Kent ICT writing Project – Launch Day

| January 19, 2009 | 21 Comments 

Today was the launch event of the two week long Kent ICT/ writing project: “Emerging from the Myst”

It was attended by 198 teachers from about 190 schools and was held at The Hop Farm

What a day! Thank you everybody, for the superb feedback.

A lot of laughter and a lot of creative and imaginative thinking from all those present.

I think the title Emerging from the Myst is a very clever one as it highlights that there is an awful lot more than just the gaming elements. A barrow load of ideas emerged today. Some of them from the mind behind this project, Mandy Barrow.

Mandy is perhaps best known for her tireless work on the Woodlands Junior School website. The most visited school website in the world at some times. We are at Woodlands tomorrow, so more on that then.

A big thank you to  Mandy, and her colleagues in the Kent advisory service, for organising an excellent start to, what looks like it could be, a vibrant and exciting project throughout most of Kent.

I mentioned QTVRs again today. Here is a good little link:, Travel and Lifestyle in 360-degree Quicktime VR – Virtual Reality, Full Screen panoramas…

In their own words:

“AROUNDER gives those who travel, a vivid sense of what a city has to offer: historical cathedrals and works of art, museums featuring famous artists, local cafes and stores, breathtaking mountain-top views, quiet parks and gardens.

Each issue contains a series of panoramas in a selection of formats – QuickTime Full Screen, QuickTime Medium and Java – so that both dial-up and high-speed Internet users can participate.

Navigation is easy with Google maps of the city and surrounding area.”

There were loads of pickies taken today, some of them we hope you can, or will be able to, see here.

Taking pictures is great. It is what to do with them afterwards that matters.

Polaroid-o-nizer is a fun and quick way of creating, well, Polaroids!

<———- Spot Mandy at today’s event

Picassa is a super way to adapt and change the look of your pictures as well as to store and organise them.

I look forward to the next two weeks, and our chance to work with children of all ages and abilities across Kent. Let’s see what emerges from the mist/ Myst as we explore the world of words.


Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (21)

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  1. Marie says:

    I attended the Launch day today and can honestly say it is the best course I have ever been on! The Myst software is great as well as the hints and tips you provided. Absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait to use it in my classroom. Thank you for being so inspirational and good luck where ever you go. 🙂

  2. Sarah Horton says:

    Totally inspirational.

  3. Emma Mauger says:

    I would just like to say that I had a fantastic time at the launch event! Tim’s work is inspiring and I can’t wait to get back to school tomorrow to try out Myst! I am sure that the children in my class will enjoy using Myst just as much as I have… I am already hooked on it!

  4. Claire says:

    Thank you for a lovely, fun day! What an inspiration.. if we can take any part of what we have learnt today back to the classroom, the children will benefit enormously!! Thanks again!

  5. Lucy Henderson says:

    Am I the first???
    Just wanted to say thank you for an exhilarating day. Can’t wait for my colleagues to see you and Mr Walker in action in Maidstone next week. Came away from the ICT conference last year fully enthused and today has refreshed my enthusiasm for the impact this project can have on my children.
    Thanks again

  6. Rebecca Booth says:

    Thanks for a fab day! Really looking forward to experiencing lessons a-la-Tim on Wednesday at St. John’s School. The children will love it!

  7. Jacqueline Wills says:

    The first time ever I have played a computer game and now understand why my son spends so long in front of the computer playing them! A really good day with loads of ideas that I want to share with the children in my class and the rest of the school. The thing I need to remember is to GO SLOWLY – I am prone to rushing. Thanks to Tim, Sarah and the Kent Team for a really interesting, lively and inspiring day.

  8. Ruth Roberts says:

    I learned so much today- really keen to get back to school and share ideas with the class. I’m thinking about how to base my entire Y6 SATs revision in Term 4 on Myst – I’m sure it’s possible to weave in all the non-fiction genres as well as masses of narrative writing!
    Thanks Tim

  9. Alison Dearing says:

    I have to admit I was expecting an excruiciating day after reading the instruction to bring a percussion instrument, but my fears were unfounded. I know that the children in my class will love exploring the Myst, and I can’t wait to hear the gasp they will emit the first time we turn around and see the greenhouse, never mind all the other exciting places we will visit. Thanks for this and all the other ideas today.

  10. Marc Danton says:

    What a totally amazing and inspiring day, so many ideas, activities, tips, clues and resources that my mind is racing with knowing where to start ! Thank you Tim, Sarah and the Kent team for such a motivating and energizing day, which I know will get not only my Year 5 class but the whole school buzzing with excitement and creativity.
    Thank you.

  11. Jackie says:

    Thanks Tim, have whiled away a whole evening – playing the game with my 9 year old son – he is hooked but on solving and exploring rather than writing – however he did make comments on the music “it sounds like you are in danger” and “someone’s coming up the stairs” and on the quality and feel of certain images. Also spent time downloading all the gizmos suggested and using Google searches – thanks for all the tips!!!

  12. Heather Bird says:

    Thanks Tim and the team for an inspirational (really), practical (really really), and fun (really really really) day. How did you get the talking trees?

  13. blog says:

    Thank you for some lovely feedback and comments, both here and through your emails.
    Jackie, I am glad your son took to the game. Try “holding back” and going a bit slower with your class and you’ll be amazed what you get from them.
    Thanks all.

  14. Marie (2) says:

    Thank you for such a valuable day. Even after a long 2 hour drive, the day flew by. I can’t wait to get started in my class.

  15. Mary Tasker says:

    Thank you, Tim, for a wonderful day on Monday. I really did not know what to expect, but have come away totally inspired and eager to share what I have learned with the rest of the staff. You taught us so much – and seeing you working with children was great. I am really looking forward to the workshop day next Monday.

  16. Steven Brown says:

    I attended the course on Monday and was absolutely blown away, not only by the delivery but also the learning possibilities opened up using Myst and other software. I have already used the panoramas website to inspire my class’s deduction and description skills.
    My head is still buzzing from all the ideas. Can’t wait til Thursday’s twilight session to ask you more.

  17. David Ball says:

    There are times when I am reminded why teaching can be just about the best job in the world – this was one of them. I started teaching in 1975 and I see something like this and I get as excited as a schoolkid (simile!) and find myself more enthusiastic about the job than ever. I hope to incorporate as much as I heard and saw and understood into my lessons as I can and I know my children will benefit wonderfully. Many thanks.

  18. Jane Maxwell says:

    I couldn’t resist having a look at Myst with my class, just the first scene with the bird flying overhead, moving slowly into the conservatory. They were very excited by the whole thing. Didn’t do any writing this time around (though it fits beautifully with the imaginary world genre we are currently doing!) One of my boys, who struggles with descriptive writing and using his imagination, described the cobbled flooring in the conservatory as being “scaled, like crocodile skin.” As Tim would say, “Gotcha”. If that’s what a child can do after one brief look, who knows where he can go?

  19. Katy says:

    Thanks so much Tim and Sarah for a fab day on Monday. The course was exactly what training should be – inspirational and practical. No hand-outs read out here! I’m really looking forward to trying out Myst, and your other great ideas in the classroom.

  20. Clare says:

    I see you mention Picassa – it’s super fab and free! I like to collect images on a particular topic eg Gothic Horror, collage them using Picassa and then use the result as a background on Power Point (no lovely interactive whiteboards at my school – so I use power point a lot). I’ve also printed the collages for displays.

  21. Will H says:


    The following day I was due to be observed by our Literacy co-ordinator but decided to ditch the lesson I had planned in favour of some of the wonders I picked up at this course. It worked a treat and now I have a frequent stream of children wanting to know, “When can we open the door?”

    One thing that I found particularly surprising was the breadth of strands of Literacy in which Myst can be used – not just descriptive narrative, but instructions and comprehension, to name but a couple that are on the tip of my tongue.

    Thank you, Tim and Team.

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