Sunday, 17 January 2010

TeachmeetBETT 2010

In the evening of Bett I attended the Teachmeet, a place where anyone can get up and talk for 2 or 7 minutes about what they are doing in class. It’s a great place to be inspired as one teacher said what’s normal to us is a lightbulb to someone else. A list of all the speakers is here and you can re-watch the whole thing by replaying the live flashmeeting.

If you wanna know nore about what a teachmeet is click here and watch the video.

These are the things that I took away with me. – as a way to create speaking avatars. 2 teachers spoke about how they are using it as:
- a way for showing younger children to navigate the MLE
- an MFL tool, by creating Voki’s that speak different languages.
- a way to present Lit work inparticular poems – it also has the ability to leave comments.

Get a Voki now! – a way to share a number of links in a single link. Click on the link and they will all open up in tabs. It’s a great way to prepare lessons and almost teach just from a series of webpages. Share your planning over twitter. - of all the links from this post.

An idea for Databases – a murder mystery which you have to solve by investigating databases – cool idea. - create videos online – great starter activity for introducing video creation and editing.

David Phips of – showed live how you can turn two Wii motes into a Interactive whiteboard - £100 cost. It was great ;o)

Helen Myers – talked passionately about how she has discovered Second Life and been using it to learn languages and how that she is starting to build a Languages world in Teengrid. Check out her video.

Of course I spoke as well check out the video of the of me speaking about the Redbridge Games Network.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

BETT 2010 - Thoughts and things

Yesterday was my day to soak in the technical goodness that was Bett. It was a very long day, since I also attended TeachmeetBett2010 (post to come)
While I saw a few interesting things, there where no wow moments this year for me. I'll briefly list some of the things that caught my eye.
2create a superstory from 2simple was a really nice product which allows children to create a variety of books and texts. Its selling feature is the ability to very easily add animation and sounds to these stories. Think 2createastory all grown up. I've got my copy and hope to be using it with the children next week.

Augmented Reality was on a few stands and is a really interesting concept. These little black shapes or square patterns when shown to a web cam allow a 3d model to be show and moved around. The people from connectED where showing a PSP system that would also play videos or sounds when shown a certain image. There is something to this tech, it just seems that no-one really knows how to make it work in class. Below is a video of a Smart product - the page turning this a nice idea. 2simple have also shown some AR in the past working with their online tools and 2design and make.

Projectors seemed to the talk of a number of stands and they seemed to range in size and power. Casio has a revolutionary one which was bulb less. £750 2000 lumen's and a 5 year or 10,000 lamp hour life warranty.

I'm always on the look out for cool new laptops and this one below really caught my eye. Dual screen, net book sized. The company called VYE has a range of net books and smaller sized products. Click the link to check them out.

I was as always on the lookout for new robot products and spotted two things. One was the new LEGO Education WeDo System which is a really nice KS1, early KS2 introduction to Programming and the Lego Mindstorms system. The children build models based on a story. It is a really nice package and allows children to experience some control concepts that aren't normally taught till year 5 or 6.
The other product I saw was from RM and called TETRIX. Another Lego product that combines Mindstorms and the NXT brick with a metal construction system. Think Mecano but it connects with technic lego as well. Great progression, more of a secondary resource though. :o(

Anthings was at the show of course and showing of the new audio recorder in their software.
Finally a great success for Redbridge was that children and teachers where invited to talk about their work with 2DIY at the Playful Learning Stand which was sponsored by Stephen Heppel. Children from Geries Infants and Cleaveland Juniors had been working together to make games for each other it was great to see and their will be video available soon.