Our Apps book is out

For the last year, Harry and I have been working on the ipad applications book for high schools. The Book is called Apps for learning, and is published as part of the 21st Century Fluency series with my Colleagues Harry Dickens, Lee Crockett and  Ian Jukes. This book has been a huge amount of fun to write. I had a great excuse to by numerous applications and try these out. The book details what we consider to be the best applications for high school at the moment.

Some people have criticised the ipad, and the same criticism could be leveled at any of the new genre of touch screen devices, that these are consumption devices. I disagree emphatically. I put my money where my mouth is and wrote ALL of my contributions to the book on the iPad using pages. I editted ALL of my pictures using Adobe Photoshop Express. I planned and brainstormed for the book using iThoughts HD.

You only need to look at the increasing list of schools adopting the ipad or its kin as their primary mobile learning device to see the huge potential for this tool when used properly. It is the use of the tool that is critical, deliberate and considered, meaningful and purposeful use to enhance teaching and learning.

Here is the link to the book – http://www.amazon.com/Apps-Learning-iPhone-School-Classrooms/dp/1463612850/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314830290&sr=1-1.

Also worth checking out is book number three – literacy is not enough which is available on line from Corwin Press.

On The Wire – Nagasaki, touch typing maths and more

Well the last couple of week have been rather hectic and I have been slack on the blogging. So here are some of the highlights that have come down on the wire.

1. Nagasaki Archive http://en_nagasaki.mapping.jp/p/nagasaki-archive.html

This is a GIS site that shows images, map etc immediately before and after the atomic bomb in Nagasaki and also layers in images from today. There are vignettes from people in Nagasaki at the time. A powerful and useful resource.

2. Touch typing – This is a number of sites that are focused on touch typing as a skill. Touch typing is a useful and increasingly essential skill for our students. Here are some of the sites:

Worth nchecking out while you are on the Tux typing site is Tux Maths and Tux paint

3. Bloom’s taxonomy according to the Pirates of the Caribbean http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjhKmhKjzsQ&feature=youtube_gdata This is a very good video clip using the popular Pirates of the Caribbean. Its using the original Bloom’s rather than the revised or Digital Blooms. But useful never the less.

4. Simple Diagramshttp://www.simplediagrams.com/free.html This is an adobe air application that draw simple but very useful diagrams. Its appeal is its clean and simple interface and fun chalk style clip art.

5. n-rich maths resources http://nrich.maths.org/6840?setlocale=en_US – Mathematics posters and resources  – useful

and finally a look at the history of Television – http://www.sterlingsatellite.com/info/how-much-has-tv-changed-since-1926-a-lot.html

On the wire – from the mac

Here are some interesting sites and materials I have found as I have been exploring with the new Mac.

1. To do list – http://www.abstractspoon.com/tdl_resources.html – this is a neat bit of free and open source software (FOSS) that allows you to maintain and manage a powerful to do list. Great tool at a nice price.

2.  Bulkr – http://clipyourphotos.com/bulkr this is an adobe air tool for doing bulfk downloads from your flickr account.

3. Easy words – http://www.easywords.eu/index.php?sub=download this is a language tool designed for teaching common words in a variety of languages – the vocabulary lists are not extensive yet, but it is a project in development and well worth visiting.

4. World War 1 panaromas – http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/sets/72157608675448396/ This is a flickr stream from the Library of congress. A great resource for history and social studies – these are World War One panoramas. In Flanders fields  – see below

and on a lighter note – this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTbYUd1jUc4 take a satirical look at the effect of games on our children.

On the wire – stop motion, what happened today, Colour, Art

A little something for everyone here.

1. Making stopmotion movieshttp://stopmotionmovies.yolasite.com/ I use stopmotion and claymation movies as learning tools in video creation. I use this simple technique to teach frame rate, camera angles, focus, perspective, transitions and rendering.  Linked with this is a pdf resopurce from Microsoft Education on Digital Storytelling in the classroom. These two combined give use technique and educational setting. useful – http://www.microsoft.com/education/teachers/guides/digital_storytelling.aspx

2. What happened in ………? http://whathappenedinmybirthyear.com/ this is a fun site that will tell you what happened in the year of your birth. Useful for history and general background information.

3. Colour in Motion http://www.mariaclaudiacortes.com/# this is a good site for colour theory and is applicable to any one working on projects, graphics and presentations. Availablein English and Spanish this is a useful resource.

4. Heilbrunn timeline of Art History – http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ This site is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and contains outlines of art works, timelines and more. Great resource for the Art and Art history student.

5. Telekast – http://telekast.sourceforge.net/ this is an open source project. Telekast ius a simple Teleprompter running in Windows or Linus OSes. While we are talking about Open source projects the latest update to open office is available now in version 3.2 – http://www.openoffice.org/

and finally, do you remember space invaders? Well if you do will love this this youtube video clip –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L7DTMKekoU Definitely someone showing higher level thinking skills here.

Urban hack attack

On the wire

1. PBS Shakespeare http://www.pbs.org/teachers/activitypacks/reading/shakespeare/ This is one of a huge range of interesting and varied resources produced by the PBS. A great starting point is the page on K-12 teacher resources – http://www.pbs.org/teachers/ This is even better if you can access the PBS tv shows

2. For the history educators – this site is looking at “the man behind Hitler” Joesph Gobbels – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/goebbels/ and some of the propaganda he produced – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/goebbels/gallery/index.html

3. From History on the Net http://www.historyonthenet.com/Nazi_Germany/nazigermanymain.htm This site looks at Nazi Germany

4. Open Chemistry http://openchemistry.co.uk/ this is an open chemistry site producing free resources availzable to all. Another good one for chemistry is http://periodictable.com/ and also http://www.periodicvideos.com/

5. Crime mapper http://maps.police.uk/ this is a UK police tool that mashes data from various sources with maps to produce interesting results – searchable by area. This is a great tool for Humanities and information technology.

6. Commoncraft show – Cloud computing in plain english http://commoncraft.com/cloud-computing-video This is another BRILLIANT resource from Lee LeFever and the guys at Commoncraft. This is a very useful professional development resource and resource for teaching computing and computers.

7. Firefox turns 5http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ULDH90H530&feature=player_embedded This is a video celebrating 5 years of Mozilla’s firefox browser. The video is fun and raises some interesting questions from its unique perspective. This is another great resource for teaching computing and professional development.

8. Darwin, a naturalists voyage http://www.cnrs.fr/cw/dossiers/dosdarwinE/darwin.html This science, biology and history themed site provides an interesting insight into the Journey of Charles Darwin. Click on the link and watch the animation and listen to the sound track.

9 And finally from a blog I subscribe to – Information is beautiful – http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2009/interesting-easy-beautiful-true/

On the wire

Here are a selection on websites I have stumbled across from various blogs and searches.

  1. Clickable Mummy: http://www.akhet.co.uk/clikmumm.htm Interested in mummies an interactive site they can learn about the process of mummification. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  2. 50 States: http://www.50states.com/ Learning geography can be a little more interactive with this site that lists tons of facts about each of the states. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  3. Maps.com: http://www.maps.com/funfacts.aspx?nav Not only can you find regular old maps here to use in class, students can also engage with map games to make learning a little more fun. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  4. CIA World Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ From maps to flags, this site will help kids learn about every country in the world. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  5. EyeWitness to History: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/ Get a more personal perspective on history through this site that engages kids with first-hand accounts of historical events, photos, audio and more. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  6. Countries of the World: http://www.theodora.com/wfb/abc_world_fact_book.html Use this site to find out information about countries around the world from studies done by the U.S. government. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  7. Visible Earth: http://www.visibleearth.nasa.gov/ Take advantage of these NASA images to show kids what the world looks like from an elevated perspective. They’ll be able to see a wide range of geographic features. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  8. Today in History: http://www.scopesys.com/anyday/ Put in any day in the year and find out what major events happened on it through this helpful tool. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  9. The History Beat: http://history.searchbeat.com/ Need a timeline? This site is chock full of them. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  10. LOC American Memory: http://memory.loc.gov/ This site is loaded with photos, primary documents, audio clips and in-depth information that can be a valuable tool to helping students understand American history. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  11. History Games and Animations: http://www.besthistorysites.net/Multimedia.shtml Check out this list of resources to find tools that will help you teach your students about everything historical from ancient times to the present day. Source: http://www.freetech4teachers.com
  12. ABCya http://abcya.com/ this is a site filled with interesting sites and resources for primary students and teachers.
  13. the ebook store – http://ebookstore.sony.com/download/ Download sony ebook software available in mac and pc formats.
  14. Pew Internet article on the threat of autonomous machines – http://www.pewinternet.org/Media-Mentions/2009/Machines-in-control.aspx
  15. Great quotes about learning and change – http://www.flickr.com/groups/858082@N25/pool/ this is a Flickr pool from some great contributors Like Scott McLeod, Will Richardson, Dean Shareski and more

On the wire – History & English resources

1. The power of Nazi Propogandahttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204271104574290581271478134.html

This is a brilliant slideshow in the Wall Street Journal of the poster the Nazis used in their anti-semitism campaign and the strengthening of the Nazi Power base.

2. State of deceptionhttp://www.ushmm.org/propaganda/ – this is the source of the Nazi propoganda posters and much more – this is the state of deception exhibit.

3. Voices on Anti-semitism http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/focus/antisemitism/voices/ this is a podcast series from the Holocaust Museum

On the wire

1. Graphic Organisers – http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_go.html

This is an excellent resource for Graphic organisers prepared by Tracey Hall & Nicole Strangman – good examples and explanantions

Also useful is  – http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/blooms%2C+learning+styles+and+thinking+organisers

2. The mathEbook – http://www.mathebook.net/

An online mathematics resource – nice.

3. APA Bibliographies? This harvard site explains the APA bibliography – a must for senior students


4. Plagarism Checkers – http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/article-checkers-5-free-websites-to-catch-the-copycats/

Sadly this is a good site and worth while reading – its from the excellent blog “make use of”

5. Build your own city – http://myminicity.com/

This is an interesting simulation that is worth while looking at. Build a city onlie – no sign up required.

6. Life – 21 Greatest images from Space – http://www.life.com/image/first/in-gallery/30222/the-21-greatest-space-photos-ever

Perfect timing with the Anniversey of Apollo 11.

History of OSes and Languages

This is one for the computer geeks among us (thanks Nick for the site).

This is a very interesting website looking at the history of Windows operatings systems, Unix OSes and Computer languages. The site is written by Eric Levenez with an english translation page. What is brilliant is the timeline diagrams of these three areas.

here they are:

History of unix – http://www.levenez.com/unix/

History of windows – http://www.levenez.com/windows/

Computer languages – http://www.levenez.com/lang/

He has also included PDF format downloads.

A second site also on the history of Operating systems is this one – http://oshistory.net/metadot/index.pl

this is useful for students of computer studies or computer science and ITGS


Just read an article on the BBC site on Stonehenge. Worth a read and it has a good animation of the history of the Stone rings in under 1.30.


Here  are some further links and resources: