Archive for July, 2012

Triple A – a recharging of the batteries

| July 20, 2012 | 4 Comments 

An early start to an…

So much rain that the Don Henley hit could be retitled “The Buoys of Summer”! What ever the weather, having time to switch off is always important. Re charging & spending time. We so hope that this is something possible for YOU too.

Time to think. A thinking climate. Time to do nuffin is good for the creative mind.

If, over the summer, any IT co-ordinators have staff phone up with cries for help and techie problems, try directing them to Fixing My Computer dot com. This may help them as it contains simple flowcharts to solve some of the more common glitches.

Anyway budds, have a good summer and see you bright eyed and bushy tailed in September.             Tim and Sarah

We couldn’t think of a good alliteration for July. So, a bit of an early start but…

(This was the 500th post of this year. How neat and tidy is that eh?)

2011- 2012 (The 499th post of this year)

| July 20, 2012 | 0 Comments 

A joyous year. The last eleven months have seen a lot of travel for @timrylands & @sarahneild including (but not just):

Hutton North Somerset, Durham, Derby, Helsingør, Denmark,  København, Denmark, Newcastle upon Tyne, Penarth, Wales, Cowbridge, Wales, Pentrepoeth Wales, Evesham, Brøndby, Denmark, Uttlesford, London Stansted, Warsaw, Poland, Copenhagen, Denmark, Stockport, Doncaster, Wirral, Blackpool, Doha, Qatar, Cheddar, Somerset, Wirral, Birmingham, Geneva, Berlin, Brislington Bristol, Swansea, Taunton Somerset, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, Knockholt, Kent, London, Hendon, London, Chepstow, Wales, Doha, Qatar, Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamMiddlesbrough, Mumbai, India, Keswick, Cumbria, Huddersfield, Cardiff, Tidworth, Wiltshire, Kirkby, Knowsley, Chorley, Exeter, Devon, Salisbury, Canterbury, Voorschoten The Netherlands, The Hague The Netherlands, Derbyshire, Brislington, Bristol, Cefn Coed, Wales, Ynysowen, Wales, Hutton, North Somerset, Clevedon School, North Somerset, Birmingham, Istanbul, Turkey, Kirkby, Plymouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Goole, North Yorkshire, and Gateshead, (& other places in between, such as Egypt, Andalucia, Tunisia &, occasionally, a little village called Biddisham, tucked away in deepest Somerset).

Thank you to all those we have spent time with, friends old and new, and to all of our readers of the blog. 😀 …

Three Ring

| July 18, 2012 | 0 Comments 

Assessment!?! Three Ring allows you to keep record of your pupils’ work and keep track of them online. A fast, flexible, & simple way to organize & present your students’ real world work, from assignments to classroom presentations.

An iOS, adaptable and handheld, way to record analogue and digital instances of your students progress & efforts, collecting individual examples of successes.

From foundation stage, to university level, we all need to record our personal movement in learning, or the step by step stages in development of our charges.

Could this be one way of keeping track of progression & development, for free?

| July 14, 2012 | 1 Comment 

Simple can be useful.

With you can record a thirty second message, and no more.

Your “croak” is saved and you get a unique url address that you can share. There is no need to register. is also available as a mobile app (iOS & Android).

Could this be a way of reminding children of a homework challenge? How about another challenge: can you explain the science idea, or project, in 30 seconds?

“A head’s reflections” Whitley & Eggborough CP School

| July 13, 2012 | 0 Comments 

Thank you to Julie Snead, head teacher at Whitley & Eggborough County Primary School, for sending us her reflections on the sessions with children, (on days one and two) which formed part of our visit to the school this week:

“As I began to watch, I saw the children looking on, almost in amazement. They were so intrigued and enthralled. Throughout the whole experience it was interesting to see how the children reacted to Tim’s humour. Also, it was fantastic to observe how ‘Mr. Walker’ (Tim’s walking stick) could be used with all age groups, from Y1/2 to Y5/6 and the many different ways in which Mr. Walker was used. The Y5/6 children obviously enjoyed creating ‘uses’ for Mr. Walker. Some were quite imaginative, e.g., ‘You could put your pet worms in it!’  It was intriguing to see how the wireless mouse could be operated (secretly, without the children knowing) but it was Mr. Walker to navigate the landscape of the imaginary world. Continue Reading


| July 12, 2012 | 0 Comments 

The past few months have seen @sarahneild and @timrylands in many, many different locations, counties and countries, including Vietnam, India, Poland, Germany, Holland, Qatar, up and down the UK, Switzerland, Turkey, Egypt… and beyond. What a privilege it is, to be invited to work alongside, and spend time with, the wonderful folk in these places.

The blog has recorded some of the experiences, but far from all of them. It is an ancient human instinct to share our life stories with others, as the paintings and hand prints in stone-age caves show.

And many of those stories are about places. Where we fell in love, had the dream holiday, took that great picture or, even, joined the rebellion. Then there are the many places that anchor our lives: where we live, where we work, where we laugh & learn.

MapSkip makes the world a canvas for our stories and photos, exploring the world through shared stories, sounds and pictures of the places in all of our lives.

A free account allows you to access all the features of MapSkip. Maybe a good way to write up a location based project, a wanderers tales, or keep track of your travels?

Authors Alive

| July 11, 2012 | 0 Comments 

An interesting find from today’s conference: Create your own story using the Authors Alive unique collection of original archive material from the Victorian period, to inspire your own remarkable tale, be it romance, adventure, horror or fantasy.

Choose a character, anything from a smelly fisherman to a drunken rat.

Put your character in a desperate situation, a public hanging or a daring rescue.

Choose a place for some action, an oyster bar or the toilet!

Finally pick your object, a murderer’s socks or killer false teeth.

Choose your images and then you are ready to start writing. A simple idea but effective in getting children designing their own yarns.

The related site, contains another superb collection of images, which are excellent discussion and story prompts.

ICT Gateshead Summer Conference

| July 11, 2012 | 3 Comments 

A thoroughly enjoyable day at the ictGATESHEAD Summer Seminar at Gateshead Central Library, entitled ‘ICT and literacy in the mobile age’ Two keynotes and workshop, all of them with a common theme of creativity and picking up ideas, and juggling them, with (and without) technology. Continue Reading

Lure of the Labyrinth

| July 10, 2012 | 2 Comments 

Lure of the Labyrinth is a digital game for middle-school pre-algebra students. It includes a wealth of interesting maths-based puzzles wrapped into an intriguing narrative game in which students work to find their lost pet and save the world, with the use of logic stretching & problem solving. The educators section, has useful advice and support.

Before you know it, you’re dropped into a strange (& extremely smelly) world where your only friend is a mysterious bean-loving girl with wings. She says there are others … Others? Other pets?

Well, there sure are plenty of monsters. … They’re all over the place, stinking up the joint and forcing you to do crazy jobs: you have to make pet food out of carrots and eyeballs? ICK!

How in the world can any of this help you find your pet? And can you come to its rescue before it’s too late? There’s only one way to find out …

Whitley & Eggborough CP School, North Yorkshire : Day 2

| July 10, 2012 | 4 Comments 

Our seond day with Whitley and Eggborough CP School, and today was our chance to spend time with Year 5 and Year 6 pupils and their teachers.

This has been a really enjoyable, and fascinating, two day project. We have split the days between Key Stages, with key people from each taking part in both days. Teaching sessions paired up with some exploring of a multitude of digital resources. Continue Reading

| July 9, 2012 | 0 Comments has a whole range of possible uses, for teachers, presenters, and children of many ages and abilities.

With the click of a button you can upload your files (Powerpoint, PDF, Excel, Word, Google Docs or Open Office) to and it’ll convert them to a format so you’re ready to record.

Click through your slides and, with your webcam, record your presentation, commentary, story, explanation, description or whatever use you are putting it to. If you make a mistake (and let’s face it, we all do) just rewind a bit and go again. At the end, join all the bits together and your audience will be none the wiser.

Once you, or your pupils, are finished recording, you can then publish the presentation, giving it a unique URL that can be shared with anyone. The free plan of only lets you publish up to 3 recordings per month; each of these presentations can be 15 minutes long, but this enough to show off a few finished gems, working in groups, maybe? With paid accounts, you can choose to share with the whole world, or select few or keep it to yourself.

Flipping your classroom or showing end results of a project? Developing Mantle of the Expert, or speaking & listening? Build a sense of audience & a purpose, a reason to refine, rehearse, revise & perform. Let present YOU.