Archive for March, 2012

Break Time…

| March 31, 2012 | 0 Comments 

Looking forward to some analogue time? Enjoy a breather, if you can take one… – convert media files into other formats

| March 30, 2012 | 1 Comment 

Convert media free, fast and online from one format into another. No software installation needed. Some very useful Video convertersEbook converters, Audio converters, Document convertersImage converters. I’m converted.


| March 29, 2012 | 0 Comments 

Music can enhance our mood (or really wreck it!) Have you ever wanted to tailor an internet radio station to the particular mood you’re in at THAT moment? To listen to something new in a particular style, and not just a 30 second clip? To listen to an internet radio station WITHOUT that irritating host?

A lot of our listening pleasure is provided, at the moment, by … Create, and enhance, a classroom mood.

Choose your style, choose your frame of mind, click and unwind. (Crumbs! I should be writing their marketing blurb!)


| March 28, 2012 | 1 Comment 

With Geonames you can explore places in the world and see if there is somewhere named after you.

There is a place in Russia, for example, called Tim.There are 325 called Sarah!

A different way to get a group in to exploring our planet.


| March 27, 2012 | 0 Comments 

Research results “Too Wordy?”. Twurdy uses text analysis software to “read” each page before it is displayed in the results. Twurdy then shows the readability level of the page along with a colour coded system to help users determine how easy the page will be to understand.

St Stephen’s Junior School, Canterbury – Day 2

| March 27, 2012 | 2 Comments 

Our second day St Stephen’s Junior School, in Canterbury. The children rose to all of our challenges.The staff from the school, and visiting colleagues, wrote some remarkable, descriptive narratives too.It is valuable for us, as teachers or TAs, to have a go at what ever challenge we have set our children.

Modelling is often one of the best ways of scribing. It is a bit like reading a paper in front of a toddler. Turn around and you can find they are also sat with a newspaper. O.K. It’s upside-down, but they are starting off on the road to reading.

Writing, or any other challenge, shouldn’t be something we inflict upon children and then we go off and do something “important”, “intriguing”, “mysterious”, “enjoyable”, or “superior”. It is important to show a shared interest, willingness and openness to “having a go” as well.The “Big People” today, wrote and wrote. They shared their ideas with the children around them. They left their writing lying around as a hint, a guide, or an example of potential style, sentence structure, or vocabulary.They were stylish and original gems of invention too. Nicely spicely! Well done all.
The children, in turn, offered suggestions, ideas or positive criticisms, to the giants there were sat next to on their travels through these mysterious worlds.There were a lot of us in some interesting settings, and it was joyous to see so much sharing taking place.

Thank you to Emma Hendy for and her inviting us and organising our visit, and to her energetic, inventive and adaptable colleagues for a fun filled and full on two days.

We look forward to hearing about your onward explorations, whether they are analogue or digital travels.

The Museum Of Obsolete Objects

| March 26, 2012 | 1 Comment 

While our daily lives become more and more digital, some things just vanish. They simply disappear. We can remember them by visiting The Museum of Obsolete Objects, a fascinating, and slowly developing, YouTube channel.

From the quill and the abacus, through morse code, to the floppy disk, typewriter and cassette, there are videos of some interesting artefacts in action. (I am starting to feel old!)

St Stephen’s Junior School, Canterbury – Day 1

| March 26, 2012 | 6 Comments 

A full on and fun day with a hundred colleagues from across the Canterbury area, at St Stephen’s Junior School, in Canterbury itself.

Being in such an historically rich setting, got us thinking: what would folk from the Medieval period think, if they were able to experience some of the technological wizardry we shared here today?!

As technology speeds forward, even these days, we too can feel left behind. The gargoyle’s wide mouthed amazement matches some of our modern day worries about new tools. We can fear that we don’t fully understand them. If we don’t, it is a good idea to be honest – there will be children who do. If we DO know, it is sometimes a good idea to pretend we don’t… that’s when some great learning takes place. Offering guidance & support to a teacher?! Motivation indeed! Continue Reading


| March 25, 2012 | 0 Comments 

SyncSpace, by Infinite Kind provides a FREE infinite, zoomable, drawing space for iPad and Android that can be shared in real time over the net.

A collaborative whiteboard, planning space, drawing board. Turn on synchronization and send a link to the document to others who will be able to see your drawing and also make changes using SyncSpace. This can be done across the web, not just a network.The resulting drawings can be posted to Twitter and Facebook or emailed as a PDF, or saved for later editing.

SyncSpace has an offline mode which can sync all your changes with others editing the board once you are back online. A useful teacher & pupil tool.

Moonbase Alpha

| March 24, 2012 | 0 Comments 

NASA has gone back to the moon! You can become an explorer in a futuristic lunar settlement…

In MoonBase Alpha anyone can take the role of an astronaut working to further human expansion and research. Returning from a research expedition, you witness a meteorite impact that cripples the life support capability of the base. With precious minutes ticking away, you and your team must repair and replace equipment in order to restore the oxygen production to the settlement.

Moonbase Alpha is a NASA-funded multiplayer game scenario with 20 minutes of play set on a hypothetical lunar outpost in 3-D immersive setting.

An educators’ guide contains lesson ideas for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The challenge is best suited to middle school aged voyagers.

If you head off in to space, please send back some communication about what you discover.

A (warm) whisper or a warning from the Wiltshire woods

| March 23, 2012 | 2 Comments 

Dear Mr. Tim Rylands,

I suspect that, when you visited Wilton and Barford Primary school in the company of an extremely holey walking stick of odd appearance, you were not entirely honest about the stick’s provenance. From a very reliable source who must remain anonymous, I hear that a certain Giant Grimface in a far distant mountainous region had his magic flute, of all things, removed from his castle following his rather vicious beating administered with the flute to a lazy servant, and somehow this much prized possession was secreted under the scarlet cloak of a creature of human countenance who slipped away under cover of darkness, never again to be seen in the Darklands. Later on, the trailing stems of a sturdy bean plant were discovered protruding from a dark hole leading down into the area known as Planet Earth.

As an intrepid reporter, I took it upon myself to follow this trail with great caution down to Planet Earth, to a corner of an area named Wiltshire previously known as part of the realm of Wessex in a rather delightful green island whose name was not known to me. The twisted stems led me to an establishment containing many young earthlings under tuition. Disguised as an earthbound creature myself, I discovered a large room of these earthlings listening attentively to an earthman who was displaying what I recognised immediately as the missing flute in front of a large picture of our blessed Darklands, claiming that the flute was (horrors) a walking stick.  By observation and acute listening, I discovered that the earthman was named Mr, Rylands. Not wishing to be the cause of alarm among the young earthlings, I slipped away & retraced my steps.

What is not generally understood among the constellations is that Darklands has a good connection to the cyber clouds in which resides the wonder Google. Hence I am able to communicate my intense wish that you return the precious flute to its rightful owner.   Giant Grimface is not always of good temper I must admit, but I must report that he is far more agreeable when he has his magic flute to play so that he can watch the trees dancing to his tunes and the birds flying a beautiful aerial ballet. Since you require a walking stick, I have attached a most serviceable and attractive one to a length of rope you will find dangling in a corner of the earthling school gardens, and I humbly beg you to tie our beloved flute to that same rope so that I can return it to its master. From this act, I shall obtain an exalted position at the office of the Darklands Gazette and there will be much rejoicing in our land.

Yours in gratitude and hopeful expectation,

Paula of the Red Hair, (Senior Roving Correspondent, Darklands Gazette)

(Thank you to Paula Hargreaves, also a governor at Wilton and Barford Primary school, for joining the mythological spirit of our visit).
Mr Walker is on his way, (Yes. Really!) though he may have lost his song, … ready to be raised for some rightful rest.