Prezi about the Power of Doodling

Recently, one of my pupils told me about a prezi that he had prepared for a Scholar’s talk at school; however, the talk was subsequently cancelled.  I asked him if he would like to present it to his Year 8 class in the next ICT lesson and he agreed.  I was so blown away that I have asked hsi permission to include a copy of it here to share with everyone.  I will also ask our Head if he can present it the staff as they can learn a lot from it as well – both about Prezi and doodling!

So here it is – A Prezi about “The Doodle Revolution” by Peter J.  Please leave your comments below and share with your colleagues!  (note:  Peter stood up and also verbally presented to the class.  I shall ask for his permission to add the these notes to this page so that the Prezi makes a  little more sense.  Update:  The notes are in this Google doc).


I need to buy Purple Mash!

After completing another step on the long road to creating a new ‘upgraded’ ICT curriculum for my school, I felt that I should commit my thoughts on my recent work to the blog.

Having already confessed to being a secondary school teacher responsible for designing the curriculum for our 3 year olds and up, I have spent quite a few hours looking through Simon Haughton’s blog and have come to the conclusion that the 2Simple / Purple Mash Suite of tools is essential to deliver an exciting and creative curriculum to the younger pupils.

The software seems so geared towards the infant and primary pupils and yet also seems to allow them to be creative and the more able ones can really go and explore.  We recently had a demo from Purple Mash and our teachers were very impressed.  I shall definitely be putting this into my budget request for September.

I know that a weakness of mine is knowing what levels can be taught to and expected from the KS1/2 pupils and I am keen to learn from as many ICT teachers as possible.  Please leave a comment and point me in the direction of resources and lessons that you have tried and tested and you know work.  Please also let me know of the best blogs and websites that you use.

I have also spent time looking through undertenminutes which is a great resource of introductory videos and certainly has the potential to help myself and my colleagues to hit the ground running when we introduce our new upgraded ICT curriculum.  It also has many great videos that could be used as lesson starters or possibly for flipping the classroom.

Keeping up to date with reading blogs – Flipboard, Instapaper and Kindle

google reader image              

I was a fairly early adopter of the iPad and love it as a tool for professional development and as a means to stay up to date with the many excellent blogs that are out there.  Initially I was so enthusiastic about adding blogs to follow that I ended up with a great big list of posts that I had the best intentions to read but never did.  I needed a way to quickly access the blog updates and to save some posts for reading later.

This is my solution …..  I set up an account with Google Reader and over time added RSS feeds from blogs that were recommended or that I stumbled upon (usually on Twitter).  The number of blog posts became a little unmanageable and although Google Reader is a good aggregator, I needed something more user friendly.  Using Twitter, I saw a tweet about FlipBoard, so being inquisitive, I downloaded the free App and set up an account.

This was exactly what I was looking for!  I added my Google Reader Account to the settings and waited a short while for it to populate with the most recent posts from the blogs that I had subscribed to.  I could now use flipboard to dynamically turn pages and browse the posts (it makes it seem more real, actually turning a page!).  When I found a post that interested me, I could tap on it and open it full screen to read.  I have found this to be a much more eficient way of discovering new posts.

Now I had more efficient access to the blogs, I was reading more and adding more bloggers at a very fast rate.  I needed a way of storing some of the posts so that I could read them later and with the possibility of reading them when I didn’t have access to wireless (I know it doesn’t happen often …. but still often enough!).  The answer to my problem was Instapaper .  I installed the free App and created an account.  I can now browse through flipboard and read the posts and when I see one that I want to spend some more time on later, I can click on ‘Read it Later’ and the link will be stored and synch’d so that I can read it offline when I am ready.  I have also added a button to safari on my iPad so that I can do the same when browsing the Internet.  Instapaper goes even further as it also works a bit like Diigo in that your saved links can also be accessed on the internet from any enabled PC.  So even if you don’t have a mobile devide with you, as long as you have access to the internet, you have access to your Instapaper account.

Finally, I wanted a way to read some of the posts when I didn’t have my iPad but when I fancied a change from reading a book.  I converted to Kindle about 6 months ago and recently set up Instapaper so that it synch’s with the Kindle (using the wireless connectivity).  I can now read the posts on the Kindle wherever I am – problem solved!