Class Tech, English, Pobble 365, Tech for Writing, Writing

Getting Started with Pobble 365

Pobble 365 has been around for a while but sometimes it’s good to go back to something and have a go on it, also it is a shame that it isn’t used more as it really is a fantastic resource. For anyone new to it, Pobble 365 is an online wall that provides users with interesting daily pictures. They are a fantastic stimulus to writing, morning/settling down work or an introduction to media literacy. The pictures are featured along with reflective questions and a story starter.

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Five ways to used Pobble 365 in you Classroom:

  1. Stimulus

Use the picture as a hook for a unit of writing this could be weekly or even fortnightly. The Pobble 365 picture could work as a front cover and children could write a chapter to be included!

2. Morning work

It’s quite common to encourage writing and literacy in classes especially during morning work. When children walk into class with these breath-taking pictures it’s almost a sure thing that they will be engaged to write.

3. Computing

Part of the objectives for Key Stage 1 and 2 is to create work for a purpose, in a way to promote competence as well as confidence. A way this could be done is to create your own versions of the Pobble 365 pictures.

4. Guided Reading/Inference

High Flyer
Picture found on Pobble 365 All Rights Reserved

Children could practise their inference skills. A group set of pictures could be handed out and have questions on the back to answer such as: Where is the girl? What could she be hanging from? This could furthered by children arguing opinion: The girl is hanging from a helicopter. True/False and please explain why you think this.

5. Philosophy For Children (P4C)

As a massive focus of P4C is learning through enquiry and exploration, this is another way Pobble 365 would be useful. Using the exciting images children will practise the principles of P4C; that their ideas and the ideas of others have value, as well that they do not need to be correct. Asking questions like the ones in idea four would suit this and help breed this kind of thinking in your classroom.

Please comment below on how you have used Pobble 365 in your school.

Thanks,

Adam, Casey, Cherise and Sim

The Edtech Hub Team

Class Tech, edtech, Tech for Learning

Getting Started with Bit.ly

Bitly is definitely a piece of EdTech that when used correctly it is an amazing EdTech weapon, it’s easy to use but so effective and we’re sure you’ll love the results of using it! Put simply, Bit.ly allows its users to copy a web address (or URL) and shorten it; you can also customise a URL which is very helpful for class use.

Why?

The reason it is so useful is that often you look at a clip or an activity for children to broaden or strengthen their understanding and this is the weblink that you find: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/science/physical_processes/forces/play/ and then we expect eight year olds to type this in! Wouldn’t most adults be disengaged before they finished writing the link! There are a few ways of getting around this but a URL shortener is so easy to do.

Using Bitly

First as a user you will need to go to Bit.ly and register with an email address, once you have done this you are ready to go. Next, click on the ‘create bitlink’ button. Bitly call their shortened links ‘bitlinks’ and the first part of the shortened link is ‘bit.ly’.

Bitly 1

Creating a bitlink is very simple and then enter the full URL in the box at the top right of the screen. Almost instantly the URL will become a bitlink such as

Bitly 2

There is another step where users can customise this link to something more memorable. This is completely up to you, it will go red if it’s unavailable green if it’s ok to use. It can be a fun game trying to use a bitlink that someone hasn’t.

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Quick Tips:

Bitly prefers that you use certain characters so when creating the URL for http://bit.ly/Wednesday5_7_17 it wouldn’t allow certain characters such as (  /  )  so instead use an underscore, so just bear that in mind. Another idea could be to create a bitlink and to just change the URL when required, that way your class just need the one link and the URL it is linked to could change to suit learning at that time, saving learning time and keeping things simple.

Final Thoughts:

Bitly is a great, quick little way to make the view, typing and sharing of websites a little easier. Also, you can use bitly or google shortener to share files on google drive. I hope you enjoy using it!

Thanks

Adam, Casey, Cherise and Sim

The EdTech Hub Team

Adobe, Apps, Apps for Learning, iPad, iPadEd

Getting Started with Adobe Spark Video

Adobe have been making iPad-friendly apps for years and there were three apps aimed to make visual content creation easy and accessible for all. essentially Adobe Spark Video is a way of using the core principles of a presentation, explaining an idea, but in a very simple, and beautiful way. The simplicity of the images, transitions and export functions mean that.

Also, not many people realise this but Adobe have now added Spark Video as a browser-based web app, where you can open up Spark and continue editing the projects you started on mobile, you can continue your work across devices as it dependant on emails and is therefore cloud based.

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Class Ideas:

English/Literacy based:

  • Create a verbal paragraph, a great Speech and Language activity as well as handy for children that struggle to get their ideas down. One slide to be what they can see, next one what they can hear and so on.
  • Create engaging short stories using video
  • Create a short story, using pictures to tell your story and recorded voice over the top.
  • Flip the idea, pictures available to children then in any order they create their own story and record their sentences.
  • Choral poetry, part of the curriculum and usually hard to record. This will give pupils a physical stimulus too.
  • Guided reading retelling the story using each page as a plot point.
  • Non-chronological reports- each slide is a feature.

Maths based:

  • Showing development of an area.
  • Explaining a concept, method or idea.
  • Reasoning problems, children could record themselves first asking a question and then demonstrating the method.

General:

  • Topic and Science- explaining concepts, science experiments or end of unit learning.
  • Biographies of famous people in science and history (part of the curriculum for children to know about this).
  • Modern Foreign Languages- explaining concepts, ideas etc.
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Practicalities:

  • As it is cloud-based you’ll need a decent Wi-Fi infrastructure- don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t need to be next generation but please bear this in mind.
  • You will need to add an email address when you log in, your choice of class email address, school or personal. Keep in mind if you use one email address for the whole school it will fill up quickly- and you may struggle to find past projects.
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Final Thoughts:

Adobe Spark Video is a terrific app, that is easily accessible and has a variety of uses in the classroom. Included is a video that Adam’s class made for Safer Internet Day 2017 which demonstrates the range of themes and features that users are allowed to do. The children were in pairs and created short advice videos about Online Safety. This is a quick and easy example that was then pieced together with iMovie but it demonstrates how effective the app can be. Also, the introduction of a cloud-based systems is fantastic and it allows learners to continue their work and embed it elsewhere with ease.

Children’s advice about Online Safety from Old Hall Primary on Vimeo.

Thanks for Reading,

Adam, Casey, Cherise and Sim

The EdTech Hub Team

Apps, Apps for Learning, iPad, iPadEd

Getting Started with Pic Collage

Why?

When we are working with schools an app that staff always seem to enjoy and to get a lot of value from is Pic Collage. For us, Pic Collage falls into the category of apps that are simple to us and can be used in a variety of creative ways, and what’s more it’s available for free… if you’re willing to have watermarking through your image and be limited with colour schemes and stickers.

How could it be used?

We have seen Pic Collage used in a number of creative ways such as:

  • A mind map demonstrating learning from a topic or unit of work.
  • A Collage celebrating a school trip or experience day.
  • Teachers could create displays for a working wall.
  • Documenting a science experiment.
  • Evidence of concrete/ apparatus based learning which could added to class books or even better a class portfolio such as Seesaw or Showbie.
  • Showing the development of project in Art and Design.
  • Celebrating a special day in your class or school.
  • Creating posters for after school clubs.
  • Adding stickers and emojis over the faces of children who may not have permission to be shared on social media.
  • Pic Collage allows you to manipulate images and the orientation of images, this means you can use the app as an editor.

Finally, it may seem obvious but Pic Collage is brilliant at combining picture from various apps that may not normally work together, more can be found on this here: https://geekyteacher.blog/2018/11/14/armistice-app-smash/

We hope this helps you to think about how you could use Pic Collage in your school, how have you used Pic Collage? We would love to hear and add it to the list to help other teachers. Which idea do you think you might use in your school now?

Thanks for Reading!

Adam, Casey, Cherise and Sim

The EdTech Hub Team

Computational Thinking, Computing, iPad, iPadEd, Keynote

Computational Thinking with Keynote

EdTech Hub team member, Adam Chase, has written an Article about using Keynote to create engaging Cinegraphics which are fun to make in class and simple to make too. This covers Computational Thinking, which is an area of the Computing Curriculum, as the Programme of Study shows:

Computing Curriculum Purpose of study

  • A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.
  • The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.

One of the areas of Computational Thinking is Abstraction, and this is a simple and cheap way of doing this for schools and I have found it with Keynote.

What is it?

Through the process of abstraction, a programmer hides all but the relevant data about an object in order to reduce complexity and increase efficiency (Margaret Rouse, Tech Target, 2018).

Why?

This is a nice, simple activity to teach part of Computing Curriculum, children’s understanding of computational thinking and how I.T works is believed to be the most under taught part of the computing curriculum and this can be helped by enjoyable and engaging activities like this.

How

Keynote has the ability to add icons directly in the app, no app smashing required, don’t get me wrong I love app smashing but it does help to keep things simple. Adam has made a full video on how he made a Film plot picture (Cinegraphic). He chose to make his from a small portion of Harry Potter, when Voldemort visits the Potters at Godric’s Hollow. Please note this is a very comprehensive video:

Cinegraphics are very interesting to make and the good thing is this activity would work from EYFS to KS4, just adapt the film/book and add complexity to the graphic.

Thanks for Reading,

EdTech Hub Team

Apps, Apps for Learning, Apps for the Classroom, Budget EdTech, Computing, School Budgets

EdTech on a Shoe String

Written by Adam Chase

I am a huge advocate for Educational Technology (EdTech) to be used in the classroom, my view is that it is obvious to see the benefits that EdTech can have in the classroom, whether it is gauging understanding with Assessment for Learning apps, using the settings on an iPad to help learning with additional requirements or using apps that promote understanding.

With school finances stretched, there has never been a more important time to consider your digital philosophy carefully. At my school (Old Hall Primary School, Bury) our digital philosophy is to give our pupils a wide educational diet, so pupils experience iPads, laptops, PCs, Raspberry Pis, voice recorders, camcorders and cameras. Our reasoning for this is that we have no idea what the workplace and society will need in 30 years or so; so, we choose to help prepare our pupils by giving them a broad digital diet. That said I have seen other successful strategies, such as investing heavily in iPads, looking more at the digital literacy aspect of Computing, or computers and laptops to focus more on computer science.  

Technology is not an end in itself; pedagogy should always come first, and this should support your school learning development plans. Nothing undermines a project more than a series of false starts. It is therefore vital that ‘technical and teaching teams’ work together. Also, it is important to remember that just because a piece of software is engaging it doesn’t necessarily mean it will actually help students to learn more effectively. The key questions to ask whenever you view any new software are: will it aid learning; will it make teaching easier and will it help the management of the school?

Plickers

Plickers is a free app that can be downloaded onto an Apple or Android device. It is an easy and engaging app to use. Each child is assigned a number and a unique card with a 4-sided geometric shape on it, which resembles a QR code. The number is assigned to them in the Plickers system and each side of the shape represents a multiple choice or true/false answer choice.

Plickers logo

Students simply turn their card to the letter A, B, C, or D while the teacher uses the quick-to launch Plickers app to simultaneously scan the cards through the lens of their smartphone camera. Instantly, pupil’s answers load right onto their screen! Recording answers of an entire class can take seconds and the cards can be scanned from almost anywhere in the room!

Plickers Card

After entering the quiz questions and answers into the system, you’re ready to give your class the quiz! The online component of Plickers is simple yet powerful, just like the app. When the teacher clicks on Live View to load student answers to your computer in real time. Therefore, the teacher gets immediate feedback with each child’s answer, whether it was correct or not, how many kids got it right, etc. I’ll be honest, it still amazes me!

Plickers Class

Since the app is dependent on student cards, I photocopied the Plicker card and there is a copy of it at the back of every child’s book for every different subject. You could easily print the cards (available on the website) and use them instantly, but if you are planning on using these long-term, you may want to make several sets.

Quick Ideas for the Classroom:

  • Assessment for Learning- teachers can create opportunities throughout their lesson, children can respond at these points and then teachers can gauge how the children’s learning develops.
  • Pupil Voice – Children can answer without fear of scrutiny from others and teachers can use Plickers to get answers from 40 respondents at the same time.

Explain Everything

I am a big believer that depth is a keyword in learning. If you can explain an idea to somebody else, you really have “learned” it. With the app “Explain Everything” you can easily create films including animations that explain learning in a very engaging way. Explain Everything is a screen casting and interactive whiteboard app that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere.

Explain Everything

Users can export as videos, PDFs and Explain Everything project files to programs like Dropbox, Google Drive and YouTube or even export it to another app like Book Creator.  I’ll be honest, at first, I felt I was a little bit ‘clunky’ when using the app as it has so many features and I was worried that my class would become confused when they were using it independently. After time to adjust and experiment with the features, I was comfortable and now I’m glad I stuck with it!

Explain Everything pen

Quick Ideas for the Classroom:

  • Project Based Learning – Make a presentation with the App, use texts, audio, video and illustrations to explain.
  • Introduce a Concept – Teachers can use the app as a learning tool to introduce a concept.
  • Student as Creator – Students can also assume the creator role using this app by constructing and sharing their knowledge while creating Explain Everything screencasts of their own.
  • Assessment- Formative assessment opportunities are created as both teachers and students can share and respond to the same screencast when the file is shared as an Explain Everything project.
  • Flipped Learning – Explain Everything is also a great medium for utilizing the flipped classroom model as screencasts provide student-centred learning opportunities that can be viewed and responded to at home and in school.

Here is a quick video I made for my class for a Flipped Learning Homework:

Seesaw

I have been using this app for a while now and I often recommend this app because it can help collect evidence of learning that is extremely difficult to catch in a book. Therefore, Seesaw provides the perfect way to keep a constant record of a child’s progress. It links brilliantly with other apps, so it is a fantastic way to collect and share work with pupils on their iPads.

Seesaw

I have used blogging for years, blogging is so valuable as a way to cover online safety principles but also to inspire pupils work by sharing it with a real worldwide audience. With Seesaw it couldn’t be any easier to blog, once children have added a piece of work teachers can review it and keep it in that class’ portfolio or press a world icon and it launches onto a class blog.

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To reiterate, work will not publish to the blog without the teacher’s approval, this is the same with comments. This makes it safe.

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More information about the blogging feature can be found here -http://web.seesaw.me/blogs/  

Quick Ideas for the Classroom:

  • Project Based Learning – Make a presentation with the App, use texts, audio, video and illustrations.
  • Assessment- Formative assessment opportunities are created as both teachers and students can share and respond to the same screencast when the file is shared as a Seesaw project.
  • Flipped Learning – Seesaw is also a great medium for utilizing the flipped classroom model as screencasts provide student-centred learning opportunities that can be viewed and responded to at home and in school.

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Training

Irrespective of decisions you make about technology, it will only make a difference if it is accompanied by effective training. Also, remember that the amazing, new kit will never be as good as the teachers who use it, so you must keep them in mind at all times. EdTech will never replace teachers, but it can deepen the great work they already do, if they are trained to use it effectively. Try to use free features and apps when you can as this can help you to understand what you prefer and it could help to find some terrific features. An example of this is the Accessibility settings on an iPad which can allow you to change colours and hues to suit learners in your classroom.

Staff are under more pressure than ever and innovations will struggle to get off the ground if staff are not given the time and resources to learn how to put them into practice. It is for this reason that the budget for new technology should consider training as well, as this is the only way you can ensure it will have any impact.

Thanks for Reading,

Adam Chase

Team Member of EdTech Hub

Uncategorized

Our new blog

Hi!

We decided to give our work and the amazing work that schools do a platform to share with others, so that others can see the impact that EdTech can have. The EdTech Hub team are all class teachers who have had a number of years leading computing so advice and tips shared is straight from our classroom.

Our priority is to put the learning outcomes first and we look for creative and innovative ways in which EdTech, can be used to impact these outcomes. We are all Bury Local Authority Leading Teachers who between them teach from Early Years to Year 6 and all have their own specialist areas in the Computing Curriculum.

If you have some examples of your school using EdTech, please get in touch and look out for it on our Inspiration page.

Thanks,

Adam, Casey, Cherise and Sim

The EdTech Hub Team