Author Archive: Tim

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Kompoz(e)

| November 29, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Kompoz

Kompoze is one for those of you who …compose… from time to time, but are short on people to play with, to bring that music alive. Create songs with a bass player in Birminham, a drummer in Dortmund, and a guitarist in Goa…or from across the street?

Wavepad (great tool)

| November 25, 2016 | 0 Comments 

WavePad is free audio editing software that can be used across many platforms*. The tablet version has the big advantage of not limiting your recording size (apart from the free space left on your device *Windows and Mac iPad, & Android.

David Ross Educational Trust, Hull ~ Day 2

| November 1, 2016 | 0 Comments 

wold-academyDay Two at Wold Academy, today with the children and staff.Magic

Today, we explored how “technology” can expand and enhance aspects of the curriculum. We had with a joint exploration of some of the visual literacy ideas that games can inspire.

Doing a bit of magic!

Many of the principles, behind the things we do, around using elements of tech to inspire, engage and motivate chidren, apply right the way through the age ranges in schools. As you might say ~ “From the little snotty ~ to the big spotty”.

We can often be surprised by how inventive, and imaginative, our younger students can be, and need to remember that it is woven in to their way of thinking. Even very small children use such things as simile, and metaphor. “Mr Rylands, Look! Look at the water, it’s like a dancing window!”

Sometimes, because of schemes of work, and external curriculum plans, it can be almost as if we have to overlook some of those skills, and “put it back in” ~ “at the right time”. Surprises are never far though.

When using computer games as a stimulus for writing, there are so many different genres that can flow from the images and experiences. With some of the more realistic experiences of high quality adventure games, descriptive narrative is perhaps the most natural first focus, due to the engaging nature of the landscapes.

However, a huge variety of writing styles can be inspired by our magical journeys through these worlds.

And, what remarkable thinking was shown today. We even had a balanced argument with a couple of, amazingly brave, soul. In front of sixty other people in the room, their opinion, about our proposed route, was portrayed so clearly. A little bit of “seeing the other side”, or admitting that there is another direction the lesson, and our travels, could take, showed an acceptance of the need for “balance”.

But, to conclude with a final, strong, persuasive argument, and one that we hadn’t heard up until this point, showed great style.

David Ross Educational Trust, Hull ~ Day 1

| October 31, 2016 | 3 Comments 

snap-2016-10-31-10-08-11

wold-1472727518530_pastedimageMore magical fun, this time with the folk from the Northern Cluster of the David Ross Educational Trust hosted by Wold Academy in Hull. The schools: Wold Academy, Endyke Academy, Ainthorpe Primary, Fairfield Community Primary, Edward Heneage Academy, Thomas Hinderwell Academy and The Quay School. Enthusing and inspiring learners using ICT, was our theme, bringing together technology and learning into one space to enthuse and inspire technicians and teachers alike. The fusion has been huge. Technology won’t improve children’s learning without the passion and enthusiasm of those who use it.

We showed how technology can be used to deliver teaching that reaches out to all children and gives them hooks to learn from, how the tools technology delivers can fire their imagination, can entice the reticent learners and can engage the whole class so that learning becomes fun and exciting.

We took folk on a magical tour of inspirational tools to inspire the uninspired learner. Real examples of transformational education, technolgical tools that have proven impact to excite and lift the eyebrows (as well as the writing hand) of even the most reluctant writer! Using freely available tools that can be used within 2 minutes in the classroom, taking pupils onto another level of creativity and enthusiasm for writing.

In this speedily changing education world, with a potentially daunting set of “new” elements to teach, we picked apart some of the possibilities to unravel the computing conundrums, but also started off what we regarded as key aspects of any teacher’s tech armoury, for bringing lessons alive across the curriculum.

Thank you to Guy Shearer, Head of IT and Data, with the David Ross Education Trust, “Broadening Horizons” and to Steve Millington the network technician.

Music Theory .net

| October 17, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Music Theory.net, by Ricci Adams, is a site I have referred to before but Ricci keeps adding new material and extending the range of lessons and activities.

Music Theory.net is often the first site you come to if you do a search for “Music Theory”, and it deserves to be there.

Lessons, Trainers, and Utilities. The site is available in British English, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, and Serbian. Not bad eh for a free site eh?

From the basics of staves and clefs, progressing through to some quite complex aspects of musical notation.

Each lesson is illustrated in a step-by-step Flash animation so this could be useful to a member of staff in a session, or to pupils as reinforcement of a section of study. These can all be progressed through at your own pace. One great feature is a pop-up keyboard, so that you can “play along” with the lessons or experiment on your own.

This keyboard (when accessed from the site itself) could be used beyond the website as it remains in a, resizable, pop-up window.

Very, very useful, in many contexts.

There are also instrument trainers. The brass trainer, for example, asks you to hold down computer keys that correspond to the valves on a trumpet, French horn, trombone (which asks for slide position), tuba, and euphonium!

With Music Theory.net, Ricci Adams continues to have reason to blow his own trumpet!

E xplore

| October 13, 2016 | 0 Comments 

E is for EXPLORE is a superb analog/digital resource for teachers and parents. They develop fascinating learning activities, and search the internet to compile additional ideas from other sources. Well worth a rummage!

iPiccy

| October 11, 2016 | 0 Comments 

iPiccy has many easy to use photo tools, enabling you to edit pictures, apply photo effects, add text or paint freehand from scratch.

iPiccy is free and no registration is required.

The iPiccy editor seems accessible enough that children, of loads of ages and abilities, can edit and create artistic reworkings of photographs, without too much of a learning curve.

As well as retouching individual pictures, it takes very little time to make collages of multiple images. (This does require allowing temporary access to a local drive). Useful!

Vcasmo – a handy way to record presentations

| October 3, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Screenshot 083Vcasmo means that you can film a presentation and synchronise it with the slides a presenter is talking about

Useful for recording the goings-on at a conference. But also in a classroom environment, perhaps when preparing for an interview or other presentation.

We have used it with great success in a “challenging” setting, and therefore we wouldn’t have clearance to show you how the children flourished using it. A great boost to their confidence to see themselves and their presentations “as one” though. Also a good opportunity to discuss presentation styles and techniques. Powerful!

Any presenter sometimes has to think twice about putting their presentations on-line. Not because they don’t want other people nicking them, but because people might think that they have had “the full experience”. I think that you can never fully understand the impact of a presentation unless you were there.

I think we may have a next step towards recording an event on a level that goes beyond just putting static PowerPoint slides on-line though, with Vcasmo.

There is an awful lot more that you can do to extend the virtual presentation experience.

Use video, audio/music, PDF, PowerPoint, photo/images in the presentation.

Slides can be synchronized with video/music.

User-friendly visual editor to arrange the slides in a timeline.

Video seeking Skip to any part of the video without having to wait for the whole video to be downloaded.

There is the power to take things even further, as you can link to other webpages inside slide.

Presentation can be for public, private, friends or group of selected people and password protected.

It is possible to embed presentations in your webpage or blog.

Receive comments about the presentation from visitors.

Go play…

MINDMAP (IX)

| September 27, 2016 | 0 Comments 

There are many mind mapping applications out there. However, the desktop apps are often bloated and not intuitive, and most web apps charge you for premium features.

DRichard.org’s MindMap is free, open source and it’s full of HTML5 goodness.

This is a prototype of an HTML5 based mind mapping application. It lets you create neat looking mind maps in your browser.

It is also available offline? You can use the app wherever you are, there is no need for an internet connection.

It is so easy, it could be useful for pupils planning a project. Could it also be helpful when doing your own planning?

MEM IDEX

| September 23, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Memidex is a massive collection of well sorted links for investigating the meaning and sounds of words.

A free (mobile friendly) online dictionary & thesaurus with a simple interface, adult-filtering, & millions of external reference links for definitions, audio, and etymology.

Music Theory Is Your Friend

| September 12, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Music Theory Is Your Friend friend could be helping you make extraordinary music.screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-14-47-27

34 Music Theory Hacks: contains Theory Ideas and Techniques that could spice up your music. How To Read Music is a guide to getting up and running in record time! What about 208 Songwriting Tips: Yes! : 208!

Key signatures can be really confusing when you are starting out. What Are Key Signatures?

How about 6 Steps to Harmonising a Melody simple approach to the basics of 4 part harmony

In Understanding Modes you can have a go at untangling one of the most misunderstood subjects in music theory!

A Lesson from Steve Reich’s Clapping Musicscreen-shot-2016-09-12-at-14-56-01  is a simple but powerful lesson in using process-driven rhythmic patterns!

 Modes Reference Guide: Yeah, lists. But hey, it’s a reference guide not a John Grisham thriller!

Arranging Chords: Does not mean hanging your trousers in interesting ways!

Potentally worth investigating.