Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Hour of Code - March 2014

Just One Hour is all it takes..... Be part of the Coding revolution and create a foundation for success in your school.

All UK schools' can begin to get ready for NC 2014 Coding with the Hour of Code - details can be obtained and shared in this online PDF.
Register your interest to participate here.

The 25th Anniversary of the World Wide Web. is launching the UK Hour of Code from March 3rd - 7th 2014, as part of the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by the ultimate UK coder, Tim Berners-Lee. Hour of Code is geared to encourage interest in computer science and show that anyone can learn the basics. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Kahoot! - Create a quiz

Quizzes in the classroom are great fun for the kids - use them as lesson starters or for plenary. I was recently introduced to Kahoot! for use on the iPad by the Kahoot! team themselves via twitter and I have to say Ive not used any other quiz software since!

Its free, simple to use, and designed with education in mind. It appeals to all ages of student, and with a timed challenge for each question and a leaderboard its guaranteed to engage and motivate your entire class. Whenever Ive used this with teachers excitement runs high!

Because its web-based, and not yet an app it means you have greater flexibility in using it. So, for instance, the teacher or a group of kids can create a quiz on their desktop computer - mac or PC and then ask the class to access the quiz from their mobile devices - android or iOS iPad/ iPod. Kahoot! behaves like a voting system and answers are sent back to the teachers device screen and projected for all to see.
The results can also be downloaded by the teacher for knowledge based evidence purposes.

Find out more by visiting the Kahoot! website and try it for yourself.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

NEW Serail Mash Reading resource

2Simple Logo
Serial Mash 

The ideal solution for both teachers and students!
Serial Mash is much more than just a collection of e-books. It has been tailor-made for use in educational settings.
Teachers get access  to Serial Mash a full half-term in advance of the students, giving you plenty of time to plan. You'll find Serial Mash in the'Teachers Tab' inside Purple Mash.

Teacher Release: 09/12/2013
Student Release : 24/02/2014
What makes Serial Mash special?
  • The first series of books are written by award winning children's author Jonny Zucker
  • Each chapter comes with National Curriculum 2014 ready teacher resources
  • Each chapter comes with a range of fun and creative educational activities from Purple Mash
  • You can adjust the formatting to make it more accessible for students with special educational needs
  • Children can access it from school or from home
  • It works on whiteboards, desktops, laptops, and tablets
  • It has a built-in word look-up to expand vocabulary
  • It builds into your school's own digital library!
"Jonny Zucker is our school's author-in-residence and he came in to give us a preview of Serial Mash. The kids loved the stories and the activities. I was particularly impressed by how engaged they were with the narrative. They thought the game-show style comprehension quiz was fab and they did some amazing extended writing work. The whole school is now eagerly awaiting February!"  
Ms Jayasuriya, Head Teacher, Kenilworth Primary School

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Use QR Codes to celebrate work

Ive just stumbled across this idea on twitter this morning for a creative use of QR codes in primary schools. Thanks to @TomBrush1982 for the idea.

If you want to share a child's success or achievement easily with parents, what better way to do it than to generate a QR code linked to that piece of work. Stick the code on the postcard and send it home. Parents can then scan the code with a Smartphone or other device with a free scanning app and view their child's work. 
A brilliant and fun idea!

Courtesy of @TomBrush1982 via twitter

Example postcard using Pages template - doesn't need to be this fancy just use a standard postcard as above.

Some more great ideas here for using QR codes, in business and education but a talented, creative teacher can adapt those ideas easily to make the classroom an exciting and engaging place to learn!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2014 Computing Curriculum

Most of you reading this will know that schools in England are expected to introduce the new Computing Curriculum by September 2014. That gives schools this academic year to get to grips with what is expected in each phase.
Do these words leave you scratching your head in frustration? Dont worry, I feel exactly the same! 
  • algorithm
  • ambiguous
  • non-ambiguous
  • debug
  • program
  • object orientated language
  • Java Script
  • non-sequential
If, like many other teachers, this is something you've never had to teach before and are left feeling confused and/ or overwhelmed by what you have read so far, you may find this outline useful.

And if you're still bewildered by some of the terminology then you might like to consider some of these products to help you deliver it.

  • Free until October 2014 to all schools - click the link to find out how you can access this in school right now. 
  • Includes a wide-ranging Scheme of Work, providing teachers with a comprehensive coverage of the new coding aspects of the updated Computing curriculum for Year 1 to Year 6.
  • Teaches pupils how to create and publish their own apps and games, which can be shared with parents and friends. 
  • Designed to stretch upper primary children by offering the option to Code using elements of JavaScript (an industry standard).
iPad apps

Allows you to program from EYFS using the simple keypad to upper KS2 programming Roamer to react to its environment through the addition of sensors. 

PC/Mac computers:

NC Computing Curriculm 2014 Requirements:
Key stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:

  • understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
  • create and debug simple programs
  • use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
  • use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
  • recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
  • use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies. 
Key stage 2
Pupils should be taught to:

  • design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
  • use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
  • use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
  • understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
  • use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
  • select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information
  • use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.

DFES © Crown copyright 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Downloading YouTube videos to mac/ iPad

Since Apple have put a stop to downloading YouTube videos to iPad using the iCab Mobile app Ive started to use this workaround. In my lessons we use YouTube videos as much as possible for making the news, voice-overs for adverts, weather forecasting, exploration, science transcripts and much more. Great for speaking & listening, working on script writing and performance.

I now use MacTubes on my Mac to download the video as an mp4. Just click download on the web page and the app is downloaded to your downloads folder. Double click to open the app.
A window something like this will appear.

In the YouTube search box enter the URL of the video you want to download.
The video icon will appear in the MacTubes window- as above.
Simply right click this and choose Download mp4 from the options. The downloaded video, for some reason, dropped onto my desktop, not into my downloads folder - easy to locate though.

My next step is to send this to my iPad/s. I now use Photo Transfer for this purpose - so easy. Click here to read a previous blog entry on how to do this.
Now I can access the video in my Photos on the iPad and this makes it automatically available in the iMovie app to edit and record voiceovers.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sharing Class Books on iPad

The class have used the Book Creator app (£2.99) to make Books but they want to be able to share them with other children in their class and between classes and different year groups.
We decided to export the books to a teacher Dropbox account and from there copied the link to the clipboard. This is it – Where I Live
This next book example is from a hairdressing department in a college.
As a teacher I’m interested in how we can now share that link so that all the children / students can open the book on an iPad in iBooks. It should be as simple as tapping the link in this blog and choosing download then open in iBooks. You don’t need to have a Dropbox account to do this. But the teacher/ tutor will need a common place to host the URLs for the books. 
A class blog is perfect for this or a school website. The other way to share might be through the use of a QR code which adds an extra fun dimension to learning.
This next example book about WWII is created in Creative Book Builder – again, simply publish to a Dropbox account and then share the link from there. Tapping the URL in a blog will allow you to open the book in iBooks.
There are book apps for iPad available that allow you to export a URL directly from the book which cuts out the step involving Dropbox.
Check out the My Story app – you can choose the option to copy the book link or email it and then start creating your QR codes.
Try it now and let me know how you get on.
Using QR codes in your class to share books
Link the QR Code to a book URL as in the example above – the Red Laser QR app (free) gives you the option to generate a QR using a URL from within the app itself.
Simply print the QR code, laminate and stick them around the classroom on the walls to make your own learning quest or adventure/ hunt.