Tag-Archive for ◊ purple mash ◊

Certified (part 2)
Friday, December 09th, 2011 | Author:

Over the past couple of months I was contacted with the opportunity to be a 2Simple trainer and because I love their products, I jumped at the chance. Today I have been given the official go-ahead to use the logo and tell other people. So that’s what I’m doing.

The training that I will provide will not really focus on how the software works but why you should use it in your classroom. Figuring out how it all works is straightforward enough, but the really important bit is seeing how it makes a difference to children’s learning and how it can be embedded across the curriculum.

To find out more about their amazing software, take a look at their blog: http://www.2simpletalk.com/

So if you’re in the south of England, feel free to get in touch and I’ll help where I can.

Alternatively, feel free to search for a trainer in your area by visiting this site.

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Mash + 2DIY= 3D Gaming
Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 | Author:

Just a quick post about a new feature in Purple Mash. 2Simple have added a 3D game design tool which is similar to the games made using 2DIY. You simply draw a maze, add some things to collect (the default is apples) and then add some monsters too. You can animate these objects and play it. The best bit? It embeds into a blog or website…see below.

So what could we use this for? It could be a lot of fun!

 

The Cloud – My Vision
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 | Author:

I’m at the stage I need to make a decision. Admittedly, it’s not just my decision and will be shared with the rest of the staff and yes, children will have a say too, but primarily it is my decision.

The decision is where to go with our online learning. Currently we have a range of online tools (also known as a VLE in Becta language) and these include Purple Mash, J2E and Brainpop amongst others. I wrote about the decision to choose between Google and Live@edu here and I still haven’t started either. I have installed Google but just for the calendar. I have spent a term-and-a-half swaying between Google and Live. On one side I have many people on Twitter using Google and loving it, on the other I have Hampshire about to start their Live solution. It was due in October but there have been a few delays in getting it right but full credit to Hampshire for delaying it until it’s ready.

Then there’s also the VLE that I spent two years sharing with teachers, Studywiz, that we could use as well. So I have options. Lots of options. For those unsure about VLEs, I wrote about whether to VLE or Not to VLE here

As I wrote earlier, a VLE is a collection of online tools. I have that. But what I don’t have, is somewhere to put them all under one umbrella. I want to make it simple to access them all. So I thought I’d jot down what I want to achieve and then see where I end up…after this waffling about where we are so far.

So what would my VLE have in it? (I’m calling it VLE, you could call it online space, cloud, magical land of stuff, whatever)

Control

I want control over logins. I want it simple e.g. firstname.lastname. I want full control over what can and can’t be published. For example, children shouldn’t publish live unless I let them have that access right. When I say ‘I want power’ I mean the school has the control of course. I would like control over the tools available, so year 6 see more than year 1 for example.

Also, I want one login. They login once and it’s there. All of it. Just simple and easy. If they have to login again to access a certain tool, fine, but it needs to have the same structure as the other logins. Typing firstname.lastname twice is possible, I can live with that.

Email/Messaging/Discussions

I want to have emails for all staff and children. I’d want to be able to control who sends what, meaning that youger children, say up to year 3 can only send internal messages but older children can use this as an external system too. I’d also want the ability to archive messages and to keep them after children had gone. For example, if a child wanted to, they could still use parts of it in Year 7/8 whatever. Maybe. But I want that potential. I obviously want all messages to be stored and to be able to search and check them.

Discussion forums should be included too, this is a key thing in Studywiz and I would love to have discussion forums in certain areas of the cloud thing.

Blogs/Sites

I want children to be able to make websites and/or blogs. The blog could be used as a learning journal as they progress through the school and the sites could be used for personal use as well as for certain projects. We have a project in year 3/4 where children will be looking at the local area and the teacher talked about videos and a travel documentary. It’d be great to have a website containing embedded video, photo galleries, hyperlinks and good old writing too.Yes, we have blogs in our school, but the children don’t really use them yet and I think teachers would prefer it if children had their own separate ones.

Pictures

I would love an area like Picasa or Flickr where the children can upload pictures and share them with their friends. This could be photos of them out and about, playing football or scanned in pics of work. Then they could make an e-portfolio type thingy too.This should also include some kind of embedding (maybe on the sites mentioned above) that allows children to use animoto/photopeach/vimeo etc to embed their content.

Writing tools/docs

They should have access to Google docs/Office online as well as J2e-type tools that let them type, publish, make presentations, spreadsheets and all of those sorts of tools they’ll find useful to complete homework and to share their learning.

These would also be used for staff to share documents, reports, policies etc to make it easier for us to work collaboratively. You all know how amazing Google docs are, I want that functionality. Simple and easy sharing from an address book. I want to click a couple of times and the whole of Year 3 have the document or all staff etc.

Animation/video

I’d love a video sharing area. J2E has a great new animation tool that would be part of the package, so I wonder if they could create their video (or upload one) and save it into a video area online. A self-contained, personal (safe) youtube. They could send links to their friends and share their work.

Creation

This includes picture creation using some of the amazing Purple Mash tools and music creation using something like Aviary. These should be available to the children when they log in too. These tools should make it simple to create a piece of magic and then share it with others either by uploading it to a gallery or by sending a link to others.

Sharing/Giving work

Teachers should be able to create a page and share work/homework very easily. This could be a link to a document or a video or a discussion forum. They should be able to easily include hyperlinks and embed web2.0 tech as well. Similar to the blog, but private to just the children in their class/year group.

Cost

Apart from the extra bits like Brainpop or Mash, I’d like this to be as free as possible.

What have I missed? I look at the list above and it is a little biased towards things that I know are possible. I know that I can pretty much design that myself using Google tools and some clever people at 2Simple and J2e to help me make this work. But I’d love to know what else was possible.My current time scale is to get something in place by Easter, then spend the Summer playing with it and sharing it with some staff before launching it in September.

So please share your ideas, I really would love to hear them…

**Edit** It has been pointed out that this will just be a serious of tools under one umbrella, and that’s true, but what tools should be included?

So So 2Simple
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 | Author:

I feel compelled to write this blog post as I have been blown away (again) by 2Simple and their amazing customer support and products.

My school have signed up for Purple Mash whcih I love and I have been eager to try and use for a while but the logins put me off. The childs login would be something like sam@c48382 with a password as well. This was horrendous! Credit where it’s due though, @2simpleant had mentioned they were looking at making it easier. I thought about making it firstname.lastname but I still had this horrible school bit of @c38575 or whatever.

Then someone mentioned a Purple Mash Portal. This takes out the need for the school bit as it already knows which school you are. Much, much better! So now I just need to create users and passwords and we’re set.

2Simple have a fab tool called 2Lasso that takes a list of children from Excel/CSv and uploads it to create users. My usernames are now the child’s firstname (with first letter of surname if more than one Alex for example) and their password is their class number.

We have linked the portal on our school website so they can access this at home and very easily with 2 clicks in school too. I know this is something they are looking to share with more schools soon, let’s hope it works :-)

After showing Purple Mash to around 100 schools, I can finally get started with my own children. Tomorrow? We’re going to log on with Year 1-2 and have a go at using 2Go to drive our car around the town!

Holidays are coming…
Friday, July 23rd, 2010 | Author:

So, the holidays are here, time for us teachers to sit around on our backsides for 6 weeks. Fantastic. Or maybe not, do you know any teachers that relax for the whole 6 weeks? Me neither!

This holiday will be a strange one and busy one. I’m moving back into school, into a role that is still being defined and it’s also the first summer holiday as a home owner so there’s bound to be house-y things to do as well. Add in seeing friends, going on holiday and the small matter of GTAUK next week and it will fill up quite quickly! But what else will I be up to?

*School Website. This is one of my first priorities. My new school has a website, it’s ok, but it seems quite complicated to add things to it and usually this is just in the form of newsletters. I will be moving to a much simpler system which means that we can get a few people, and some children, adding content to the site.I also want to make it sustainable so will be making videos of how to use the website so staff can keep it up.

*Setting up blogs for every class. I think this will be done using WordPress MU. I’m tempted to setup a new domain and then create class blogs from there so everyone follows the same naming convention. Going to a school with a name as popular as St Johns means a lot of domain names are already taken! I’m not sure yet how I will start using the blogs and how I will convince staff they are useful, but we shall see. I am working in 7 out of 11 classes so I think I’ll start it when I’m in their class. Once it is popular with children, I’ll bring staff onboard.

*Policies and stuff. As mentioned before I will be writing policies and AUPs and action plans this holiday too. I know I should probably wait until September, but I want to get the majority of it ready while I have time.

*VLE. We will be launching our VLE slowly next term, again with the classes I teach and then gradually throughout the school, hoping to have it in place by Spring. I want to make sure I get this right after spending two years telling teachers how to do it! Every school is different though so I need to think about my staff and make sure that I do things in a way that makes sense.

*Reading Blogs. I am awful at reading other people’s blogs. I read posts when they appear on Twitter if the title catches my eye, but generally, I’m awful at it. I have setup Google Reader, but never really used it properly. I have 500+ posts to read and it’s just silly. So one job this Summer is to find a way of keeping up with it and managaing the information that comes through. It might be Google Reader, in which case, I’ll make sure I;m better at reading them each week!

*Twitter Favourites/Delicious. I use Twitter a lot (you may have noticed). Often I use it on my phone and some links don’t work properly or I haven’t got time to read something so I favourite the tweet instead or send the link to my Delicious account. This means I have 100’s of tweets that I need to work through and I probably should tidy up my delicious account a bit too. I want to start September productively and continue it on too.

*Hampshire Delicious. We set up a county-wide Delicious a little while ago and I have added some links to it, but it stands at around 240. I want to make this much bigger and maybe look at linking with people who already have decent accounts set up to see if I can improve ours. I also need to begin publicising it to schools.

*VLE Shared area. I talked about this just 2/3 weeks ago, but now I have shown it to around 70 teachers. They love it. I have been overwhelmed with the response to it so far and I am very pleased. Currently we have around 30 areas/topics that people have been busy adding content to. I have setup RSS feeds from Delicious and I have also been linking activities from Brain Pop and Purple Mash. I need to finish this off and then start adding from other sites such as iboard and BBC Class Clips. Two other things I want to do are adding games and CPD. The games folder will be a collection of online games that students (and teachers) can play that encourage thinking activities. I will share some of these later, but Physics Games is a good place to start. I also want to put a staff development area as well which will contain RSS feeds/embedded pages of blogs from a wide-range of subjects relevant to the primary phase as well as videos from TED Talks and others that might be useful. Our VLE would be a great place for CPD and I want to push this side of it a bit more.

*Articles for Naace. I was discussing Naace with a few people, including the always excellent Miles Berry, and I was suggesting that there seemed to be a distinct lack of content and voice from the primry teachers. There are lots of secondary and consultants that are willing to share and be heard, but where are the primaries. Following some interesting discussions with Miles and others, I am now writing two articles for Naace. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learnt in there somewhere??

*Clearing out my old email. As I leave the consultancy role, I need to make sure I have saved everything useful, cleared it all out and moved properly to my new email instead.

*Top Secret Project. This is really exciting, but I can’t share anything until next week. Sorry!!

It sounds like a lot, but some of those jobs will take half a day, so it isn’t that bad really. I think sharing my to-do list will be useful because I can reflect on this when I return in September and see how much of this I achieved and how many other things got added to the list throughout the holidays!

Enjoy your break everyone, you’ve worked hard and you deserve it.