Teachmeet Midlands

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(Posted by Dughall)

Teachmeet Midlands

‘Teachmeet’ is a wonderful CPD concept. It takes place in an evening and is an opportunity for school practitioners to share the innovative and interesting ways that they are using technology to impact on learning. The evening is a bit like a comedy/stand-up open-mic session where contributors speak for 7 minutes (micro presentations) or 2 minutes (nano presentations). I was lucky enough to attend and speak at Teachmeet BETT 2009 and mentioned it in my post about the Bett Show.

Anyway, I know it is short notice, but I’d like to publicise the forthcoming Teachmeet Midlands that will take place at NCSL in Nottingham this coming Friday. All the details you need are on the Wiki page. However, if you are unable to make it in person, you can also follow proceedings via Flashmeeting (a live video/audio stream from the event). You can access the feed from here from 5.30 pm GMT on Friday. Also, if you are a Twitter user, you can follow procedings with the tag #tmm09.

I will be speaking for 7 minutes on the excellent work Mandy Jackson is doing with her Y2 children at Gomersal First School, using the DBPrimary environment.

If you can make it, great. If not, try to catch it via the Flashmeeting feed.

Another collection of things.

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(Posted by Dughall)

It has been a while since I posted and since then I’ve been gathering bits and pieces that might be useful. I am constantly coming across things through my PLN (Personal Learning Network). By this, I mean the ways that I access information for my own personal learning needs. It involves blogs (that I follow with an RSS reader – if you’re not sure of RSS, you can see an explanation here), fora, Twitter, Social Networks (eg Facebook, Linkedin), books, journals etc. I am very grateful to all the wonderful colleagues that are part of my network(s) who share so readily and are so willing to help others in need.

Anyway, here is a list of things that I’ve come across recently that you may find of use in the classroom.

  • A short video clip from Brainpop on probability.
  • Sebastian Swan Aimed at Keystage 1, this site has some lovely onscreen books that can be read and then commented upon in Sebastian’s Blog.
  • Helpkidzlearn Again, aimed mainly at Keystage 1 and/or Foundation Stage; there is loads and loads of content on this site. Headings are themed by ‘Games’, ‘Stories’, ‘Creative’ and ‘Find out’. There is also a ‘Parents’ section. Links could be posted on your website if you wanted kids to access particular areas.
  • Kideoplayer Perhaps of limited interest, this site seems to ‘suck through’ only child-friendly video clips from Youtube. However, it isn’t searchable and you just progress through clips by hitting the space bar. My other concern is that (as it’s Youtube) it’ll probably be blocked at school.
  • Bullying UK have this poster-maker . It provides a template for kids to choose backgrounds, characters and speech in order to produce an anti-bullying poster.
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about the blue whale courtesy of National Geographic This would be excellent on an IWB.
  • Pinky Dinky Doo You might prefer the sound down when visiting this US site if you are averse to ‘cutesie’ talk and music. Included are games, videos, podcast stories, printables and a ‘grownups” section.
  • Be Funky Turn digital photos into amazing works of art is the promise here.
  • If Samuel Pepys had been a blogger, this is what you’d have got.
  • Those of you familar with Dance Ejay music mixing software might like this online mixer from Looplabs I found it a bit fiddly initially, but that might just be my age.
  • Etherpad is an online, realtime, collaborative document. Steve Kirkpatrick (Deputy Headteacher in a Salford Primary) describes how he used it with his kids.
  • I’ve mentioned Tom Barrett before and it is worth revisiting some of his good work. Here is a presentation he recently gave at Teachmeet NE London Amongst other things, I really like his use of Google Earth to support/enhance story telling. More recently, he’s been using the Smart table and Google Streetview in equally innovative ways. You can follow all this on his blog.
  • Papervision3D Will provide a brief but spectacular IWB experience. Those familiar with Endless Ocean for the Nintendo Wii will recognise the full Jacque Cousteau ‘immersion’ to be had here.
  • What’s the weather like where you are? XCWeather will give you up to the minute data/weathermaps for wind, temperature, weather, visibility and pressure in the UK.
  • There is some good stuff here on Primary Literacy thanks to Gloucester LA.
  • For all things data-handling and graphing, here are some useful online tools.
  • US site Lure of the Labyrinth promises:  “a digital game for middle-school pre-algebra students. It includes a wealth of intriguing math-based puzzles wrapped into an exciting narrative game in which students work to find their lost pet – and save the world from monsters!”
  • More a ‘fun thing’ than anything else, the Multicolr Search Lab allows you to pick a colour or combination of colours and then displays pictures from Flickr (the photo sharing site) containing the colour(s).
  • This site has just about everything you’d need if you’re interested in ICT in the Foundation Stage.
  • Year 6 Science SATS Bootcamp I know it sounds a bit severe, but it looks useful.
  • Thanks to Carl Aspey at Meltham CofE School for sharing this Flash Slideshow maker You can see how he has used it as part of the school’s ‘Birdcam’ project here.
  • Another bit of fun, maybe as an introduction to a unit on animation is Pictaps Draw a character then watch it bust some moves!

That’s all for now and once again to all those wonderful people out there who have shared these great resources.

Finally, I haven’t yet tested any of the links on the schools’ network, so forgive me if you get ‘Access Denied’ messages.

Samsung NC10 Netbook

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(Posted by Fiona)

I recently had a meeting with Samsung to look at their new products, and was very impressed by their NC10 Netbook. A netbook is basically a small, portable laptop, designed to give you access to the internet and core ICT tools wherever you need it. Netbooks are cheaper than full size laptops, and are useful for increasing access to ICT in the classroom.

Samsung NC10

The NC10 runs Windows XP Home Edition, making it suitable for installing most educational software.  It has a 10.2″ screen, and is very compact and lightweight. I found the keyboard very user friendly, and could type on it as easily as on a standard laptop keyboard. The real strength of the NC10 for the classroom is the battery life – 6 to 7 hours, in other words a full school day! Priced at around £275, it compares very well with Windows version of the Eee PC. It has good looks as well as performance, and comes in a  choice of colours – black, white or blue. For full details and specification, see the Samsung website.

Ednet Review

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(Posted by Fiona)

Thanks to all colleagues who recently completed a customer survey about Kirklees Ednet. As a result there will be changes:

One improvement being made immediately is the integration of a keyword search into the document word search so that keyword matches appear at the top of the list of found documents. As of 1st May, all documents added to Ednet will have keywords. It would take many months to add keywords to all the existing documents on Ednet but we will try to ensure that the most important documents are keyword-searchable by September.

It was also pointed out that Friday may not be the best day to send out the weekly “What’s New on Ednet” email so that will be changing shortly to a Monday mailing.

We hope this will provide you with an improved experience.

Primary Curriculum Proposals – Have Your Say

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(Posted by Fiona)

A consultation on the proposed changes to the primary curriculum will run until Friday 24th July 2009 on the QCA website. You can register and complete the questionnaires online.

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