A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

screenshot of vestival padlet

May 7, 2021
by Jean
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An international online event!

The Digital Learning Across Boundaries (DLAB) Erasmus Plus project is sharing a year of creative digital activity in the DLAB virtual festival #DLABVestival. Pupils, teachers, students and academics in Belgium, England, Denmark, Norway and Spain have been working together to devise and test out learning activities using digital technology and international collaboration. 

From 9am on Monday 28th May you will be able to enter the Vestival and explore tents of ideas, resources and examples focused on overcoming challenges and barriers and breaking boundaries. 

Book your free ticket here.

screenshot of vestival padlet

February 24, 2021
by Jean
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Adding sound to art!

This week I gave an online talk at the Primary Art Craft Design Network Meeting for County Durham Art Co-ordinators. It was based around using audio and images together in viewing and making art.

Here is the digital book used to support the talk. It includes details of how to use the BBC Sound Effects website; how to make a Google Slide with added audio; how to ‘hide’ sound effects in a BookCreator image and using ThingLink to add sound to images along with other ideas about being creative with sound and images.

 

 

January 29, 2021
by Jean
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Creating with BBC sound effects!

BBC sound effects web pageBBC Sound Effects is a useful site that can be used to create resources. It can be accessed here.

It can be searched to find a huge variety of sounds that can be downloaded or linked to for educational purposes. Read more about the terms of use here.

As can be seen on the screenshot there is a ‘mixer mode’ where sounds can be chosen and played together to create a soundscape. Have a go at this here.

Combining sounds with images can be an interesting and creative activity. Here’s an example I have made, adding environmental sound to Georges Seurat’s painting ‘A Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’. I have used a Google Slide. I’ve chosen and downloaded the sounds to Google Drive and then used ‘insert / audio’ to add them to the slide.

It would be possible to do this in Powerpoint, BookCreator and ThingLink.

January 26, 2021
by Jean
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Using Mote to add your voice to google docs and slides

Mote logoWhat is Mote?

Mote is a  Chrome extension. It allows you to add voice feedback within Google Classroom, Docs, Slides etc. The free version allows you to record for 30 seconds and the various subscriptions allow for 90 seconds of recording at a time.

How do I add it?

Here is a short video to show you how to add it.

How do I use it?

There are more videos about how to use it here including this one below about using Mote.

I’ve added a Mote comment to this document.

If you want to listen to the comments you also need to have installed the Mote chrome extension. 

 

January 14, 2021
by Jean
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WindowSwap in the classroom

screenshot of window swap websiteYou will probably have come across the site WindowSwap this week. It can be accessed here.

It is a simple series of video views through windows around the world and as such has so much potential for use in learning. 

Each window lasts ten minutes and includes sound, which can be switched on or off. You can move on to another random window by clicking the bar at the bottom of the screen and the name of the place where the window is appears in the top right of the screen. The one you can see here is in Hazelbrook, New South Wales, Australia. 

screenshot of a jam board

Here’s a Jamboard with some ideas for using WindowSwap and you can see it as a Jamboard here. I’m sure you will have lots of other ideas too – why not add them as comments below?

January 9, 2021
by Jean
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Supporting remote learning

Many of you will be planning and delivering learning remotely since the recent changes in school opening.

Oak National Academy opening pageThe Oak National Academy is providing a wide range of plans and resources to support schools and these are for all key stages and subjects.

You can explore these here

 

In addition from week beginning January 11th 2021 the BBC is broadcasting a range of educational programmes. 

BBC schools timetable

Here is the timetable for primary schools and you can see the secondary timetable here.

There is more information about what the BBC is offering here.

December 7, 2020
by Jean
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Dictating your text in Microsoft Word, Pages (Apple) and Google Docs.

You might wish to have the option of dictating your text when word processing. This can be useful when you are making notes, organising your thoughts or when you are tired of typing! It is available in Microsoft, Google and Apple word processing software. 

When you sign into your Microsoft Office package using your university account you can use the ‘dictate’ option in Word. For a demonstration watch this short video:

In Apple’s word processing software, Pages, you can do the same on an iPad or Mac.

iPad: how to

Mac: how to

In Google Docs the same is possible – read more about it here.

Thanks to @mtholfsen and @bjgreen25 on Twitter for sharing and pointing out the Microsoft Word support video.

 

November 20, 2020
by Jean
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Digital Futures Commission

Today, on World Children’s Day, the Digital Futures Commission (DFC) has been launched to explore digital innovation with a focus on children and young people and informed by their voices. Their research focus is on:

  1. play in a digital world
  2. beneficial uses of education data
  3. guidance for innovators

You can read the results of a consultation called Children and Young People’s Voices here. The report focuses on the question: what do children and young people value about the digital world and what changes do they call for? in relation to the three research focuses listed above. 

cover of Free Play in a Digital WorldToday the DFC has launched a consultation on play called ‘Free play in a Digital World’ and is seeking views from children and young people, parents and carers, and professionals who work with children.

You can download it here. The consultation opens today and runs until the end of February 2021. If you fall into any of the categories above you can join in by taking part in a 45 minute discussion online. Read more details on p4 of the document. 

You can also read more about free play and why it matters here in a blog post by Dr Kate Cowan who has written a review called The Panorama of Play. As a student you would read the blog post as a way into reading the actual review, which you would find informative for your work in PDT1076. 

apple teacher modules

July 13, 2020
by Jean
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Learning to use digital tools 3: Apple Teacher

apple teacher logoMany of you will be using iPads to support learning in the classroom. As you use the iPad you and your pupils will quickly be able to work out how to use various tools as and when you need them. One of the great features of the iPad is the way you can use it intuitively and rapidly work out how to use it to support your own learning and the learning of your pupils. 

Another way of developing your skills is to complete the Apple Teacher course available through the Apple Teacher Learning Centre. You can access it here.

apple teacher modulesOnce you have used your Apple Teacher ID to sign into the site you can work your way through the iPad modules: iPad, Pages for iPad, Keynote for iPad, Numbers for iPad, iMovie for iPad, Garageband for iPad and creativity with iPad. Having worked your way through these modules and taken a test you can then display the Apple Teacher digital badge on your blog and email signature. In addition to the iPad learning there is also set of four modules with a focus on coding and Swift and a set focused on using the Mac.

The modules are user friendly and informative, based around digital books that you can download and return to. Alongside them are many other useful resources in the site that can take you further with using tools such as Clips and explore themes such as being creative and remote learning. 

If you have completed Apple Teacher let us know in the comments below. How has it supported your work in the classroom?

 

 

Google AR TL image

July 6, 2020
by Jean
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Learning to use digital tools 2: ThingLink

ThingLink is a digital tool available for all to use in a free and in a paid for version. The tools available through the free version are a great place to get started. Although it is available as an app it is also available online. You can access it here.

It is a tool that allows you to add tags to images and video. The tags can include text, audio, images / video and links to a wide range of other resources and tools. You can then share your ThingLink with users who can access all the materials from the one place. There are useful accessibility features that make it supportive for all users. ThingLinks can also be embedded into blogs and digital books made in BookCreator and added to Padlets.

screen shot from Microsoft course pageA useful way to get started is to complete the Creating Visual Learning Materials ThingLink course in the Microsoft Educator Center. This is a comprehensive introduction for the new user  but also contains information about recent changes that was helpful to me as a longtime user of ThingLink. The course contains the following:

Modules Overview – Each module has an interactive video ThingLink and helpful overview

  1. What is ThingLink?  
  2. Your ThingLink Account  
  3. Base Images and Videos  
  4. ThingLink Creation and Tag Types  
  5. Embedding Microsoft Tag Ideas  
  6. Accessibility and Publishing 
  7. Collaboration and Teams  
  8. Support and Resources – Followed by our Quiz!  

After you have completed the quiz you can download a digital badge to display on your blog or email signature. 

A recent example of a ThingLink I made is this one that introduces you to the AR features in Google.

If you join ThingLink and browse existing ThingLinks you will easily find inspiration for using this tool in school. There are so many examples across all age groups and subjects.

How might you use ThingLink in your practice? Share a link to any ThingLinks you make in the comments below.