Archive for February, 2011

Colne Valley Consortium, Essex : Day 1

| February 28, 2011 | 7 Comments 

Had a good day yesterday exploring the border between Essex and Suffolk. One area, Dedham Vale, is know as Constable Country because John Constable (11 June, 1776 – 31 March, 1837) the English Romantic painter, is known for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home. “I should paint my own places best”, he wrote to his friend John Fisher in 1821, “painting is but another word for feeling”. Continue Reading


| February 27, 2011 | 0 Comments 

Useful Pickie 028Spicy Nodes is something I have linked to before, but feel that is well worth further exploration. Present, store, link and group …almost anything.

Text, links, photos, and other media — are placed into “nodes,” which are then linked together in an attractive, interactive interface that invites exploration.

Spicy Nodes allows you to add pieces of information and embed images and youtube videos. These elements can then be linked together as a mind map which, as you click on different ‘nodes’, changes to show all the linked bits and bobs. Continue Reading


| February 25, 2011 | 1 Comment 

Storysomething is a gradually evolving site that features stories which can be read with younger children. Some can be personalised by adding a child’s name so they become the hero, or central character, in a tale.

There is some interaction in elements of the site, and the illustrations are quite exquisite. Most of the stories can be explored for free.

Wareham Middle School, Dorset – Day 2

| February 18, 2011 | 5 Comments 

Our second day at Wareham Middle School Continue Reading

Wareham Middle School, Dorset – Day 1

| February 17, 2011 | 1 Comment 

The first of two days at Wareham Middle School, Wareham in Dorset. Today, we worked alongside three groups of students from Year Six, Year Five and Year Eight. And, what fun we had. Continue Reading


| February 16, 2011 | 3 Comments 

Spaaze is, basically, a virtual corkboard, similar to Wallwisher and You can add notes, bookmarks, YouTube videos and labels and then organise them however you want.

Organising content is as simple as dragging and dropping it.

One interesting element is that you’ll never run out of pinboard, as the space is “infinite”, in all directions.

To solve the problem of navigating such a potentially huge space, Spaaze allows you to set “hotspots”. You can jump to any hotspot using the navigation bar at the top of the corkboard. There’s also a bookmarklet, so you can add content to Spaaze as you browse, other sites and research.

When you hover over some content on your board, a magnifying glass icon appears that lets you view the entire article without ever leaving Spaaze.

Students could use Spaaze in similar ways to Wallwisher and, (<—as we have written before) for research, to do lists, and many other creative applications.

Spaaze is currently in beta and its free, but it looks like they might start charging whenever you add content, in the future. But, it has been in Beta for quite a long time…

(I don’t think we should always expect Web tech to be free and, if we find it to be useful across the curriculum should think about supporting it). Meanwhile, Spaaze away and maybe share your thoughts.

Cleves School, Weybridge, Surrey : Day 2

| February 15, 2011 | 1 Comment 

More travels through mysterious lands, at Cleves School, Weybridge, in Surrey.
A darkened room, dancing sound effects, haunting music enhancing the atmosphere, and we’re ready to go who knows where?

Today, we wandered in the world of wonderous words, with children from upper Key Stage 2. A hundred children in each session, yet, at times, you could hear a pin drop. Then, when an unexpected feature sprang to life, bubbling discussion and fizzing talk. Continue Reading

Cleves School, Weybridge, Surrey : Day 1

| February 14, 2011 | 3 Comments 

After a brief hiatus (I like a good hiatus. Don’t you? When pruned back in spring, late blooming hiatus adds a splash of colour to any garden) we are back on the road. And what a lovely way to start with two days of lessons, at Cleves School, Weybridge Surrey, with children from all year groups, followed by staff twilight sessions with colleagues from across the school. Cleves school is a big, five form entry, junior school. This week is a busy one, with Book Week being celebrated in lots of different ways .

Have a look at the virtual tour of the school here. We visited a huge array of scenery, in some spectacular virtual worlds, and explored the power of picking up words and juggling with them. We set some children the challenge of taking on roles in the settings they found themselves transported to. Continue Reading