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Sunday, 28 September 2014

There is no app for that!

On Friday, I presented at the Literacy Shed Conference in Bury alongside @redgierob, @bryngoodman and @readingexplorers. The two day conference focused on all things Literacy with John Murray demonstrating and sharing his unique insight into developing key reading skills. Rob shared his ideas and strategies to develop a visual literacy curriculum. Bryn share his first hand experience in using the Shed and the impact it had. I then discussed all things iPad and how to use the internet to have a real impact on children's learning.

The real star of the two days though, didn't even present! @gazneedle, is a KS1 teacher at St Josephs in Shaw. I have done some training at his school and he is a true gent. But I was in complete awe of his notetaking ability. Armed with a notepad and pencil case he went to work producing some stunning cartoon like notes throughout the two days! I don't know how he managed to do it while keeping up with what was being shared!

After the conference, I sat and read through his notes which covered all the main ideas shared in such a visual and impressive way. Gaz also has a blog - which he shares some of his doodles, such as visual tweets - 

motivational Quotes -

Or making Twitter profile pics - 

Make sure you follow Gaz on twitter - @Gazneedle and I know already teachers have enquired about whether he can do a workshop with their class. But if you need a illustrator, or hosting a teachmeet/conference and want someone to create a live stream of visual notes, Gaz in your man!

Some of the feedback from the #litshedconf was fantastic, so thank you to everyone who tweeted! Here is a Storify with some of the feedback - 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Mr P is going International!

I am very happy to announce that I will be leading a two day course for schools in Dubai in October 2014. Working alongside IT Training and Consultancy, I will be sharing different ideas, apps and strategies to make the most of using iPads to enhance learning in the curriculum. Please contact Shama for more information and to book a place.

It seems there maybe some technical difficulties with the email address provided. If so, please send through any details/questions to

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Alan Peat presents... Enhancing the New Primary Curriculum using Technology

The course on Monday 22nd September at the Village hotel in Whiston near Liverpool. Over 92 teachers attended and the atmosphere was fantastic! The aims of the day were to provide teachers with a range of ideas and strategies to successfully use technology through different web tools and iPad apps to enhance learning in Numeracy, Literacy and other cross curriculum subjects.

This conference is being repeated in the following places -

4th November - Middlesborough

18th November - Peterborough

8th December - London

27th January - Walsall

Places are available on all the above courses and just follow the link for details to book.

The feedback from the conference was incredible, I am so thankful to everyone for their kind words, was lovely to hear how much you enjoyed it!

60 Evaluations
58 – Rated the content and delivery as Excellent
2 – Rated the content and delivery as good.

Simply... WOW! 
 Thank you so much for today... My head is buzzing and I've not felt so pumped about my job as I do tonight for a long time!  Just need to persuade the SLT that a QR code qualifies as evidence in books!! You obviously love your job and it's so refreshing to have CPD from someone who is still in the classroom and practices what they preach! The children you teach are very lucky! Thanks again  
Oh my goodness. I’m worried some thing will fall out of my head on the way home! This was the most valuable training I have had as a teacher, computing co-ordinator and school senior leader. I just wish I know everything that Lee knows!  
Some fabulous ideas and excellent range of low cost apps that will enhance the learning and feedback for children. 
 Funny and engaging! Feeling inspired and can’t wait to try things out. An outstanding day with so much shared! Incredible ideas for us to use in the classroom. Every teacher in Britain needs this training! 
 Amazing. Just fantastic, I am so envious that your school has such a talented teacher on staff! Well worth the journey. 
Incredibly inspiring! Excellent delivery, very inspiring and lots to now think about. Thank you for a very engaging, thought provoking day. 
Was brilliant! Will be looking out for courses by him for the rest of our staff! Thanks for a brilliant day! Excellent, inspiring day full of engaging and practical ideas to use with the children. 
Really enjoyed today. Never downloaded so many apps! Can’t wait to use them at school with the children. Really clear and interesting content – loads of things I want to use! Loved clear instruction of iMovie – thanks!  
Fantastic!!! Has really made me think about how to CHANGE my teaching using ICT. I’m hoping to make my lessons more inspiring and engaging for the children.  
Outstanding! Really inspirational and links to real projects show the direct impact, not of the iPads but the creativity and the thought behind the use of the gadgets.  
Fantastic day – Lee was a great course facilitator who kept everyone engaged and interested. Made the day much more enjoyable – Thank you!  
Fabulous, one of the best training days I have ever been on. So useful, inspiring and enjoyable too! 
Brain frazzled by the amount of superb info and guidance, ready to use in the classroom, massive thanks! I would highly recommend to every teacher.  
Fast paced. Engaging. Stimulating, lots of practical ideas to use in the classroom. Loads of cracking ideas which I can’t wait to use back in the classroom. 
Lots of creative uses, just need to disseminate. Really interesting ideas for moving forward with technology to enhance learning in the classroom. 
Going to enjoy sharing this with my colleagues. Lots of very useful apps discussed, ready to disseminate back in school. Really useful apps to use in class. Great bank of ideas now on how to enhance the children’s writing using iPads.  
Fantastic course and delivery! Thank you! 
Fantastic training! I have taken loads of ideas away. It’s wonderful to listen to an inspiring teacher. Thank you! Look forward to telling all the other teachers in my school about the fantastic tools we can use! Really great ideas – creative and practical!  
Found it very useful as someone at the Nursery stage. It has given me more confidence to have a go. 
Super ideas, very informative! Fantastic sessions. Wonderful ideas which can be used across the whole school! Informative, friendly and fun. 
 Very inspiring lots of useful ideas. 
Fantastic day! Good ideas and great hand out etc. Brilliant speaker, fantastic ideas. An excellent course – just need more iPads in school. Lots of wonderful cross curricular links.  
Very inspiring leader. Great use of examples to demonstrate ideas. Great to see examples from children’s work and lesson ideas. Excellent ideas and info. Fantastic delivery of course content! Excellent and inspiring Lots of practical advice that can be taken back into the classroom.  
Just what we needed as a school. How we use our iPads from today will change dramatically thanks to your expertise and introduction of all our useful apps and how we can use them in our class. 
Lots of excellent ideas shared in a clear and informative session.  Super course, great resources and content – followed on twitter and blog for a while and use resources. Excellent Course – Far too many ideas! Where to begin!? Thanks a million!  
Loads of ideas about which apps to buy and how to use them in a creative way. Lots of superb apps! Lots of good practical ideas! 
 Excellent! Practical! Mindblowing! Excellent! Very inspiring to take teaching and learning into the 21st Century! Lots of fantastic ideas to inspire the children and hopefully other staff.  
Thank you He has been brilliant! Great ideas! Great day with useful ideas, thanks!Very confident and knowledgeable. 
Had a good rapport with the room. Very useful, thank you! Absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to try! Fantastic, practical ideas, thank you! Very inspirational, lots of great ideas to use in the classroom. 
WOW! Very useful course, thank you. Very useful and informative. Practical ideas that can be used. Speaker very good, engaged throughout. Very useful and informative. Will take ideas back to school.  
Great course with lots of useful ideas for the classroom! Thank you – a great day! Very useful – fast paced and informative. Great for the new cross-curricular approach. A wide range of ideas to use across KS1 and KS2. 
Very inspirational. Lots of practical ideas – Excellent delivery. Lots of great ideas

And for those on the course the picture above hopefully sums it up!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

15 iPad lesson ideas for 'The Tudors'

I am very proud to announce that my new eBook - 15 iPad lesson ideas for 'The Tudors' is now available on the iBook store!

This brand new eBook will share 15 inspiring and engaging lessons using the iPad to bring the Tudor topic alive in the classroom. 

With cross curricular link and references to the New Primary Curriculum, the book will help teachers looking for ways to enhance learning through the use of mobile technology. 

‘The Tudors’ is one of the most popular topics covered in the Primary Curriculum. Despite not being directly linked in the New Primary Curriculum there are still opportunities to cover this fascinating topic in class.

Even if you don't teach 'The Tudors,' most of the ideas shared in this eBook can easily be adapted for any topic in the new History curriculum.

Featuring a range of apps including - Lino, Thinglink, Puppetpals to name a few! The eBook also links to Android versions of apps wherever possible.

All of the lessons have been tried and tested in a primary classroom and examples of work children have produced are shared on many of the pages. 

You can download the book from the iBook store for just £1.49. If you do download please leave a review.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Musomic - The Future of Comic Creation!

I rarely look forward to an app as much as I did when I first heard of Musomic. After working alongside Mat (@inspiredmind5) and reading his fantastic book (pictured) I quickly realised the potential of using comics in the classroom. There are plenty of comic apps available on the iPad, my favourites being Comic Life, Strip Designer and Comics Head. Musomic, however is completely different and provides a whole range of fantastic literacy opportunities!

Here is a video showing the basics of the Musomic app:

There are a range of different themed packs that you can purchase and download. For the next couple of days, all of the content is FREE so be quick and get them downloaded! But it is the fact that you have professionally designed images to work with in creating your own comics is such a fantastic tool. It can inspire writing in so many ways, from planning stories, investigating characters, retelling stories, creating comics and classroom posters to name just a few ideas that jump in my head. I just know that children will relish using this app as a storytelling tool and it will inspire so many creative stories! 

The other aspect to this app that sets it apart from other comic apps out there is the use of music! I am a massive fan of how important music can be in telling a story. I have previously blogged about how you can use music to inspire story writing and you can read it here. The fact that children can add drums, melody or SFX to each page of their comic add a whole new level of creativity to the storytelling process.

This is an app I am excited to use in the class, so stay tuned to see some of the wonderful comics the children make over the next few weeks!

If you haven't yet got your copy of the app - DOWNLOAD IT HERE NOW!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Using an iPad as a Visualiser


A few years back, I managed to acquire a visualiser through collecting Tesco vouchers. I was to trial using it in class with the intention of then purchasing them for other classes if worthwhile. It quickly transformed my teaching! Being able to demonstrate examples through shared writing, share children's work with the whole class, uplevel and edit children's work were just a few ways I used it to enhance my teaching. It led to the school buying a visualiser for each class teacher - each costing approximately around £200-£250 each at that time, this may now have changed.

About a year later, we made the decision to invest in iPads (costing around £250 each at the time, the same price or even cheaper of a visualiser,) and this made the visualisers almost redundant along with the interactive whiteboard. One of the many great features of the iPad is that it can easily become an interactive visualiser, but what sets it apart, is the fact it is mobile and therefore gives teachers the ability to have a visualiser in their hands wherever they are.

There are a few ways in which to connect your iPad to your projector for display - either through software on a computer or hardware connected directly to the projector. This fantastic poster from the inspirational @iPadWells demonstrates some -

Here are some ways to turn your iPad into a visualiser -

1 - Airserver (Approx £7) - For me, this is the best software to mirror your iPad screen. Available for both PC and Mac this works brilliantly well (most of the time!) The recent update now allows you to record your iPad screen too which provides teachers with a great way of creating tutorial videos. For the price it is fantastic and as long as your wifi is strong and allows access for it to work, I don't think there is anything better. Your PC will need Windows 7 or above for it to work but here is a short video demonstrating how it works -

2 - Apple TV (Approx £80) This is a piece of hardware that will connect directly into a projector/screen or TV. This again relies on Wifi to allow the Airplay option from your device. For me, the cost is what makes me lean toward Airserver. You could potentially put Air Server on every teacher's PC for the same price as an Apple TV. Both rely on your Wifi to handle the bandwidth and make sure it isn't unblocked.

3 - Reflector (Approx £8) This is another piece of software that is very similar to Air Server. I have tried both and prefer Air Server. It just seemed to be more reliable however reflector does work on Windows XP. Below is a YouTube video comparing Reflector and AirServer - 

4 - VGA Adapter (Approx £10 for iPad 2 or £35 for newer iPads) The VGA cables are very reliable and I always have one to hand as we can never always rely on Wifi! The problem, is that is becomes static, you can only display your iPad from the front of the class where you have attached the iPad to the whiteboard.

This infographic from the great Tony Vincent compares most ways to mirror your iPad to a display board (Click here for original post)

There are also apps that work the other way, allow you to control your PC computer from your iPad. Splashtop app or Hippo Remote are a couple I have used. Both require the software to be downloaded on the PC and also the app on your iPad. 

The next app to be released by Alan Peat Ltd will be the 'iVisualiser,' app. If you are able to mirror your iPad to your projector or screen this app will be extremely useful. Using the iPad camera within the app, it provides a range of useful tools to help teachers annotate and highlight directly onto the screen. The fact this can be done live or a freezeframe can be taken and children or teachers can annotate the screen and save it as a photo truly makes the iPad a great mobile visualiser. 

When you consider that a standard visualiser now costs near the same as an iPad mini I think there is no question what would be a more worthwhile purchase. If you are unsure as to what else an iPad can do, please read through this blog.