Invitation to World Literature is a multimedia series introducing drama, epic poetry, and novels from many times and cultures. Thirteen half-hour videos form the centerpiece of the project, and feature a mix of writers, scholars, artists, and performers with personal connections to world literature, from Philip Glass to Alan Cumming, Wole Soyinka to Kristin Chenoweth.
With thirteen texts, rom The Odyssey, from the eighth century BC, to The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy, in 1998, and including such things as the classic Things Fall Apart by the recently departed Chinua Achebe, this a fascinating collection of resources.
What makes a successful INSET day? High levels of engagement and excitement, the capacity to reinvigorate, time to reflect, a speaker who motivates and inspires… Well, we have been privileged to have all those boxes ticked thanks to Tim Rylands.
Two days on the theme of ICT to inspire might have terrified the technophobes amongst my staff, but make no mistake, this was not about technology this was all about learning.
The first day, spent with teachers, offered a treasure chest bursting with ideas, all carefully chosen to enthuse, encourage and excite learners. Tim expertly modelled the teaching styles and techniques, designed to encourage the most reluctant of boy writers. His ability to get children to describe, recount and predict was breathtaking. He made us all rethink our teaching and reinstate opportunities to stop and think. His inspirational ideas had staff returning home that night and creating resources that I have no doubt will impact in the classroom. Continue Reading
Sound Around You .com is a fascinating concept: The Audio and Acoustic Engineering Research Centre at the University of Salford is building a sound map of the world to investigate how sounds in our everyday environment make us feel.
Experience soundscapes from locations around the world, then maybe add your own to the growing collection. Have a look for the iSay app to help you capture, comment on, share, upload and explore your sonic world or soundscapes.
Record clips, of around 30 seconds in length, from a sound environment in your world, and upload them to the virtual map. Or, travel the globe via other people’s unique soundbites.
Whizzing, as fast as we could, from our flight to Amsterdam, we caught the train to Utrecht, and headed to the IPON conference venue, to learn alongside some remarkable students at the Gewoon Speciaal Conference.
First, we had the honour to meet the incredibly special group of students who would be joining us on this exploration of the world of collaborative digits ~ investigating people’s views, and experiences, of all sides of the world of social media, in its many forms, and we have heard about these young folk and how they are experts in social media.
This is the third year of the “Gewoon Speciaal ~ Simply Special” event. A conference that addresses the change in education where students with disabilities are being increasingly “expected” to be involved in mainstream schools. How can this provision be organised in such a way that everybody benefits as much as possible?
There was a large number of workshops, seminars and presentations, all with a focus on inspiration. Inspiration not only for pupils, but also teachers. It is also about the essential role that ICT plays in all of this. Continue Reading
There’s no hidden mystery about what you can make on Blank Sheet Music.com, and, how useful this can be.
Choose portrait or landscape; your clef layout; time & key signatures (if you want these pre set) and the number of bars per line… then hit print, and get composing.
The numbers of times when this could have been invaluable, when setting out a score, or in a music theory challenge. (If you’d like some ready written, downloadable, classical sheet music, try Mutopia). Music to our eyes.
Another lovely day at Amherst Primary School, in St Peter Port, Guernsey. Today, we had the pleasure of doing a bit virtual, and real, exploring, alongside the satff, and children, from Amherst Primary School, and those from Vauvert Primary School. Continue Reading
Pursued is one of the ever growing gathering of Google Maps mash ups. It is a fun game, involving a bit of sleuthing, that throws you in to an unknown spot in Google Streetview, and sets the task to find out where you are.
Use the standard navigation methods within Street View, to help you identify key features, and work out your location.
When you have completed all of the levels that Nemesys Games have made, you could then create, and share, your own. An interesting mapping & problem solving challenge.
An honour, to be invited to the island of Guernsey, and Amherst Primary School, to deliver a two day session for the States of Guernsey Education Department. We were joined by teachers from across the island, and beyond, for a day looking at how technology might be harnessed to motivate, and inspire, children of all ages, and abilities. We will return, tomorrow, to work alongside children from the school, joined by colleagues from across Guernsey. Continue Reading
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.
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 are taking a break. 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.
As well as recording our events, it has also been a fun challenge to find a daily link to something that might be interesting, or useful. This is the 700th Useful and Interesting post on the blog! We would love to know your thoughts. So, maybe you could fill in the simple questionnaire on Flisti HERE.