Author Archive: Tim

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Just2Easy programming

| June 16, 2014 | 0 Comments 

J2codeJ2code Homepage is the latest tool from Just2Easy. It is completely FREE for all UK schools, offering links to share work. There are three “engines” to use: JIT turtle, logo and a visual block editor, giving children progression, differentiation and a variety of interesting challenges.

If you want to save to Just2Easy‘s e-portfolio system, this is how they make their money. Otherwise, J2code is utterly free to use.

Just2easy photoJ2code meets all of the coding elements of the Computing Programmes of Study for KS1 and KS2, in the 2014 Curriculum. Enjoyable and effective.

rocket copyA great bonus feature of J2code: there is no login, or registration, so you can just bookmark the url, and get a class coding in minutes. On your marks. Get set. “-.-. — -.. .. -. –.  ..-. -. !”

“Bringing Magic into the Classroom” ~ TEDxThessaloniki

| June 13, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Here is a film, of the TEDx Thessaloniki session, we did recently, in Greece. Take a look at the blog post HERE

Tim Rylands, an education explorer and dreamer swept us off our feet by introducing us to the magical potential that interactive applications and games can bring into a classroom.

He talked about how the word teacher is too one-sided and how a teacher must be prepared to learn from the children, not only teach them.

“The element of picking up ideas from all over the world is something that we are blessed to do”, he said while talking about social media as teaching tools.

He focused on the importance of making the classroom a more vibrant place for children, a place that reminds them of the time they spent outside exploring and inventing while being full of energy at the same time.

Applications such as Runkeeper, Google Treks and 360 Cities can help inspire and motivate them and make them as open and hungry for new things as the world they explore.

It is a way to take education to the next level and help broaden the children’s minds.

In the end that’s what it’s all about: to help children embrace the world through their minds and shape it to the better place it should and can be.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Make Beliefs Comix app

| June 13, 2014 | 0 Comments 

The, by now familiar, comic generator website “Make Beliefs Comix” has produced a free iPad app, which recreates the experience, but in a tablet environment.

Select your characters, their emotions, and speech bubbles, thought balloons, and the settings where your action takes place ~ hey presto! Your tale is on the way to being told.

Comment Snob & other tube cleaners

| June 12, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Comment snobYouTube is a massive collection of useful films. It is not just a collection of cat videos! However, it is not the films that are the main problem. It is the undesirable comments that cause more difficulties.

ComentSnob is a Firefox add on that cleans up your viewing of YouTube films. It filters out undesirable comments from the Web. We have mentioned other tools such as Quiet Tube, Cleanr, and NicerTube.

Readability ~ Chrome Firefox … a possibly brilliant add on

| June 11, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Readability 2 TReadability add onhe readability extension is a genuinely useful tool ~ take away many of the distractions, and get a readable version of many web pages.

Readability turns (most) websites into a clean view for reading now or later on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.Readability Chrome

From links off the Readability site, you can get “add ons” for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and others. There is also a Readability for Android App, and Readability app for iOS. Not always perfect, but potentially powerful. ~ Another online chart builder

| June 11, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Livegap 3Livegap 4Thank you to Omar Sedki, for the nudge towards to make simple, but superb, online graphs, with a live preview as you change data.

Create a line chart, bar chart, or radar chart, and then edit it in “real time”.

Tools to Tell a Tale ~ Improving reading & writing through ICT, with Pie Corbett & David Mitchell, Birmingham

| June 10, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Looking forward to a bit of magic alongside Pie Corbett, & David Mitchell in a special event entitled Tools to Tell a Tale

Talk4WritingVisit the Talk For Writing Tools to Tell a Tale web page HERE for more information

Be part of an evolving story alongside children from around the world, investigating a wondrous collection of digital and analog gems for bringing learning alive.

Baldy-Locks-and-the-3-Hares-300x98Great to get the three bald bloke together again for an exploration of the joy of picking up words, & juggling them

Join us, as we travel across dangerous terrain, through swamp-infested landscapes, and to the top of crumbling towers, all through the power of inventive technologies.

Be a part of a live writing master-class, with children from Skye to Sydney, responding to this creative challenge.

An intriguing, imaginative & exciting experience, for those joining the journey, leaving everyone with copious practical ideas, approaches & technical tools to take back & use in their own teaching, with children of all ages, & abilities.

We will be demonstrating the use of imaginative techniques and inventive tools, whilst interacting with pupils from around the globe as they “set the tale, develop the plot, enhance the drama and inspire the world in just six hours”.

“This one-day workshop will help inject the creativity back into your classroom, mixing digital methods with traditional writing strategies, and will provide you with a host of practical and simple ideas to apply in your KS2 and KS3 literacy lessons. The talented trio have a proven impact on standards, achievement and enjoyment – making this day a must for any English teacher”.

Not a hair in sightDelegates will:

  • discover a vast range of ways to use ICT to enhance literacy
  • explore methods of engaging interest, and developing communication
  • be introduced to the power of blogging
  • experience a Coveritlive collaborative writing session
  • investigate shared writing in conjunction with powerful, accessible, technology
  • be part of creating a story that travels around the world, and is built upon by children across the globe

Tools to Tell a Tale with Pie Corbett, Tim Rylands, Sarah Neild and David Mitchell, Wednesday July 2nd, The Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham.
More information and booking HERE ~ another picture editor

| June 9, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Thumba is a great online image editor for when you need to change some images on the fly and don’t want to bother with a lot of menus and options.

Adjustments, like brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, gamma, color balance are easy to apply. You can also add tints and filters, convert to greyscale, or multiply the percentage values of an image, to name a few, and effects like blurring, sharpening, distortion, stylization, bring pictures alive at a pace.

The Foter Stock Photo Collection

| June 6, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Fotera lot!Like the Creative Commons search tool, The Foter Stock Photo Collection trawls  for images that are licensed under Creative Commons.  However, it also automatically generates a citation for your findings, so you, and your students, can give proper credit to the original artist. With over 228,860,000 items at your finger tips, and an insight in to attribution, this is a fascinating tool.

Reflections on lesson sessions at Kingsway, Goole

| June 5, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Thank you to Nick Thorp, teacher at Kingsway Primary School, Goole, for his thoughts on our wandering in the virtual worlds of words, in a session with seventy Year 5 and Year 6 children, & over twenty adults.

Nick Thorp and TimA fun and engaging introduction for the children, gaining their focus before introducing… ‘Mr Walker’. Lots of really imaginative ideas from the children about the holes; a home for a woodworm, a woodpeckers training stick. I have never seen so many smiling children talking about a walking stick!!

A quick and slick transition from the walking stick back to the landscape – the children are now engaged fully in discussion about the animation they are seeing. Amazingly, so soon the children are becoming much more confident in sharing their ideas, without waiting to be asked – children are not just giving the ‘title’ they are now adding more to their ideas; more depth, more detail. Continue Reading

Word Mover ~ Free “found poetry” app

| June 5, 2014 | 0 Comments 

The free Word Mover app allows students to create “found poetry”, by choosing from word banks and existing famous works; additionally, users can add new words to create a piece of poetry by moving and manipulating the text.

You can save poems to photos, print them on a wireless printer, or send your poem by e-mail. Your poems are private, unless you decide to share them by e-mail. does not store any personal information from this app.