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Superlame ~ speech bubble maker

| February 28, 2014 | 4 Comments 

With the Superlame speech bubble tool, you can add life and comments to a picture with great ease.

Add zaps, kerpows and thwacks too!

Whilst there are many comic creators, this tool is quick and easy, quite simplistic, but powerfully intuitive. Bubbles can creep outside the edge of your picture too. A useful tool when investigating speech marks, or story planning?

Raising Standards Using ICT Conference, Middlesbrough

| February 28, 2014 | 83 Comments 

Great to deliver a couple of keynotes, and workshops, at the Raising Standards Using ICT Conference, Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough’s renown ICT Conference is back! This superb event featured a wide ranging ICT marketplace and top “inspirational ICT professionals” from across education.

Middlesbrough is very proud of its ICT achievements over the years. Supported by the now disbanded LA ICT Team, Middlesbrough schools have enjoyed national acclaim from BECTA, were early pioneers of the ICT Mark and won multiple awards for their digital creativity. Continue Reading

Mapping Our World (Oxfam)

| February 27, 2014 | 2 Comments 

Mapping our World from Oxfam, is a whiteboard teaching concept for 8 to 14 year olds, which explores the relationship between maps and globes, and how different projections influence our perception of the world. It challenges the idea that there is one ‘correct’ version of the world map.

It shows that the sizes of countries and continents are not always shown accurately on world maps & helps develop an awareness of the relative sizes of countries & continents.

The Gall-Peters Projection map could be thought to be (generally) more accurate about its depiction of true country or continent size, than Mercator’s map, but it also opens up a lot of discussion, about developing countries for example.

Here is a large scale, printable, Peters map. and here is an interactive Peters map.

Education Innovation Conference, Manchester

| February 27, 2014 | 47 Comments 

Education Innovation is a national conference and exhibition taking place in Manchester that brings together leading education experts, thought leaders and inspirational practitioners to share expert advice, training and guidance about integrating innovation and technology into learning. Continue Reading

Bee~Bot: free iPad programming basics

| February 26, 2014 | 4 Comments 

Bee-Bot, an established name in the world of programming in schools, have developed a FREE app that acts as a superb introduction to control. The familiar yellow and black striped robot character, we have seen whizzing across the floor of many classrooms, now forms the central character in an iPad/pod app.

Use the Bee-Bot keyboard functions to program directions, and turns, in to a sequence to guide the bot through engaging garden scenes. Twelve timed, and star awarded levels, will appeal to children from aged four up.

There is an advert for the Bee-Bot pyramid game (which is not free) but no other product placement. Well worth an investigation, to get younger children thinking.

Teaching & Learning Conference, Dudley ~ A full on practical day

| February 26, 2014 | 12 Comments 

Today, we had dun, at The Windsor Business Centre, with 24 teachers from schools in the Dudley area, and a full~on practical day with a focus on the use of ICT to ignite writing. Looking at how innovative approaches to using ICT can help children to acquire a transferable set of  skills to apply to a variety of situations, enabling them that they may access the technology for them to apply it in a creative manner. In other words…. teachers experiencing, first hand, the joys and challenges, of working inventively, and collaboratively.

Thank you to Rebecca Cox, head of Lutley Primary School, and Jo Turner, head of Lapal Primary School, for inviting us, and coordinating today’s event. Continue Reading

Thoughts on two days…

| February 25, 2014 | 0 Comments 

A huge thank you, to Amy Coole, (@AmyCoole) for sharing her thoughts on some aspects of two days at Bourton on the Water (yesterday and today):

Over the last couple of days I had the pleasure of taking part in a course run with Tim Rylands and Sarah. It was fantastic to see Tim with the children, observing the digital and analogue side by side and ultimately the learning outcomes from the different sessions.

I came across Tim’s blog a couple of years ago and it was great to be inspired again. As teachers we start off our teaching careers full of motivation and inspiration and as the year’s tick by it is hard to keep up that momentum.

I have attended far too many courses where the best thing about it is the lunch! Tim’s blog (along with talks at various conferences) rekindled the fire inside me and got me excited about teaching again and specifically using ICT to enhance the learning experience. Continue Reading

Wordperhect ~ A scruffy word processor

| February 25, 2014 | 0 Comments 

One of our favourite ways of creating a quick note or scribbled diary entry is Wordperhect

From the tip of its insane interface to the depths of the hilarious help messages, Wordperhect is a great little word processor that allows you to write scruffily on anything from a piece of cardboard to a shop receipt. Fun!

A delightful way of making a quick and easy graphic containing text.

Print, or take a screen shot of, the end result of your wrodprosessssing. Sadly, or fortunately, there is no spoll chocker!

Bourton-on-the-Water Primary Academy, Gloucestershire ~ Day 2

| February 25, 2014 | 5 Comments 

A joyous second day at Bourton-on-the-Water Primary Academy, in Gloucestershire, in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And, beautiful this area is.

We went on VIRTUAL journeys, to experiment with techniques that can be applied in REAL contexts (when the weather gets a bit better)! Continue Reading

CoderDojo

| February 24, 2014 | 0 Comments 

CoderDojo ~ the open source, global movement of free coding clubs for young people. It started in Ireland but has spread world wide.

CoderDojo is an open source, volunteer led movement orientated around running free not-for-profit coding clubs and regular sessions for young people. Since CoderDojo is open source all Dojos are different and completely autonomous! Click HERE to find your nearest.

At Dojos, young people between 5 and 17 learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more. Find your nearest one from this list, ~ there are, for example, over 120 sessions running in the UK. If there’s not one near you, perhaps you could set one up one.

Bourton-on-the-Water Primary Academy, Gloucestershire ~ Day 1

| February 24, 2014 | 11 Comments 

A fun, and full on, fast paced, day at Bourton-on-the-Water Primary Academy, with 50 folk from Bourton-on-the-Water Primary Academy, and St. David’s C of E Primary School.

The focus for today was on a plethora of digital resources to motivate and inspire, but we encouraged everybody to:

Pick ONE resource, play with it
(experiment first, THEN plan it carefully)
and watch the results

We discussed how technological ideas do not get in the way of learning. “They do not, by taking away from time preparing for assessment tasks, contribute to a slide in results”.

On the contrary, they can have a big impact on standards in our learning environments. But, it is the quality teaching, that flows alongside these resources, that has the impact

Imaginative, adaptable, open teaching, with an affinity for the needs, challenges, and celebrating the successes, of our pupils, are not only essential for quality learning to take place, they can also have a massive impact on, achievement… and enjoyment! Continue Reading