Tag Archives: ICT

micro:bit iOS app: much improved⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Since returning to the classroom I’ve been using micro:bits with my class of 8-11 year olds. We have had a deal of fun with them, some of this is on the class blog.

We normally use pc laptops and chrome to access the MakeCode editor. In the second year I tried using the iOS app but out of a class only one or two children managed to get their micro:bits connected. At the time I put this down to multiple micro:bits and iPads in close proximity.

I have occasionally tested new versions of the app and the most recent one seemed a lot better. It displayed the webpage code editor in app and flashing seemed simpler. Today wanting to move our micro:bit guitar project on when the PCs were in use elsewhere in the school I decided to give the app another run. I am very glad I did. Everything about the app seemed to be better. I think that coding and flashing to the micro:bit for an iPad is simpler than using a pc. We had no problems in getting code written and flashed to the micro:bits.

I’d highly recommend the app if you have both iPads and micro:bits in your classroom.

I’d also recommend the Microsoft MakeCode Guitar project. I’ve been working with a mixed age group class and the mix of tech and ‘art’ fits very well. Some of the younger children are getting their first experience with coding and the art and construction can keep them motivated when the coding concepts get tough.

Not on your Cloud⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

This post has been brewing for over  three months now. I think I just need to post it.

More and more of our computer use involves networks and cloud storage. A while back I was joined on Radio Edutalk by Sarah Clark who spelt out the benefits of the cloud in the classroom.

This is great if you have the connection and bandwidth. Some folk do not. This was brought to the front of my mind by a tweet by Andrew Jewell:

Thankfully I am not in that position, but although my class are 1-2-1 iPads we don’t have the broadest band in the world. I do a few different things that mitigate against poor connectivity that I though worth sharing.

I want to cut down as much network traffic as possible so that when we use the internet we get the best possible connections.

We Don’t do iCloud

Out of the box iPads want to use iCloud for storing files. For my personal and school devices I would not be without several ‘clouds’, my phone uses dropbox, iCloud and OneDrive. I use iCloud and OneDrive on my school iPad and desktop too. As I am lucky enough to have a mac in my classroom I sync somethings with iCloud so they are available on both devices, mac and iPad. This is very handy. I can write a note on my mac in the Notes app, it syncs to the iPad and I then can drop it to a group via the Classroom. I can edit pages and keynote files on both devices seamlessly. I keep a lot of materials in OneDrive and the app keeps my home computer and school one in sync.

However I get my pupils to turn off most of the iCloud features. Since they do not use multiple devices with the same account they don’t need all their photos and documents syncing. Opening documents with the native iOS apps such as pages and keynote is a lot faster if the documents are local.

A couple of years ago I centred our document Workflow around O365, OneDrive and OneNote. OneNote especially is marvellous for this, the Class Notebooks in particular give you a tremendous amount of organisation. Unfortunately we spent a fair bit of time waiting for things to open and lost a fair amount of pupils work in OneNote 1 so don’t use it anymore. I will keep an eye on the app and out network and return to it if conditions allow.

We do do AirDrop

The answer to my handing out and gathering in of digital assets is now AirDrop and Notes. Notes has really matured over the last few years and has managed to keep its simplicity and gain features. I send out a lot of ‘tasks’ or success criteria via notes. I use it to share audio files along side text and pupils can send me notes easily. My pupils send me finished work, for example, recording of their reading alongside their self assessment2. If I had to guess the most use apps in my class would be Notes and Photos.

AirDrop is a really good way to distribute large files. A bunch of pupils watching video on the network will really slow things down. I can drop the same video to my class or a group amazingly quickly.

AirDrop avoids the cloud sending from device to device directly.

Apple Classroom

Airdrop is much enhanced by using Apple Classroom, this allows you to set up classes and groups of pupils, you can Airdrop to the whole class or a group. More importantly the teacher’s iPad can receive files from pupils without intervention.

Of course classroom does some other things but I love AirDrop the most.

What I miss from this system is the organisation that is built into multi-user cloud solutions. Reviewing pupils work and giving feedback was easier in OneNote. I may get the class to turn on iCloud for Notes at some point and see if sharing notes is practical for me. I suspect that the amount of data used by notes will be a lot less than OneNote.

A Cache in Hand

Here we are entering geekier territory, and you need a mac (there might be other ways I don’t know about). You can buy, in the mac app store, the Server App. Or if you have a newer mac than mine you can use the built in Caching Service.

The Server app can cache content locally so that if more than one device is downloading the same content the later ones can get the data from the local cache rather than going out to the internet. This seems to help installing the same app across multiple iPads. You can see from the screenshot that a lot of the data reaching our iPads comes from the local cache rather than from the internet. In my experience this seems to speed up updating a bunch of iPads or installing a bunch of apps.

A Web of One’s Own

Hand in had with the caching the server app can do it can also serve webpages locally. This is a good alternative to AirDrop to share piles of photos. Rather than send them all to all of the iPads I can set up a web gallery on the mac and pupils can visit it via their browsers. This is probably beyond what most teacher are willing to do but if you can it is a good way to distribute files where pupils can choose form a range of images. Better than giving them all 100 images to choose from and fill up their iPads.

Once you have turned on web-serving it is just a case of building a website in the same ways as you would create an external site. It would be very useful do be able to do that automatically. The local urls will not be pretty or easy to type, but the pupils don’t need to as I will AirDrop the urls to them.

I’ve briefly tested the wiki server that comes with the Server app, but I am not sure it is happy with several folk adding content at once. I believe the wiki server has been dropped from later versions of the Server app.

None of this is ideal compared to a fast connection and a cloud solution but in the meantime it lets us get the job done with the minimum of waiting for the network. When we do need the internet, and we do, we get as much goodness as possible from it.

This is temporary and experimental

For all the reasons Sarah went over, the cloud is, long term, the way to go. I hope these things help make the technology less visible in my classroom in the short term. I’d also be interested in other and better ways to improve my classroom.

 

see: OneNote Help Wanted
Notes and Airdrop to the rescue  

OneNote to Rule them All⤴

from @ Glowing Posts

OneNote to Rule them All

OneNote is a free tool which works online through a web browser, or through apps for mobile devices, or as a desktop software

This is just one post from Malcolm Wilson’s blog which is jam packed with detailed posts about using ICT in the classroom.

This blog is maintained by Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer for Falkirk Council Children’s Services.  The purpose of the blog is to help support primary teachers within Falkirk primary schools in their use of ICT across teaching and learning.

Emojis, Symbols and Signs in Literacy and Learning⤴

from @ ICT for Learning & Teaching in Falkirk Schools

For conveying information quickly we all rely on signs and symbols every day, whether it’s finding toilets, exits, stairs or lifts in unfamiliar public buildings, or signs on roads warning of dangers ahead. We’re used to seeing symbols which convey information such as laundry washing symbols, packaging symbols, or about recycling products. And it might be said that people find information shared in an infographic poster more visually engaging when text and graphics and combined. Images can be recognised quickly regardless of the first language of the reader ensuring that information can be conveyed concisely without high levels of reading skills in any particular language.

Signs and symbols have been used throughout history to convey information so they are not new. The symbols used in ancient civilisations through to the emoticons and emojis of today may be considered to be part of a continuum.

It’s been described as one of the fastest growing languages and many millions of messages are reported to be sent every day using only emojis. Tennis star Andy Murray tweeted about his wedding day solely using emojis!

So what is an Emoji?

Emojis are simply pictures you type on a device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or computer. Emojis are standardised characters available on different platforms whether running Apple, Android, or Windows operating systems, or different social media platforms (the artwork varies slightly between each but the meaning remains the same).

But I don’t know what each emoji means!!

We all grow up with signs and symbols but for many people there may be a worry that they don’t know what each emoji means – don’t panic, there’s an online encyclopedia/dictionary of emojis: https://emojipedia.org/. Simply type in a word to find the emoji you need.

There’s also a Frequently-Asked-Questions section which answers questions you might have about emojis.

You might also find useful the EmojiTranslate site where you simply type a word, sentence or paragraph to get emojis to copy and paste elsewhere https://emojitranslate.com/

Why might Emojis be used in Education?

Why I use Emoji in Research and Teaching – an article by Jennifer Fane setting out reasons why to consider using emojis in education to support inclusion, to aid communication, and to give voice to all learners.

How Emojis can Help Children Learn and Communicate – another article by Jennifer Fane describing how emojis can aid inclusion for children as well as support children’s learning in areas of health, well-being, safety and diversity.

 

Ideas and Resources for using Emojis in the Classroom

An Emoji Education – a blogpost by Tony Vincent in his excellent Learning in Hand blog which presents lots of tools and ideas for using emojis in the classroom complemented by visually engaging poster images. Whether it’s simply suggesting use of emojis instead of common bullet-points in reports or presentations for greater impact, or for learners summarizing texts using emojis to demonstrate understanding, or using emojis as prompts for story starts, as well as a range of tools which can aid the use of emojis on a variety of devices.

20+ Emoji Activities and Resources for Teaching Math, Science, and English – a very helpful blogpost by Shelly Terrell with a host of ideas for making use of emojis in education. The ideas can be adapted across many curricular areas. Shelley links to other useful resources and tools, as well as additional posts about how emojis can be used including her “Teaching the Emoji Generation” article which also links to many other articles, resources and tools.

15 Ways to Emoji-fy Your Teaching – a blogpost by teacher Stacy Zeiger with ideas for using emojis in the classroom for supporting reading and writing, for maths and science such as illustrating processes, and to support social and emotional learning to help break down communication barriers for some learners.

Using Emojis to Teach Critical Reading Skills – an article by Marissa King with suggestions for how emojis might be used in a classroom situation as one means of connecting learner experience outwith school to develop skills in other contexts in the classroom.

Cybrary Man’s Educational Website for Emojis – a web page of links to resources about using emojis in education collated on the Cybrary Man website by Jerry Blumengarten.

Scottish Learning Festival 2018: 11 exciting DYW related seminars on offer⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

As one of the key  priorities in education, Developing the Young Workforce related contributions will feature prominently again at the SLF 2018 (19 – 10 September, SCCC, Glasgow).  This year’s main focus  will be on School-Employer Partnerships and STEM related learning around DYW.

Here is a list of key seminars:

Wednesday, 19 September

Title Presenters/education establishment Room/ Time
School-employer and Local Authority partnerships: A partnership approach to delivering DYW Donald MacLeod, Western Isles Carron 1

9.30

School-employer partnerships:  Planning, sustaining and developing a whole school strategic partnership:  what works and why? Peter Smith, Wallace High School, Stirling Carron 1,

12.30

STEM/Numeracy: Linking the maths curriculum to the world of work Alessio Gusmeroli, Skills Development Scotland Dochart 1,

12.30

School-employer partnerships:  Collaborative multi-agency approach to DYW Gill Geddes, Peebles High School, Scottish Borders Carron 1, 14.00
Profiling in the context of DYW: New guidance and My World of Work toolkit Klaus Mayer, Education Scotland and Derek Hawthorne, SDS Carron 1,

15.15

Thursday, 20 September

Theme/Title Presenters Room/ Time
DYW Regional Group: Labour market information for teachers Abigail Kinsella, Glasgow City Council Carron 1,

10.45

DYW whole school approach/ partnerships: Developing Employability and Creativity Skills across

learning

Castlebrae Community High School, Edinburgh; St Albert’s Primary School, Glasgow Ness,

12.00

School-employer partnerships/STEM:   The impact of STEM insight teacher placements Helen Winton, SSERC Alsh 1

13.15

ICT: Stirling digital skills forum: building partnerships and developing skills for the future Helen Gorman, Stirling Council Carron 1,

13.15

ICT/Skills:   Embed computational thinking across the BGE curriculum Lorna Kerr, Education Scotland Katrine

14.30

Gender/partnerships: RISE: inspiring the future! Audrey McDermott, Uddingston Grammar School, South Lanarkshire  

Download our DYW Flyer with all related seminars here: SLF 18 DYW seminar flyer

Access the full SLF programme here:  https://education.gov.scot/Documents/SLF2018conferenceprogramme.pdf

Register for the SLF and book your seminars here.

 

 

Getting Going with iPads in the classroom⤴

from @ ICT for Learning & Teaching in Falkirk Schools

So you’ve got iPads in your classroom? Where to start? Have a look at the Sway presentation below for a guide to some help to getting going with using an iPad in the classroom to support learning and teaching.

 

And if you’re wondering how iPads are being used in classrooms then have a look at the Sway presentation which collates some of the Tweets shared by Falkirk schools about how iPads are being used to support learning and teaching across the curriculum at all stages.

Creating a Multi-user Collaborative Presentation with Microsoft PowerPoint Online⤴

from @ ICT for Learning & Teaching in Falkirk Schools

The go-to presentation-creation tool for many teachers and pupils is PowerPoint. So as your pupils are already familiar with using Microsoft PowerPoint then consider using Microsoft PowerPoint Online available to all Glow users in Scottish schools as part of Microsoft Office 365. PowerPoint Online is available anytime, anywhere with online access so can be accessed at home or at school.

You can upload an existing PowerPoint presentation from your computer or other device to your OneDrive in Office 365 in Glow (and then edit online from then onwards) or you can simply log into your OneDrive and create a new PowerPoint presentation completely online. You can choose to keep the presentation private to you in your own OneDrive (the online cloud storage with massive capacity available to every Glow user in Scottish schools). Or you can, at any time, choose to make a PowerPoint Online presentation visible to other users of your choice – and you can choose whether to allow them to just be able to view it or show it without being able to make changes, or you can give other users the access rights to be able to jointly edit the presentation with you, either at exactly the same time as you or at different times to suit each user.

Have a look at the Sway presentation here for a step-by-step guide for learners to create a PowerPoint presentation in PowerPoint Online in their OneDrive in Microsoft office 365 via Glow and to share this with other Glow users to be able to jointly edit the same presentation.

 

The link below take you to a classroom activity for pupils to use PowerPoint Online to create (jointly with other pupils on different devices at the same time) a robot character. The step-by-step guide to this activity can be adapted for other curricular-specific tasks which would benefit from a group of pupils working collaboratively on the same PowerPoint presentation, whether simultaneously or at different times:

Passing the Power of Powerpoint

Listening to Aaron’s microcast⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Read Write Microcast #008 – Limits of Automation by Aaron DavisAaron Davis from collect.readwriterespond.com
Confident – the connecting of the dots and capitalising on different possibilities. Essential Elements of Digital Literacies In this microcast, I reflect on automating technology and wonder if there is a limit to how far we should go. Further reading: When Automation Goes Awry https://col...

The dilemma in supporting schools in using technology: Give out fish or teach to fish. Before I came back to school I was faced with this problem more than once.

What I would say now, in hindsight, is that if you make the solution yourself it adds risk. I thoroughly enjoy making simple scripts and workflows, but these are generally fragile. You might end up with more long term support than you thought, or worse raising and dashing expectations.

In my part-time life I am still supporting Glow Blogs. Quite often it would be easier to fix something in response to a request for help. More often now I try to write instructions instead. I can add these to the help and point the next problem a those.

I need to get back to microcasting. I enjoyed listen to this on my commute. The focus on one subject in the short form podcast is valuable.

Teach Languages Conference, 10 February 2018⤴

from @ My Languages


Teach Languages 2018
Teach Languages is a conference and exhibition for language teachers organised by Linguascope. The 2018 edition will take place on Saturday 10th February 2018.

Programme
The focus for the 2018 edition will be the teaching of grammar. Speakers include Sue CaveJuliet ParkIsabelle Jones and Judith Rifeser. To view a printable version of the full programme, click here.

Venue
Teach Languages is taking place at the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation in East London. Rich Mix is conveniently located just outside Shoreditch High Street station (Overground) and within walking distance of Liverpool Street station. There is also plenty of free parking spaces around the venue at the weekend. To help you find your way, we’ve produced a printable map for you to download. For travel details, check out the Rich Mix website

A day pass gives you access to any sessions and the exhibition area for the whole day. It also includes your delegate pack, refreshments and lunch.
The cost of a day pass is:
• £60 (£50 + VAT)
• £48 (£40 + VAT) if booked and paid online
• FREE* for Linguascope subscribers
*You will find your redemption code in the Staffroom section of the Linguascope website, under "Training Events"). Note that free tickets are subject to a £10 deposit (fully refundable if you attend on the day) to ensure that no place is wasted.

Sessions:
Creative Grammar: Developing Language Learner's independence • Isabelle Jones
With the new GCSE in sight and the need to produce writing in exam conditions, teaching and learning grammar has never been so important. This session will aim to introduce delegates to a range of strategies to develop the learning of grammar creatively from key stage 2 in order to produce independent and successful language learners ready for GCSE and beyond.

Grammar Moves • Sue Cave
Activities for developing grammatical understanding will be demonstrated. They have been tried and tested in Key Stage 2, however, they could equally be suitable for other age groups. Each activity will relate to the KS2 targets of the MFL Programme of Study. The emphasis will be on progression from word to sentence level both orally and written. Most of the activities include either movement or a kinaesthetic element and are designed to engage learners actively and creatively. All the examples will be in French but can be adapted for most languages.

The Final Countdown: Revision Revisited • Juliet Park
This session will focus on the lead up to the new exam, how we can help our students prepare for the new exam-style questions and be ready to apply grammar and vocabulary independently and spontaneously. This session will show effective ways to build exam-style practise into your lessons and ensure that students are getting sufficient exposure and practise both in the classroom and independently to help maximise their performance.

Grammar|in|con|text: Teaching grammar through film and other authentic resources in the TL • Judith Rifeser
The teaching of grammar, the use of cultural resources as well as the teaching in the target language are all key elements of the MFL agenda. But how can we make our teaching ARPS: authentic, relevant, purposeful and stimulating, whilst still ensuring students are getting to grips with complex grammatical structures and rules? In this session, we’ll explore examples of good practice, in particular through film, to teach grammar in context, focussing on developing their grammatical awareness and explicit grammar knowledge in the target language, whilst still allowing students to improve all their skills and learn grammar in a fun and motivating way.


More Information and online booking:  http://www.teachlang.com/  See you there!