Author Archive: Tim

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GapMinder ~ A “knowledge-based world view”

| April 9, 2014 | 0 Comments 

“The Gapminder Foundation is a non-profit venture that makes current data about the world freely available in a format that is accessible, meaningful and dynamic, a kind of modern ‘museum’ on the internet”.

The Gapminder website is free and is a great resource for geography teachers and students. Animated ‘bubble graphs’ show how countries of the world have changed. Change the parameters and so create your own graphs and animations. Endless fascinating explorations.

Gapminder World is an easy to follow guide.

Music Droid ~ An Android programming game

| April 8, 2014 | 0 Comments 

MusicDroid is a surprisingly challenging, FREE, Android puzzle game, designed especially for children, to develop programming skills and get them in to coding and maths games.

The goal is to power your Droid companion around the golden music plates and proceed to the next level. To move your Droid you need to build a set of functions across the screen using instructions.

MusicDroid might look look a little simplistic initially, but it is a great educational tool and makes learning the basics of coding fun by combining enjoyable challenges and an engaging droid character.

Explore the temples of Angkor Wat & other world wonders

| April 7, 2014 | 2 Comments 

Thanks to @amycoole1979 for the nudge to the new chance to explore Cambodia’s most famous ancient temple, Angkor Wat, through Google “Street”view experiences.

Julian Wood (@Ideas_Factory) also told us of the Google Cultural Institute, which includes this and other wonders, such as The Ancient Kyoto: Daigo-ji Temple, The Grand Canyon, the Pompei, or even as remote as Scott’s Hut in Antarctica,

Ancient Civilisations ~ interactive investigations of the past

| April 4, 2014 | 0 Comments 

The British Museum’s Ancient Civilisations provides a useful resource for studying the history of writing, religion, trade, technology and more. The site is organized into six themes. These are accessed via the Themes Home page. Each subject links to a theme map, which displays the cultures selected to illustrate that topic. (Unfortunately, Flash based, but superb nevertheless).

Gadwin ~ Quick and easy screenshots

| April 3, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Gadwin. This useful free program, for grabbing screen shots, is something we have recommended for a few years. Well worth checking out. Take multiple shots and add them to your pictures folder, instead of one shot, just added to your clipboard.

The FREE Gadwin PrintScreen 5.0 version, ia a great PC tool. The pro variety adds some things you don’t need.

Dragon Dictation ~ Free speech to text

| April 2, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to speak and see the resulting text. It is thought that it’s up to five times faster than typing on the keyboard.

Great to get your reluctant writers, or those emerging in to the process, transcribing their writing ideas.

Dragon Dictation supports a multitude of global languages. It requires network connectivity (WiFi or 3G/EDGE) and works on iPad, iPhone, and on second and third generation iPod Touch (external microphone required).

It is not always accurate, but can some times be way ahead of us, as in the classic quote, as we headed to Cardiff:
“Driving, with Sarah and Ellie, two whales”!

(Thankfully, neither of them are easily offended)

Atlas ~ iPad augmented reality robot

| April 1, 2014 | 0 Comments 

The Atlas Robot is a two legged robot that was built primarily for search and rescue tasks. DARPA, the United States Department of Defense, was primarily responsible for its production and design. Oliver Diaz’s digital recreation, in iPad app format, is a fascinating augmented reality experience

Whilst not perfect, you can sequence small movements and it does have a significant wow factor! Print out the AR target, and get Atlas moving!

Lissa Explains it All ~ an HTML programming introduction

| March 31, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Lissa Explains it All is a long established, colourful, and fun, approach to learning HTML for children.

With this tutorial, beginners learn step by step how to make their own Web page and publish it on the web.

Whilst no aspect of HTML programming is simple on first encounter, this site takes you through introductory stages in an interesting way. If you get really in to your designing, there are far more complex elements you could explore.

Maybe YOU could design the next big “FaceTube” or “YouBook”!

GamePress ~ Drag & drop game creation

| March 28, 2014 | 0 Comments 

GamePress is a game creation app that allows anyone to make the games, with no programming or graphic design. GamePress allows you to create, share, and play right on your iPad. Fun, creative, and entertaining.

With the GamePress Arcade you can share your games to the world, and even play other users’ games. You could even make unique learning games featuring pictures of your children right in the game!

Make use of GamePress to teach students about game design, logic, computer science and engineering! You don’t need any technical experience to bring your art to life with GamePress.

(Caution: The free version contains an in app purchase option to unlock unlimited elements).

From Text To Speech ~ Free TTS

| March 27, 2014 | 0 Comments 

From Text To Speech is a free online Text To Speech (TTS) service with natural sounding voices. The voices aren’t quite as convincing as those in Ivona, great for its accents and languages) but, after you have converted your text, you can then save your phrses into MP3 audio file to play it on your computer or iPod ~a useful tool.

Autodesk Homestyler ~ Graphical modelling

| March 26, 2014 | 5 Comments 

Which method is the most effective, when deciding on a new layout of a room: pen and paper, computer, or drag the furniture around until you’re happy. The answer is debatable, eh? Now we can to see how powerful a digital design can be.

There are quite a few ways of tackling the challenge of helping children explore the world of graphical modelling.

We have covered a few before (as you’ll see from the comments) as it forms an increasingly important part of computer science and graphical modelling.

Homestyler.com is an outstanding extension to the whole process, enabling interesting, & genuinely useful planning.

It is a great FREE tool, powerful in helping pupils to understand how ICT can be used to explore certain aspects of design even if they lack technical drawing skills.

A simple design package to model or simulate real life settings, like planning rooms in a house, and is easy to understand and master.

There is now a free app for iDevices and Android tools

As children plan the layout of the room, they choose furniture from a collection of graphics and when they arrange the furniture in the room they can select, drag and drop, move, rotate, copy all the different elements… and then see their room in 3-D! ——->