Thursday, 25 December 2014

Heavens Above! It's Christmas!

I've been absent of late during the school holiday festive period, but I have a present for you all:

The winter skies give us all an ideal theatre for star gazing with long nights. Click the link above and find out when you can see the International Space Station during your holiday. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Google Earth Flight Sim

I just found quite a nice feature on Google Earth - Flight Sim mode.

Open up Google Earth and press Ctrl+Alt+A or access it via the menu. Tools > Enter Flight Simulator.

You then have a choice of two planes:

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Can't find the special character you need? Draw it and Google Docs guesses the rest...

We use Google Docs at our school and the more I use it, the more impressed I get. Someone came to me the other day and asked how to insert special characters into Google Docs.

You go to Insert > Special Characters.

But the one I want isn't listed. I can't find it? Here's where Google Docs really shows off, skip to the 1 minute mark to get to the point, but the whole video is good.

Quickly find and insert special characters into Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings:

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Non-newtonian fluid in slow motion

If you don't mind sacrificing a subwoofer you can do this in school.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

More ICT and BYOD classroom resources

Last month I posted some resources which can be used in the classroom with the use of ICT.

Here are some more:
and PSHE......

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Geoguessr Geography ICT

If you haven't seen this yet then please click on the link or the picture below:

It's a game using google maps which tests your geography skills.
Geoguessr takes you to a random place on Earth and you need to guess where you are using the built in map. It's a great plenary activity for Geography.

Have fun!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Raspberry Jam

I'm blogging on a Raspberry Pi from the STEM centre in York where I'm currently at my first Raspberry Pi Jam in a workshop with Tim Smith from AKS school in Blackpool.

Learning how to make a Jelly Baby traffic light using a raspberry pi and Scratch GPIO.

Great fun!

Much more on Scratch GPIO in a future post.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Google Tour Builder

I stumbled on this today:

It's basically a cross between Storify and Google Earth. You can create a journey that you've done by plotting points on Google Earth and adding text, pictures and links.
I can see the application for Geography lessons using this tool but also subjects like English and history. Write a story about a journey or use googles historical map feature to look at journeys from History.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Learning from Failure using Portal 2

As always, another engaging #ukedchat on Twitter last night. Every Thursday at 8pm GMT @ukedchat on Twitter holds a discussion relating to Education in the UK. It's worth looking at. If you're on Twitter, just click on the #ukedchat link at around 8pm on a Thursday and you'll be able to follow the discussions.

A storify of last night's chat on "Learning from Failure" can be found here:

Learning from Failure ukedchat storify

ICT plays an important role in learning from failure. One tool I've used in the past has been the game Portal 2. Freely available through steam for education here:

Using a game design platform, you can teach students about design, then reflecting on their design and learning from mistakes to improve the next stage. It's a nice 360 degree review process. If you encourage growth through failure with this reflective process then you can make the most out of failure.

I created a short video here to introduce Portal 2 game design.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

ICT and BYOD classroom resources

I just thought I’d share a few links to new resources I’ve found this half term relating to ICT / BYOD. Some resources will be useful for more than one subject. For subjects I’ve missed out I’ll keep an eye out and hopefully post some ideas next half term.

Use Twitter to create short stories:

Word cloud creator for creating displays with words:

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

My Raspi Journey 1 - remotely connect to a Raspberry Pi

Like many others I was excited when the Raspberry Pi was released a couple of years ago. Like many others my Pi sat in a cupboard for months gathering dust.

I think part of the problem is that which ever way you cut it, computer programming is tricky to get your head round and even with the very accessible Raspi the practical uses in a classroom environment are limited unless you want to get technical. So, I started a little journal showing what I did with my Pi from day one. I'm going to post some of these steps and lessons learned here over the next few weeks.

I'm going to assume you've done the basics and bought a raspberry pi, downloaded the image and have booted it up (instructions here, so I won't repeat it)

Remotely Log in to your Pi:

Monday, 13 October 2014

Hello World

Blogging. Never before has so much been written by so many and yet read by so few.

I'm afraid I'm adding to the cloud today but I give no apology. This is really a journal to help me keep track of the many links, apps, ideas, websites, problems and solutions I see everyday in my role as an ICT Technician in an educational establishment in the UK. If you find it helpful (and I hope you do) then all the better.

This blog was inspired by the late great which is worth a read through. I find myself in a bit of a thankless role. People only normally need my help if there is a problem or something is wrong. The problem is that ICT in schools these days can be so vast and overwhelming that you need someone, somewhere to give you a bit of a hand. If they've got a smile on their face it often helps. It's a tough world out there... so lets get cracking.