September 2008 - Posts
At the recent Swale ITN, Morag from Tunstall suggested we look at http://www.tutpup.com/ for encouraging pupils to practise and speed up their maths and spellings. A teacher will need to create a free account for their class, and pupils can register with a pseudonym as part of the class. Then they can go online and attempt the challenges, timed, against pupils from all over the world. No personal details are exchanged but success gains awards and entry into league tables. The youngsters at Tunstall love it, and it is completely free, at least while it is in its Beta stage, with no advertising evident on the website.
TutPup was featured Website of the Week back in June 2008
"It is free, has no ads, doesn't grab kids personal data and allows them to play competitive maths games against their friends or students from around the world in a safe educational environment."
This weeks Website of the Week comes via a Tweet from Angela Maiers who recommended Shidonni on Twitter.
Shidonni is a fun website where pupils can draw an animal and then click a button to see it come to life! Even better than this, they can also draw items of food to put in the animal's fridge, watch as their animal eats the food and draw habitat for their animal to live in.
e-safety warning - entering personal data
The site requires free registration and requests an email address and birth date. I was able to create an account with a bogus email address and would recommend schools do this for each of their students (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). Actual birthdates of children should not be entered. Instead make up the day and the month and only use the correct year they were born.
If you are using this in a classroom you’ll probably want to create the student accounts in advance
Social media are internet-based tools using audio, video, image and text technologies for the purpose of sharing and discussing information and experiences with a wide range of people. As an ICT consultant, I use a variety of social media to help me keep up to date with the latetest trends in ICT and to share and discuss new ways of using ICT to enhance teaching and learning. The two most useful social media tools for me are:
Twitter is a micro-blogging site limiting posts to 140 characters so succinctness is the key. It’s a way of keeping up to date with others and of discussing often random ideas, regardless of time or place, using either a computer or mobile phone. Through Twitter I have met teachers and ICT consultants all round the world and have learned so much from them. (http://twitter.com/mbarrow)
Twitter is the new way that teachers are sharing ideas with each other.
Please note: you may not be able to access Twitter at school.
Del.ico.us is a social bookmarking website that allows users to save and share web links. I find it particular useful as I can access the links from any computer. Have a look at all the fantastic web links I have discovered so far http://delicious.com/kented
Other forms of Social Media include blogs, wikis, podcasts and social networks.
Why not give social media a try today? You may be suprised at what you discover.
Becta guidance, to be published this month, states that protected data must be encrypted before it can be removed from a school.
“Until new technology or enhancements to your existing ICT infrastructure can be put in place, you are likely to need to make operational changes,” the Becta guidance says. “This may mean that certain types of sensitive data may no longer be accessible away from the school in the short term.”
Becta puts breaks on home access - TES 19 September 2008
Into the Book:
Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies
Into the Book is designed to enhance the teaching and learning of reading comprehension strategies for primary students. The website focuses on eight strategies that proficient readers use: using prior knowledge, making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, summarizing, evaluating, and synthesizing.
You can download posters, songs and worksheets from the Teacher's Area. The videos are ideal to show on the interactive whiteboard.
Students and Teachers need a key to begin exploring. Please remember never to use full names on the internet.
You can have a quick look round the site using my key kent00001
Title of Conference
Safeguarding for an Online World
Kent Police College, Maidstone, Kent ME15 9DW
The same conference will run on Tue 07 Oct 08 - 1 day - 9:00 to 16:00 and Mon 03 Nov 08 - 1 day - 9:00 to 16:00
Headteachers from Kent & Independent Primary, Special and Secondary Schools; e-Safety and Child Protection Co-Ordinators; ICT Co-Ordinators, and Police Officers.
Raise awareness of the e-Safety environment. Implementing and updating procedures within the School.
Talks will be given by a wide range of speakers including those from Kent Police, the International Charity Childnet, KCC Children, Families, Health & Education Directorate and Advisory Service Kent. School Students will also give their views on e-safety.
Click here to find out if spaces are available and to book
19 January - a whole day workshop for 200 Kent teachers.
This new and exciting Kent project has been inspired by the work of Tim Rylands, who has been described as “an extremely gifted and inspirational teacher, with a love of the creative potential of technology and an excellent rapport with his pupils”
Tim has over 20 years of experience in schools as far afield as the West Country and West Africa. He has gained notable recognition for using the games in the Myst series to inspire children’s creative confidence in many areas of the curriculum e.g. creative writing, speaking and listening, music and art.
Using the computer game Myst, children are not only loving creative writing, but also improving attainment as a result. (See www.timrylands.com/html/statistics.html.). Myst supports all kinds of writing including first person description, character portraits, instructions, poetry and problem solving.
Myst’s wow factor, engages children of all ages and gender with boys finding it particularly motivating. It immerses children in a world using sound and images of very high quality.
When will the project be launched?
On 19 January 2009, Tim Rylands will lead a whole day hands on workshop for Kent teachers at the Hop Farm near Paddock Wood.
This will be followed by Tim giving whole day demo lessons in each of the following nine Partnerships (Clusters): Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Cranbrook and Paddock Wood, Gravesham, Malling, Maidstone 1, Maidstone 2, Dartford East and Dartford West.
What will be the format of the day in a Cluster school?
Tim will demo three lessons – Year 1/2, Year 3/4 and Year 5/6. The demo lessons will take place in a school hall and each lesson will be watched by around 30 teachers from other Cluster schools. We would suggest that schools send 1 or 2 teachers to the morning sessions and a different teacher or two to the afternoon session.
Further information will be given out at the ITN ICT Twilights
Have you ever wanted to make your photos wall-sized? Here is a totally free website to upload a photo and then create a saveable .pdf file with all you need to print, cut and stick your own. http://www.blockposters.com
Amaze your class with a 6ft picture of you!!!! - or make a walk-in landscape.
(Thanks to Tim Rylands for the tip.)
The Maths and Literacy games pages have changed over the summer. www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/games
There were two purposes for this..... firstly to provide more help information for each game. As some of the games are indecipherable! Secondly I wanted all of the game icons to be visible on the same screen simultaneously. This removes the need for little ones scrolling down a long page. The old pages are still available and a link to them can be seen at the bottom of the games page.
I'm hoping that these changes will make the resources far more friendly to use. I'd be very grateful if anyone has any comments or recommendations as to how these pages could be improved! Incidentally, I'm thinking of changing the 'Make and Do' section into more of an interactive classroom with drawers and shelves.
(Y1 & 2) Design your own box for a product and write the instructions for how to use your item. You can write on every panel. This resource was suggested by Emma Wills from Warden House Primary in Deal, thank you! www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/games/boxMaker_v5.html
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How does your school keep parents informed, and involved, in the homework process?
Do you use email to inform parents that their child has a particular homework due in on a given day or to send out homework tasks?
Do you set homework tasks via a blog? (http://watsongowtsblog.wordpress.com/)
We would love to hear how schools are using ICT to keep parents more informed. Please share what you do by leaving a comment below.
Heritage Explorer provides classroom resources and accessible information to create a one-stop shop for teachers seeking to inspire classes at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. All the information can be downloaded and used for free.
Heritage Explorer provides image-based resources for teaching history, citizenship and many more subjects. With over 360,000 pictures, including historic views of daily life, aerial photography, and modern shots of listed buildings, it combines a wealth of inspirational images with accessible information and a range of teaching ideas.
Heritage Explorer incorporates four main facilities for teachers:
This area of the website takes specific images and associates them with a teaching idea to provide a starting point for a lesson plan. Each image has a ‘Key Question’ attached to create a starting point for lessons, supported by activities, worksheets and interactive white board downloads. These can be used ‘off the peg’, or adapted by teachers according to their own lesson requirements.
Images by Theme
These are selections of images grouped into curriculum-based themes. They include Victorian and Edwardian life, WWI, WWII, Women and Children at Work, Slavery, Tudor Buildings and many more. This is a fantastic facility both for teachers preparing lessons, and pupils carrying out their own research.
Heritage Explorer hosts a variety of downloads that can be used by teachers on interactive white boards, or by individual pupils at their own computers. These include resources such as interactive time lines that give an overview of a topic; and ‘Tell and Test’ activities. ‘Tell and Test’ interactives give pupils information about a topic and include an activity designed to test and reinforce their knowledge.
Teachers can also use Heritage Explorer to search for and download images of landscapes, buildings or historic scenes to be used to support a host of classroom activities. The search facility also allows teachers to seek out images from the local area, supporting any local community heritage classroom projects.
See previous winners.