Monthly Archives: March 2012

Socks extends his portfolio

After some chats on Twitter yesterday about the use of sock puppets and puppet pals apps from the Apple store I found myself revisiting the idea of how the idea could be used more in my main subject of geography.

Both videos created: longshore drift and Introduction to Italy were uploaded to my bpictac YouTube channel (link to follow).



QR code generator – free for education – blippit offers a free QR code generator for schools. I was attracted by the no nonsense name and the free aspect of course.QR codes are becoming more common – how could you use them in school?

Displays that link to web links.; EAL student support translations; links to videos of school events again linked to displays or prospectuses; geocaching; orienteering; treasure hunts and many more.

Take a look for yourself and see what you think.


Here is QR code I created previously:


How do we reach the non-online teaching community?

This blog will be read by people who have an active online life. We tweet, we blog,we share and discuss ideas,we share resources – ideal. However, many of us will work with colleagues who do not understand / comprehend our desire to go online.

At #TMPlay the dilemma of reaching out to offline colleagues was raised. Time and cost can often exited as factors,so how do we share our enthusiasm? I’m known as a geek at school and for many that makes my online interest off limits and they are wary.

Teaching is about lifelong learning and geek or whatever label others will place at our door we have a duty to try and lower the barriers to show others why we are so enthusiastic.

Comments encouraged,welcomed, sought……. What do you think?

A blue sky moment …..


NJIRC rowing and tech.



A day full of team work, individual strength and determination. A great big thank you to London Youth Rowing and Picketts Lock for a great day out.

Tech – imagine 80 rowing machines with timing linked to screens, digital photography, video footage and sheer physical determination plus lots of team spirit – inspired by my school’s team.

Global warming and geography

Global warming -a topic that we revisit frequently but do so in a manner that acknowledges that there is a broad range of scientific interpretations. Al Gore’s previous material released to schools was followed by warnings about delivering in an open framework where views were shown to differ. So as I approached a lesson yesterday what new resources could I include?

NASA’s Earth Now app for the iphone allows images with upto date data to show images of data on the earth and a good discussion point when projected via VGA from the iPad.


Ok so now I want to look at how temperatures may have changed over time so I use the Just Science app in different ways with different groups. With some I let the animation play, then discuss what the pupils have seen. In another we look at intervals of 50 years and predict what differences we may see 50 years hence. Differentiation and good discussion starters.


Combine these with diagrams I build up with the class within my ActivInspire software I have a lesson that uses a range of resources that are visually stimulating,discussion is provoked and an interest in data and it’s uses. This is so much easier than when I. Used to hand. Draw diagrams on a chalkboard !!!

Neglecting posterous…

Well not been on here for a while I seem so busy online between different groups – mishmash blog, digital leaders network, trying Edmodo, teaching oh yes that, urban earth… Reflection time needed I feel … Soon



Digital leader network is using Edmodo to collaborate between students and staff in different schools. The network has been up and running for about one month now. On Twitter use the #DLchat tag to follow recent discussions.

U includes examples of work and how teachers may sign up to allow schools to twin with others to share resources and good practice.

Come and join us.

Explain Everything App

Explain Everything is a screencast app that allows you to make slide shows / videos to assist others with using apps or software. My first try is about using Google Translate to help with EAL students at school and is aimed to back up a Keynote presentation used as part of an in-house staff workshop on 14 March.

My copy is saved within the YouTube channel I’ve started to support staff becoming more confident with their use of technology in school or in collaborating with others.



#Urbanstory 2012

Saturday 10th March

I had intended to take a full part in this activity organised by #Urbanearth run by Daniel Raven-Ellison of The Geography Collective and Mission Explore. However circumstances meant I was unable to, then in the afternoon I was able to get up to London. Anne and I completed a brief walk from Liverpool Street to Fleet Street to meet the other walkers.

A wide range of photos and tales were shared and it was clear that many of the group had seen many interesting things on route.
















Last night attended network meeting of VITAL CPD in Cambridge. A gathering of VItal Professionals (VPs) and wannabes like myself. Sessions included:

– using video to create a weekly newsreel for your school
Led by Ian Pratt, VP, Goldington Academy, Bedford
Very practical, cheap and easy to do – thanks for the inspiration Ian

– introduction to the Vital ProfessionalDevelopment Partnership
Led by Deborah Record, Eastern Regional Manager
Well I’m convinced – can SLTs identify the value?

– keynote presentation using Collaborate video conferencing on Using kindles for education
Led by Duncan Garbett, W Midlands Regional Manager
Good examples of useinc. Visually impaired and EAL students in pilot projects

– how can we create young digital leaders in your school
Led by Andy Knill, Wannabe, Bower Park School, Havering
Can’t blow my own trumpet but a range of points discussed – hope everyone gained from it.

– plenary and prize draw

A good use of face to face and online networking time.