Friday, 22 June 2012

Olympic Activities Week

ICT Olympic Acitivities week Logo lesson info is here
ICT Olympic Acitivities week Games Authoring lesson info is here
ICT Olympic Acitivities week Apps lesson info is here

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Hayley C Cooke's blog: AfG Train the Trainer - Day 2

Hayley C Cooke's blog: AfG Train the Trainer - Day 2: Today was very interesting. First we were taken through a Business Canvas model. A way of trying to explain all aspects of the App including...

Staying safe on Twitter is as important for teachers as it is for students.

 Advice for staff using Twitter.  Worth a read even if you think you are fully aware of the issues.

Twittering_for_teachers_consider_using_privacy_settings.pdf Download this file

Imagescauau5ka Apps For Good Training: Day One Apps For Good Training: Day One: Train the Trainer! The first day of training involved an intro to the AfG course and an insight into the technical training. Having alre...

Monday, 18 June 2012

Essential IFTTT (IfThisThenThat)

from Scott Hanselma's Blog
Essential IFTTT (IfThisThenThat) - Programming Workflows for Humans using the Web's Social Glue

*hat tip to Tim Dalton for turning me onto this in the first place!

Wow, every once in a while an app or website comes along that smacks me in the face. Not just a regular "Hey, that's cool" smack, but more of a "Duh, I should have made that and I would have had a license to print unlimited money and now those guys have already done it and no one will ever know my secret brilliance but they did it and I have no money but I should still tell everyone because they are awesome" smack in the face.
IfThisThenThat should be the next big thing on the social web. It's bloody brilliant.
Here's the dull description I made for nerds:
IFTTT is a cloud-based open-ended web workflow creator building on existing social APIs to create more sophisticated distributed aggregated tasks.
Here's my description for non-technical friend:
IfThisThenThat lets all your online stuff work together to do way more interesting stuff.
There are Channels, like Craigslist, Feeds, Twitter, etc. Those are places that data can come from or go to. There are triggers that a different for each kind of channel. One might be "the temperature goes over 100" or "I tweet something with a @mention" and then you can take action. You can combine them in any way you want.
Here's an example that I'll make right here as I blog. Let's say I want FourSquare checkins to show up in my Google Calendar. Didn't know you wanted to do that? ;) Oh, you do.
It's the magic of OAuth and the proliferation of nice, clean public APIs that makes this possible. As I add the FourSquare Channel to IFTTT, I authorize it to have access to my FourSquare data. I'm not giving them my FourSquare password, though, so I can always revoke access later if I like.
Any new checkin?
I'll select Any new check-in...then I'll select what to do from that same huge list of Channels:
What a huge list of channels!
I'll authorize Google Calendar in the same way, then the REALLY nice part shows up. Templated actions. Yes. I can add text from a dictionary of {{Addins}} (although I think that's a poor name from these {{Keywords}}, but whatever). This way I get complete control of what gets added.
Lots of Action Fields to choose from
I'm sure they'll include more documentation and details on what data is available to be passed between Channels.
Now, bask in the programming of it all. Bam.
If any new checkin on foursquare, add it to Google Calendar
Some examples are amazing in their elegant simplicity. Why is IFTT a great idea? Because it's an ideavirus. It fills a vacuum in your web experience you may not have even known existed. And now that you do, you won't be able to live without it.

If Scott blogs something, send the link to Instapaper to be read later

Hanselman to Instapaper IFTTT recipe

If MSFT stock goes above 30, email me.

Email me if our stock goes up

No, text me!

Text me if our stock goes up
That's better. Now, if I tweet something that is not a @Reply or RT, also post it to my Facebook Page:
Put new tweets on my Facebook Page

If I take any pictures and post them on Instagram, also save a copy in DropBox for me.

Download Instagram photos and save them in DropBox

Hey, you can do stuff with DropBox? Sometimes I find a file while on my phone but I can't download it. If I email you a link, save it to my DropBox, OK?

Save emailed links to DropBox

And, if I favorite something with a link, make sure to send a copy of that link to Instapaper.

Send twitter favorites to Instapaper
I know I tend to be hyperbolic, but this is cool like Yahoo Pipes was cool, except people without a PhD can use it. This is going to be huge.
There's a few interface quirks, like it's unclear how to make a new recipe (you make a task first, then click inspect task (an unlabeled arrow) there's an another unlabeled button that looks like a pharmacist's mortar and pestle (mixing UX metaphors between recipes and prescriptions) and you can create a recipe there.Still, these are nits. The workflows is there and I LOVE the giant iconography, clean typefaces, and above all, the sense of empowerment.
If you are on the interwebs and have a maze of social accounts, you need to seriously spend time time drinking in the wonder and the magic of IFTTT. It's gonna be massive. You heard it here. Now, go.
*hat tip to Tim Dalton for turning me onto this!

It's all in the cloud & your school email

It's all in the cloud & your school/GMail email some of the basic tools I think you need for day to day teaching.

Blogger for building your Blog

You Tube for uploading your own or using other users films

Picasa for picture sharing

Take your world with you live in the cloud!

The glue that will make the web work for you

Now check your Domain availability here

Genius tonight 3:15pm

Tonights Genius training with Me on all things 'cloud' such as tweeting, blogging and our google school accounts will be in the Genius Bar from 3:15pm.  If you have not signed up already please do still come along.

How To Create An Effective Action Plan For Your Blog

Without a proper plan of action, it’s not possible to satisfactorily achieve your goals. You may achieve some goals in the long term without a plan but most of it will be through fluke. Planning is at the core of any blog. Having a good plan means you’ll know what to do to get to your goals, without floundering or wasting time.
blog action plan

Write Down Your Blog’s Goals

Why did you start your blog? What were your ideas then and what will be your goals now, based on what you’ve learnt so far? What is your goal? Do you want to earn X amount of money per year, attain fame as a blogger, or use your blog to promote a cause?

Write Down Short Term Objectives

For this purpose of this article, we’ve taken the long term goal of attaining sufficient financial success to let go of your day job in 1 year. Here’s a partial list of short term objectives you need to achieve:
  1. Build a loyal reader base
  2. Promote your blog on social media
  3. Build a loyal fan following on Twitter and other networks
  4. Build relationships with your readers

Set A Timeframe Against Each Objective

Remember each objective in your list will take a certain amount of time to achieve. How do you set a timeframe against something like building a loyal reader base? How many readers will be sufficient for you to start promoting your blog? To know the answers to these questions, you must do your research. Make a list of 5 top blogs in your niche and study how they’ve succeeded. Backtrack to the day they started and mark their progress via old posts, old tweets and PR announcements. What strategies did they use to grow? How long did it take them to achieve their goals? This study will help you set tentative timeframes to achieve your short term objectives.

Evaluate your Skills and Strengths

You may not be able to do everything that your blog needs you to do. To know how much you can contribute, do an evaluation of your strengths and skills. Do you have great writing skills? What about your marketing skills? Are you also good with building relationships with your audience? How are your social media skills?

Evaluate Your Assets

Do you know of any sponsor who can promote your blog and help you get there quickly? What do you need to do to get a sponsor? Find out who the top players are in your niche and make a plan to network with them. You can promote their blogs for free and ask for a return favor. Knowing the movers and shakers in any field is a great asset.

Consider Your Options

If you don’t have all the skills required to achieve your goals, do you need to hire someone, or partner with someone who has them? What contacts can you leverage to increase your reader base? Evaluate all your options and decide on how you’re going to proceed.

Evaluate Your Blog

Take a good look at your blog and consider updating its SEO, navigation, user-friendliness and usability. Get someone to test it for you – are they happy with the user experience? If not, set to work on improving your blog.

Create A monetization strategy

A study of the other blogs in your niche should help you understand how you can monetize your blog. There are many options out there – advertising, affiliate programs, selling products and so on. Find out which methods will work for you, given your interests and limitations.

Create A Marketing Plan

Finally, a good marketing plan is necessary to help you achieve your goals. Having a solid reader base is not the same thing as having loyal customers. The conversion is where the money is at. Work out how you’re going to get there.
Its very important to do your blogging with a proper plan as it will help you measure your success as compared to efforts you've put it and will also help you to find out the strategies and techniques that work better than others. Do you do plan your blogging? If yes then please share your experiences with us. 

Friday, 15 June 2012

Kodu Tutorial

Stuart Ridout, who’s head of ICT at Stantonbury Campus School recorded a tutorial on it, and popped it up onto YouTube. Although you can plug an Xbox controller into your PC, his tutorial is recorded just using the keyboard and mouse, so anybody can do it once they’ve downloaded Kodu. And all in under 8 minutes from blank screen to a simple game.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


This looks good from my 10M7 Class today
TeamViewer connects to any PC or server around the world within a few seconds. You can remote control your PC as if you were sitting right in front of it from your phone or the otherside of the classroom! 
Click here 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kodu my next school project

Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment runs on the Xbox, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input.

Programming as a Creative Medium

The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously.
The Kodu language is designed specifically for game development and provides specialized primitives derived from gaming scenarios. Programs are expressed in physical terms, using concepts like vision, hearing, and time to control character behavior. While not as general-purpose as classical programming languages, Kodu can express advanced game design concepts in a simple, direct, and intuitive manner.

Screen Shots

(Click to open a larger image a new window.)

Game load / community screen.

"Physical" sensors are used as rule input.

Yes, we have a turtle.

Stick can't walk but he packs a wallop.

Key Features

Kodu provides an end-to-end creative environment for designing, building, and playing your own new games.
  • High-level language incorporates real-world primitives: collision, color, vision
  • Uses Xbox 360 Game Controller for input — no keyboard required
  • Runs on XBox 360 and PC
  • Interactive terrain editor
  • Bridge and path builder
  • Terrain editor - create worlds of arbitrary shape and size
  • 20 different characters with different abilities

Teaching with Twitter: how the social network can contribute to learning

Twitter wasn't designed with teaching in mind but Rosie Miles finds it an ideal way to encourage students to get under the skin of academic texts. Here she explains how.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

What does this mean to us?

Lots of debate on this in London today.

From what I can gather it seems to be saying that digital literacy is core, computer science is optional and we need to address teacher's CPD.

All of these things we are already planning for.

Friday, 1 June 2012

How google works


How Google Works

Click Here

500 Words

bbc 500 words our findings.pdf Download this file

This is the 500 words report from Radio 2.  It is very interesting on use of language by students.

Has the potential to link in somehow I would think?

Click here for stories