Blog of Mr C

Educational ICT links and musings….

Collaborative revision using a mind map

After seeing this post on lifehacker and also Steve’s post I thought I would give mindmeister.com a go.

My form have exams soon so I introduced them to mindmeister a couple of days ago and a few have them have got together to create a revision mind map.  It seems to work very well as a collaborative tool and the map can be found here.

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May 18, 2007 Posted by | Thinking Skills, web2.0 | 2 Comments

WordPress hidden toolbar

For wordpress bloggers – if you want more control when formatting the text in your posts then try pressing alt-v (ctrl-v on the mac) and another set of icons appear…

wordpresstoolbar.jpg

March 16, 2007 Posted by | blogs, web2.0 | Leave a comment

Pupil Blogs

As I started the new job I was keen to encourage the girls to use personal blogs to assist their learning. Each of the KS3 classes I teach had a lesson on using and setting up a personal blog. To ensure anonymity the girls have used their school login id’s in their url and they know that they shouldn’t include any personal details in their posts.

It’s early days but the results are quite interesting. Some girls are regularly using the blog to reflect on their learning and to share what they have been doing in lessons, some are only posting under duress in lessons. Some classes have also set up personal box.net accounts in order to link their work to their posts. I want to be able to assess work online by commenting on posts and linked work and I’ve started to do this but it really is a work in progress and the jury is still out.

You can see some of the latest posts from pupil blogs on the right hand side.

October 8, 2006 Posted by | blogs | Leave a comment

New job, new blog – ICT@SHR

At the end of my time at BRJ I was using the VLE to deliver lessons. There is no VLE (yet) at Shrewsbury High School so I have created a blog to deliver lessons – it seems to be going quite well so far and the girls are getting used to checking the blog as soon as they have logged on. Prompting responses to questions on a post by using comments also seems to be working quite well and the girls like reading the answers of others.

ICT@SHR

October 7, 2006 Posted by | blogs | 16 Comments

This looks interesting – Anim8or – 3D Animation

I came across this free download for 3D animation – Anim8or

The site seems really good and there are tutorials available – might be a good activity for an ICT club or for G&T pupils. Will come back to this at some point and see how I get on….

October 7, 2006 Posted by | Animation | 1 Comment

BRJ Mission Day Blog

Taking lots of inspiration from Steve’s blog and the work he is doing in Shropshire schools, I have unashamedly pinched his ideas and tried to blog our year 9 mission day. 10 year 9 students, 2 sixth formers and 2 staff armed with cameras and mp3 players tried to capture the essence of year 9 mission day in pictures and interviews. You can see the blog here and it is still very much in production. We used flickr to store our photos and box.net to store our movies and sound files. Some post production on the interviews was carried out using audacity.

It was a good day on the whole but quite a steep learning curve for all concerned. The main problem was the lack of time and everything was a bit rushed, however, the students did come back the following day to try and finish things off.

July 15, 2006 Posted by | blogs, ICT, web2.0 | 1 Comment

del.icio.us in the classroom

Have tried the following lesson with years 7, 8 & 9 – it seems to have gone quite well so far…

  1.  
    1. Firstly, I ask the students to open three different internet explorer windows with three of their favourite websites (they like this bit). Then we have a bit of a discussion on how they can easily get back to these pages again. Nearly all of them will talk about favourites and we talk about the fact that their favourites go with them around college because its part of their network profile. However, they can’t access those pages from their computer at home.
    2. Then I introduce del.icio.us and show them how to register, download the various buttons and post to delicious. They open up another IE window for del.icio.us, register and then post their three favourite sites (and others) to del.icio.us. We also have a quick chat about tagging.
    3. At this point I explain that all they are doing is using a glorified favourites page but the clever bit comes when you are able to look at and share the posts of others. Usually, I simply pick a child in the class, ask them their user name and we have a look at their links. I then show them how to add their friends using the “your network” section and then they head off and do that for a bit.
    4. Lastly, I explain that there is a site that I would like to share with them from my del.icio.us and I send it to 4 students in the class using the for: tag. These students then pass on the site to the person next to them and the chain continues until all the students in the class have the site posted on their del.icio.us.

Now then, it seems to work well as an introduction but where do I go from here? How do I sustain its use within the classroom before the kids become disinterested and forget their login details?

July 6, 2006 Posted by | ICT, web2.0 | Leave a comment

Blank Canvas

As I will be starting a new job in September, I am beginning to think about how I will introduce some sort of teaching and learning web presence for myself and the students. I really want the students to be able to comment on their own work and the work of others so I'm currently thinking about a network of student blogs with links to their work in either thinkfree.com or box.net.  Any other ideas or suggestions?  What would be the best blog to use?  Ta!

June 21, 2006 Posted by | web2.0, wiki | Leave a comment

Engaging with Avatars

As I was listening to Marc Prensky's podcast on Ewan's blog, I began to think about how engage with students that are more used to watching and listening rather than reading. My year 10 students are currently struggling with the requirements of their GCSE coursework and I wondered whether the use of an avatar would be another vehicle for conveying some key information. So, after some web searching and finally spelling avatar correctly I came across sitepal. It costs, but it's fun and here is my first rough attempt. I recorded the audio using audacity and exported it as an MP3 and uploaded it to sitepal. It is currently sitting on our VLE alongside written instructions.

I think there is some potential here- especially if students are able to create their own web based talking avatar. Avatars could be used to explain and evaluate their own work and the work of their peers (much more fun than annotation). Also, it would bring a new dimension to personal presenations. Not only could you add narration, but you could add a talking head. Any other ideas?

May 25, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

BRJ GCSE Wiki

GCSE Wiki is now online – have introduced it to a couple of groups and it seems to be quite popular.  Not quite sure where it goes from here… has anybody got any ideas or experience of using something similar in the classroom? 

brj gcse wiki

May 3, 2006 Posted by | gcse, ICT, revision, wiki | 1 Comment