Author Archive: Tim

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Stoodle ~ Online collaboration

| September 11, 2014 | 0 Comments 

“Someone knows what you need. Someone needs what you know”.

Stoodle “makes it easy to learn from and teach fellow peers online”. For iPad and desktop browsers!

Real-time collaboration on a virtual whiteboard with infinite pages.  Real-time communication through voice conferencing and text chat. Permanent storage of all classrooms for later access. Support for image uploading.  Access to basic drawing tools and colours

This is one we don’t have a lot of experience of, so please, investigate and let us know your thoughts…

Lego Movie Maker app ~ Stop motion movie magic

| September 10, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Lego Movies

With the LEGO Movie Maker app, you can “Build your own LEGO® adventure, then capture your story”!

This movie creator doesn’t just have to have LEGO as its subject but you can help bring LEGO, and other characters, alive in a stop-motion movie.

Simple tools and guides make it easy to shoot, edit, and even score your movie with music. Choose from 7 different soundtracks, or add music from your library, then save your movie to your camera roll. Add text to your movie with custom dialog cards and add LEGO sound effects to any frame, or record your own sound effects. Helpfully, you can edit the duration of each frame, making it possible to create some masterpieces.

LEGO Movie Maker works on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (on devices with a camera!) and supports operating systems of iOS5 and up. Intriguingly, it states that you “Must be 18 or older to download”.

edPuzzle ~ Make any video into an interactive experience

| September 9, 2014 | 0 Comments 

edPuzzle LogoA potentially very useful tool: edPuzzle enables the editing, and use of, interactive videos on on any subject

Add your voice and insert audio notes or record over a video with your familiar voice. Add questions through the video to give your students immediate feedback and track their understanding. Either use ready made content, or upload your own videos to EDpuzzle and make them perfect for your class.

Check where the students are struggling. Also, check their answers to your quizzes. Select only the interesting parts of long videos. Spark curiosity by asking open questions through the video

Unigine Crypt demo ~ immersive exploration

| September 9, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Crypt logoCryptUnigine Crypt is a WebGL Demo. This could be used as another step to explore in an Epic Citadel, Gothic, or medieval type of experience.

Useful as a stimulus for descriptive narrative, and so much more. Explore the crypt, the guttering candles, the last supper-like mural, intriguing statues and dark, mysterious atmosphere. Stand still, or survey the scene.

The graphics are very impressive (working best in Firefox, it seems) and engaging ~ wish we could go further…

Enter FULL SCREEN, press SPACE to pause the camera, ENTER (or RETURN) to switch to the next camera, and ESC to change settings.

Plickers

| September 8, 2014 | 0 Comments 

PlickersPlickersScreen Shot 2014-08-24 at 14.07.10 is an interesting concept: print out (free) cards, give one to each pupil (up to 40 in a class), scan with your device (5.5″x5.5″ cards are usually scannable from 20-25ft0 and record responses on an instant graph.

‘Read On. Get On.’ ~ the launch, on International Literacy Day

| September 8, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Read on Get on logoToday is International Literacy Day. One and a half million children will reach the age of 11 unable to ‘read well’ by 2025 unless urgent action is taken to tackle the reading crisis facing Britain’s pupils, according to new research.

The worrying situation has prompted leading charities, teachers, parents and businesses to form a coalition called ‘Read On. Get On.’ Today, they are launching a national mission to support parents and teachers to get all 11 year olds reading well by 2025, meaning they can read, understand and discuss stories, such as Harry Potter. The move has also been backed by publishers and their bestselling authors.

ROGO_coaltion_volunteerA report by the coalition shows that England is one of the most unequal countries when it comes to children’s reading levels, second only to Romania in the EU. The gap between the strongest and weakest readers is equivalent to seven years of schooling. The report calls for a concerted effort from all corners of society.

The most comprehensive study of pre-school and primary school-aged children in a generation found disadvantaged children are the worst affected, with four in ten not reading well by the age of 11 – almost double the rate of their better off peers.

(Picture: Jo Metson Scott/Save the Children)

The report, which uses current data and that from the past decade, also found they are not reading enough outside school, or with their fathers.

Research commissioned for this report, including by Newcastle University, CentreForum, National Foundation for Educational Research and the National Literacy Trust, also finds:
·      GDP in 2025 could be £32 billion higher if action had been taken to ensure all children were reading well by the age of 11
·      A wide ‘book gap’ in the UK has emerged, with almost a quarter of 11 year olds in the poorest families having fewer than ten books in their home
·      While books remain popular, the most commonly read material by children is now text messages with websites and e-books also growing in popularity

read-on-get-on-main-imageDame Julia Cleverdon CBE, Chair of the ‘Read On. Get On.’ coalition, said: “It is tragic and unfair that children from the poorest families and the most deprived communities are least likely to read well at the age of 11 in the UK – one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Four out of ten children on free school meals who struggle to read will also struggle to gain the educational opportunities and life chances that they need to flourish.

(Picture: Tom Price/Save the Children)

This vital long term campaign with broad based energetic support aims to make a life-changing difference both for children in poverty and for our society.”

‘Read On. Get On.’ aims to create a nation of strong readers by:
·      Supporting parents to read with young children for ten minutes a day
·      Urging the public to volunteer to help disadvantaged children improve their reading
·      Building a powerful coalition of the county’s most influential public, private and charitable organisations to pledge to support the mission
·      Urging all political parties to support the 2025 target and two interim 2020 goals

Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive of Save the Children which is part of the coalition, said: “Read On. Get On. is not just about teachers, charities and politicians – it’s about galvanising the nation so that parents, grandparents and volunteers play their part in teaching children to read. We want every child to be given a fair and equal chance to learn to read well, regardless of their background.”

Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) which is part of the coalition, said: “This new campaign has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of Britain’s youngest readers. Recent results for Key Stage 2 are impressive and show that 79% of 5-11 year olds are now reading well. This gives us a strong foundation but there’s also evidence that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are still struggling.

“School leaders are at the forefront of improving literacy standards and they’re passionate about helping children become better readers. ‘Read On. Get On.’  will provide vital support. We can only tackle a challenge like this if everybody works together. This must be beyond politics, a commitment from professionals, parents and the public to achieve the best for our children.”

Adobe Voice

| September 5, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Adobe Voice

Voice helps you create animated videos in minutes. No filming — just talk to tell your story. Pick from over 25,000 images, or use your own, to show your ideas and Voice automatically adds cinematic motion and a soundtrack. Persuade, inform and inspire anyone online. Make an impact.

Choose a custom look with one tap ~ change fonts, colours, and motion, easily

This is a great, simple, app, to get your students focussed on, and investigating, ways to convey a message.

Intriguingly, this has a 12+ rating, and does contain an option for an in app purchase of storage though this is not needed to make the app work

Format Factory ~ File convertion +

| September 4, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Format factory

As Mac users, there are many free ways to convert files to different file types.

For PC users, Format Factory seems to do the job pretty well.

Format Factory is a multifunctional media converter. It can convert
All to MP4/3GP/MPG/AVI/WMV/FLV/SWF.
All to MP3/WMA/AMR/OGG/AAC/WAV.
All to JPG/BMP/PNG/TIF/ICO/GIF/TGA.
Rip DVD to video file , Rip Music CD to audio file.
MP4 files support iPod/iPhone/PSP/BlackBerry format.
Supports RMVB,Watermark, AV Mux.

It also promises to repair damaged video/audio files, reduce multimedia file sizes, & convert to iphone,ipod formats.

(D)Ice bucket challenge

| September 3, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Following my nomination, from Sarah Neild, I am now completing my #icebucketchallenge to raise donations to find a cure for motor neurone disease through http://gordonsfightback.com/

I thank my dad, for playing his part so well, and nominate our dear friend Claus Berg, in Denmark; Tom Cox, inventor of Thinking Dice; and Ness Matthews, teacher in Abu Dhabi

Name Coach

| September 3, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Name coachWith the start of a new academic year (for many) comes the age old problem of remembering names. Before remembering comes pronouncing accurately

Our names are central to our unique identities, and saying them correctly is the first step in respecting, appreciating, and connecting with each other.

NameCoachName coach mic aims to solve a common problem: name mispronunciation, especially in important life settings.

NameCoach provides a simple and effective solution: users voice-record their names online so others can easily learn and remember how to say them. Perfectly.

Name coach get it rightUsing its free Student Name Directory, teachers share a unique link with their students that sends them to a dedicated page.  Students record their names and teachers can, more easily, learn and remember.

NameCoach works on both desktops (with a microphone), and mobile devices, for learning pronunciations on the go.

News of the Future ~ “You are my density”.

| September 2, 2014 | 3 Comments 

With Back to the Future, reaching a significant year in 2015, it is timely to mention the quirky site that is News of the Future.

Who needs a Delorean time machine when you can link to future news?  Oil at $180 a barrel, Talking search engines, First Marathon Under Two Hours, and Euro Banknotes Invalid by Friday It raises some fascinating questions, like Can Paralyzed People Walk in the Future?

Even some of the advert banners are mock ups of future possibilities: “Beam Yourself Around the World with Telebeamer!” There are some serious sides to the site. An example: a section on AIDS offers some sobering thoughts.

The way the site looks back at “past events” from these days, offers a good insight into how reporting can present/misrepresent “facts” too. In the words of Marty McFly: “Well, history is gonna change”

Who knows what might happen, but “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything”.