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Downloading Music May 8, 2008

Posted by Gareth in : ICT, Music , add a comment

Childnet Internation have produced an updated version of their free guide for teachers and parents that explains the process of downloading music from the Internet and some of the associated legal issues.

EdTechRoundup February 22, 2008

Posted by Gareth in : ICT , add a comment

If you’re interested in using ICT to improve achievement (or even just enjoyment!) across the curriculum then it’s worth checking out the EdTechRoundup podcast. It’s a new podcast with a British take on using technology in education. It’s being produced by a group of UK teachers with the aim of spreading good practice and innovative tools in education.

At the time of writing there have been two episodes of the show so far. As with any new podcast, the team is still finding their feet. At the moment I would say that teachers with a good level of experience using ICT would get the most out of the shows. However if you’re new to podcasting, twittering or Open Source then why not email in some questions? I’m sure that they’ll include some “101” introductory features in the future if that’s what listeners want.

Check out the podcast and get involved.

CBBC Me and My Movie February 1, 2008

Posted by Gareth in : English/Literacy, ICT , add a comment

From the latest BBC Schools Newsletter

CBBC me and my movie is a unique film-making initiative inspiring and enabling children to make movies and tell their own stories. The website provides fun, interactive film-making tutorials and a safe space where children can upload, share and rate each other’s films including the winning films of the first me and my movie award, in association with BAFTA.
The free me and my movie film-maker’s pack for children is also available to download from the site in the How To section.
Coming soon – a free Teacher’s downloadable pack plus details of me and my movie activity in 2008.

Looks interesting.

All About Explorers January 9, 2008

Posted by Gareth in : ICT, Various Subjects , add a comment

Do your students believe that everything they read on the Internet is true? Do they simply copy from books or websites without thinking about how accurate those sources might be? See if they get caught out by the excellent ‘All About Explorers’ website that is deliberately full of inaccuracies. You’d hope that they’d see that the Christopher Columbus information is obviously fake but I imagine that the Sir Francis Drake page might cause some confusion.

MAPE Christmas Crackers December 7, 2007

Posted by Gareth in : ICT, Seasonal , add a comment

Now hosted by NAACE, I particularly like the first two resources on this site that present “Santa Sorting” activities based around the ICT topic of databases.

Paint.net November 30, 2007

Posted by Gareth in : ICT, Software , add a comment

I’ve been using this piece of software for absolutely ages but I’ve only just realised that I’ve never linked to it before on this site.

Paint.net is a brilliant free image package that runs on Windows XP SP2 (or later). It contains many of the features of expensive packages including layers, special effects, bezier curves, magic wand, clone stamp and recolouring tools.

If you don’t have a decent image editing program on your laptop or desktop PC then Paint.net is well worth downloading.

All About Animals November 26, 2007

Posted by Gareth in : ICT, Science , 1 comment so far

Northumberland’s All About Animals is an online pictorial database resource that has been designed to cover ICT objectives (Unit 2C) in the Key Stage One curriculum.

The database contains pictures and information on 65 different animals. Students can sort through the data by either browsing the animals by habitats, navigating the alphabetical index page or by using the search box.

Lemonade Stands November 20, 2007

Posted by Gareth in : ICT , add a comment

I’ve mentioned several websites in the past that are useful when you’re looking at computer modelling and simulations in ICT.

Although they’re more of a US thing, lemonade stands have always been a popular subject for simulations. I can even remember playing one myself in school on the old rubber-keyed Spectrum! Here are some slightly more modern versions…

Moneyville Lemonade Stand
This activity (from the Moneyville site at OMSI) is a great example featuring engaging graphics and audio as well as three different difficulty levels.

This version of the idea has varying manufacturing costs and charges for advertising. I’m not that keen on it because of the lack of an animated “selling” phase.

This more complicated example has you making decisions about the number of paper cups and other supplies you purchase. For older students only.

Quintura for Kids November 14, 2007

Posted by Gareth in : ICT , 1 comment so far

Quintura takes Yahoo! Kids‘ (presumably) filtered directory of websites and presents it in an easily searchable form for children. The tag cloud at the top of the page shows terms that are linked to your keywords. You can use these words to refine your search simply by clicking on them. It should be a really useful tool for your students’ Internet research. Give it a go and see what you think.


Daftdoggy October 30, 2007

Posted by Gareth in : ICT, Software , add a comment

This is an interesting new web resource that is currently in beta. The creator of the site emailed me the following details:

Daftdoggy is a website that allows you to record a websurfing session and then save it as a link to share with others. So, if you want to give someone a guided tour around the Intenet, from a single link, then now you can.

But what makes Daftdoggy really useful for teachers is that, after you saved your session, you can then edit it to add comments and teaching notes. On playback there is a small blue box at the bottom of the page which, when you place your mouse over, gives a translucent screen containing whatever you’d like to say about a particular webpage. So now you can tell people why you want them to see a certain webpage. You can point out what’s good and bad about the page before moving on the next one.

I would think that the site would be very useful for webquests or project work. You could put together a question for the children to answer about each of the websites that they visit. Here’s a very simple example of a WWII webquest.

It’s important to remember that Daftdoggy doesn’t stop students from navigating elsewhere so the usual care at selecting suitable sites and monitoring Internet use still apply.

You could also use Daftdoggy on training courses. Here’s an example tour of the Primary Resources websites that I’ve put together.