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Wallingford Partnership of Schools, Oxfordshire ~ Day 2

| January 5, 2016 | Add Your Thoughts 

Wallingford Partnership Day 2

Superb to be back at It is great at Fir Tree Junior School, with The Wallingford Partnership spending time with the teachers from the partnership and the children from Fir Tree Junior School and St Nicholas’ CE Infant School.

Sat in amoungst

WritingThey have placed the emphasis of our visit on the teaching, and learning, experiences that can happen when using games as a stimulus. So, it was a joy to spend a second day, working alongside the children of the school, with the “big people” dotted in amongst them, joining in, mucking in, modelling, scribing, and taking part in all of the experiences.

Today, we went all analog. After a full on day, yesterday, introducing ourselves to a vast plethora of digital delights, we reverted back to our “scribbly stick”, put pen to paper, and concentrated on the art of bending, blending, extending and attending to the magical power of words.

Sat in amongst Y2Teachers, and learning assistants, writing alongside children means that those children get to see that writing isn’t something we inflict upon them, and then go off and do something “far more interesting”. Some of our children have never seen what “enjoying writing” looks like. To sit together, share the struggle, and the delight in successes, is a simple, but potentially powerful, experience.

CharacterMarvelous magic took place again in these sessions. Picking up words, ideas, and thoughts, and then juggling with them, …takes courage. A huge well done to all of the folk here today, whatever size, whatever age, whatever ability, for exploring the terrain of text in inventive ways.

Yesterday we had a chance to explore a swathe of digital delights. Games are but one method of enhancing the imaginative spirit of our children. When paired with some of the other potential that the wonders of web2.0 offer, magic can ensue. There have been some superb magicians over these two days!

A special thank you to headteacher, Nilofer Khan for her smiles, observations and enthusiam over the two days working with her children and colleagues.

Picasion ~Animated GIF Maker

| January 4, 2016 | Add Your Thoughts 

It can be useful to create animated gifs when you want to get a few pictures in to one space and want to avoid flash or HTML5 programming. This could be on web page, or even in a presentation.

Picasion is a simple starter to this process. Upload a series of images and, hey presto, there’s your gif.

We found it useful when making graphics for the Musicals page on this site. “A load of Rubbish!”

Wallingford Partnership of Schools, Oxfordshire ~ Day 1

| January 4, 2016 | Add Your Thoughts 

Wallingford Partnership of Schools

A big THANK YOU to Nilofer Khan Headteacher, Fir Tree Junior School, Wallingford, the Wallingford Partnership of Schools, and those who joined us today, to start off 2016 in style!

Benson C of E Primary, Crowmarsh Gifford CE Primary, St Nicholas’ Infants, St John’s Primary, Cholsey Primary, Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Primary, Whitchurch Primary and The Manor

Folk round here are doing some REMARKABLE things in the face of challenging times, and misconceptions. We are honoured to know such inventive, inspiring educators.

It just goes to show that with the right stimulus and input, many of the children will write not just because their teacher wants them to, not even because it’s about a computer game, but because they have been challenged and inspired and want to write for themselves.

School and home life is not, and shouldn’t be, all about technology. However, if we, as educators, do not keep up with some of the skills, interests, passions, and playful times of our pupils (those who are lucky enough, it has to be said, to have access to these technologies) then our classrooms will appear stagnant environments, in comparison to their homes.

There was certainly a shared desire to tackle the challenge of pupil engagement today. Well done all.

We worked with Nilofer way back in 2007 and 2008! so it was good to be back with her for these two days:

“The Wallingford Partnership of Schools is getting ready to welcome Tim Rylands. As a partnership we pride ourselves in the professional development we offer our teachers and when we saw Tim at our Oxfordshire Head’s conference in Stratford last year, we grabbed the opportunity to book him for a two day inset for our partnership and opened it up for other schools to join us. We strongly believe in giving our staff professional development that can ignite and nurture their creativity. Tim’s ICT to Inspire is just what we were looking for. On the second day Tim will be teaching a year 2 and a year 6 class, giving the teachers an opportunity to see him in action at what he does best-teach! We have been looking forward to the 4th and 5th of January-a good start to the new term and to 2016”

Life ~ Live It ~ First Aid for Children

| December 9, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Life. Live it. First Aid education for Children from the British Red Cross is a really well designed and useful site, full of life saving information for use with children.

This site aims to give all 5 – 11 year olds the confidence and skills to help in an emergency and to help save lives.

It is full of quizzes, activities, discussion, drama, films, practical activities, drawing and ‘how to’ videos along with full lesson plans and supporting worksheets.

This is part of the British Red Cross’ campaign to bring first aid to young people through learning inside and outside school.

Life. Live it. is a free, comprehensive and yet easy-to-use teaching resource.

Life. Live it helps fulfill some of the requirements of the current programmes of study across all key stages for Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) education, but doesn’t require any previous knowledge of first aid for either teacher or pupil.

Web Cam Toy – like an online Photobooth

| November 20, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

A web cam, and the old Mac Photobooth, and it’s amazing what you could distort your face in to!

With Neave Interactive’s Web cam Toy, you can manipulate live images in some remarkable ways, and on-line. There are over 50 fun digital effects, and filters, to use with your web camera.

Like Bouncy Balls, this would be great as an experience on a large screen, in a “special” school setting, too.

Phoenix Integrated Primary, Cookstown, Northern Ireland

| November 20, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Phoenix IPS

A massive THANK YOU to Heather Watson, Principal of Phoenix Integrated Primary, for being up for organising a training day, with colleagues from around the area.

Heather WatsonPhoenix Integrated Primary School is situated in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland. A young, growing school with 215 pupils focused on providing high quality learning experiences for every child. Passionate about CPD for all staff, we seized the opportunity to work with Tim and Sarah welcomed 50 teachers from 30 schools to join us for a day of inspiration.

What an awesome day! Fast paced but fun, Tim and Sarah engaged the audience from the moment they started. Everyone was enthralled and inspired as they guided us through an exciting journey of how technology can open up a whole new dimension of learning for children. Every teacher needs a day like today; time out to reflect and recharge their creative energy. In the words of Tim Brighouse, ‘teaching can sometimes be an incredibly lonely job. It can stifle creativity’. At Phoenix we have a reputation of inviting teachers from other schools to learn together. By opening doors and creating meaningful opportunities to connect with each other we hope to reignite that spark of creativity, creating a supportive professional community. Looking forward to the next step – what to do with all the wonderful ideas? We can’t wait to see them come alive in our classrooms and hope Tim and Sarah will come back to visit us again soon (…and come to Donegal with us for a ‘wee’ road trip!)

Folk round here are doing some REMARKABLE things in the face of challenging times. We are honoured to know such inventive, inspiring educators.

It just goes to show that with the right stimulus and input, many of the children will write not just because their teacher wants them to, not even because it’s about a computer game, but because they have been challenged and inspired and want to write for themselves.

School and home life is not, and shouldn’t be, all about technology. However, if we, as educators, do not keep up with some of the skills, interests, passions, and playful times of our pupils (those who are lucky enough, it has to be said, to have access to these technologies) then our classrooms will appear stagnant environments, in comparison to their homes.

There was certainly a shared desire to tackle the challenge of pupil engagement today. Well done all.

Thank you to folk from St. Colum’s Primary School, Termoncanice Primary School, St Patrick’s Primary School, Donaghmore, Mount St. Michael’s Primary School, St Mary’s Primary School, Maghera, Spires Integrated Primary School, Enniskillen Integrated Primary School, Windsor Hill Primary School, Roe Valley Integrated Primary School, Ballysally Primary School, Killowen Primary School, St Colmcille’s Primary School, Claudy, Kilmoyle Primary School, Holy Trinity Primary School, Christ the Redeemer Primary School, St. Columba’s Primary School, Kilrea, Cairnshill Primary School, Portadown Integrated Primary School, Millburn Primary School, St Dympna’s Primary School, Dromore, Carryduff Primary School, Castledawson Primary School, Lough View Integrated Primary School, Oakwood Integrated Primary School, Drumlins Integrated Primary School, St Colmcilles Primary School, Omagh, Harmony Hill Primary School, Millennium Integrated Primary School, Hazelwood Integrated Primary School, Cookstown Primary School and Drumlish Primary School.

Scrible ~ the web alive

| November 19, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Investigate, collate, notate, annotate, accentuate, and cogitate (’til it’s late) with Scrible

Useful for students, or teachers, conducting research.

To use scrible, add the scrible Toolbar to your browser as either a bookmarklet or browser add-on (a.k.a. extension or plug-in).

(A bookmarklet is a bookmarked link that, when clicked, adds functionality to your browser. When the scrible Bookmarklet is clicked, it loads the scrible Toolbar atop the current webpage you’re viewing).

Annotate web pages in multiple colors & styles
Save web research online & access it from anywhere
Use simple keywords to search full text of saved research
Use tags to quickly and easily organize research by topic
Easily share annotated web research with others via email

Websudoku ~ Sudoku online

| November 18, 2015

I have to admit that I am more of a words man than a numbers chap. (I took two maths tests recently, and failed three!)However, over the summer holiday, my daughter Ellie and my sister Kathleen got me in to their present obsession: Sudoku

Here is an online version that you might be able to use on a whiteboard with a whole class: websudoku

I did the Times sudoku in just three, yes, THREE …um…days!

What do you love .com ?

| November 17, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Interesting listening to

What Do You Love is a simple search box, similar to the one on Google’s homepage, but it finds results from more than 20 different Google services, including Maps, Google Translate, YouTube, Trends, and Groups.

Expand each section by clicking on the icon in the lower right corner. If you need even more results, you can always click the button in the upper right corner of the box and go directly to the chosen tool.

In a search for Mumbai, we get to find lots of sections of information in different formats.

If nothing else, What Do You Love is a reminder of some of the tools that Google has to offer. There are “other ways of searching”.

What Do YOU Love?

Capita and C2k Inspire Conference, Titanic Centre, Belfast

| November 17, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Inspire 2015

TitanicSuperb to be doing a keynote, on Inspiring Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation in the Classroom ~ the inventive, essential sides of using technology with our students…

…for the first annual Capita and C2k Inspire Conference for School Leaders, held in the Titanic Centre, Belfast.

InspireLogo3Steve MossThe Inspire Conference brings together leaders in education who work with governments and schools around the world. Guest speakers shared their views on leadership proprieties and the world of opportunities in employment locally and beyond. Sarah and I are delighted to attend as keynote speakers alongside John O’Dowd MLA, the Northern Irish Minister for Education, and Professor Stephen Heppell the renowned new media and educational technology expert, and chaired brilliantly by Steve Moss, Chair, ENni Innovation Forum, NI.

Stephen Heppell

Animal magic“We are delighted to join Capita and C2k at the Inspire event and look forward to delivering our session on ‘inspiring collaboration, creativity and innovation in the classroom’. The conference will also give us an insight into how schools in Northern Ireland are engaging with ICT and provide us with an opportunity to network directly with the school leaders.”

Throughout the day local schools showcased how they are using ICT to create an innovative, engaging and interactive learning environment, collaborating within and across schools.

capita-logoAs part of the conference Capita and C2k will be revealing the finalists of the EN(ni) ICT Excellence Competition and announcing the winners. Videos from the finalist schools were shared through the morning and the winners will be announced at the close of the morning sessions.

ZookazamInspire is supported by Google for Education and HP and key technology suppliers who form part of each NI school ICT service. A full agenda is accessible via the Inspire website. Follow the @Capita_MITS and @C2k_info twitter pages and hashtag #Inspire2015NI for further information and updates on the Inspire conference.

A huge thank you to again to Lynsey Parkes, Senior Marketing Executive at Capita Managed IT Solutions for all the pre-organising of us before the event and for during today alongside her colleague Susan O’Neill and their team.

Tim Rylands

Daily Writing~Tips: well lush

| November 16, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

If, like me, you find it difficult to decide when you should, and shouldn’t, have a comma in a sentence, then you might find Daily Writing Tips useful. It is, also, a collection of handy teaching tools. (sic)

I used to be really confident about punctuation. The need for speed, and constant variety, means that I have become more confused, and inaccurate. My spolling is attroshus two.

Daily Writing Tips contains searchable guides, quizzes (and so much more) on grammar, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary …and other aspects of written language.

Please forgive us our mistakes. Even better, quietly send us a nudge. We love to be told (nicely) when we have made a mistake. Any learner does, like, don’t they do, eh?