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Showing posts from August, 2015

Use technology to start the new year with a Bang!

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As we near the end of the summer break, most teachers will be preparing themselves for the start of another busy year. Many will be thinking of how to start the year to engage and inspire their students! Using technology positively and to its potential, can transform learning in so many ways. I always try to share and promote ways in which technology can do this. For the teacher, technology should eventually save time and in some cases money. The problem for some teachers is that when they embrace technology it doesn't replace something else and becomes another job on top of what seems a never ending pile!

Here are a few ideas for how you can use technology from the start of the year and transform learning in your classroom -

1. Create an online platform for your class

In simple terms... BLOG!!! Blogging has been one if not the most powerful tools in my classroom. I was surprised that it wasn't included in the new curriculum and so many schools don't do it. There are a few…

Epic For Educators - Epic Win!

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Epic is an online reading library available on iOS, Android and through the web. It gives you access to a wealth of different online books. Many of the books have a 'read to me' feature that allows children to listen and look at the story.

There is a HUGE range of books available from first readers to non-fiction to enjoy. The app also provides incentives through badges and achievements given when children reach a certain goal.

Probably the best thing about Epic is that for teachers it is completely FREE!

All you have to do is visit the website and create an account and then download the app! Log in once the app is downloaded and you have access to a wealth of online books!

Here is the link to create an account - Epic Website

Here is a link to the iOS app - Epic for iPad

Enjoy!

Social Media Resources - Guest Blog post by Michelle Ainley

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Over the last two years there has been significant changes and new policies for how computing, technology and online networks are explored and used in schools; however in July 2015 we saw the new revised version of Keeping Children Safe in Education.

This had me thinking - don’t get me wrong there are some excellent online e-safety activities out there, however none that fully address the issues with social media- both educationally, behaviourally and more specifically how to teach children real skills which keep them safe (and I don’t mean DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS)

Online expertise is a huge spectrum, you may well know of that child in year 2 who know more and can do more online than another child in Year 6, or those children who are left to fend for themselves on mobile devices as the technology has advanced their parents.

So, whilst I pause to breathe and enjoy the summer holiday (and I don’t normally work through my summer holidays I promise!) I began to think of a way to engage in…

Why you need Ditty app in your life!

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I have seen first hand how powerful music can be in helping children remember facts. For a number of years, our school has used the Number Fun Songs by Dave Godfrey to help children remember important maths facts.  I have previously blogged some ideas for using these in class here.

Last night @Raff31 introduced me to a new app - Ditty. His colleague @lowndees89 was first to share an example and I was quick to download and get playing with it.

It is very simple to use - type a message of 50 characters and choose your tune or jingle and watch the text be transformed and sang to the melody.

This gives the teacher the ability to turn any short fact or instruction into a catchy song which is sure to grab the attention of the children in your class.

There are so many ways in which you can use this app and some of the great people on twitter have already shared plenty!

@ICT_MrP@raff31 Having too much fun with this at this late time during the school holidays... Thanks for the find! pic.twitt…

Google Spotlight Stories - another immersive app to inspire writing!

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I am a massive fan of using film to inspire writing in class. I am also fond of immersive apps where children can discover and navigate around a virtual world. Spotlight Stories combine both to give you an amazing immersive movie experience.

The app has a showcase of these wonderful short films that include 3D animation alongside 360ยบ spherical video!

At the minute, there are four films available and I am excited about other films that will be added in the near future.

My favourite is 'Help,' a film where a meteor shower turns into an alien invasion. I can see straight away how this would inspire some amazing writing in upper KS2. What is so interesting is that each child would see something different depending on what or who they focused on when watching the film. It would encourage them to really concentrate and focus on details then rewatch the film again and see something completely new.

The immersive experience would give children so much more to work with if they were t…

Bring The New Premier League Season into Class!

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Today starts the new Premier League season! Both children and adults up and down the country will be eagerly watching and hoping their teams get off to the best start possible.

What most football fans will have been pondering over for the past couple of weeks is who will make their fantasy football team!

So it got me thinking, why not create a fantasy football league for your classroom or school?

The Fantasy Premier League site allows you to create your own team and league for FREEhttp://fantasy.premierleague.com/. Once a league has been created, the code can be shared with children to join. There is also an app available too.


You could give a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year for children to sign up and create their team. This could be done at home encouraging parents to get involved or as an ICT lesson. It promotes children to use the internet in a constructive way. There are plenty of other benefits for running a fantasy football league in school - 
It is all about the…