Tag Archives: Classroom

Quick iOS Video Apps for the Classroom⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Over the years I’ve often though that video is most useful as a tool for pupils to report on their learning and learn a little about making media. I have not changed my mind but recently I’ve found myself using it to share learning quickly myself quite often.

There are a couple of useful Apps I’ve been using to do this, both have, in my opinion advantages over iMovie and clips.

HyperLapse is one I’ve used for years now. It seems to be called ‘Hyperlapse from Instagram’ now. It is however free and can be used without having an instagram account. Its main purpose is to record speeded up videos. But the main feature I use it for is it smooths out hand held video with automatic stabilisation. This means you quickly move through the classroom videoing activity and get a fairly good result without editing.

Here is an example I posted to twitter today:

‎Snapthread is another handy choice. It quickly pulls together videos from ‘live photos’ on iOS. You can add music, titles and the like quickly. I’ve found it especially handy in impressing visitors who ask me to tweet photos of their work with my class. I can usually get a video up in just a few minutes. You just need to try and hold the camera still for a moment or two before of after clicking the button. 30 second videos free, but I was delighted to be able to pay for longer ones to support an independent developer.

Here is a Snapthread example:

I’d not claim any artistry or skill in making these videos but they only took a couple of minutes to create. The longest part was probably the upload to twitter.

I also upload these to our class blog. I’d much rather just use the blog but twitter is ubiquitous in Scottish education now:(

Read: Why coding should at the centre of the curriculum⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Read Why coding should at the centre of the curriculum
Coding develops cognitive skills, problem solving and analytical thinking ("computational thinking"). By introducing and developing these abilities from primary school onwards, we create the building blocks and thought processes necessary for robotics and AI. This is not about displacing traditional subjects but, rather, changing the emphasis. Coding can comfortably sit alongside other subjects, especially those with a creative slant, reinforcing the development of key skills through multiple channels.

Coding develops cognitive skills, problem solving and analytical thinking (“computational thinking”). By introducing and developing these abilities from primary school onwards, we create the building blocks and thought processes necessary for robotics and AI. This is not about displacing traditional subjects but, rather, changing the emphasis. Coding can comfortably sit alongside other subjects, especially those with a creative slant, reinforcing the development of key skills through multiple channels.

Digital skills: Why coding should at the centre of the school curriculum | Tes

Coding certainly can develop cognitive skills, problem solving and analytical thinking. A lot of other things can too. I think it is difficult.

Any class will present a wide range of learners. Designing or adapting lessons to try and get as many of them in the right zone to develop these skills is tricky. If you don’t get this right coding is neither productive or fun.

The article notes:

. Coding can comfortably sit alongside other subjects, especially those with a creative slant, reinforcing the development of key skills through multiple channels.

I’ve certainly found that putting coding into a context can lead to more fun and success. By adding elements art or making to a coding project more pupils are involved in problem solving, collaboration and creativity.

A difficulty in managing this might be the perceive need to be an expert in several different areas. I’ve certainly found myself in situations where I’ve not be completely confident around some of these areas.

The article acknowledges that covid has had an effect:

It is a reasonable assumption that this immersion in IT and technology is preparing young people for a digital future and teaching them the skills they will need.

But we need pupils to be creators as well as users:

there is a largely unrecognised digital difference between the users of technology and the creators

I think there is also a gap around literacy and the problems that the mixing of commercial and educational interests in technology. A lot of the uptake in digital solutions lacks any questioning of the provides of these solutions.

This is something I am not very sure I’d know where to start with? Perhaps Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex:

In just a few years, understanding programming will be an indispensable part of active citizenship. The idea that coding offers an unproblematic path to social progress and personal enhancement works to the advantage of the growing techno-plutocracy that’s insulating itself behind its own technology.

Read: Outdoor learning has improved our pupils’ attainment⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Read Outdoor learning has improved our pupils' attainment by Jay Helbert
Children here at early level experience 50 per cent of learning and play outdoors, those at first level have 33 per cent and second level children have a quarter of their school time outdoors. This has enabled the school to use a mixture of formal and informal learning outdoors to build in play-based and pupil-led learning, which, in turn, has helped to reduce anxiety and build resilience.

Really positive article in TES by Jay Helbert💙 (@learningjay) .

Our Forest School (in the grounds of Argyll Estate) and Beach School (on the shore of Loch Fyne) provide opportunities for a blended experience. These lessons take place weekly over the course of a school term and are child-centred experiences where teachers set up learning “provocations” and options for activities ranging from den-building and mapping to creating artwork and storytelling.

I’ve done a bit of outdoor learning in school but nowhere near the 25% the second level classes are managing here. I was interested to see this maths idea:

where children survey plant and animal species to gather data

I sometimes struggle to think up second level ideas for literacy & numeracy. I’ve mostly found early and first level ideas online.

The outdoors a great stimulus for writing, reports, narrative and poetry. Talking and listening seem built in. In maths we have done a fair bit of shape & measure and I can see the potential for data and related activities. It would be good to see a bank of ideas. 25% is more than once a week.

Bonus thought, has TES Scotland become a sort of medium for educational blogging. I am reading a lot of good stuff on TES.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library & Bird Bingo⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Somewhere or other1 I Saw a link to v.2 (1799) – The Naturalist’s Pocket Magazine or compleat cabinet of the curiosities and beauties of nature. Intriguing enough which lead me to discover the Biodiversity Heritage Library:

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL is revolutionizing global research by providing free, worldwide access to knowledge about life on Earth.

About BHL – Information about the Biodiversity Heritage Library

There seems to be a vast collection of biological books that are free to read and download. There is also a twitter account, @BioDivLibrar and an amazing Flickr account: Biodiversity Heritage Library where there are over a quarter of a million images, many public domain. They have also contributed

over 2 million BHL images have been uploaded to the IA Book Images Flickr stream as part of the Art of Life project. These images are identified and uploaded in bulk using an algorithm. They offer a great opportunity for serendipitous discovery via browsing.

from: About Biodiversity Heritage Library | Flickr.

The Library are asking for people to help tag their flickr images and this might be a good activity for secondary pupils?

Bird Bingo


As a primary teacher, once I’d stopped just raking through some beautiful images I knocked up a quick Bird Bingo game for my class to help with bird identification. It has random cards and a caller.

There is page after page of beautiful pictures in the photo stream I defy anyone to leave it quickly. Example page 2094!

Featured Image: n456_w1150 | Natural history of the animal kingdom for the u… | Flickr public domain.

1. I don’t like not being able to attribute where I found this amazing resource.

Bookmarked: Museo⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Bookmarked Museo (museo.app)

Museo is a visual search engine that connects you with the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rijksmuseum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the New York Public Library Digital Collection Every image you find here is in the public domain and completely free to use, although crediting the source institution is recommended!

from: Museo

This looks like another pupil friendly source of images. I’ve added this to the short set on my classes’ links page.

wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display 2021-03-09 19:16:30⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Reposted a tweet by Banton Primary (Twitter)

Episode 4 of the Banton Biggies Podcast is out now. Scripted & recorded by pupils in their home and edited together by the children in school all in less than a week.https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/nl/bbpod/2021/03/09/bbp-episode-4/

I’d avoided doing this earlier in lockdown ’cause I though it might be tricky. Turned out easier to organise than if I was in class. Even minimal supervision of the edit in school today.

Windscape a literacy resource for upper primary⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Windscape is an exciting children’s adventure that explores the dilemma between the usefulness of wind farms and the beautiful scenery they can sometimes destroy.

Paul Murdoch, the author of Windscape has recorded the audio for each chapter, created learning material and made them available for free.

With Paul’s permission I’ve taken the resources and turned it into a Glow Blog.

Windscape – an exciting children’s adventure by Paul Murdoch

and a podcast to which you can subscribe on: apple or android.

I have already started using the resource with my class and am looking forward to continuing.

As the audio is a blog it is easy to change things, we are open to adding to the learning resources if anyone has ideas. You can get in touch through the site.

Teams behaved a bit better today⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Teams behaved a bit better today. I got nearly the whole class in. I found that when pupil could not get access inviting them to join the call nearly all worked. This failed for one pupil.

Teams seems to use a lot of resources, a fair bit of beachballing and my fan started when searching for pupils to call in. I presume that Teams being an electron app and uses a lot of resources.

Glad I’ve got a small class, pulling in 33 one by one would be tedious.

On another positive note joining the meet with computer and iPad and then sharing screen with iPad continued to work well. I even manage to show the class team on the iPad screen in the meeting which was handy for explaining things. This is much better, I might even try PowerPoint again if things continue to improve. 1

Teams still seems a bit, what my class calls, laggy. Some pupils had difficulty uploading files to assignments. I found even small images were slow to post.

On a side note the Education Scotland – status page is nice

1. Things improved last lockdown when I had: Simpler Meets

Lockdown 2 day 1⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Lockdown 2 day 1

Well we didn’t get off to a great start.

Working from home today.

I’d set out a light weeks program in a blog post for the pupils and emailed the parents. In both post and email I’d try to make it clear we were trying to really get every pupil involved from the start.

Planned our first Team meeting for 2pm as that was the same time we used in the first lockdown.

Teams seemed to get off to a bad start across the country.

A number of schools, pupils and parents have reported the technology running slowly or not at all.

This didn’t cause me as much problems as some. I upload most of the files I want the pupils to use to the class blog. I figure this avoids password problems. Also Teams slowdown.

It did seem to cause problems in our meeting. Only about half the pupils managed to get on. The others could access Teams but not get onto the meeting. Hard to know if this was related to the reported problem or not. It was certainly frustrating seeing the messages from the class repeatedly trying to get in.

Worth noting that I joined the meeting on my mac and iPad. The iPad on mute and used as a screen share. This has improved a lot since the first lockdown. Joining on the iPad second it gave me a choice to swap to it or join without audio. The latter let me share the iPad screen, and from what I could tell it was not to laggy (as the pupils say). Laterally in the first lockdown I abandoned screen sharing or using PowerPoint and just share files in the chat as we had a pretty bad experience. This gives me hope for an improved experience.

Back to the digital classroom⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

From tomorrow I’ll be back in the digital classroom. I can’t say I’m very happy about it. For all my love of technology I much prefer the real classroom.

I’ve been reviewing my previous lockdown experience, I continue to find reading my old blog posts useful.  Also interesting to see what happened in the first week of term last session.

Last time I felt I spent very little time learning new stuff or seeing what other people were doing. As I recall my head was down. I believed that I cut out social media pretty much. I just had a look at my 2020 twitter stats:

And was surprised to see I was wrong about that.

It feel like there is a lot more pressure on this time round. I think, as teachers, we put enough pressure on ourselves, not sure the idea of teachers, schools and LAs having to produce data to justify themselves is a great idea. I gathered my own last time, and held myself to account  blogged about it, that felt tough enough.

I certainly hope that whoever tries to hold us to account understands the situation, the amount of prep needed to teach online, whether preparing for a live lesson or creating asynchronous ones.