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Cedar Primary School, Strood, Kent ~ Day 1

| March 13, 2014 | 7 Comments 

Thank you to Mrs Jacquie Keelan Headteacher Cedar Primary School for organising our two day visit to the school.

We started with a massive emphasis on analog responses, to a digital stimulus.

A massive well done, and thank you, to all of the teachers today, for joining in so fully, in all of the opportunities, activities, and learning experiences. Continue Reading

Tiltshift…

| March 7, 2014 | 0 Comments 

We’ve been experimenting with tilt shift for a while now.

Tilt-shift photography is basically using  your camera to make the photo taken seem miniature.

You could spend hours with camera movements,  selective focus, shallow depth of field, a tilt-shift lens, rotation of the lens plane relative to the image plane, “tilt”, movement of the lens parallel to the image plane, shift

Or you can try the cheats way and use this website. Tiltshiftmaker, a free and powerful site.

It makes the whole process easier, however you still need the right type of photo to get a decent effect.

Start with stills, and you may be able to take the next step in to motion minis.

Sam O’Hare’s miniature New York is true delight, whilst A Day in the life of Disney is another lovely example of making a mini-world film.

You don’t have to use tiltshift on a large scale image. It can focus attention within close up shots.

Keith Loutit’s “Small Worlds” are classic examples of the tiltshift genre. A File Magazine article features much of Keith’s work, with links to some of the films too.

A good film about Vincent Laforet photographing sporting events and then using tiltshift to turn great athletes into tiny models!

Talking of Vincent, have a peak at Van Gogh’s art after the tiltshift treatment.

Smashing Magazine has one of the best collection of Tiltshift photographs, and the Behance Network‘s gallery Little Lands is well worth a peek. There are many examples on Flickr.

A pretty detailed description of how to do Tiltshift “for real” can be found at the Cambridge in Colour website. However, as well as Tiltshiftmaker, you could also try the slightly more detailed Art and Mobile Tiltshift Generator which is now also available for the iPhone.

Circuit GoGo Lite ~ Electronics on an iPad

| March 6, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Circuit GoGo Lite is a great way to investigate, and learn about, circuits and electronics. An interactive electronics handbook for kids ages 6 – 12.

Follow Loopie, the little alien, in an adventure to build simple circuits for Neanderthals living on planet Earth. Aspects of circuitry are revealed in one bite-sized chunk at a time.

Whilst you can only go to level 1-6 in the free lite version, it is a great starter, and is great fun too. Go go get exploring!

ICT Computing and E-safety Conference, Shropshire

| March 6, 2014 | 36 Comments 

Great to contribute a keynote session to The Shropshire ICT Computing and E-safety Conference, at The Shropshire Conference Centre, Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury. Continue Reading

Code.org ~ & an Hour of Code™

| March 4, 2014 | 0 Comments 

Take part in an Hour of Code™ (as a starter, & more) with your students at Code.org

The Hour of Code™ is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour. You can also teach the Hour of Code all year-round. Tutorials (which can be found HERE) work on browsers, tablets, smartphones, or “unplugged.”

An established, and well used, site Code.org is an ever increasing collection of persuasive reasons to try coding in different forms, and a set of useful methods to start your journey. Powerful pointers for preparing pupils for programming.

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