Tools, Sites, Apps and Stuff you have to read w/c 22nd April 2013

Each week my Flipboard app, Twitter responses, my kids, my Kindle Fire and my Google reader deliver a collection of new web tools, apps, books, crazy experiences and must read articles.

Here is this weeks collection:

Stick n Find

I expect to see a version of this technology in our classrooms in the next two to three years. I can see groups of year 1 children looking for carefully hidden stickered treasure armed with iPads. Or perhaps, techy minded vigilant teachers will sticker their items in the fridge which seem to find their way out of the staff room.

Diddipix

diddipix-1

A great site I came across in the TES, which would support Teachers and  Key Stage 2 pupils in their photography work. I have never met a primary pupil yet, who instantly knew about how best to use flash or how to best frame an image. Most Teachers and pupils just aim, snap and rush to the printer. The Labs and workshops pages here help and guide readers to take better photographs and there are galleries to look at how others have achieved stunning results.  Well worth exploring if you are reviewing your scheme of work for ICT.

Minecraft Links

I am currently investigating the possibility of using Minecraft within our school, there is an app, but I am reliably informed by our Year 6 boys of how rubbish it is in comparison to the “real thing”.

I am grateful to friends on Twitter who shared links to these two sites that give further information on Minecraft in an educational setting. I hope I can write more about these sites and indeed Minecraft in future posts.

Firstly head over to Minecraft edu where you can buy an educational version of the game/ creator thingy.

minecraftedu

Then have a read of the Primary Teacher blog about how he has been using Minecraft in has classroom.

mincraftblog

Just buy 8, not 30 iPads!!

julian 8 not 30

Occasionally a blog post will come along that just arrests you and derails your thinking, though in a good way. Julian Coultas’s latest post has had this effect on me this week. Julian has observed that schools who are trying to manage a class set of iPads across a school are finding it a struggle, after all 1:1 is the best model. Julian’s idea is one of 8 iPads per class. This is effectively a ratio of 1: 4 in a class and should also maximise on face rather than screen time.

If I am honest I am not sure where I sit with this yet, having worked mostly with a set of 30 for at least  25% of the week, I would find 8 a struggle. But managing class sets across a whole school is still a hassle, they need charging, syncing, transporting, booking and above all embedding. People need to get used to them and see them as part of their classroom resources, if you only get them once or twice a week and they contain random media/ scores and internet history from the rest of the school that can be a pain.

Julian is looking for schools to follow his 8iPad idea and as he is a man of integrity and modesty, he is not looking to show boat this work, just offer free support to 8 schools that take up the challenge.

I have not seen a duff idea from Julian as yet, so I will follow hashtag 8iPad with interest.

If you are about to buy a set of iPads, read this blog post now!! 

Alchemy -another inspiring Video

Alchemy from Henry Jun Wah Lee / Evosia on Vimeo.

Today, I took assembly, where many of the children were talking about how they had used personification within their poems and sentences. Next to ICT  literacy is probably my favourite subject to teach and enthuse about. Regular readers will now how much I love to find unique videos that will inspire young writers. I think this next video would be an ideal launch pad for work on imagery and create intrigue around time-lapse filming  The scenes in and around your playground may not be as stunning, but throughout the day there are changes in light and shifting clouds. A webcam or the Stop Motion Pro app could achieve an aspirational version of the video. Linking science, art, literacy and ICT.

Or just stick the video on at story time or as children come into the hall for assembly.

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