Digimap for Schools – Primary Schools Competition – Win a visit from Steve Backshall

As of today, any primary school in GB is able to access the wonderful contemporary and historic Ordnance Survey mapping in University of Edinburgh’s award winning Digimap for Schools www.digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk service to take part in a wildlife mapping competition.

Any school in Great Britain with primary aged children is eligible to enter the competition with the winning school receiving a visit from Steve Backshall (www.stevebackshall.com), one of Ordnance Survey’s #GetOutside Champions https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/os-champions/steve-backshall-life-outdoors/.

wildlifemap-adThe competition requires schools to use the annotation tools within Digimap for Schools to create a map annotated with photographs and text labels showing signs of wildlife around their school.  Each photograph will be accompanied on the map with a question the pupils would like to ask Steve relating to the wildlife they have photographed.  If a school wishes to enter the competition but is not a current subscriber to Digimap for Schools they can register for 30 days free access to the service.

The competition is being launched at this year’s Geographical Association conference and runs until 10th June.   Schools should visit www.digimapwildlife.ed.ac.uk  today to sign up.

This is an excellent opportunity for schools to realise maps are relevant to all areas of the curriculum (flora and fauna study, history and measurement to name a few) and to find out what their school and local environment looked like in the 1950s and 1890s.

 

Using new technologies in Geography

Back in January I ran part of a training session for a local network of Geography teachers. The main session was taken by Jason Swale from ESRI UK looking at the fantastic ArcGIS and the ways in which it can be used to successfully integrate GIS into the curriculum, particularly in light of the new GCSE and A’level specifications. Prior to this I did a short 30 minute session exploring some of the ways in which new technologies can be utilised in the teaching and learning of Geography, drawing particularly on some of our experiences in the ways we use it in my department at St Ivo School. Here is the presentation summarising the key ideas discussed during the session.

In case it is useful you can download the handout of links I gave out on the evening here to help explore some of the ideas covered in more detail.

Revision Strategies and Support – in and beyond the classroom – Version 3 – 2016!

Rev SupportLast year, whilst still in my previous role as Lead Practitioner I wrote / compiled a document called “Revision Strategies in and beyond the classroom”. The aim was to bring together ideas for teachers with regards to planning activities for both within the classroom as well as those which could be used to support students with revision outside of the classroom. Whilst my role in school has changed, Teaching and Learning remains a central responsibility and I wanted to return to this document as we enter the new exam/revision season.

The hope was that the document could continue to be a live one which could be updated with suggestions of strategies that have worked well for practising teachers which they would be happy to share with others.

Lots of people have kindly made suggestions for good ideas to add and please do send feedback or other ideas of good practice which could be added to share with the education community. Here is Version 3 of the document, updated for the 2016 exam/revision season. As well as new revision ideas in Part 1, other updates, amongst others, include the use of Kahoot as a interactive response system and the use of Schoology as a way of providing an online course with revision materials for students.

You can download Revision Strategies and Support – in and beyond the classroom – Version 3 – 2016! here.

As with previous versions I would like to thank those people that have contributed, both from St Ivo and from the Twittersphere!

Please do email any feedback or suggestions to me (contact at side of blog). Ideas can also be sent via twitter to @RobGeog.

Into Film Launches Innovate Free App Storymaker – The Gruffalo Edtiion

Education charity Into Film puts film at the heart of young people’s learning and have just announced the launch of new teaching aid Storymaker: The Gruffalo Edition. The innovative new, literacy focused iPad app and teaching resource has been developed in partnership with Magic Light Pictures and is available for free, along with a free film club membership. The charity’s UK-wide programme provides 5-19 year olds with unparalleled opportunities to see, think, make and imagine, contributing to their educational, cultural, creative and personal development and is supported by the BFI through Lottery funding.

App store preview image 2

App store preview image 4Using the app, pupils can record their own dialogue, music, and sound effects for a number of selected clips, and create their own unique version of the award-winning film, for the very first time.  This new platform will allow students to apply their creative skills to an actual film and is currently also the only app to be supported by an extensive teaching resource. Designed for Key Stage 1 (and useful also for older pupils who have SEN or English as a second language), the app enables students to develop their reading, writing, speaking, listening and technical skills by interacting with popular fictional character The Gruffalo, in many different languages.

App store preview image 3Highlights from Storymaker: The Gruffalo Edition include the ability to watch key moments from The Gruffalo film and for users to record voices over the top of the clip using subtitles from the original script, or creating a new narrative completely. Users can add depth to the scenes by choosing suitable soundtracks to enhance the mood, or record their own sound effects.  Each creation can be saved to the device and shared in class.

Russell Hardy, a teacher at Bookwell Primary School in Cumbria who tested the app said: “There is lots in there education wise – speaking and listening. Play is such an important part of learning at this age. Some students find it hard to articulate themselves so giving them the chance to have several goes at reading or saying something in their own time like this was valuable to them.

This new platform for learning can be downloaded from the Apple app store and accessed by any school, college or youth organisation which runs a free film club with Into Film. To start a film club and access the app click here.

For more information visit www.intofilm.org.

LEGO® Education Brings Science and Computing to Life for Primary School Pupils with WeDo 2.0

New wireless, tablet-ready robot-based learning system for primary science and computing curricula teaches science and programming in a hands-on way

45300_ClassroomSolution_01 LEGO® Education has announced LEGO Education WeDo 2.0, a hands-on science and computing solution designed for primary schools. The unique solution combines the LEGO® brick, classroom-friendly software and engaging projects based on National Curriculum objectives to teach key stage 1 and key stage 2 pupils essential science and computing practices and skills.

With WeDo 2.0, pupils explore, create and share their scientific discoveries as they build, program and modify projects. Through a series of collaborative challenges, they deeply engage with science and computing, sparking a love for experimentation and investigation. Teachers receive support through training, curriculum and built-in assessment. The result, a resource that builds pupils’ confidence to ask questions, define problems, and design their own solutions by putting scientific discovery in their hands.

WeDo 2.0 includes 40 + hours of curriculum aligned lesson activities for example, the “Drop and Rescue” project, where pupils are challenged to design a device to reduce the impacts on humans, animals and the environment after an area has been damaged by a weather-related hazard. In all activities there is no single right answer, helping teach creativity and problem-solving skills. This also enables teachers to tailor lessons to meet all pupils’ needs, no matter their abilities.

Stuart Swann, vice chair of the National Association for Primary Education and LEGO Education certified trainer, says: “LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 represents a great leap forwards for delivering the Computing curriculum requirements at Key stage 2. The combination of LEGO bricks and engaging activities means that children will enjoy the learning experience while developing computational thinking skills through building and play.

“The projects are grounded within the science curriculum, drawing on concepts required throughout key stage 2. This means that teachers are able to cover the programming requirements of the Computing Curriculum within a contextualised science framework. Elements of Geography and Design and Technology are also present and identified in the teaching materials.”

The WeDo 2.0 Core Software is an essential and easy-to-use component that is colourful, age-appropriate and has a drag and drop interface that is graphical in nature. It also contains a documentation tool that enables pupils to document their problem-solving process and provides an assessment opportunity for teachers.

LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 is available today on iPad, Android, PC, and Macs. Chrome Books support will be available in the second half of 2016. For information on how to implement LEGO WeDo 2.0 in your school, or how to transition to WeDo 2.0 from WeDo, visit www.LEGOeducation.com

iDoceo – Starting the new term…

I never thought I would get rid of my paper planner but discovering iDoceo last year was a revolution and now I wouldn’t be without my electronic teacher planner! Planner, gradebook, calendar, seating plan, diary etc.. all in one. I can even upload or link resources to my plans and I have been able to export all of last years plans for each year group as a .pdf. Whilst it has taken me the morning to get set up for the new year with my new calendar, new timetable, new groups, new seating plans etc. it has been well worth it and will save me lots of time and make things more efficient over the course of the year. It is definitely worth investing the time.

For those of you who have already discovered the joys of iDoceo here is a useful for link for getting ready for the new term.. including information on how to archive last years classes, add a new timetable etc.

A full list of links for ‘how to‘ in iDoceo can be found here.

The Padagogy Wheel – v4

The excellent padagogy wheel v4. poster by Allan Carrington is a must for teachers interested in the use of iPads. Fundamentally, it’s creation looked at how pedagogy can drive the technology and not the other way.  The most recent version, published this month, has links to 122 of the latest and most popular educational apps.

Padagogy Wheel V4.0

The poster itself has a number of direct links to other supporting online resources. It is ideal for printing and sharing with colleagues in schools and colleges. The wheel helps to clearly show the links between apps, learning objectives, cognitive development actions etc. and has great potential for use in the creation of learning courses making best use of iPads – essential for any school looking at the truly effective integration of iPads in learning.

There is a very useful audio presentation here published by Allan Carrington which looks not only at the development of the padagogy wheel concept but also how it can be used.

Further links to Allan’s work and the Padagogy Wheel include:

The Padagogy Wheel v4 – the next generation
The Padagogy Wheelhouse

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