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Newsmap September 25, 2007

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This is a site that teachers will find interesting, but it’s not one that you’d use in the primary classroom. Newsmap displays the news stories that Google News gathers together from various sources on the Internet. Instead of presenting the reports in a list it shows them graphically, colour coding them by subject and adjusting the size according to the amount of coverage the story is receiving. It’s fascinating to see which events are generating the most articles and how the perceived importance of each story varies from country to country.

Flickr Ransomizr September 17, 2007

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This site uses the great collection of single letter pictures on Flickr to display a message of your own choosing. The modern day equivalent of the newspaper ransom note!

English Funnies September 12, 2007

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I’ve linked to two humorous pages from the TeenLit website highlighting some of the difficulties of the English language. You could probably use some of the examples with older primary students.

Fun with Editing

English is so tricky…

Coverville September 7, 2007

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Another ‘completly random not related to primary education half term’ link! I have a bit of obsession with cover songs and like collecting new material whenever I can. Coverville is a great podcast by Brian Ibbott in Colorado. Each episode features about six covers together with chat from Brian. It’s a really good listen if you like cover versions or just music in general. The podcasts are easy to download and if you have iTunes you can subscribe from there. Make sure you check out some of the archived shows as well including the excellent show #195 with special guest Richard Cheese.

Pimp That Snack September 7, 2007

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When we were young Cadbury’s Creme Eggs seemed huge and Wagon Wheels were as big as your head. The contributors to ‘Pimp That Snack’ try to recreate these youthful memories by producing giant versions of sweets and snacks.

BOINC September 7, 2007

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If you fancy contributing to good causes in a slightly different way then it’s worth having a look at some of the distributed computing projects that you can sign up to on the Internet. These projects utilise the unused computing power of PCs all over the world to work on medical and scientific projects. You simply download a small piece of software which works in the background while you get on with other things.

For several years I’ve had computers running the Grid.org Cancer Research program which is part of an Oxford University project to try and find drugs to fight cancer. Recently I’ve switched to another piece of software called BOINC. The nice thing about BOINC is that it allows you to run lots of different projects from different organisations. You can choose to help fight aids, investigate proteins connected to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, join the search for extraterrestrial life or even take part in the BBC’s climate change research project.

The Human Clock September 7, 2007

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As it’s half term this week for most schools in the UK I’m going to be putting up some completely random, fun links instead of the usual education ones. The Human Clock tells the time through a collection of photographs from around the world. Beware… it’s very easy to sit there for hours watching it! (If you like strange Internet clocks then you might also like the Industrious Clock)

Gorman and Wallace August 27, 2007

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http://www.davegorman.com & http://www.dannywallace.com
Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace are two very funny guys whose books you should check out if you haven’t already. They mix humour, world travel and the strangest situations you could ever imagine to produce witty, informative and brilliant reads.

They first collaborated on the excellent Are You Dave Gorman? in which a drunken bet resulted in Dave and Danny scouring the world for other people called Dave Gorman. Dave’s second adventure saw him travelling the globe to attempt to meet a chain of googlewhacks in Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure (also now on DVD). What is a googlewhack? … click here.

Danny’s solo projects have included started his own cult (sorry, collective) in Join Me, creating and running his own country (as seen on BBC TV) and saying yes to everything in Yes Man.

Do yourself a favour and buy, borrow or steal (ahem… sorry, loan from the library) a copy of these books.

This is the last ‘half-term’ link before we get back to normal (which will undoubtably be a relief to those of you whose half term was last week anyway!)

Gadget Blogs August 27, 2007

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UK Gizmodo: http://uk.gizmodo.com/
Shiny Shiny: http://www.shinyshiny.tv/

If you like your gadgets then there’s lots of great websites online that can keep you up-to-date with all the latest news and gadget releases. Two blogs that I keep an eye on regularly are Gizmodo and ShinyShiny.

Gizmodo is a huge site by the vnunet.com group and ShinyShiny has gadget news from a female point of view. Some of the gadgets and postings aren’t suitable for children so teacher’s only, please. 🙂

NewsNow August 27, 2007

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NewsNow describes itself as the UK’s number one news portal and I’m not going to argue with that description. It automatically searches over 20,000 news sources for articles. You can view a newsfeed for hundreds of topics and it not only displays articles from national newspapers but also from local newspapers and carefully selected blogs/websites. Check out the education newsfeed by clicking here.