Category: 2) Useful n Interesting

Taking a break & Breaking break times…

| November 14, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, once said a profound, and challenging, thing:

“Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it that makes a difference.”

It’s not just the getting on and doing it. The thinking time is important too.

I have had an enforced break being checked over in hospital, and am very glad to be out. Thinking time maybe.

How many times have you been stuck with something, gone out for a walk, and, on your return, almost without conscious thought, you have solved at least one aspect of that conundrum?

The same can be true for our students.

A child, stuck on a science riddle, or a new concept of fractions, might be stuck now, but, when they head out to play, something can still be working away, within them, to the extent that, when they return to the classroom, something has clicked in their thinking.

But, …it’s too late. We have moved on to another subject.

The idea of needing a bit of time to think, to consider, to form thoughts, and ideas, is real, and could have a simple, yet effective, impact on some lesson, and curriculum, structures.

We have discovered, through practical experimentation, that reshuffling lesson starts, and finishes, independently of break times, has had a positive, and encouraging effect on children’s thinking through problems, and problem solving.

By having a few minutes, continuing with the subject, and challenges, from before “play”, “break”, “recess”, … has lead to some interesting comments, and results.

“Oh, Mr Rylands, I get it now!” … “I’ve been thinking about it. If I put this bit here…”

Building in a short “break” from the main task could have a similar effect.

Whilst this is not always practical because of time, staffing, equipment, and other restraints, when it has been possible, it has proven to be positive, and beneficial.

In an interview with the Ode Magazine, called “Reading, writing and playing The Sims: What video games can teach educators about improving our schools“, Nolan Bushnell kindly said he wished “his children had a teacher like Tim Rylands”.

Well, we have learned something from him

We all need to take breaks. If YOU can, hope it’s a good one. Hopefully, when we come back after our “shower”, we will have had a chance to regroup, and will carry on building what we do,… … and even better.

Scribble Maps & Scribble Maps Pro

| November 2, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Scribble Maps is a free, and easy, way to add drawings, comments, markers, highlights, text, timelines and more, to maps. It takes very little time to master, and gives children the chance to annotate locations from across the globe.

ScribbleMaps pro, adds extra features but, unlike a lot of apps, where the “pro” badge means you pay for the upgrade, this version is also available for free. In pro, you can import files, such as KML files, that you have created in Google Maps and Google Earth, and draw, or add layers of images, on to your maps.

Useful for marking routes of school trips, ancient travel exploration journies, and more.

Doodle ~ collaborative doing or not

| November 1, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Thank you to Claus Berg for recommending Doodle, when we were arranging times to plan our events in Denmark. Doodle is a very quick, and efficient, way of gathering arranging a time for a meeting.

Doodle eliminates the chaos that comes from scheduling and saves you a lot of time and energy when you’re trying to find a time to bring a number of people together.

doodleInstead of using just one option, you can propose several dates and times and the participants can indicate their availability online.

Must go. We have a meeting to attend!

A whiteboard sensory experience ~ Beautiful Curves

| October 26, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Beautiful Curves is a living art experience, sending almost organic curving lines dancing around lines you draw.

This would make a great sensory experience, on a whiteboard, for those who would enjoy, and benefit from triggering, controlling and creating their own curling, twirling, flowing, growing, art works.

Experiment with the parameters and you might find other uses, such as exploring letter formation…

Vyew ~ collaborate in style

| October 23, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Vyew allows you to meet and share content in real-time or anytime. Upload images, files, documents and videos into a room. Users can access and contribute at anytime.

It’s easy – no installations and can be used on PC, Mac, Linux, working with powerpoints, documents, images, videos, mp3′s, flash files.

  • It’s FREE! – The free version is “free forever”. Upgrade to remove advertising and raise your user limits.
  • Conferencing features – whiteboarding, video conferencing, screen sharing, Voice-over-IP.
  • Collaboration features – continuous rooms are always saved and always-on. Contextual discussion forums, voice-notes, track and log activity. Give it a go and let me know.

Rhyme n Learn – 25 squeaky clean maths and science raps

| October 22, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Rhyme ‘n Learn, (“Music That Puts The Cool Back In School”), is maths and science taught by mnemonics. Mnemonics use word associations like rhymes so that a term or fact is easier to recall later. An example of a mnemonic is “In fourteen hundred ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” or “Thirty days hath September. All the rest I can’t remember!”

Rhyme ‘n Learn was created by teacher Joe Ocando, who has taught maths and science to students of all ages and discovered that many find it difficult to memorize hundreds of new terms and facts. Rap seemed to help, and does seem to make some concepts easier to remember.

The concepts covered are more suited to older students Examples include Pi Rap | Don’t Let Pi Make Ya Cry and Rational and Irrational Numbers Rap | E-rational Thoughts

Type a maths or science term in the search bar on the site to find a mnemonic for it. If you can’t find it, send content suggestions to joe@rhymenlearn.com

Don’t forget another teacher led site “MathTrain”. Mathtrain.TV is a free educational “kids teaching kids” project from middle school mathematics teacher Eric Marcos & his students.

Both sites could be a great inspiration to students to create explanatory videos, or raps.

MathTrain

| October 21, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Mathtrain.TV is a free educational “kids teaching kids” project from middle school mathematics teacher Eric Marcos & his students at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, CA, U.S.A.

A great inspiration to other students to create their own explanatory videos too.

It is part of the Mathtrain.com Project and was created to host their student-created maths video lessons. It is Web 2.0 friendly with its ability for users to generate “ratings” and “comments”. The middle school students use a tablet pc and screen-capturing software, Camtasia Studio, to create the tutorials (screencasts or mathcasts) which are used for classroom instruction and posted onto sites such as Mathtrain.TV, Mathtrain.com, iTunes, YouTube, and TeacherTube

Students work hard at creating the content and construct the best explanations they can in an unscripted format. Some include captions.

Eric and his students invite other students and teachers, parents and educators to help contribute to this global collaborative effort. They are especially interested in student-created “mathcasts”, hence the “kids teaching kids” motto.

I have already learned LOADS,and that’s amazing: I took two mathematics exams, and failed all THREE of them! :-D

Back To The Future Day

| October 20, 2015 | 0 Comments 

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Back to their future crewOctober 21, 2015 – Back to the Future Day. The date that Marty McFly and Dr Emmett “Doc” Brown chose to travel forward in time from 1985 in the hit sequel Back To The Future II.

Try this timer HERE http://www.october212015.com/

Picfull, easy photo editing + Picasion, animated gifs

| October 20, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Picfull is a quick, easy and very effective way of modifying photographs online. About 18 effects, with lots of varieties.

Picasion is great for making, quick, animated gifs ->

WeVideo ~ collaborative cloud based video editing

| October 19, 2015 | 0 Comments 

WeVideo is a cloud-based video editing platform that allows you to create videos, online, enabling remote students to collaborate, with invited others, on projects, editing, adding titles, effects, animation, music, narration and more.

If you shoot videos with your mobile phone or camera and would love to professionally edit them in only a few clicks, then WeVideo is just what you need. WeVideo is accessible via the browser of smartphones, tablets and computers, so it can be used anywhere there is internet connectivity. Film in the field & others start editing back at school before your return.

The free option includes: 2 GB storage, 720p resolution, and more. Worth investigating.

Socrative ~ still a great tool

| October 18, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Socrative is a system that uses cell phones and or laptops, for gathering feedback from students. “As easy as raising your hand”.

You can post as many questions as you like in a variety of formats. One of the more “fun” question formats is the “race” format in which students can work individually or in teams to answer questions as quickly as possible. This video offers a nice overview of the Socrative system.