Tag-Archive for ◊ primarypad ◊

Reporting a problem
Sunday, September 26th, 2010 | Author:

How do you report an ICT problem in your school? Is there a book? Do you email the tech? Or…do you grab the ICT coordinator as they walk down the corridor/start their lesson?

In my new school we have had significant investment recently and there are small issues and I am happy to deal with these the best I can, but we also have a technician who comes in each week for the things I can’t do or don’t have time for. I was trying to think of how I could communicate with him so he knew about issues before he came into school. This way he is prepared and can download software, google a problem or bring in that cable for the job.

I looked at google forms. I thought I could get staff to fill in questions and then we could share the results so we could fix the problems, but I got bored filling it in to report what I was doing. The list would also be my ‘to-do’ list and I needed something simple that I could do quickly. Then I remembered Primary Pad. I set up a quick pad like this one and that is now my fault log. (Note – That isn’t my actual pad, I didn’t want to share that with the world!)

I have given staff the link to the pad so they can add problems if they want to as well.Will it work? Who knows. But we are now prepared for the technician when he visits on Tuesday!

TeachMeet Hampshire…3days to go
Monday, May 17th, 2010 | Author:

Who ever said organising a TeachMeet was easy? It looks fairly straightforward doesn’t it? Pick a venue, advertise it, get people to present. Well, let me tell you, it’s a completely different matter!

It all started back at TeachMeet Bett when I turned to a colleague and said about running a Hampshire event. After a few discussions he decided he couldn’t spare the time to help organise it, so Gideon Williams (@gideonwilliams) stepped in and we started the plan.

First thing – venue. Would it be in a school? Primaries probably wouldn’t have the space or parking or equipment, but secondaries would be a bit scary for us primary school teachers. Neutral venue it is then. Library? Conference centre? What about St Mary’s stadium? Brilliant (except the Southampton FC connection obviously!)

We’ve checked out the room, it seems like it should hold 100-120 comfortably and should have enough power for us to go ahead with it all…The questions then became: Do we want tea and coffee? How many bottles of water do we want? What time is breaktime?

Sign-up – We decided to do a few things differently with TeachMeet Hants, and I’m pleased to say that these are now being shared with other TeachMeet events. Firstly, I thought that the wiki was a bit complicated. Yes I know it’s just login and add your name etc, but I thought PrimaryPad would be even better and I think I was right. We had a blip where we appear to have lost a few people, but generally, it’s been very good.

Freebies – Secondly, we weren’t sure if people would come. In our wildest dreams we planned for 100, hoped for 75 but expected 50ish. We’re looking at possibly reaching 100! Scary stuff. To get them to come along, we wanted freebies. Every teacher loves freebies right? But who to ask?

I am always very honest with people, probably too honest, but I wouldn’t feel right giving away free stuff or promoting products that I don’t believe in. So I contacted some companies that I knew or people that I knew supported TeachMeet. Along came Rising Stars, Scholastic, 2Simple, Vital and BrainPop. Between them we have around £500 of free stuff for every attendee. Truly incredible and I am very appreciative of all the hard work and support these guys have put in. We really couldn’t have the event at all without their support.

My job this week is to put all of the pens, postits, CDs and yes, badges into the bags to hand out to everyone when they arrive. Throughout the night there will be competitions and one of the jobs still to do is to write an agenda/script to ensure I don’t forget anything! What if people forget to signup to a trial to PurpleMash? What if they don’t leave an email address for us to gather feedback? What if they don’t fill in their BrainPop card? All of these questions have been whizzing around my head for days. I’ve been emailing sponsors today to get good quality logos for the sponsorship presentation that will be cycling through before the event and also at breaktime.

Presentations – I planned on doing a 7minute talk along with everyone else, but I think that now it will be lots of smaller talks instead. I saw the excellent Drew Buddy (@digitalmaverick) do a similar thing at a TeachMeet recently. In between presentations and while the next presenter was preparing to come on, he kept the action moving with little suggestions of websites and tools to use. I plan to do the same thing as the evening progresses.

Camels – Other things that they don’t tell you on the ‘How to organise a TeachMeet’ course (if there was one) Have you got a camel? It’s a bizarre tradition of TeachMeet that if you go over your 7minutes, you get a fluffy camel launched at your head. John Davitt appears to be to blame, but I have yet to hear the reasoning behind it. We decided to go with a hog instead as the hog is the ‘official’ animal for Hampshire.

Advertising – The obvious way is through Twitter. People on Twitter are already turned on to the fact that TeachMeet is a useful resource. Unfortunately we clash with a TeachMeet in Bradford, but I am sure there will still be people watching us online. We have also sent emails to schools via our county mailing list and schools communications, we’ve messaged 1200 teachers through the VLE (although many haven’t opened the message as yet), we have mentioned it through our VLE training sessions and we have set up a facebook group to share it with ex-uni friends! (www.facebook.dj/tmhants) It’s been exciting, but a bit nerve-wracking. What if people don’t turn up? What if they think I’m a sad geek? My friend did mention this to me, but I think she’s still coming! One thing that was evident at TeachMeet Bett was the amount of non-teachers e.g. consultants etc that were there. If you take out a small handful of consultants and another small handful of people from our sponsors, 80%+ should be teachers at TeachMeet Hants, something I am very proud of!

Streaming – One job still to be finalised is how we will stream the event. We’ve been playing around with a number of streaming sites and services and hopefully we will have an answer. We want something free, allows people to chat to each other while watching us and also allows for recording so people can watch it back later. Is that too much to ask? We’re getting there and hopefully many people will watch online and watch bits back later.

There’s still a few details to sort out, but we’re definitely winning. Would I organise another one? Definitely, but probably on a smaller scale! We need a large event like this to kickstart it here in Hampshire and then next time, maybe we can split it for primary and secondary.

So, if you’re around on Thursday 20th May 6-9pm and have nothing to do, feel free to join us in person or online. We look forward to sharing ideas with you!

www.bit.ly/tmhants

ICT Cluster Spring 1 – Roundup Pt1
Wednesday, February 03rd, 2010 | Author:

So, another ICT cluster has finished and this one seemed to fly by like a whirlwind! I think I probably tried fitting too much into a short space of time. I promise next session I will slow down and give more playing time! (and find a room with a decent projector)
So here is a round-up of some of the things we did, and didn’t, cover. I will also send this out on twitter and hopefully people will add examples below too.

The purpose of this session was to show you some of the exciting websites that I have found recently, the majority through Twitter. These range from time-saving to collaboration-based tools. After meeting with some teachers before Christmas and one of them stating that there seemed to be a lack of innovation from Lead Teachers and above, I thought I’d try my best to lead by example. Who knows if it worked or not!

So, what did we look at? (BTW, all of these are free.)

Delicious – http://www.delicious.com/
Examples: www.delicious.com/ianaddison or www.delicious.com/parkfield
What does it do?
It allows you to store websites and favourites online so that they can be accessed from anywhere. Now this might sound like a small thing for some people, but if you think a bit bigger, such as creating a school account like @simonhaughton has done, then collaboration becomes much easier. I showed this at an inset day at the start of term and the teachers added their favourite sites, within an hour we had 50 websites for them to share. even amongst this small number of teachers, they were all adding websites that others hadn’t heard of. This means that next time they want to find a site for poetry, it might have been found by someone already. Very useful indeed. Next step? What about a Hampshire-wide account? hhmmm..might need some thought!
Top Tip
If you create a school account, make sure you decide on the tags beforehand. Otherwise, you’ll end up with KS2, KS 2 and Key Stage 2.

PrimaryPad http://www.primarypad.com/
What does it do?
Primary Pad is a tool that allows you to upload a word document or start from scratch and then have multiple users adding to and editing the document at the same time. Sounds chaotic? It can be. But now that @johnmclear has limited it to 6 people per pad, it works brilliantly for small groups of children. We have used in Hants to plan testing for Wizkid, we were all online plotting our next steps in real-time. It’s quite a lot of fun too!
Possible Uses
Why not get the children to collaborate on a story or piece of writing? Poetry? Playscript?
What about teachers editing a policy?
Top Tip
Go to www.primarypad.com/whateverwordyoulike and providing someone hasn’t put that word on there before, you can make a new pad. This means that you can have a pad tailored for your class or group, much easier to remember than using the random letters at the end!
Also, let the children try it first, then decide on rules. They can edit and delete each others work, so session 2 may need some rules!

Wordlehttp://www.wordle.net/
What does it do?
Wordle takes a selction of words you have typed or pasted and create a collage of them with the more frequent words appearing larger than the others. The best way to see this is to copy and paste a news article from a site such as http://www.bbc.co.uk/ and then try to see the key words of the article. I showed this using Andy Murray’s match report and the key words were ‘Murray’, ‘Tennis’ and ‘Open’. Useful to see if a child has written one word more than the others.
Possible Uses
Why not ask the children to list different words for ‘said’ or ‘walked’? Write the main word e.g. ‘said’ 3/4 times, then the others will appear smaller. Great for a vocabulary display or a way of creating a wordbank before starting a poem.
Top Tip
When typing words, put ~ between them. This way, the words stay together e.g. once~upon~a~time would stay together as a phrase. Perfect for story starters! More tips can be found at www.delicious.com/ianaddison/wordle

Part 2 will follow with Wallwisher, MyEBook and Animoto as well as details of Home Access