Tools, Sites, Apps and Stuff you have to read w/c 3rd June 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, random rants  and must read articles or books.


Another great find from Vimeo – a site which is sadly blocked in some schools, so best download it first. This is four minutes of stark contrasts of the light outside of the dank ailing toy factory. The robot who is forced to work here is finally released/escapes at the end of the film. And I guess that is your starting point for writing.

Obsolete from Smoking Robot on Vimeo.

Combining Sound/ Music Apps

Though I love playing with apps like Figure and Rebirth  I will admit to being in need of some musical instruction and inspiration to help me move beyond the messing about stage. This is where tutorials from the likes of Julian Coultas come in. Here is a great video from him on using a number of music related apps together to make music for a podcast.

Creative Audio on the iPad from Digital Roadtrip on Vimeo.

Mailshot Pro

mailshot iconOne thing that really vexed me over the last year was sending group emails from an iPad. Obviously there are bigger things in my life, but  for a time this was a conundrum that I simply had to solve. I wanted my iPad to be a mobile office and not have to fire up the PC every-time I wanted to send an email to all of Year 4, the LSA team or even the whole school.

Now unless things have changed in the last few minutes then I am pretty sure that IOS devices do not let you send group emails from the mail app. It is not Outlook you know! However we did find “an app for that” in the shape of Mailshot pro.

Though this cost £2.49, it did do what it said on the tin. They have a support site with clear instructions on how to set up your mailing lists too.


Google Forms

This is an oldie for me really. I have been using google forms for some time, both in class and to do evaluations at the end of training sessions. You can forget how good they are though! This week I needed to create a staff survey and we used google forms as a means of collecting  the information. It is such a time saver and if you phrase your questions correctly you can get a good mix of  text-based answers and measurable numerical data which is displayed back to you viewable as pie charts.

Ian Addison is a busy man, but he once gave up ten minutes of his life to create this really handy video for people who would like to use Google Forms, but perhaps lack the confidence.

Animation Chefs

Ok, so these guys rock! They are like anarchic CPD on animation that is both funny and bursting with fresh and helpful ideas. I love watching their videos and picking up tips and new ways for using animation.

Visit their site for more animation craziness.

Why are you Shouting at Us?

why2Managing behaviour is so important and no matter how long you have been a teacher, you can always develop your strategies for dealing with difficult pupil and class situations.  I am reading a range of Kindle based books at the moment, but this one held my attention right the way until the end.

The authors are both practical and honest and I have found myself using some of their tips and approaches this week. I would highly recommend this feature on the reading list of new and older teachers alike.

Oh and buy – Phil Beadle – How to Teach as Well!



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