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.

 

 

February 13, 2021
by Jean
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Mathematics resources and ideas!

Some useful resources to support learning in mathematics:

The Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM) have put together a collection of resources to support mathematics away from the screen. You can access it here. It is huge collection of useful recommendations from members of the ATM/MA joint primary group and well worth exploring. 

maths bitmoji classroomOne of my colleagues here at the University of Northampton, Lucy Westley, made this mathematics digital classroom using GoogleSlides. It gives you the opportunity to explore the range of mathematics resources available to support learning. Have a look at it here.

 

Another interesting resource is this from Mathigon. It gives you access to a wide range of mathematics manipulatives to use in digital learning, along with puzzles, games and information to use in supporting learning.

maths digital books online image

 

 

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. 

October 2, 2020
by Jean
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Black History Month and Black Lives Matter resources

Black Lives matter booklist 9-12The National Literacy Trust have recently shared some resources to support educators planning for October’s Black History Month. The resource Black Lives Matter: Book lists for ages 0 to 16+ features books by black authors and illustrators and exemplify the Black Lives Matters movement. They are organised in in lists for 0 to 4 years, 5 to 8 years, 9 to 12 years, 13 to 16 years and 16+. 

The resource can be accessed here.

Another resource, part of the Words for Life series, is called “Learn to be an anti-racist”. This collects together a number of resources to use with children in making sense of the news and hear from those who have experienced racism. These can be accessed here.


BLM watch and learn

September 18, 2020
by Jean
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New resources from the National Literacy Trust.

This week the National Literacy trust launched two new online resources to support families and educators.

authors of the week

NLT, 2020c

The first is called Virtual School Library. You can access it here

Each week the Virtual School Library will introduce a children’s author or illustrator and share books, videos and recommended reads.

Here’s an example from this week (w/b September 14th 2020).

Words for Life resources

NLT, 2020b

The second is called Words for Life. You can access it here. Words for Life provides resources “for parents, children and young people to improve their language, literacy and communication skills from home” (NLT, 2020a, lines 3-5).

The resources can be accessed by age group and are practical and engaging. 

 

 

References

National Literacy Trust. (2020a) Words for Life. [online] Available from: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/ [Accessed: 18/09/2020].

National Literacy Trust. (2020b) Happiness and wellbeing. Words for life. [online] Available from: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/ [Accessed: 18/09/2020].

National Literacy Trust. (2020c) Current authors of the week. Virtual library. [online] Available from: https://wordsforlife.org.uk/virtual-school-library/authors/ [Accessed: 18/09/2020].