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

Random Name Generators

Encouraging all students to participate in lessons in order to elicit evidence of their achievement can be difficult. One method which involves a no-hands up policy is to employ the use of a random generator to randomly select students. Some studies have shown that this is beneficial in that it helps keep the attention of students as they are unsure whether they might be next and are more likely to maintain engagement in the lesson. There are various methods of doing this from the use of names in a hat or on ‘lolipop’ sticks drawn from a jar through to computer based solutions. The benefit of many of the ICT solutions is that they are very visual, names can easily be saved and updated and as many lessons involve the use of computer based presentations they can easily be integrated within the lesson.

Below is a collection of some of the different random name generators available, divided into 3 categories:

1. SMART notebook – there is a generator tool called the “random word chooser” which can be found in the Lesson Activity Toolkit.
2. Internet based options – a variety or web based, or downloadable tools
3. iPad based options – with the increased use of tablets in the classroom, there are various apps which allow you to select students at random, some of these are more sophisticated with options for recording formative assessment as well.



This random selector is a flash generator embedded into a SMART notebook page – so easily saved for each of your classes – and can easily be embedded as part of your lesson if using a SMART notebook file.

For staff at St Ivo a copy of this has been saved in Projects_Staff_IWB Resources_Random name and group sorters. For other colleagues who might be reading this – you can search for the “random word chooser” of the Lesson Activity Toolkit.

(similar group sorter templates are available in the same folder on projects).



Random Names

You can save the names as a URL (so could be saved as a shortcut in your projects area or on the desktop.

Simple and effective.


Random Name Word PickerClass Tools Random Name / Word Picker This can be either as a fruit machine or as a typewriter. Names can be saved. A simple but effective internet based option. This is widely used! Could also be used to good effect with key terms – students given a key term at random to define!


Instant Classroom ( Classroom

(this will also act as a ‘group’ sorting tool and allow you to show names on a desk for swapping round seating for different activities).

For this you create a group name and then add a password and add your email address.



Instant Fruit Machine – Random Selector Fruit MachineThis one acts a bit like a fruit machine – unlike the ones above it doesn’t allow you to save names – however it will allow you to simply copy and paste names in very quickly if you have a list in word format.





No Hands – Random Student Selector

This requires a download to your computer and it can take some time setting up your class lists. However these only need doing once!. You have to install this one on your computer and then Read the ‘Read Me’ File in order to follow instructions of what to do.No Hands

The benefit of this is it is quite discrete and will sit nicely in your toolbar for whenever you need it in a lesson so it enables you to use it as a randomiser for picking students whenever you want.


Random Name Generator (Excel)

ExcelVery user friendly as is in Excel – all groups can be created and saved in one spreadsheet – if you name each column with the name of the group – this will then appear in the drop down box for you to choose from!

(You do need to ensure macros are enabled for this to work).


Random Student Picker Tools FunRandom Fun Dart

This option includes a random student picker and a dartboard selector tool which can be used in a similar way. You need to sign in to access this tool – it can be accessed from the free trial section – so you do not have to sign up to a paid account.



OPTIONS ON THE iPAD (then use Airserver to project on the IWB)

Name SelectorName Selector Lite (Free) (there is also a paid for version which is add free for £1.99)

Simple and easy to use and you can easily turn students within a group off and on – for exactly which students you want to be included in any particular selection group.


PickSticksStick Pick £1.99

Random selection of a student’s name from a virtual can of lolipop sticks. Each stick is linked to a mode and level of difficulty for each learner (which can be set and saved) – every time a student stick is drawn – you are shown over a dozen Bloom’s taxonomy related questions – each will be at the individual ability level set for that student.


iLeap Pick a studentiLeap Pick a student (Free)

This app enables staff to pick students at random and supports multiple classes as well having a number of different options for choosing students. There is a turn based selection if wanted so that every student will be picked before any one will be selected again.


Pick me upPick Me (£1.49)!/id444045099?mt=8

This tool will also help track formative assessment – will randomly pull student names and once question has been answered – you can record whether or not it was correct using the thumbs up or incorrect using thumbs down – data can be saved and sent to your email address.

iPad Weekly Bulletin – Issue 5 (apps focus – Science)

Here is this week’s iPad bulletin – the fifth so far. Amongst other things it explores the “Stage” app for use as a simple IWB / document camera and has a large number of suggested apps for the Sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Click here to download the bulletin

iPad 5

Tellagami App – creating animated messages..


Tellagami is an app which allows you to create a short 30 second animated movie called a ‘gami’ (It is free for a limited time from the iTunes store). It is very similar to creating a Voki for those of you who may have used Voki and is very simple. You start by creating and customizing a character and then selecting an appropriate background (you can if you wish take a picture of your classroom or another area and use this as the background). Finally you decide how you want your character to talk. You can type in text (choice of male / female and a few accents) or you can record your voice (limited to 30 secs). Here is a quick video (not surprisingly a ‘gami’ explaining the Tellagami:


Great potential for creating little video clips of characters – these could be historical characters with extracts of speeches or characters putting across a point of view in a debate. These could also be little starters to lessons to set the scene. This could be useful in various areas of the curriculum. Students could also write 30 sec scripts and create their own Tellagami’s

A handful of useful ideas for using Tellagami in the classroom

Create narrated animations on your iPad

iPad Weekly Bulletin – Issue 1

iPad bulletin banner
In my role in supporting the integration of iPads in the classroom I am currently trying to write a weekly bulletin to support colleagues. Each bulletin has an Apps section in which one or two key apps are featured and reviewed / discussed each week as well as suggestions for subject-specific apps. I have also started to have a ‘featured’ department each week with a collection of subject specific apps. I will try and upload them on here to share with others for those colleagues in other schools who are just starting out on the ‘iPad path’ and might find some of the information useful. I will post the four bulletins which have already been published now and then update the blog each week with the most recent bulletin. I hope they are useful to some of you.

Click Here for the First Edition iPad Bulletin 1

Stick Pick – App for supporting questioning in the classroom


This is an app that I am just start to play around with for my GCSE and VI form groups to help me look more at questioning. You can set up a class and each student has a named ‘virtual’ lollipop stick. When you create the students stick you can allocate this stick a question stem mode (Bloom’s, Bloom’s Revised or ELS) and level of difficulty (e.g. knowledge / comprehension/ analysis etc.). There is also an option to just create the stick with no question specifically attached if you just want to use it as a random way of selecting students. It is possible once a student has been selected once to set their stick as used so it wont be added back in the can and they wont be picked again that session.

If you have set the stick to have a question stem mode, each time the student’s stick is drawn you will be given over a dozen questions (e.g. related to Bloom’s Taxonomy) these will be tied to the learner’s individual ability level which you will have set when you allocated each student a stick.

This video gives a quick overview of some of the functionality.

As you can see on the video the app gives you the options to use Blooms or ESL (English as a second language), therefore Questions can be linked to cognitive / linguistic needs.  You can set up multiple cans (classes) filled with sticks (students).


If you want to take it further you can track formative assessment for each question. On asking a question, by clicking ‘assess’ by the students name, you can then select a corresponding correct, incorrect, or opinion button based on the student’s answer. On the basis of your selection you then also have option to rate the answer.

There are aspects of this you wouldn’t necessarily want to be showing on the board at all times – for example the assessment you make for a student wouldn’t necessarily be suitable to share with all students – but you don’t have to use the assessment part at all – indeed I think I am going to be able to make good use of just the ‘random’ selection tool and the question a question by clicking ‘assess’ by the students name, you can then select a corresponding correct, incorrect, or opinion button based on the student’s answer. On the basis of your selection you then also have option to rate the answer.

There is another video here with a teacher review of the app.


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