Subscribe to this blog!


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Using Augmented Reality to Inspire Augmented Reality - Aliens in the Classroom!!!

The Year 1/2 class I work with had an extremely enjoyable day today when they discovered Aliens in the Classroom!

Using the App String, children were able to scan a picture and see an alien moving around the classroom - an amazing WOW moment! String is a AR showcase app, there are plenty on the app store and they really inspire some great writing opportunities. To see examples of this - click here.

The children then wrote short description about their new classmate and drew a picture. Using the iPad children then interviewed their alien using Morfo and also created a news report using Tellagami.

Then using Aurasma, the children's iPad work was then linked to the children's work. The children's writing was used as the trigger image:

Here is a link to all the other descriptions or trigger images that link to the children's videos - click here.

To view the Auras, you will need to open the Aurasma app, click search - find davyhulme and follow or like. You should then be able to then scan the above images and see the linked digital content! The future of displays in my eyes! How to bring displays alive by scanning pictures and writing to display all the digital work children produce on iPads. I have previously blogged about using Augmented Reality in the classroom and you can read it here. Otherwise enjoy the project below:

Selfie Carroll Diagrams!

I have previously used the app Doodle Buddy for children to sort data into a Carroll diagram - I have blogged using the app for data handling activities here.

Today I used another app to create a Carroll Diagram. The app Pic Collage is an app used a lot in schools but not always used to enhance learning, rather substitute what can be done on paper with colourful posters. I have previously blogged about different ways to use Pic Collage to enhance learning here. Today I used it with a class of year 1/2 to create some Carroll Diagrams.

First the children set their background as the blank Carroll Diagram then using the iPad camera took pictures of children in the class and sorted them into the necessary sections. The children loved the activity to create and sort data, the results were fantastic!

It wouldn't just be carroll diagrams that pic collage can be used for, venn diagrams and pictograms could also be created. Children may not necessarily need to take selfies of each other as data, it could be shapes around the classroom maybe? What is for sure is that this is another great way to use Pic Collage in the classroom!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Coveritlive - a great tool in the Classroom!

I have to start by thanking +David Mitchell (@deputymitchell,) @Cherise_Duxbury and @HGJohn for their ideas and inspiration with this fantastic tool.

Coveritlive is a web based live blogging tool that can be embedded into your school blog. It can be used in so many different ways in the classroom and as a whole school.

You can sign up for a free account and then upgrade to an education account which gives you all the features for free. I first came across Coveritlive after seeing it used with @Deputymitchell and @PieCorbett. The idea that children can have a live writing session with a real author and have some of their ideas commented on and be given feedback immediately. You could see instantly the immediate impact it had on the children and their writing and the quality coming through.

For some examples of session from David and Pie - Click here and here.

I have tried some live writing with a number of classes all to a great reception from the children and some quality writing. Having the opportunity to feedback immediately to children and them see how they can improve their writing within the lesson is a great tool to have. I have currently only ran the sessions by myself so to do it with a special guest or even another class would be something really special. Here is an example of a live writing session I have completed with a Year 6 class:

Another example of how we have used Coveritlive was part of a recent eSafety week with thanks to @HGJohn for the idea. We duped a Year 5 class to believe they were having a online chat with a special guest - a young girl from America. We wanted to test how much information the children would share but also to shock them into realising that people online are not always who they say they are. I acted as the young girl Maddie and chatted with the class. When I revealed to the class that they were actually speaking to me, the penny really dropped. They were shocked but quickly realised the lesson behind the activity. Here is the session:

Coveritlive also provides an iPhone app that allows you to run a session straight from your phone. This was perfect for broadcasting our school sports day. For parents who couldn't be at the event or family members who live further away, they could enjoy the sports day live as it happened. The app allows you to add text, pictures, audio and video recordings meaning every race was filmed and added to the session for all to enjoy. Here is the session:

There are plenty of other ways this can be used in the classroom. A teacher or TA could pretend to be a book character, famous historical figure or celebrity for children to interview as a coveritlive session. An interview with Father Christmas perhaps? I am sure there is a a wealth of professionals on twitter who would love a Q&A session with an enthusiastic class! Either way, this tool is an absolute must for the classroom.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

KS1 Topic "9 to 5" on the iPads

Each week, I work with a split Year 1/2 class. Since September I have been using the iPads to try and enhance learning in all the subjects I have been asked to cover. Although most of the children have access to iPads or similar technology at home, it has been a tough task getting quality work from the class using iPads. Even though most children can navigate around an iPad, turning the children from consumers to creators has been the challenge.

It has been a journey from September which has been more about getting children to follow instructions and working with independence. But with perseverance, I feel we are now at a stage where children are creating quality on the iPads.

The recent topic for the class has been "9 to 5." A topic based around working and different jobs. The children went on a trip to a local Krispy Kreme shop. To recount what the children did on the trip, they created slideshows using the app Shadow Puppets. This app allows you to add pictures and record audio while zooming and highlighting the picture.

A really simple yet effective app and one KS1 children seemed to be able to use and create some great recounts of their trips with. Here are some of the children's efforts:

As part of the topic, children have also been learning about different jobs within the school by interviewing different staff. To share and showcase what the children have learnt they used the app Morfo and brought pictures of some of the staff to life. Although it doesn't do the members of staff any justice and I apologise to them for that, the children loved this activity. 

It is a interesting and enjoyable way for children to share what they have learnt. Made the learning so much more captivating and by encouraging speaking and listening skills which can then help develop the children's writing. Here are some of the children's examples:

After the children had interviewed and learnt all about different jobs it was time for them to think about what they would like to do in years to come. To help inspire the class, they created pictures of themselves as the job they want to do. To do this they used the app Pic Collage. The children loved seeing themselves as a doctor, footballer and others. I have put all their pictures into a film using Animoto:

After the pictures were created, they were then used as a backdrop to a Tellagami, where children recorded an animation explaining why it is their dream job and what they need to do to achieve it. Again as a way to inspire the class and create a video which can be used to aid the writing process, it was a great activity. Now I feel the children are at a level where their listening skills and independence is at a point where they can focus on the quality of their work rather than knowing how to use certain apps. I look forward to some of the other work we will be doing using the iPads in KS1. Here are some of the children's tellagamis:

Monday, 17 March 2014

A recent class project - Multimedia Digital Stories using the iPad

Over the past half term I have been working with a Year 4 class at Cheadle Heath Primary School in Stockport.

I have been trying to inspire the children by using the iPad to create digital stories. I wanted the children to develop their methods of story telling using different skills through a range of different apps.

For each part of the story, the children used a different app to bring their story alive. All the content was then put together using the app Book Creator. Here is a video explaining how our stories were created and examples of the children's work:

The following apps were used to create the stories:

The children absolutely loved the range of apps used to tell their story. They were engaged, motivated and felt they really achieved something special with their finished eBooks. By using the apps to really bring their writing to life gave every child the chance to tell a whole story regardless of ability. The range of skills including writing, speaking and listening, drama, ICT and teamwork skills demonstrated how the iPad can really enhance the way in which stories are created in classrooms today. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

#Selfies, Flipagrams and Vines... Oh My!

Selfie : noun
  • A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website:"occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary."
    It was deemed Word of the Year in 2013 - Read here.

    It is everywhere, people taking selfies literally anywhere and everywhere! Whether it annoys you or not, the fact is incorporating this in the classroom will grab children's attention. 

    I decided to create a #readingselfie video of the children and their reading books. Firstly, to promote reading, make it look cool and show how I as a teacher and we as a class value it. Secondly, for others to see which books we are reading. I would repeat the video in a few weeks and again see which other new books are popular in the class. To make the video I used the app Flipagram. This FREE app allows you to create slideshows in the matter of seconds, simply select your pictures, edit them if needed and then choose from a range of music to add to your slideshow. You can then save the slideshow to the camera roll or share it on various social platforms. Here is our #readingselfie video:

If you like the #readingselfie video and want to have a go with your class, please send a link in the comments, tweet me and use the hashtag!
See other examples here:
LowerPlace Year 6
LowerPlace Year 2
Radcliffe Hall

It then had me thinking about an idea @DeputyMitchell shared at a session looking at using some web tools to create slideshows of children working. I thought, Flipagram would be great to snap pictures of children who are doing the RIGHT thing and add them to my HARD WORKER's Flipagram. So that is what I said to the children, as they were doing their work, I would be stealthily trying to take pictures of children working. These pictures would then be added to a Flipagram and shared on the school blog for all to see. It certainly got a response, I have never seen a class so quiet and concentrating, hoping they would be snapped! Here is my first but by no means last HARD WORKER's Flipagram:

For months I have been enjoying the wonderful world of vine! Some of the funniest web clips online all created in under 6 seconds. I have recently blogged about how constraints can really inspire creativity (which you can read here,) and vine is the perfect example how a constraint (only recording for 6 seconds,) can really create some hilarious and impressive videos. 

I have been wanting to use this idea in class for AGES, however the app vine isn't appropriate for children with a lot of content aimed at a much older audience. Same with instagram, I didn't want to use an app that would give children easy access to roam and stumble upon something dangerous or inappropriate. So I have trawled through the app store looking for something that uses the same tools. To record on vine you simply hold your finger on the screen meaning editing a clip is incredibly easy. The length of recording is determined by how long you press the screen for, meaning it can also create some interesting stop start animations. 

I first came across the app Cineverse, which showed a lot of promise, until I realised that links to an online library of examples and also doesn't allow you to save to Camera Roll but does have some really interesting features.

At last, I found the app, Spark Camera, which records in the same way that Vine does, without having access to an online community of examples. The only downside is that children can record longer than 6 seconds whereas Vine won't allow you to record longer. However with some nice editing tools, filters etc it is perfect to create the same types of videos seen on Vine.

So how did we use it? Well I am a big believer in using drama to help children develop their understanding of texts but also writing. 
The class I was working with, have been using the picture book - Flotsam by David Weisner as a stimulus in Literacy. Today they had to compare two contrasting images from the story. I decided to use of of Alan Peat and Mat Sullivan's exciting sentences to help - a Tell: Show 3 example sentence. But rather than simply writing examples relating to some of the pictures, I wanted the children to act them out and record them as 6 second videos. They had to be precise, clear and quick however the constraint kept the children focused. I know from this, they will be more inclined to remember this effective sentence when they come to write a story linked to the pictures. Here are some examples:

6 Second "Tell: Show 3 example sentence' videos from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

There are plenty of other ways to use this 6 second video craze:

  • Other sentence types could be explored and acted out 
  • Creating 6 second stories 
  • Retelling stories in 6 seconds. 
  • Improve your writing in 6 seconds. 
  • Act out a two sentence horror story courtesy of @PrimaryIdeas, see some examples.
  • 6 second Maths Tip/Trick.
If you can think of or have examples of other ways in which this vine (6 second) type video can be used in the classroom, please comment and I will add to the list. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

10 iPad Lessons for World Book Day!

This week celebrates World Book Day (Thursday 6th March,) although I hoped to share these ideas a little earlier, I have been stuck in bed ill for the past few days so have been unable to do so.

However here are 10 ideas for celebrating World Book day using iPads. Well not all are strictly iPad based, but more incorporating some aspect of technology into your World Book Day theme.

1. Extreme Reading - This was something we did as a whole school last year. The idea is that you ask parents to take pictures of children reading in the most weird and peculiar place. We had over 200 entries and children really enjoyed creating and sharing their efforts. It really promoted how we value reading as a school and the two massive displays within the school reflect this.

2. Blog a Book Review - Fairly straightforward for those schools who blog, but get your class to choose their favourite book and blog a book review. Remind the children that when it is blogged it will be shared with a worldwide audience and therefore may influence people from around the world to read it. If you are not blogging - WHY NOT? If you need help or support contact me and I can help getting a blog up and running in your school.

3. Twitter - So you have created blog book reviews, why not now use twitter to contact the authors of those books. Most of them are on twitter and most are happy to comment. This can have a huge impact on children knowing the REAL author of the book has taken the time to read their work. I know only to well when Henry Winter responded to my Stepson's football report - 

As well as using twitter to contact authors, you can use the constraint of twitter for children to create book reviews. Can children review a book as a tweet? a rebus using emoji? or even a vine? I have recently blogged about using contraints in writing and the exciting challenges they present children. To read some of these ideas - CLICK HERE. Further to this you could create a writing challenge dice to set rules for a book review. Using the app Foldify, you can create the net of a cube and write different challenges to include in their book reviews.

4. QR Codes - Creating QR codes of blog book reviews can also be an interesting way to share children's work. Copy the blog address of the book review and visit to create your QR code. This can be stuck in children's books, displayed on noticeboards or at Parents Evening for Parents to read. If your school has a library, children can stick QR codes of book reviews into books in the library, so others can scan and read the reviews before choosing that book.

5. Explain Everything - Use this app for children to create a video of themselves reading one of or an exert from their favourite book. I can't take credit for this video but here is how:

6. Telligami - Create a animated book reviews using Telligami. This great free app allows you to add a background (picture of the book,) design an avatar and then record 30 seconds to review their book. The app allows you to either record the children's voices (great for KS1) or type out text for it to be read by one of the computer generated voices. The second option is great for older children as it responds to punctuation, meaning if they have forgotten full stops it will be read that way. Here is an example of Telligami in action:

7. Aurasma - Once the children have created their Telligami videos, why not bring them to life by creating Auras and interactive displays. Aurasma will allow you to program the iPad to recognise a trigger image (picture of the book cover) and when recognised will display digital content such as the Telligami video. To read more about Augmented Reality in the classroom - CLICK HERE.

8. Film Trailer - Using iMovie Trailers really challenge the children by asking them to create a film trailer for their favourite book. Children could watch some examples of trailers and pick out features before using the app to then create their own based on the book they have just read. It is a great, fun and challenging way for children to show their understanding of the story. To read more about how iMovie trailers can be used across the curriculum - CLICK HERE. 

9. Interview teachers about their favourite books - Why not create a podcast, using Audioboo, Thinglink or even BossJock of Teacher's favourite books. Ask the children to think of 3/4 questions to ask a teacher about their favourite book then use the iPad to record an interview with the teacher about their book. Try and make sure the children interview a different teacher than their own. Hopefully hearing a teacher speak enthusiastically about a book will make children want to read it themselves.

10. Create a Character Interview - Using an app such as Morfo, children can create an interview with a character from their favourite book. They can either retell the story from the character's point of view, explain reasons why a character acted in a certain way, what happened to the character after the story or give a back story to a character. Here is an example of some interviews using Morfo and famous Tudor people:

And there you have it 10 ideas for World Book Day! If you found them useful please share!

Follow this link to see how Mr P can help raise standards in your school with technology -