Archive for June, 2010

Corbets Tey : A Specialist College for Communication and Interaction, Essex

| June 30, 2010 | 3 Comments 

I KNOW THAT WE PUT HUNDREDS OF PICS ON THE BLOG, BUT DO TAKE TIME TO HAVE A LOOK AT THESE AS THEY ARE JOYOUS AND SHOW SOME REAL ENGAGEMENT AND THE JOY OF OUR “JOB” šŸ˜€

Now THAT was fun! A true joy to spend some time at the remarkable Corbets Tey School: A Specialist College for Communication and Interaction, Upminster, Essex.

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Glastonbury 2010

| June 29, 2010 | 4 Comments 

Wow!! The world must be spinning off its axis! It has been Wimbledon AND Glastonbury AND IT HASN’T RAINED! šŸ˜€

Back from an absolutely stunning Glastonbury Festival – no rain, just great company, new music, delicious food, and so much more. The last few years have been a bit an endurance test of enjoyment. Not this time. This was a true holiday.
The festival is not about the BIG acts, to be honest. It is more of a people watching sushi bar – every type of humanity walks past you at some point. Continue Reading

Geoplanet

| June 23, 2010 | 1 Comment 

Here is a powerful tool, when carrying out a geography project of any kind: GeoPlanet Explorer. Here you can explore the geographical information provided by Yahoo in the GeoPlanet API and data set.

Simply enter a location in the form and submit it to get detailed information about the place you are looking for – including its “ancestors”, “siblings”, “children” (smaller regions of the area) and other relationships.

For example, when you look up Bristol (you can drill down much deeper and in more detail than that) it shows the ancestors as England and The United Kingdom. It “belongs to” category includes area codes, counties (both existing and historical) and much more.

This could be useful information when investigating a local area, or contrasting region somewhere else in the country, or indeed, the world.

West Berkshire ICT Conference – Microsoft Campus, Reading

| June 23, 2010 | 5 Comments 

Today, we are at the West Berkshire ICT Conference, presenting a keynote on the ideas around “Taking off and flying” at Microsoft office, Reading

The conference is an invitation to governors, headteachers and teachers from West Berkshire to share notes and look forward to the coming year. This annual event is organised in order to take place after the hub-bub of exams and SATs have died down. It offers a chance for ICT co-ordinators, network managers, senior leaders and governors the chance to view what other schools are doing,Ā innovations around the corner and opportunities to meet colleagues. This year includes colleagues from Reading and Slough authories and schools. Continue Reading

Drumbot.com

| June 21, 2010 | 2 Comments 

There are lots of useful tools for the budding musician at Drumbot.com. The best little app is the DrumBot itself: An online drum machine for those who canā€™t find a real drummer to jam with! It has different loop sets, that can get you started with your sequencing of drum sounds, at great pace, with realistic loops to choose from.

As the old joke goes: “What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine? You only have to poke the instructions in to a drum machine once!”

Or the pro drummer joke that I prefer, which shows there is no replacement for a REAL musician with sticks: “What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine? About four bars by the end of the piece!”

There are some other useful utilities at Drumbot too:

For example, with TapBPM, find the beat of a song by tapping your keyboard.

Guitar Tuner is exactly that: an online tuner to help you tune a guitar by ear.

The metronome is a free online metronome buddy, to keep you in time as you practice.

Twine

| June 20, 2010 | 0 Comments 

Over the last few events, we have been investigating LOTS of creative ways of developing non-linear experiences.

Twine is another way to create branching texts. It is slightly less graphic than some, and perhaps more suited to older students, but well worth exploring as it can motivate and inspire some, often reluctant, writers to explore the power of words, and be in charge of an adventure, yet know that readers will also feel in control, to some extent.

We used this with some lads, as a way of taking the focus off the spelling worries they had, and placing emphasis on them using their imaginative talents to create engaging, intriguing narrative. Continue Reading

Darran Park Primary, Rhondda

| June 19, 2010 | 0 Comments 

Back in the Welsh valleys, at the end of a great week. It was a while back when today’s event was arranged with Darran Park Primary, here in Mid Glamorgan. The beginning of this project was a memorable event at Rhondda Heritage Park back in November 2009. It has been a joy to be involved with these schools over this extended time. Continue Reading

Learning Journey Celebration Conference – Sheffield

| June 17, 2010 | 4 Comments 

Today we are at St Mary’s Church and Conference Centre, Sheffield,Ā for theĀ closing event of a project in Sheffield, looking at the impact of using web 2.0 tools with primary children.

Ten schools involved and this was aĀ  ‘celebration conference’ to share findingsĀ and kickstart further projects.

Our role was to inspire even further use of web 2.0 as a speaker but, even more importantly,Ā work withĀ the colleagues here to reflect on the outcomes of their projects.

A case study of the project is in hand too. Some of the tools used included Primary Pad, Wallwisher and Twitter.

Folks today recorded their thoughts in many different ways throughout the event. A Wallwisher, a PrimaryPad, and Tweeting through the hashtag #slj2010 Continue Reading

Sefton Secondary Heads Conference, Ambleside

| June 16, 2010 | 1 Comment 

A major sprint up to the Lake District, and the Waterhead Hotel, for the Sefton Secondary Heads conference, and a pre-dinner speech.
A beautiful venue, in a stunning setting, but, sadly a flying visit: Bolton, Ambleside, Sheffield.

The Sefton Secondary HeadsĀ conference is titled “New Ways of Working” with a vision to use new technologies.

Thank you to Peter Reed, Gerry Briody,Ā and their colleagues, for a delightful visit to the water. Next time, hopefully, we can tarry a while! šŸ™‚ Continue Reading

Smithills School, Bolton: Day 2

| June 16, 2010 | 12 Comments 

Another, thoroughly enjoyable, day at Smithills School, in Bolton.

This time, we had the chance to work with some key staff in the morning, investigating the power of many different online Web2.0 technologies. Wow!

We triedĀ out a whole plethora of tools, at great speed, but they were up for it. It is always a joy to find that staff, from all departments across the school, are able to see how they can apply some of these resources to have an impact on their lessons. Continue Reading

Smithills School, Bolton: Day 1

| June 15, 2010 | 0 Comments 

Smithills School, Bolton, and the chance to work with lots of students who were, again, “Up for a challenge”.Ā 

Thanks go to Chris Roberts (headteacher)Ā and Ben Bramwell for giving us the opportunity.Ā 

The morning was spent with 75 Year 7 pupils for a 3 hour block!Ā TheseĀ studentsĀ shone with their enthusiam and creativeness,Ā producing stunning pieces of descriptive narrative, and thenĀ inĀ contrast, using Garageband, recorded their short pithy phrases to express their feelings, as they explored the contrasting landscapes in Myst IV:Revelation. Continue Reading