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Training Day @ Inspire 2 Learn, Middlesbrough

| February 5, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Inspire 2 Learn

Another, full on, day at the Inspire 2 Learn Centre, in Eston Civic & Learning Centre, in Middlesbrough. Speanding time with use today were colleagues from Acklam Whin Primary, Ayresome Primary, Brambles Primary, Chaloner Primary, Dormanstown Primary, Grangetown Primary, Green Gates Primary, Handale Primary, Hillsview Academy, Kirkleatham Hall School, KTS Academy, Lingdale Primary, New Marske Primary, Ormesbry Primary, Overfields Primary, Pallister Park Academy, Redcar Academy, Riverdale Primary, Saltburn Learning Campus, St Paulinus RC Primary, St Augustine’s RC Primary and St Peter’s CE Primary,

Thank you to Andrew Stogdale, Manager/Learning and teaching consultant at the Inspire 2 Learn Centre for sharing these thoughts:

When Inspire2Learn staff work with schools it is usually little and often, on a needs basis. Teachers developing their practice through reassurance and support as and when they feel they need it. Unfortunately Tim and Sarah are busy people, so on Thursday they took some of their favourite ideas and enveloped delegates in the possibilities that they offer, all in one day!

Although Tim and Sarah are often regarded as ‘ICT people” (they are not Androids; or an iOS for that matter!) at I2L we appreciate their teacher craft. Yes, each delegate will leave with a zillion ideas that they could be using, from the web. However, the reason we continually ask them to come and engage with our teachers is that they exude the craft of teaching. Tim and Sarah are role models for how to engage students, not just through a clever bit of tech, but through developing ideas and getting the students themselves to take the lead. I2L receives excellent feedback from all of the schools that we work with both at the centre and in the classroom, engaging with Tim and Sarah, and giving our teachers access to them fits that ethos perfectly.​

OpenLearning ~ “Teach and learn online”

| February 4, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 


Not one for everyone this, but if you are wanting to follow, or set up, and lead, an online course, then OpenLearning might be what you need.

OpenLearning: a “student centred online learning platform”. It’s flexible, easy to setup & allows anyone to run a course.

Openleaening logoOpenLearning supports student grading, automatically marked quizzes/tests and content distribution all based around a proprietary OpenLearning wiki and comment system, which includes subtle features to keep students motivated. You might be interested in one of the courses available throughout the year, or run on of your own. Largely free ~ worth a try.

Animules! @ Inspire 2 Learn, Middlesbrough

| February 4, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Inspire 2 Learn

AnimulesThank you to Andrew Stogdale, for inviting us to go wild in Middlesborough, at the  Inspire 2 Learn – Eston Civic & Learning Centre, for a magical day of inventiveness, with composite “animoles galore”. The day was a fast paced, full on, experience. At a remarkable speed, because of all we threw at the teams: We worked alongside 12 children from Normanby Primary and twenty five adults, from : Acklam Whin Primary, Ayresome Primary, Bankfields Primary, Brambles Primary, Dormanstown Primary, Grangetown Primary, Green Gates Primary, Handale Primary, KTS Academy, Pallister Park Academy, Redcar Academy, Saltburn Learning Campus, South Bank Park School and St Peter’s CE Primary,

….to create wondrous wildlings, mysterious intriguing oddities, using some inventive digital, and analog tools.

We brewed up our own concoctions of combination creatures, researched about them, and presented our findings using some magical, online gems. The link to the padlet of results is here.

Each group generated their own beast; found out fascinating “facts” about those elements; (and even made up their own; then presented the findings, using other resources.

“I know this is true because I made it up myself”.

The original idea, for the core creature, a Camelephantelopelicanary, came from Mr Rylands senior, Bob, a teacher, and head teacher, for many years.Camelephantelope

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 13.55.32A camelephantelopelicanary’s
A strange and wonderful thing
The bits of its body, are really quite shoddy,
So it’s all held together with string

Discovered, they say,
On the first day of May,
By an explorer out wandering the Nile,
The first thing he noted, was the fact that it floated,
And its face was all covered in smile

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 13.55.42Camelephantelopelicanaries
Came gasproodling out of the west
They laid their spherical cuboid eggs
In plastic cardboard nests

With two fore-legs, and two behind
(is that eight, or ten, all told?)
They prance and dance in the summer sun
To avoid becoming cold

Thanks to Andrew Stogdale, for invviting us back to Middlesbrough, to extend, the work we’ve done before here:

Inspire2Learn is excited to welcome back Tim and Sarah as we can still see the impact in classrooms from the last time they visited. Their brand of inspirational ideas fit in well with the ethos and style of support that we offer schools across the region on a day to day basis with innovative learning and teaching support, particularly with technology.

Wednesday was an intimate, hands-on affair. Teachers working in small groups with an expert in each – a Year 5 pupil form Normanby Primary Academy – to craft a themed project that has the focus very much on creativity, particularly to inspire writing. A huge range of devices, both analogue and digital, came into play to take advantage of the impressive of facilities that we have here at the centre. The day resembled the way that we often work in our schools, developing projects and ways of working that are centred on innovation and capturing children’s imagination. We, at I2L, rarely turn up with a shiny ‘one off’ lesson that we have delivered a million times before, practically all of our work is bespoke to school needs. Tim and Sarah have taken this approach today and crafted a new workflow, something that they tell me excites their curiosity too, to see where delegates would take off and fly with it. And they certainly did!

Draft ~ Easy version control and collaboration for writers

| February 3, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

DraftWhen you share your documents, using Draft, any changes a collaborator makes are on their own copy of the document, and you get to accept or ignore each individual change they make.

When you want to compare old drafts, you have a great view to see how your document changed over time.

Import your documents from cloud services like Dropbox, Evernote, Box, Google Drive.

Bracken Hill School, Nottingham ~ Day 2

| February 3, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Bracken Hill School

Following yesterday’s day with the staff from Bracken Hill School and visiting colleagues, today, we went wandering in the world of words, with three groups of intrepid explorers, up for the challenges we shared.

Bracken Hill School GreenscreeningWe waited at the top of the rollercoaster and recorded our feelings of anticipation. Deep breath and we were off, screaming our way to the bottom. … … … Got the feelings down in pithy combinations of, sometimes contrasting words.

Gathering thoughts, in groups & alone, we wrote snappy, punchy lines, to describe the sensations. After a couple of trials, the best phrases were selected.

The grand finale was when we took a final trip on the rickety roller coaster ride, accompanied by the children’s voiced phrases, screams & the rhythmic background.

Despite the (necessary) speed the effect was magical. We stepped off the ride, happy & exhilarated- having gained some confidence and thought about how extend & enrich our use of language to bring a world alive!

DoshieThank you again to Kath Harris for inviting us to spend time in her school, with her colleagues and pupils. And thank you to all the staff for their enthusiasm, patience, support and ‘up-for-it-ness’. Well done for having a go at many of the ideas already! For example, well done to Tracey Waterhouse for using Morpho to encourage a pupil in to school.

Tracey explains here: I took a photo of my dog and Morfo’d it to encourage a pupil to come to school.

It says, “Hello you need to come to school so Mrs Waterhouse can see you and Doshie can talk to you.” …… And it worked!


| February 2, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 


FunBrain is an interesting collection of games to play in different settings, and subjects.

Greg_HeffleyWith free educational games, online books, & comics. Funbrain, was created for preschool children, to 14 year olds, offering more than 100 fun, interactive games, developing maths, reading, and literacy skills.

One brilliant feature of FunBrain, is that you can also read a variety of popular books and comics on the site, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Galactic Hotdogs, SkullDuggery Island, and The Lost Side of Suburbia

Bracken Hill School, Nottingham ~ Day 1

| February 2, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Bracken Hill SchoolBracken Hill School is a special state school for pupils aged from 3 to 19 in Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.

The staff, and pupils, at Bracken Hill, are up for challenges, and making the most of the opportunities that technology provides. They have a new website and are blogging here: School Blogs.

Thanks you to Kath Harris for coordinating our visit. Kath attended the Computing to Inspire Conference back in July 2014 and, following this, she made contact, inviting us to spend time with her colleagues and students. Kath has introduced us to a few new things too. Thanks Kath.

BrackenhillWe explored creativity, and the impact it can have on confidence, speaking and listening, writing and beyond. With whatever age, and whatever ability, student, we do need to “reach our destination”, to meet our targets, to make changes, and progress, develop, and grow. But, there are many ways to travel. Today, we explored digital, and analog, tools, methods, and ways of working, that bring learning alive.

As part of a process, and just one tool amongst hundreds, we made a little, explorable planet based around familiar landmarks. If you fancy a go at creating a Streetview Stereographic, mini world based on your school, or house, take a look at THIS POST.

Thank you, and well done, all. We really look forward to tomorrow, and a day of more analog responses to some digital landscapes. More wonders, and wandering, in the world of words.

Thanks, too, to Mr Ron McCrossen, Head Teacher. We look forward to more, tomorrow, with the students.

Remind ~ “Safe Classroom Communication”

| January 30, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

RemindRemind (formerly Remind101) could be a very useful app. “A safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents”.

This is one to investigate. For our readers in The U.S., texting can be free. Those outside the U.S. can use email or the app to receive messages. Both are completely free! Get those you want to contact to download the app and opt-in to receive messages with push notifications!

Teachers can send or schedule reminders, assignments, homework, assessments, or motivational messages directly to students’ and parents’ phones

Interactions are “safe” because phone numbers are kept private, and messages are sent with no open replies. Useful?

Gosport Education Improvement Partnership INSET ~ Day 3

| January 30, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Brune Park Community School

Gosport Education Improvement PartnershipFollowing Wednesday’s, and yesterday’s, training for the Gosport Education Improvement Partnership at Elson Junior School, we are at Brune Park Community School, with 220 teachers, from secondary and primary schools in the and Gosport Education Improvement Partnership.

Today, we splattered the staff, with “almost too many” digital ways of keeping the curriculum alive, and maintaining the magic. We investigated how virtual worlds, with their stunning landscapes, peaceful characters and realistic challenges, can be used across subject areas, abilities and age ranges to deliver remarkable effects. We hope that delegates left with many practical ideas to apply back in their contexts.

We also presented some accessible tools and ideas for raising the levels of creativity, writing, speaking and listening among children of all ages. We also investigated the powerful effect of using games, Web2 tools, software, handheld devices and more, with a view to how these things can impact on learning, rather than purely enjoying “the latest gadget”.

Thanks, again, to Debbie Lewis for coordinating arrangements with us for these 3 days. ~ cross platform mobile app creation

| January 29, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 


“Everyone can create apps”. LiveCode offers unlimited possibilities for mobile app development. Start building apps quickly, easily and FREE!

Whether it’s an app for making life easier, solving a problem or just an experiment, LiveCode is a great method of developing your next great app.

Gosport Education Improvement Partnership INSET ~ Day 2

| January 29, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Brune Park Community School

Gosport Education Improvement PartnershipToday, we were joined by Y8 students from Brune Park Community School and Y6 pupils from Elson Junior School, their teachers, and others from the Gosport Education Improvement Partnership, at Brune Park Community School.

A huge thank you to Jo Duff, Assistant Headteacher Brune Park Community School, for coordinating today’s sessions so efficiently.

Reading is a stimulus and models building sophistication in children’s writing. Speaking and listening, comes alive when we expose children to new, valid, interesting and real, whether that is through ICT, trips, or other experiences. Oral rehearsal boosts quality and confidence … sometimes, making it up as we go, verbal, or written “jazz”, produces some of the most intriguing, and fascinating results. Well done all.

Great to see some open sharing of ideas. Peer revue and analysis is powerful in the “work in progress” stage, not just at the end. Intervention early, helps children move forwards far more effectively than if it is just picked apart when it is complete.

Thanks to Celia Rich, head of Elson Junior School, and our main link with the Gosport Education Improvement Partnership, for sharing these thoughts on the pathway forward for GEIP:

GEIP – It’s all about the Writing

Gosport Curriculum Innovation Group wanted to improve the writing of all learners in the Gosport area. A stubborn area of school improvement which is not improving quickly enough for us.

So; what can we do differently; what will motivate and engage out learners and staff? We invited Tim and Sarah to inspire us to fire up a passion for writing in our Gosport Learners. After an initial day conference, in which Gosport Leaders were shown so many engaging and exciting approaches…..which were readily available to us on the internet…….we set about ways to tempt our staff and children to Tim’s wondrous world of writing stimuli and ICT resource.

We have embarked on a massive collaborative project. The Gosport Education Improvement Partnership (GEIP) agreed to fund training places for each of the 30 schools involved. Staff will see Tim and Sarah model their techniques with groups of children from Years 2,4,6,7 and 8. What superb professional development, to have the luxury to observe and reflect on inspirational practice. This will be followed by a common day closure

This will be followed up at our half termly conferences when ‘Pledge Partners’ will be matched to develop a deep learning project based around on idea drawn from Tim’s bountiful box of tricks