Monthly Archives: April 2012

Sir, you’ve got too much spare time!

Someone I follow on Twitter recommended the Morfo 3D face booth recently. So, I bought it and started experimenting. I soon found that you could take your own photo. Take an image of me, connect the iPad to my projector and get the app to say hello to classes by switching inputs without warning. Well, bemusement, amusement abounded and I have to admit that my face three feet high is a shock at any time.

Discussions about how it looked like me, how did you do it, how much is it can you get other effects, can you make it dance … This is what I like about using apps in the classroom they often generate new lines of questioning and sharing. You discover who has or whose parents have iPads and favoured apps.



Then the experimentation continued – an image of the Earth ( from Earthbuzz app) and then at rowing club on Friday a face imposed on the ergo meter fan – oh Sirrrrr! … Lol.


Digital Leaders moves from proposal to recruiting

Monday 30 April sees our school Digital Leader recruiting start.
The first thought was how to reach all Key Stage 3 pupils who are eligible to apply in this first round of applications. Assemblies at the start of the day or through lessons. Looking at my own timetable I have access to many of the groups, so I arranged with the other members of the department team to speak to groups in classes.
Then, how to remind pupils throughout the three week application period. A keynote presentation converted to PDF is now installed as part of the rolling screen on the school’s digital display screens.

A flyer was prepared in Pages and also converted to PDF. This reminds applicants of the e-mail address to send their Digital application to and aspects of the post.
So, bring on Monday – how many applicants will we get? What sort of applications will they make? How will we best showcase their work for others to appreciate? I like the way that this process continues to throw up new challenges.




Natural disaster follow up using iApps

Following my Twitter and Flipboard post about Wed. 11 April earthquake in SE Asia I then followed up with some research using a variety of apps that I have used in the classroom on my iPad.


Earthbuzz shows the number of aftershocks in the area and in that week dominated the distribution of quakes globally.


Quakes then showed on a more localised map the distribution and magnitude of events.


PDC World Disaster Alerts then gave additional information links and even provided tsunami impact mapping. I had not realised the depth of detail within this app previously and will be using it more extensively in future units on Tectonics at Key Stage 3 and 4 for Geography lessons.



Uni link to my web presence

Check out this website I found at got the idea from DJD humanities.

Digital Leaders are go….

Friday 20 April and the planning and networking starts to bear fruition. I gain approval to start a Digital Leaders programme at school. Links with other secondaries are starting to be made through Twitter and #DLChat on a Thursday evening from 9pm.

Thursday 19 April I attended a borough MLE networking event and found a lot of interest in the leader idea. I am now going to address local primary leaders in June. Teachmeet Kent on the 18 May will offer an opportunity to include DLs as part of the latest Mishmash presentation.

A quote that I used as part of my presentation:

20120420-183519.jpg Connected learners

Steve Wheeler (@Timbuckteeth) of Plymouth University posted a piece about Connected a learners today on Twitter. Although I don’t feel at the same level as academics, this connectivity and openness is one that I commented on anecdotally at Teachmeet Play (#TMPlay) in February 2012.
In my career as a teacher (24th year) I have seen collaboration outside school gates encouraged, discouraged, feted and dismissed as competition (perceived or otherwise) has proved an obstacle. Social media is my release – I can talk with educators and any other online sources at very little notice. I can share, discuss, trial ideas in a way that a single institution can never achieve. I belong to many networks that promote different aspects of my work.
For me at a personal level it is a release for enthusiasm that has been bound too long by red tape and I intend to network more through social media so that I am a more informed and up to date educator than any CPD course provider can hope to match individually.

So thank you god the article and linked tweet you’ve provoked my ideas and another strand to reinforce in my mishmash presentations at Teachmeets.

Natural disaster, twitter and Flipboard

Wednesday 11 April travelling to see my parents. I was on return leg drive so had a look at twitter – an 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Banda Aceh (site of 2004 tsunami). My alert system as a geographer switched in and I spent the rest of the journey reading retweets and following new tweeters across SE Asia. The news came from several directions, points were duplicated and as I had done during the Japan March 2011 I retweeted, followed new sources and saw how the situation developed. Two days later I am still following up links from geological reports on what occurred and the good news that lives were not at risk this time as they were in 2004.

Flipboard is an accumulator / magazine format in which I can look back at my tweets in an easy to read way. MY next task to go back and follow the links to develop notes to use in my teaching about such events in the future. Thursday, in The Times, my daily paper – no mention of this frantic episode at all!


Draw something / pictionary goes hi tech

Draw something – currently a success as an app. Like pictionary or Taboo (apparently) – use drawing / visual learning skills to represent words. Tony Cassidy has developed a geographical set of cards for revision purposes. A good resource for starters / plenaries or just flash card revision style. This is where innovation and keeping up to date counts.



The power of following

The power of following others is that you see different examples of using Twitter and blogging layout and tools. Today in a snowy holiday cottage my attention is drawn to London and the 2012 Google Teacher Academy. Simon is using his blog to keep a record and this year it will be interesting to track the experiences and thoughts of people I often engage in online discussion with.

So good luck #gtauk and here’s watching what tools I could be trialling too.


Holiday pictures

Ok so I’m on holiday. When I was young that meant an instamatic camera, film cartridges and money for developing, oh and not taking pictures with the case flap or a finger in the way. Now I admit all my pics. are taken on a mobile phone, uploaded to sites and then available to admire instantly.

So too many images? Probably but the freedom to point and shoot without development costs or limits on the number of shots is so liberating. I remember the excitement of moving to 35mm film then the exasperation of film loading.

So how to share pictures- in two days I’ve uploaded pictures to share with friends on facebook and using Flickstackr I can upload and create sets in my Flickr account to.