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Little Wheel ~ an intriguing game

| September 29, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

We’ve mentioned the delightful and engaging game Little Wheel before, but rediscovered it and have enjoyed its potential.

A challenge, and great to discuss with a class how to solve the problems encountered.

Lovely music, reminiscent of the Pink Panther theme: slinky, lounge-lizard jazz, – all muted-trumpets-and-brushes-on-tom-toms-sophistication.

Cool, man! Cool!

“Wall-e” like, in the isolation of a poor robot who’s mission you assist: to find and restore the power from the main generator.

Does that sound familiar to any of the Myst players amongst you? Think Myst IV:Revelation and Yeesha’s resigned comment of “Don’t tell me! Dad blew the power again, didn’t he?” Play The Game here

Have fun, and good luck! Here’s power to your elbow, metal or otherwise.

Masher ~ mash video clips, music tracks & photos

| September 28, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Masher let’s you easily create a video by mashing together video clips, music tracks and photos- all for FREE! Whatever you have to say, a video speaks a squillion words, so get mashing!

Mix, Mash, and Share.
Continue Reading

Join Me ~ screen sharing

| September 25, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Join.me could be a good way of delivering an online presentation that many others can participate in. Get everyone interacting, instantly. Review documents and designs. Train others. Demo teaching ideas or just share ideas . join.me is a ridiculously simple screen sharing tool.

In the Join.me FREE version, you can have screen sharing with up to 250 viewers, share control, chat, send files, and even communicate with those who are on iPad/iPhone or Android

Sound FX Now!

| September 24, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Making a layered recording, using something like Garageband or Audacity, then SoundFXNow.com is a great way to find, and download FREE sound effects.

Do a quick keyword search, using the search bar, or dig through the various sound effect categories. The great thing about search results, is that all sounds, matching your search, are presented in a “Sound Grid” for easy playback! Useful in its own right. Sounds good eh?

Isle of Tune ~ I love tune

| September 23, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Now, this is an intriguing twist on music creation, and one which some of yours will find enticingly challenging, and rewarding.

To build a hamlet, village, town, conurbation, or even a rambling city, and then hear that creation come alive, in sound, as vehicles navigate its highways – delightful.

Isle of Tune is a musical sequencer with unexpected twists and turns. Construct your layout- roads, houses, trees, streetlights,and other objects. Cars trigger sounds, making music as they travel. Aurally more attractive than any true-life township tumult. Continue Reading

Bannerman Road Community Academy and Children’s Centre, Bristol

| September 23, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Bannerman Road Primary School

bannermanroadA full on, fast paced, day Bannerman Road Community Academy and Children’s Centre, in Easton, inner city Bristol.

In this goal driven age, we could think that education is imparting a body of knowledge, rather than a shared journey of discovery. There are so many pressures put upon educators these days that enjoyment, inspiration, creativity, and fun can be forced out of the classroom.

We need to inspire young people and fire their imaginations; enhance their creativity and confidence so they can pick ideas up and start to juggle with them; encourage resourcefulness through challenge, but also the ability to reflect, change and benefit from the experience of others; to motivate a love of learning for life.

Fascination is a tool that can be easily neglected.

This digital world, when mixed with the analogue, brings such potential for communication. Technology, though, is also not the only answer… but it can provide some fantastic opportunities.

Great to spend another day with a team who are clear on the power of creative, inventive and imaginative teaching.

Thanks to Head teacher Paula Shore, our initial contact Samantha Fisher, Assistant Headteacher, who is now on maternity leave, Heather Beach, Assistant Headteacher, and to Adam Cattle, Schools IT Support Officer.

Well done indeed, and thank you, to the colleagues from Oasis Academy Long Cross, Elmlea Infants, Dolphin School, Westbury on Trym School, Blaise Primary School, Victoria Park Primary School, Ashton Vale Primary School, and St. John’s Primary.

Today was another culmination of hours spent researching in “The Shed” in Somerset. We investigated a plethora of free online resources to continue to engage, motivate and inspire children of all ages and abilities.

The school describe that they “are currently on a journey with developing the use of ICT in the curriculum”. Great to take these huge strides forwards with you…

Thank you to Heather for recording her thoughts:

Bannerman Road Community Academy and Children’s Centre

Bannerman Road Community Academy is an inclusive primary school in the heart of Bristol and shares its setting with the Children’s Centre, providing education and caring support for our children from 2 to 11 years old. We celebrate our diverse and multi-lingual community and believe that all pupils are entitled to high quality, engaging and exciting teaching and learning. We have high expectations and challenge everyone to reach his or her full potential.

We believe that our school is a learning environment for all the stakeholders – pupils, staff, parents and the wider community.

All pupils should have the entitlement to quality engaging and exciting teaching and learning. We expect our pupils to take ownership of their learning and to assess their own progress. To do this we have high expectations and aspirations for all our pupils

Personalised learning is about helping every child and young person to do better, which means tailoring their education to their individual needs, interests and aptitudes so as to fulfil their potential and giving them the motivation to be independent, lifelong ambitious learners.

We are proud of the relationships we have with our pupils, parents/carers and believe that it is central to the making our vision come true.

The Academy recently joined the Colston Girls School Trust and we are really looking forward to working closely with Colston Girls’ School, Kingfisher Primary, Dolphin Primary and Fairlawn Primary. Some of our colleagues from these schools have joined us for this INSET day with Tim and Sarah.

In addition we have staff from another 7 different Bristol Primary Schools here today and we welcome you all to Bannerman Road.

Tim delivered a great workshop at the Inspiring Leadership Conference last year. We knew that his ideas and passion for learning would match what we were trying to do at Bannerman Road so made sure that we booked him quickly for our INSET!

Newsmap ~ The news here and there

| September 22, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Newsmap is an application that visually demonstrates the constantly changing landscape of the “Google News” news aggregator.

The more frequently a story is reported in the news, the larger it becomes in the “map”.

It is also possible to compare different countries, and to see which elements are given more coverage in those countries. You can view the map by region, topic, or time.

A fascinating, and discussion provoking, tool.

Bugscope ~ control an expensive microscope

| September 21, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

The Bugscope project provides free interactive access to a scanning electron microscope (SEM) so that students anywhere in the world can explore the microscopic world of insects. This educational outreach program from the Beckman Institute’s Imaging Technology Group at the University of Illinois supports “K-16″ classrooms worldwide. Continue Reading

Winged Sandals ~ Greek Mythology

| September 18, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Winged Sandals is a perfect example of how a website can “inform, educate and entertain” at the same time.

Winged Sandals explores the magical world of Classical Greek mythology, a place filled with awesome gods, daring heroes and fabulous monsters.

Winged Sandals features modern interpretations of Classical Greek myths and characters. Continue Reading

St Andrew’s CE Primary, Oswaldtwistle ~ The Return

| September 17, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Fheader-e1407573574837ollowing our previous visits to St Andrew’s Primary School, Oswaldtwistle, Day 1 and Day 2 we return ….for some wild and woolly extension, and travels into some new and unexplored territories… beyond.

We explored the power of inventive technologies and visual literacy elements, and saw how they can have a huge impact.  Raising confidence in children across the creative curriculum. We had a hands on DOING IT day. Tech in action. FUN!

St Andrews Composite CreaturesAs technology speeds forward, even these days, we too can feel left behind. The gargoyle’s wide mouthed amazement matches some of our modern day worries about new tools. We can fear that we don’t fully understand them. If we don’t, it is a good idea to be honest – there will be children who do. If we DO know, it is sometimes a good idea to pretend we don’t… that’s when some great learning takes place.

Offering guidance & support to a teacher?! Laughter and learning taking place from ALL. Motivation indeed! We set forth  investigating how fascinating challenges can be used across subject areas and age ranges, with remarkable effects: developing speaking, listening and writing skills and raising confidence and self-esteem.

With a focus very much on creativity, particularly to inspire writing, we explored ways of working that are centred on innovation and capturing children’s imagination, and gathered many ideas, mostly free, that we could be using, “from the web and beyond”, to bring learning even more alive.

Well done to Mrs Christina Wilkinson, Headteacher, her colleagues, and children for some inspiring collections of inventions and investigations.

iSpot ~ identifying & classifying

| September 16, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Found a plant, or minibeast, and you haven’t got a clue what it is called? Try identifying it through iSpot.

iSpot is really a great way to get a class finding, and identifying, wildlife around the school, or neighbourhood, adding to data about habitats too.

As part of Open Air Laboratories (the OPAL project,), the The Open University launched iSpot in 2009. iSpot helps beginners learn how to identify wildlife, get in touch with wildlife experts, and go on to get involved in wildlife survey and conservation.

On iSpot, people can upload digital photos, and/or descriptions, of the species they’ve seen, and are encouraged to try identifying it for themselves.

Other users on the site can click a button to show they agree with the identification, or, if it’s not correct, they can add an alternative suggestion.

See also the iSpot online identification keys and the OU’s Neighbourhood Nature course. If you have any questions, contact iSpot: iSpot@open.ac.uk