Fancy a quick class trip to see the Pyramids without all the paperwork? Giza 3D is a historically accurate, in-depth recreation of the great pyramids which you can access from your classroom on your Interactive Whiteboard.
Built by Dassault Systemes, the people who created the 3D Paris Tour, the site lets you go on guided, interactive tours through ten different areas of the Giza plateau — allowing you to wander the necropolis, explore shafts and burial chambers, and enter four of the site’s ancient temples, including Khufu’s and Menkaure’s pyramids. With full control over the camera, you can fly in and out of different regions at will, and click on objects for more info.
Each area also contains an object gallery and photo gallery, as well as a link to a database of relevant documents.
The site’s creators have worked with real archaeologists to ensure that the models are as accurate as possible.
If you are teaching Ancient Egypt, then this is well worth a look. Visit Giza 3D Here.Read More
The Marks & Spencer Company Archive has just launched a new online learning resource for UK schools to make elements of the company’s collection of over 70,000 historical objects, photos and documents accessible to students and teachers for the first time.
In partnership with My Learning, the M&S Company Archive eLearning Hub will be available to schools and educational establishments free of charge.
These themed classroom resources are inspired by objects, photos and documents held at the M&S Company Archive in Leeds. They offer a cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning by…
- examining the people who made M&S the high street name it is today
- exploring innovative practices and merchandise at M&S
- challenging students to think about their own values and ambitions
The eLearning Hub is an online portal comprising imagery, videos, documents and games that will allow children to engage with and understand the company’s rich history.
The materials have been selected to be applicable to a broad range of school subjects including business studies, history, science, design and technology, maths and English. Resources are suitable for KS2-4. All content on the site can be incorporated into interactive whiteboard resources.
It’s an interesting resource, and even better, it’s free!
You can access the M&S Company Archive eLearning hub here. Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments.Read More
Adobe Photoshop Touch lets you modify your photographs on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. I’ve written about it in the past, but this version has been tweaked and updated since then.
You can work on photographs taken directly with the iPad camera, or load images from your Camera Roll. You can also carry out a Google Image search or pull an image in from Facebook from within the app.
You get a range of effects and filters to apply to your photos from the basics like blurs, glows, and drop shadows to stylized looks like Old Photocopy and Glass. If you use regular Photoshop a lot of these will look similar.
Applying adjustments to any photo is easy – you can just select the effect from a series of thumbnails and then drag your finger horizontally on the slider to increase or decrease the strength of the effect. You can also add text to your images quite easily.
You can also save your images to the cloud with a free Adobe Creative Cloud account. This will let you sync your files or wirelessly transfer your work to other devices and to Photoshop CS5 or later on a Mac or Windows PC with your layers and resolution preserved to take your ideas even further.
Processed images can also be saved back to your Camera Roll or shared via Facebook, email or sent to a printer.
Teachers who are using iPads in their classroom should take alook at Photoshop touch if you want something to allow your students to work with photographs, but at £6.99 for the iPad version it might not be something you’d buy for the whole class, rather for specific needs. The iPod Touch/Android versions are cheaper though, at £2.99 so might be more within your budget.
It needs to be mentioned that Photoshop Touch requires at least an iPad 2 or iPhone 4S and iOS 6. It won’t work on the iPad 1 or earlier iPhones.
Let me know what you think in the comments.Read More
The Collins Big Cat Series is a popular reading scheme used by over 9000 UK primary schools, as well as English-speaking schools all over the world. The books are now available as award-winning iPad apps, produced by the wonderful people at Shoofly Publishing.
These apps provide a great way to develop essential literacy skills and transfer good reading to great writing. They recently won a Bett Award for Primary Digital Content. The books are aimed at Early Years / KS1.
Each animated, interactive book contains audio narration, music and sound effects to aid language learning. Children can read along with the narration as the words are highlighted. There is also the opportunity to develop children’s speaking and listening skills by recording their own narration and sound effects
There is also a story creator which lets children make their own book using pictures, characters and key vocabulary from the story
The following books are available:
- Around the World
- The Steam Train
- It Was a Cold, Dark Night
- My Bike Ride
- In the Garden
- The Farmer’s Lunch
- At the Dump
It’s an excellent set of resources, and even better, the books are free! Do take a look. Click on the names of the books above to get hold of a copy.Read More
Common Sense Media is a comprehensive website that provides information for teachers and parents to help keep kids safe online.
It provides reviews and ratings for movies, apps and websites that inform parents/teachers how suitable they are for children and lets them know of any issues to be aware of.
As well as that, the site has a wealth of information aimed specifically for teachers with their Media and Technology resources for teachers section. This section provides free resources to help teach about e-safety.
One of the highlights of the site is their FREE Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum. The relevant, ready-to-use instruction helps you guide students to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world where they live, study and play.
If you are looking for ready-to use teaching materials to help deliver e-safety lessons then this website is well worth a look. You can browse the teaching plans without registering, but you will need to register with the site if you want to download the resource packs. It’s free to do so.
Take a look here : www.commonsensemedia.org/educators
ACS International Schools have been rolling out a 1:1 iPad programme across grades 3-12 in all their campuses, and many of the sessions run at the conference was by ACS teachers who were sharing some of the things they have learned from the project so far. I attended several sessions and it was impressive to see some of the things the ACS staff have been doing with their students.
The day was kicked off with a keynote speech by Marc Prensky, the man who coined the term Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. I was interested to see him speak, not least because I’ve been using some of his quotes in my M.Ed dissertation I am currently writing!
Prensky’s key message was one of learning to embrace the change that is taking place in education. Everyone hates change – but we need to learn how to adapt. Adapt to the world we live in and our students live in. The goal is not just “learning”, but “becoming”. Our children need to become a better thinker, a better relator, a better whatever it is they want to do. Learning is not the end, it’s the means to this end.
Prensky also talked about Digital Wisdom – the use of technology to enhance the brain. As someone who uses his phone as an extended memory I can relate to this.
Prensky explained that sharing was key. As educators we need to share. There are no best practices, we’re all experimenting with different ways of doing things in the classroom. To be effective practitioners we all need to experiment, invent and share as much as we can. The main sharing tool, he suggests, is video. It’s quick and easy to share and he set us a goal of producing 1 x 30 second video per week. And the benefit of the technology means we don’t have to video ourselves if we don’t want to. We could use iPad apps to create presentations that we don’t feature in. It’s an interesting idea. I just need to remember to try it!
From the other talks, I got lots of very interesting ideas. I’ll share some of these in later blog posts. But there are two things I really wanted to share here.
Firstly, I attended an excellent session on Developing a Lower School Digital Citizenship programme run by Sue Wakefield and Lauren Seaberg at ACS Hillingdon. They have been working with very young children in developing e-safety rules and educating the children to stay safe on the iPads they are using in class. They shared a very useful site I hadn’t seen before called Common Sense Media which has some excellent teaching materials to help teachers guide their students to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world where they live, study and play. Go check it out.
I also attended a very useful session by Amy Sidle who teachers at a school in Norway. She has been using iPads with her English classes and has almost achieved a 100% paperless classroom. The main app she used to achieve this was one I hadn’t seen before called Showbie. Showbie allowed her to set work for her students, collect it in, mark it using other apps, and then send it back to the student. I was very interested in the way it worked with other apps such as Notability for annotation/marking and Dropbox. Showbie is definitely an app to check out if you have class sets of iPads.
Again, thanks to the ACS International School Cobham for hosting the conference – it’s always interesting to see how other schools are using iPads and I am always learning about new apps I hadn’t seen before, or old favourites being used in new ways. I’ll write more about some of these apps in the future.
Until then, go check out Showbie and Common Sense Media and see what you think!Read More
Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere. It would be of particular interest to science/biology teachers.
Through their website and mobile Apps, Project Noah is asking its users all over the world to take photographs of their local wildlife, then upload and tag them. In doing so it will create an large searchable archive of photographs.
There is also an education area of Project Noah where teachers can set up class accounts. Classes can be given “missions” and upload photographs related to that mission. I could see this working particularly well in Primary school science – it would add an extra angle to lessons where students study plants and animals in their local enviroment. The class could use digital cameras (or iPod/iPads) and photograph the different animals and plants they see – identify them then upload the photos to Project Noah.
There’s also a special “Global Schoolyard Bioblitz” mission where students could share their images with other students around the world and look at similarities/differences.
Even if you don’t want to upload photographs – Project Noah acts as an excellent source of nature photographs. I must admit I can’t find their exact terms and conditions on the use of their images in your own lessons, but I would assume fair use would let you or the children use them in their own work.
Go take a look at Project Noah here : http://www.projectnoah.org/Read More
Yesterday I spent a rather fun day delivering Interactive Whiteboard training to some of the Education staff from English Heritage in the rather impressive surroundings of Wrest Park Estate. While there I was reminded about their range of IWB resources that they’ve put onto Promethean Planet, and I thought I’d share here in case you haven’t seen them.
English Heritage National Monuments Record (NMR) have produced a range of interactive resources taken from their Heritage Explorer website. If you haven’t seen their Heritage Explorer site, it lets you search their database of over 9,000 images and find curriculum related resources, for all key stages, to use or adapt for their pupils. The resources are in .flp format so should open in ActivStudio/Primary as well as ActivInspire.
The resources will be of interest to KS2 and Ks3 teachers looking for History resources.
As well as the flipcharts, English Heritage NMR have also supplied a sample of free images relating to the same topic areas. The remainder of the images can be downloaded direct from the Heritage Explorer site.
The following resources are available :
Promethean Resource Packs
You can access the English Heritage resources here, and all the other partner resources on Promethean Planet can be found here.Read More
For those who attended my talk on Digital storytelling as part of TeachMeet Takeover, here’s a collection of the links and resources I demonstrated:
Digital Storytelling covers many different types of activity – from making movies, recording voices, creating animations or electronic books. In schools they can help to take a task that might be seen as mundane – write a report, write a story, explain a process, describe an experiment – and turn it into something a whole lot more interesting.
The links to the sites/software demonstrated are :
Storybird - http://www.storybird.com
Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories that are curiously fun to make, share, and read. Choose from hundreds of fabulous drawings and images and then write a story to go with them. Free to sign up and class accounts possible. Finished story books can be embedded into blogs/VLE or read via the website – a great way to share with parents. A really cute site, do take a look!
Storyjumper - http://www.storyjumper.com
StoryJumper teaches children to write a story in just 7 steps using their StoryStarter process. Finished books can be read on-screen or bought as a hardback. Free signup, class setup available.
ToonDoo : http://www.toondo.com
Toondo is another simple comic strip creation tool with a wealth of different options available. Sign up needed, but it’s free.
Zooburst : http://www.zooburst.com/
ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books using augmented reality technology.