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
Who is your favourite scientist? That’s the question film-maker Brady Haran has posed to leading researchers at Nottingham Trent University. They came up with an assortment of men and women from the past and present ranging from household names to unsung heroes.
The nominations have then been filmed and animated as short YouTube videos on the My Favourite Scientist website.
This site would be very useful for introducing the story of real scientists, and how science works, into the curriculum.
It’s a fun site, check it out at www.favscientist.comRead 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
Games add a new way to captivate students and help them learn in a manner that’s meaningful for them. The already excellent BrainPOP UK have taken this on board, and added gaming to their repertoire through GameUp UK – their new gaming area.
GameUp UK matches high quality BrainPOP content with great learning games – their resources underpin the learning and the associated games actively engage students and extend the learning. From what I can see you don’t need to be a BrainPOP subscriber to access the games (although I do suggest you look into getting an account with them, as their resources are pretty good).
You can find out more about GameUp UK, and get some very good advice on incorporating gaming in education, on the BrainPOP UK Blog.
Take a look at GameUp UK and see what you think! http://www.brainpop.co.uk/games/Read More
Teaching about sound in the classroom used to involve lots of fiddly bits of kit such as Signal Generators and Decibel Meters that would cost a lot of money and only get wheeled out once a year.
Thankfully if you have an iPhone or iPad you can replace quite a bit of that kit with a couple of handy apps which are either free or relatively inexpensive.
Here’s a couple to get you started:
This is an iPhone app, but works just as well on an iPad. It can be used to generate different frequency notes. Use it to demonstrate to a class how the pitch of a sound changes as the frequency changes. It’s very good for looking into hearing range as you can generate a high enough frequency to become inaudible to the human ear.
Try and find the frequency where you as the teacher cannot hear the sound any more but the students still can!
Optional in-app purchases give more functionality such as a Pink Noise creator.
Like the Signal Generator app, this test tone generator produces sounds from 20Hz to 20Khz. It can be used in the same way for hearing tests and sound demonstrations.
SPL meter provides a very useful decibel meter which can be used in class to measure how loud different sounds are. Take it around the school to measure the loudest and quietest places – or take it outside to measure noise pollution.
Like SQL Meter, Decibel 10th turns your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch into a professional sound meter, precisely measures the sound level all around you. It also shows a graph of the sound level over time.
OScope turns your iPad or iPhone into a portable Oscilloscope. It uses the iPad microphone and plots a graph of the sound wave on the screen. Use it on the iPad alongside an iPhone playing one of the signal generator apps to show how the graph will change with increased/decreased pitch or volume.
Got any other good apps that you use for teaching about sound? Please share them in the comments.Read More
Anatomy 4D is a very cool free app for iPhones and iPads which allows you to explore an augmented reality 3D body.
Augmented reality makes use of a webcam to superimpose animations over the world you usually experience. When the webcam sees special markers printed on paper it replaces them with a 3d model which you can move and manipulate simply my moving the piece of paper around.
In Anatomy 4D, as you ipad relative to the piece of paper you can explore a model of the human body. It’s a fun way to explore the body.
Tabs on the bottom of the screen let you switch off and on different organ systems. So you can focus just on the skeletal system, or digestive system for instance.
You can also change the gender of the model you’re looking at. The app does have an age rating of 17+ for nudity which is a little silly, but I guess is trying not to fall foul of Apple’s rules.
The best bit is that it’s a free app- so it’s well worth downloading just to try it out. The paper marker can be emailed to another computer for printing out, which is handy.
If you like that, but don’t have access to an iPad then check out LearnAR. which works with a webcam. Most of LearnAR is a paid-for resource produced by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, but there is a free demonstration version of their Human Organs activity on their website. This tool allows you to hold a marker in front of your chest and a see your internal organs.
If you know of similar apps – let me know in the comments below!Read More
Here’s another cool resource that would be great to show as part of a lesson about Earth and Space (or populations). The “Black Marble” shows the Earth in darkness with all the city lights twinkling away – showing just how spread out we all are in some parts of the world, and how concentrated we are in others. A NASA satellite captured the nighttime views with a special on-board camera. Apparently it took 312 orbits to get a clear shot of the entire surface of the Earth.
Now, with the involvement of Google (who else?) it has gone from a still image to an interactive experience with a new interactive map made up from a series of images merged together into one scrollable map.
The new map doesn’t seem to be an official feature of Google Maps, but you can access it here.
There’s also this rather cool video that you can show. Play it full screen and in HD if you can!
Science and Geography teachers should definitely check it out.
NASA’s Spacecraft 3D is a free augmented reality (AR) application for IOS devices that lets you learn about and interact with a variety of spacecraft that are used by NASA to explore our solar system, study Earth, and observe the universe.
From within the app you get the option to email yourself a pdf file with a special AR marker on it. Simply print this off and place it on your desk. You can then choose which spacecraft you want to examine – the app includes Curiosity, Hubble, Cassini and more! According to NASA, Spacecraft 3D will be updated over time to include more spacecraft. Hold your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch up and point it at the marker and the spacecraft will appear.
As you move the marker around, the image will move and rotate so you can see all around it. Choose from different animations to show how different parts of the craft work – such as Curiosity’s robot arm or antenna unfurl.
It’s a really cool little app, and even better it’s totally free, so I highly recommened checking it out. It’ll work on all IOS devices with a camera. Would make a fun activity in a science lesson about space and how we can explore it.
Let me know what you think in the comments.Read More
Just a quick post to share this rather amazing video. This animation of the Moon has been put together by NASA and shows how the phases change in the course of a year. It’s quite mesmerising to watch, as you see how the moon gets slightly bigger and smaller and changes its tilt slightly over time.
Would make an excellent way to start a lesson about the Moon – play it in HD and Full Screen. It’s wonderful.
There’s more about it on the NASA website here.Read More