Bev's adventures in ICT

Posts tagged ‘Blogging’

It’s a Celebration!

I’m really feeling on top of the world today! I returned home from work to find the blog has made the shortlist in the Education Blog Awards! I am absolutely flabbergasted and would like to send out a heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted – you’ve made my day. I’m also feeling rather pleased about a couple of things I’m organising during July, and I’m hoping you will be too.

Reflect and Share is about giving pupils a chance to speak about the lessons and resources they have loved using within there classrooms. The children involved will be sharing their thoughts on learning with teachers in an effort to let the teachers know what they children think really works well. Although the final date is not set this is an event I’m really looking forward to organising and I’m hoping to get a few goodies for all the children who are willing to present as I think it could be a little bit nerve racking . Here’s hoping it goes well…

I’m also looking forward to organising my second TeachMeet as the first one was a really enjoyable affair with fantastic presenters and supportive sponsors. This time the event will be in term time (it’s so hard to sort one out in the holidays with everyone going away) and will be focusing on developing thinking skills and creating independent learners. As soon as I’ve got everything in place I will add it to the TeachMeet site but I have to say I’m feeling pretty enthused already and I hope people will enjoy contributing and being involved – I can’t do it without you.

Finally, I’m pretty sure you all know how proud I am of being Welsh and one event I’m really excited about attending is TMSwansea . It’s going to be a great opportunity to pick up new ideas and share some of my own, and I’m really looking forward to catching up with some fellow Welsh educators. In fact, with that in mind, I’m fortunate to be attending what I feel could be a really ground breaking event for Welsh educators on Friday – to discuss the development of #addcym. Inspired by Colin Hill ,and his great organising and vision surrounding the #ukedchat discussions, I’m now involved with a group of other ‘Welshies’ in developing something similar for Wales. That said, we’re quite happy for people from elsewhere to join in so if you’re on Twitter between 8pm and 9pm on a Sunday evening do look out for the #addcym hashtag – we’d love for you to vote in the poll and join in with the discussion – the more the merrier! There are exciting times ahead in the world of Education and I, for one, intend to be a part of it. And I’m hoping you’ll join me for the ride.

Getting Yourself on the Map

I spent yesterday afternoon following and contributing to TeachMeet East; yet another great event that was excellently organised and superbly run by top Twitter bods @tomhenzley and @missbrownsword (plus a host of others – you know who you are). Not that I was actually in Norwich mind you: I was taking part via live streaming and had even submitted a video presentation for the event!! Needless to say, the event was fabulous with lots of great presenters and presentations (French + dancing = audience participation: who’d have thunk it?) and I left me feeling even more inspired for the TeachMeet I am organising this summer in Pembrokeshire .

After the event had finished a bunch of us were chatting on Twitter and someone suggested that it would be great if there was a map we could all use to help plan future TeachMeets: somewhere you could add your location to so that other like minded people could see where you were based. That way we could see who might be able to attend TeachMeets in any given area. Well. low and behold, another top Twitter bod (@ianaddison) got on the case and came up with this fantastic TeachMap (he’s blogged about it here too) via Google Maps! Stunningly simple and truly useful, you can see at a glance where interested people are located. It’s already helped me track down a few people near me that I hadn’t come across before and I’ve now added them to my Twitter network. If you’re interested in attending TeachMeets why don’t you add yourself! Maybe you’ll find some like minded people in a location near you that you hadn’t come across before 🙂

And the award goes to…

I had a nice surprise this morning. Steph Westwood, who writes the Bits and Pieces Place blog gave me a shout out on her blog. She had been sent a little blog award by Emily Starr, writer of Interactive Content Corner. The idea is to spread the word about ten  great blogs you love, read and use, let people know you have mentioned them so they continue the chain. In fact there’s even a little set of rules to follow (as seen on Steph’s blog). They are…

1- Copy and display the picture of the award given to you (I’ll post it at the bottom of the page)

2- Link back to the blog that nominated you

3- Nominate 10 different blogs yourself

4- Inform the people you nominated, so they can in turn, continue the chain and spread the word about other great blogs out there.

Now although this does seem a little ‘chain letter – esque’, and it’s not something I’d usually go for, it does seem a great way to spread the word about a few inspirational and useful blogs that not everyone is aware of. So here we go…ten blogs I think are well worth a look…(in no particular order as they’re all equally wonderful)…

1. I’m going to start by mentioning the 2Simple Blog , which was started by @2SimpleAnt and is a great source of information on ideas for using 2Simple software. It’s packed full of useful stuff and the team are really enthusiastic and dedicated. If you use 2Simple software you really need to pop by and visit!

2. Inspiring.Creative.Technology is a fabulous blog created and compiled by @SimonHaughton Bursting with insights into the use of ICT to enhance learning (and with plenty of tips too) it’s a blog I love to read and return to time and time again.

3. From Dawn till Dusk is the blog to go to if you want to be inspired about the use of gaming and handheld learning in the classroom. It’s written by another effervescent Welsh girl  – @dawnhallybone – and her dedication and enthusiasm just bounce off the screen. See what she did with the blog name? She must be really clever 🙂

4. There’s no Smoke Without Dragons is a super blog about inspiring children through poetry. Recent posts include ‘A dragon’s perspective on St. George’s day’ and ‘My Pet Dragon’. Compiled by @startwriting it’s a blog for anyone who loves poetry or wants to find out how it can be used to inspire writing.

5. If your interested in looking at the world of education from an EBD point of view (go on…I insist you look!!) then visit Adventures in Learning . The blog, written by @EBD35,  is currently featuring an Itouch project and makes very interesting reading.

6. @kvnmcl writes the excellent Steps in Teaching and Learning – a blog that’s full of ideas for the use of ICT!

7 and 8. If you’re looking for ideas to inspire the development of literacy through the use of ICT you really need to point yourself towards  Ponderings and Musings by @Joga5 and Tim Rylands’ Web Blog which, strangely enough, is full of ideas from @timrylands. I mean…really…they are ‘must see’ blogs for ideas in literacy, learning and ICT 🙂

9. I just love Agent 4 Change! It’s a little gem –  an online newspaper for learning and teaching through technology and written by the wonderful @merlinjohn.

10. Oh dear. Time for my last pick and there are so many I could mention! I’m afraid I’m going to have to go with Bits and Bobs, written by my mate @mynictle . It’s a fabulous blog and needs to be visited by more people!!!!

So, there we have it. Those are my picks. There are so many others I could have included but some had already been mentioned by Steph in her post and others, well I just ran out of space. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do. By the way, the little award I was sent is the image beneath. I’m not sure it’s really the most important thing here, but the idea of sharing blogs is a super one. Which ones would you share? Please, pass them on…

On the 15th day of blogging…

So, we’re just about to bring 2009 to a close and looking forward to 2010. It’s been a great year for my adventures in ICT: lots of fun with free online applications and downloads, the ongoing developments from the bods at 2Simple (which leave me in constant awe and wonder!), a new blog, a club wiki, the collaborative power of Twitter, Google Maps and Docs, Etherpad (soon to be RIP but many appearing in its place), the list of high spots goes on! So I thought I’d recap a few of my favourite moments – hopefully it will bring a smile to your faces too 🙂

Firstly I’d like to thank all the fantastic people I follow on Twitter for encouraging me to start this blog – the feedback has been amazing and I love reading everyone’s comments and ideas. I wasn’t really sure I had enough to contribute to the ever expanding use of ICT in the classroom (I know my OH would disagree) but I’m hopeful that I have ignited ideas and inspired  some of you a little bit. It’s always nice to read a comment or see a tweet that refers to something in the blog – at least I know I’m on the right track and the help and support I have received from others has been most welcome. Thank you all!

I’ve also enjoyed using (or playing with) lots of the free tools available online or to download and fitting them into activities and planning. I’ve got a few particular favourites too: Ript – great for collecting and arranging research, Dabbleboard – collaborative brainstorming fun (plus all its alternative uses too), Mapwing, SumoPaint and so many others! Ongoing use in the fantastic range of products available from 2Simple software has also given me a huge amount of pleasure. It’s great to come across a collection of products that is so versatile and everyone enjoys using. If I’ve bored you with my ongoing waffles about the wonders of 2Paint a Picture and 2Publish+ (plus many others) well…tough! I will be boring you some more in 2010 with further ideas because I just love the stuff!! If you’re interested in finding out even more about 2Simple ideas then check out their own blog – it’s full of useful ideas and information!

I should name check a few people who have helped me along my way (with the blog and other ideas) – there are many and you all know who you are. I’d still be typing come Christmas day if I listed all of you now! Some, however, need to be properly thanked for their ongoing help and support to a relative novice. So…drum roll please… first up is Mark Warner (without whom I wouldn’t have even started tweeting or blogging): the man is full of ideas and runs a seemingly endless selection of inspirational sites (check him out if you haven’t already). I’d also like to give a special mention to the wonderful Tom Barrett for lighting a spark to get me started on creating a few curriculum linked Google Maps. So far I’ve created 3 (Pembroke Castle shapes, Amazon Rainforest and Castell Henllys) , but more are on the way (particularly linked to storytelling).  Anthony Evans has also been a great inspiration for a long time – firstly through his Redbridge ICT blog and now through his work at 2Simple. He’s also the only person I have spoken to who is more obsessed with Doctor Who than I am (well – maybe) so, Anthony, I salute you. Finally a couple of shout outs to a special gang of Twitter friends. Fellow blogger Nicola Stables (we started blogging the same week!), plus new bloggers EDB35 and Simon Haughton (watch this space – they’re both going to be fab blogs that will be well worth following): you keep me going and I love getting your comments and feedback on ideas. Here’s to a productive 2010!!!

The Adventure Begins…

…so here we go! Encouraged by my Twitter buddies I have decided to keep an official record of my mindless drivel about the wonderful world of ICT. Some of it may be inspiring. Some of it may be plain silly. I can guarantee, however, that it will never be boring. At least I hope that’s the case.