No Strings

Here are the links explored in our keynote today. We hope you find them useful.

Solar System Scope offers the chance to explore the planetary bodies orbiting around our sun. It is a Watch and Play model of the planets and constellations moving over the night sky. Fuel up and fly folks.

Please install latest Flash Player to run Solar System Scope

The sun and Moon scope could also be really useful, when trying to get across the relationship between us, on Earth, and the moon as it displays the current position of the Sun and the Moon for your Location.

And the other space-site mentioned, Extreme Planet Makeover.


CoolirisCoolris give you a tool with which you can beautifully experience all your photos in one place, no matter where they are stored. Access and enjoy all your photos within their one app: Camera Roll, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Google+, Google Drive, Twitter, Tumblr, and many others. Or endlessly discover your friends’ photos from social networks. They have itunes and android versions.


TagGalaxy BiddishamTaggalaxy for solar systems of images and words. Take your time exporing the solar systems created before clicking on the sun at the centre, bringing in the photos. This site uses Flash (might not work on iPads).


CleVR provides a suite of online tools for creating and sharing panoramic photos.

The CleVR Stitcher is a free Adobe AIR application that will automatically stitch photos into a panorama. These are uploaded and displayed in a Flash viewer on the CleVR site. This can also be embedded into other sites and blogs. Interactive hotspots can be added to the panorama, which can be clicked to display photos and text. Sign up is required, but the program is FREE.

The software deliberately has fewer features than other photo stitching software, as the focus is on simplicity and ease of use. Stitching & uploading a panorama takes around 5 minutes & is fully automatedThe one you see, to the right, is not perfect as we did it at great pace, down at the side of the Bosphorus. Take a little more care and we wouldn’t have the gap on the far shore, or a blurred dome. Hey ho!Get pupils to make a virtual tour of your school maybe, and embed it on a blog or website? A still image AND a moving panorama!CleVR eh? And, easy. Panorama of Bebek Hotel Istanbul on

Panoramas are a fantastic way of immersing children (or yourself) in a different location, and a superb tool for stimulating discussion in children of all ages, and abilities.

Over the years, we have frequently pointed folk in the direction of a great site, full of resources that you can use as a visual stimulus, a huge and glorious collection of landscapes, and experiences.

It is important to not forget to take the time to stand still.

In each QTVR (Quick time virtual reality) Panorama, take your time and write or discuss – before you even think about moving. It is that first movement that creates a bit of magic when using these with children.

As big fans of virtual panoramas, such as those to be found at, we can also recommend the excellent Arounder, for a collection of panoramas from locations around the world and 360 Cities.

50-things-to-do...150 things to do before you’re 11 3/4

  • Interact with their very own virtual Outdoors Explorer, which will motivate and show them around the site
  • Keep track of the ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ adventures they have completed
  • Earn rewards to personalise their virtual Outdoors Explorer when they complete each of the 50 things adventures (plus discover some secret challenges along the way!)
  • Get top tips for each adventure, unlock cool games, earn badges, and collect certificates and secret rewards


Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you. GeocoachingThe person to make contact with to find out more is James Langley, Curriculum Innovation Consultant for CBMDC and co-founder of bMobLe. Qualified as an Apple Professional Development Expert.
Have YOU tried PhotoSynth yet? Photosynth offers two styles for creating immersive 3D experiences: synths and panoramas… and now its mobile too.

You can tilt and turn your way around a sight, zooming in on closer detail, and it is remarkably simple to create these engaging experiences.

Choose a panorama when you can capture everything from a single location with a single zoom level. Great for giving a sense of what it feels like to be in a one particular place. Can be 360° in both directions, but doesn’t have to be. Panoramas are simple to navigate – you can go left/right, up/down and zoom in/out.

Synths are good for capturing different sides or details of an object. More complex to navigate than panoramas because you are moving from photo to photo., and somewhat more complex to create.

To make panoramas from your desktop, install Image Composite Editor and the Photosynth application.

To make synths, just install the Photosynth application. The Photosynth app is available now for iOS in the iTunes App Store. Other operating systems are supported too…. To make panoramas from your iPhone, get the Photosynth App from Apple’s App Store.
Something we have used for quite a while now, and involve as just one step in the process of bringing worlds alive, with the schools we work alongside, is the wonderful Google Street View Stereographic. This joyous gem makes your very own, free, explorable, mini planets!

Visit your location, in StreetView Stereographic, & then learn to fly, as it is possible to move around within your world.

Just one way remember, but a fantastic stimulus for talk, discussion, talk for writing, and a whole lot more. Fun!

Google Streetview and GoogleTreks for the real adventure.

Hyperlapse gets Streetview moving.

Set a start, and end point, (keep it short) in Streetview, and then watch, as Hyperlapse creates a swooping journey along the route, paying attention to landmarks along the way.

Hyper-lapse photography ~ combining time-lapse & sweeping camera movements ~ has been a growing trend on video sites.

Seene is an intriguing iPhone app, that enables the creation of a 3D, movable scene. Find your object, take four images (from left, right, above and below), share your result, then explore your captured moments, like this one., done at great speed.

Works well for even some complex objects. Take a look at some of the examples on their website, then get moving.
“A picture is worth a thousand words” and ThingLink helps you tell your stories, because images can come alive with connections to music, video, photographs, text, and more! Create interactive scenes. Build, share, touch and discover.
Wild Earth African Safari Wii game for big game hunting photographing and researching, and Endless Ocean.

Switcheroo Zoo (a.k.a. Switch Zoo) where children can make new animals by switching their parts.

When you arrive at the zoo page, a green screen with a time-bar will display while the zoo is being downloaded, the entrance scene will appear and you’ll hear the Switch Zoo Animal Orchestra singing.

Switch Zoo – Make New Animals
Visitors to this unique zoo make their own new creatures by switching the animals’ heads, legs and tails. While students play, they can read facts about each of the animals that comprise their new beast. Visit the lesson plans section for classroom ideas.

Your students can learn more about the animals in Switch Zoo by reading their Profiles in the Resources section.

gold handBe sure you don’t miss any of the features in Switch Zoo! — Click the gold hand on the fence to open the hidden How to Play panel and find out about everything you can do in the zoo. Or you can click here to read How to Play before entering the zoo.


Click the button for the animal that you want to use as your primary animal. This choice will determine what body your new animal will have, as well as its environment. Click the Animal List button to see a list of all the animals in Switch Zoo. By clicking an icon in the list, you can make the new animal and go to a new habitat at the same time.


printImageWe have mentioned this before but it is such a joy to explore once more: Build Your Wild Self makes it easily artistic to apply some of the elements of SwitchZoo to your own human form.

An enchanting mixture of elf/fairy-like graphics, and interesting scientific information, makes this a great little application to explore with children of many ages.

Build a “you” then add animal characteristics that transport you in to a world of fantastic creatures and beyond.

PADLET for collaborating, a private, more secure instance of postit note board for your school. Here is the one we collaborated on today. Another similar site is  Linoit. iBrainstorm app captures and shares between multi-devices, from iPhone to iPad with just a flick of the finger, collaboration.


Today’s Meet is designed as a place to create a “back channel” during an event, such as a meeting, or conference. It can make a good way to encourage, and record, communication in a learning environment too.

A potentially useful way to gather thoughts, and ideas, in a collaborative way. At the moment TodaysMeet is open, so anybody could contribute. This means you need to consider WHO might add in from “outside”, but it is unlikely to attract people who you haven’t given the URL to, and Today’s Meet does not publish a list of active rooms. Give it a go.

Useful Pickie 028Spicy Nodes is something I have linked to before, but feel that is well worth further exploration. Present, store, link and group …almost anything.

Text, links, photos, and other media — are placed into “nodes,” which are then linked together in an attractive, interactive interface that invites exploration.

Spicy Nodes allows you to add pieces of information and embed images and youtube videos. These elements can then be linked together as a mind map which, as you click on different ‘nodes’, changes to show all the linked bits and bobs.

Sadly, another site that uses Flash and might not work on iPads.

Fotopedia is a growing, collaborative photo encyclopedia.

Find superb images in the online search facility. (Click on the magnifying glass at the bottom of the page). Anyone can join the community and help build the encyclopedia.

Investigate some of the free fotopedia collections on iPads here.

Useful & inspiring tools. Maybe YOU, & your students, can add to the collection too?

Nature Sound Map, enables exploration of the wonders of the world, in some superb ambient audio recordings of landscapes, and animals, across the globe ~ from a rock pool in Devon, to jackals in the Kalahari, …& beyond. Sound!

A group of professional nature recordists from around the globe have collaborated to develop Nature Soundmap, an enjoyable and interactive way of exploring the natural sounds of our planet. Combining high-quality field recordings with the latest satellite imagery, the project brings together some of nature’s most beautiful, interesting & inspiring sounds.

Hear the World Like Never Before

Immerse yourself in a pulsating insect chorus in Borneo’s tropical rainforest, or climb the Himalayas and relax to the melodies of birdsong in an alpine meadow. Use Nature Soundmap to discover the wonderful soundscapes and wildlife sounds of our planet.

Many recordings in the collection are ‘binaural’ soundscapes, in other words, stereo recordings made with two microphones which capture sound in 360 degrees.This recording technique most accurately imitates the natural experience you would hear with your own two ears and provides a realistic representation of all of the sounds in a particular habitat or location. If you sit back, close you eyes and relax while listening to a well-recorded soundscape, it doesn’t take long before you feel like you’re actually there!

Great to enhance the atmosphere of a space, or create the soundtrack to the piece of descriptive narrative perhaps. Enjoy your exploring. Sounds good eh? _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Ambient Mixer makes it possible to listen to free audio atmospheres, or mix your own ambient sounds online.

Great for making background sounds to a piece of music, or descriptive narrative? Use as an underscore, to inspire talk for writing, as a way of making the soundtrack to a podcast or other audio broadcast.

Listen to relaxing music, ambient atmospheres and astonishing sound effect, use endless audio loops, or upload your own, to create a unique audio mix.

No software installations required. All ready made, mixable atmospheres use royalty free audio files, thanks to the Creative Commons Sampling Plus license.

A good way of experiencing mixing of sounds, level, crossfade, left to right placement, and more. You need to pay to download the end result, but don’t need to & the process itself is free. Enjoy some relaxing sounds whilst you plan too.

With this sound board you could create a calming sonic atmosphere within your classroom. Mix the relative levels, and panned position, of different sounds, from a choice of birdsong, bonfire, creek, crickets, gulls, ocean, rain, thunder, and wind chime sound effects, & music. Sound!

Try Go Mix It too


Audacity is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds, and Garageband comes free on Apple devices.
Audio Boom a website and an application for iOS and Android which allows users to listen to, record and share sound files.

White NoiseNoisli is another simple, but really effective, ambient soundtrack creator. Use the basic graphic interface to manipulate the range of sounds, building an atmosphere for use in descriptive narrative, or setting an atmosphere in a room.

Also try White Noise as recommended by Dr. Oz as a miracle for better sleep! Find out why the world is sleeping better with White Noise Lite for FREE. Features ambient sounds of the environment to help you relax during the day and sleep great at night.

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)


DoInkDoInk for Greenscreening on an iPad (not free but … ) featured in “Best New Apps in Education” in iTunes. Green Screen by Do Ink makes it easy to create incredible green screen videos and images right on your iPad. Classroom-tested by kids and teachers, this app emphasizes ease-of-use and simplicity while still enabling you to get fantastic results.


Ivona create some superb, paid for, text to speech software, but on their Ivona Recordings page, you get the chance to hear your words spoken by some quite convincing voices, as a free preview. What is good is that you can do so in English, Welsh, English with a Welsh (or Australian) lilt, or other languages such as Italian, Castillian Spanish, Polish & Brazillian Portuguese.


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.

Educreations is a fabulously easy to use i-Pad app and web tool which allows you to create simple video tutorials by touching, tapping and talking. Free to use and simple to set up, it allows you or your students to draw or write on the screen, add photos, and record a commentary over the top. Cleverly, you can add text or pictures first then record your commentary, or you can draw and speak as you go.

The Answer Pad is a great, FREE, way of creating questions (in many styles), gathering answers, and keeping a track of the results. Use the reporting system for item analysis, reports by skill, by class, by student. Setting questions free.

Choose from 8 different question types: Numberwheel, Fill in, Pie Shade-In, Rectangle Shade-In, Co-ordinate Grid, Multiple-Choice, Yes/No, and True/False. Students can also show their “working outs” on the scratch pad.

Teachers register for FREE at Students either download TAPit Free iPad app or log in at to use the browser version on any device/tablet.

The free version allows a teacher to set up one class with 36 students.

The new Go Interactive component of The Answer Pad allows teachers to engage their students by “pushing” out different response types to the class. The students submit their responses and the teacher dashboard displays a great visual of all the students responses on one screen. The best part about Go Interactive is the fact that, since teachers are not typing in questions, or making slides and presentations, there is almost no preparation needed to use this tool in the classroom. The Go Interactive feature is currently only available with the TAPit Free app. A browser version is “coming soon“.

Use the answer sheet feature for summative assessments, quizzes and tests and get immediate reporting, or the Go Interactive for formative assessment to drive lesson sessions.

A cross-platform, easy to master, tool, and a chance to go way beyond multiple choice?

Bambuser – Personal broadcasting. Broadcast live using your mobile device or webcam, sharing to your blog.

Back from An Almost Analogue April and, I can tell you, that it isn’t always easy, but it is well worth trying.

How much extra time we took, doing things in an analogue style, was made up for by the amount of time we saved, and used differently, NOT doing things in a digital style.

I have been reading. Yes! Books. (Well half a big grown ups book!) Cycling. Sanding wooden boxes. Talking to people. Cooking. And, Oh so much more… that I won’t bore you with right now.

One of the cheats we did make (and I will confess there have been a few) was a great smart phone app, called RunKeeper.

This is a remarkable gem, and the educational possibilities are many.

RunKeeper, is a smart phone application that enables you to use the built-in GPS in your phone to track all of your outdoor fitness activities, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and path you stumbled along, on a map.


Tagxedo, brings a word-cloud alive in a chosen shape (guidesheet here).

Simple English Wikipedia, Wikipedia written in basic English; Againbutslower, original, and simple, articles side-by-side.


Vikidia encyclopedia for 8 to 13-year-olds in other languages.


“On May 2, 1947, John Cabot set sail aboard a magnificent cruise ship named The Matthew with a crew of servants, and an abundance of DVD’s to keep the crew entertained”.

All About Explorers was designed, to help children discover the importance of checking the voracity of information they find on the web, & this site is almost complete fabrication.

Registering is free & lesson plans are available to download.

With links, from the fabricated facts, to more solid “info”, it is then up to the pupils to work out the “truth”, or “innacurate” information, & through this, begin to gain respect for the need to assess the validity of what we are “fed” on the net.


AurasmaAurasma is an augmented reality app that’s changing the way people see and interact with the world. It’s a mobile app that lets you create and share your own augmented reality experiences.

QR Codes can be useful in many settings. We have discussed creating them before.

Delivr QR Code Generator is a great way to make codes, quickly, & assign a range of results.

Stick codes in to books and link to additional, digital content, you (or students) have created.

Some more scan creators. is a free QR code generator, short URL, & tracking service. Useful & quick.

With QRcode, from Kaywa, you can create static or dynamic codes. The advantage of dynamic QR codes is that they are changeable if needed.

The SPARQCode barcode generator, gives you the power to create stylish 2D barcodes for free. They also help you customize your look, and feel, to include unique icons and captions.

Like, you can assess how many people scan your SPARQCode, where they’re coming from, and what they are interested in.

QR codes could link from children’s analog writing, & books, to other digital contributions.
We asked good friend and handheld-device-genius, Julian Coultas, or “Digital Roadtrip” for his thoughts on how a school we have worked with, (and are fortunate enough to have been lent a couple of iPads) could take the first steps in a creative direction.

Julian is a wondrous teacher, presenter and guide to the world of iDevices and here is his 8 iPads in the classroom
ColAR MixAnd try colouring in fireworks and bringing them to life using ColAR Mix


Below are the links from our workshop – Beyond a Game

Epic Citadel


CrazyTalk (not free, but free to try)

Tiltshift Maker




Comic Life




Potter HD Lite

ColorSplash (not free)

Puppet Pals (not free)


Voice Thread (not free)