done Will budd, for answering questions in our on-stage witter, in a way that really captured the imagination of all of the crowd,of 1000 +, there tonight.

Son of Rambow has one of the cleverest strap lines:

“Make believe. Not war.”

It is about a pair of lads who set about making their own film.

Set in “a long, hot summer in the early ’80s”, the film is a coming-of-age comedy.

It tells the story of two schoolboys who are inspired by the film Rambo: First Blood to make their own action adventure film, which they hope will win them a young film-maker competition.

Neglected youngster Lee Carter (Will Poulter) — the worst-behaved boy in school — has access to the home video equipment used by his bullying elder brother’s video pirating enterprise.

Will (Bill Milner) couldn’t be more different; quiet and shy he comes from a family that belongs to the strict Plymouth Brethren religious sect. Will is forbidden to watch films or television and is made to leave his classroom when the teacher puts on a documentary film. In the corridor he meets Lee, thrown out of another class for bad behaviour.

At first, Lee sees Will as an easily manipulated lackey but after Will sees a pirated copy of First Blood and throws himself into the film making experience, the two realize how much they each need a best friend.

Their movie takes on a chaotic life of its own, as they fight to keep control of it, and also to keep it secret from Will’s family.

Ultimately it changes the lives of both boys, and their relationships with their friends and families. (Wikipedia)

There is a good interview with Will at the Popcorn site. A trailer can be seen HERE

A few of the films entered into the Cambridge film festival were stop motion animations. The super AnimateClay site is full of examples.

Try visiting a few of these great film related site: FilmEducation, Pixar, Film Street, arkive and my friend Oscar Stringer’s Animation For Education

Oscar is the best guy to get in if schools want to develop their film making skills. Try his new website HERE

Photostory is, of course, a simple and “cool” way of creating movies from still images. Try creating a film of the school trip, mixing sounds, text and photos effectively. And it’s FREE.

Computer Clubs For Girls (Primary and Secondary) has free resources and fun modules encouraging film making. Registration is free. You also receive a wealth of free software and “cool” (again, these are the words of the children who use these things!) rucksacks!

And the winners are… Thank you to Gareth, Mazzie, Jo and Sally, of the Cambridge Education ICT Service, and their colleagues for an event to rival the Oscars!

Kent ICT Conference 2008

| July 3, 2008 | 21 Comments 

Now THAT was really good fun!!

I was honoured to be asked to present an extended keynote for the afternoon of the Kent ICT Conference 2008.

About 200 folk at the Ashford International Hotel.

It is a huge risk for an authority to ask someone to witter away for a whole afternoon! But, it was a very enjoyable experience because everyone was up for some fun, and challenges too. Continue Reading

Gorjuss Glasto

| July 3, 2008 | 0 Comments 

Last year, Glastonbury turned into an endurance test of enjoyment.

Not so this year. Great weather. Great music. A great collection of humanity. A people watching sushi bar!

[rockyou 116687187]

[rockyou 116687857]