Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In the process of moving!

I've decided it's time for a change with the blog and have started the process of moving over to wordpress, the change will be happening in the next few weeks.

It's day 2 of In-Service here in Highland. Right now in Dingwall 1000 teachers from accross highland are taking part in the Curriculum for Excellence Showcase or as it is also known the Highland Learning Festival (HLF09).

I will be attending this tomorrow so here's hoping for a good day to travel (This time last year I had to get to Dingwall for an Internet Safety course and went of the road in the snow!).

In other news I"ve started putting together a teachmeet for computing teachers, No venue yet but the date is to be Friday June 11th 2010 and chances are it will be in Edinburgh (There is a reason for this to be explained later)

I was recently asked about a mobile phone quiz I created and thought it'd be a good idea to put up a link to the website that showed me how to do these, It's a blog ran by Joe Dale but here is a link direct to the mobile quiz post: http://bit.ly/G6ehd

My plan for today is to finally sort out my classroom and get materials ready for the next term, 1 day to go...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

1 Year Gone

This is a quick blog post in an effort to get me blogging again.

I'm starting a project with the S1 pupils to do some video editing and so they've chosen some songs they'd like to make videos from and it's quite interesting what they've chosen.

For those of you with Spotify you can check out the list here:

On a side note today marks the 1 year anniversary of me starting in the school, oh how time flies when you're busy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I attended my first Teachmeet (in person) on Friday night and I also gave a 2 minute nano presentation looking at my classroom cool wall which seems to have been well recieved.

I really enjoyed the night and feel it was well worth travelling 600 odd mile round trip to attend. One thing about working so far away from the city and in a one man department I've found is that it's important to get out and network with other professionals whenever possible.

While working down in East Lothian the computing teachers would meet up regularly (and in the pub no less) for a networking session. So far this has not happened in Highland that I'm aware of but hopefully other events will come up.

However back to the point of the blog, there were lots of great ideas put forward on Friday night, wikis, Scratch and it's many uses, Animoto, iRiddles (I still want to see more of this David - next time perhaps, some computing examples would be great as well).  Lots of great ideas that I'd love to try out in the classroom. I fear for the time being these will need to be added to the list of ideas to try in the future.

I'm now trying to figure out what to send the rest of my department budget on, Scratch boards are an option as well as Flip Minos. Anyone got any advice???

Finally a big thank you to Stuart Meldrum for organising the event and the conversation after during thr teacheat (Carpe Signum - I hope I've got that right)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Teachmeet Borders

In preperation for tomorrow night's teachmeet I've made a Splashr presentation of the Cool Wall.

You can check it out here:


Thursday, January 29, 2009

ICT Cool Wall

I thought I would post a picture of the Cool Wall as it stands, I will post a list of all items that are on the wall soon.

Unfortunately I've been off sick most of this week, got quite a few websites to play about with next week.

At the start of the year I let the S1 play with vokies however some of the pupils were too young to set up an account with them. The other problem was with Safari not loading the pages properly so I'm turning to Firefox to help me out with that.

Hopefully this one will work Faceyourmanga.

Monday, January 19, 2009

ICT in my classroom

I started this weekend in a strange way, I didn't bolt down the A9, didn't turn on the TV or games console but instead I participated in the flash meet and watched Teachmeet09 @BETT and since then my head has been spinning.

I enjoy working with computers, I spend lots of my time in front of them, talking about them and even fixing them but all these great new technologies I haven't really embraced in my classroom. I've never really seen how I could use them either.

I would now like to try and fix this. In the morning I am going to set up my class twitter account, I will then have the pupils in my senior classes do the same.

I am where possible going to use this to enable my pupils to work and discuss topics that have come up during lessons in and out of the classroom.

The idea of having a back channel up while teaching doesn't really scare me, I know in other schools it could be an issue but with the pupils I am working with this will not be a problem.

The other thing I am going to try is to issue a quick mobile phone quiz for the pupils. I got this idea from Joe Dale's blog and came up with a few (11) questions in order to test this out.

My aim is to test these out over the next week and see how I get on. If it proves successful I'll continue it, if not I'll revise it and try again.

I also have another tool to play about with – an IR pen. This along with a Wiimote will hopefully give me an interactive Wiiboard for my computer. Should this work their will be pictures.

Also – Must remember to follow up on the Cool Wall post from before with a picture of it.

To finish off I really enjoyed the Teachmeet on Friday, so much so I'm now looking forward to attending my first one in person in February down in the borders.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Digital Games Design

We've been back at school now for almost 3 days and I've shocked myself, I've not set up the department Wii yet. Even more shocking, I've not played Guitar Hero on it this year.

I'm starting to think carefully about the digital gaming course I am running with 2 classes and have been inspired again by reading some of the consolarium blogs.

One of the activities in the course is to create a level for a computer game, my first thought for this came from the compednet forums for computing teachers and that was to use Super Smash Bros Brawl for the Wii to do this but now there are other ideas coming into my head. The pupils could create their own song for Guitar Hero for others to complete, create a whole world in Little Big Planet (Thanks to Derek for that idea).

I almost shelled out for a PS3 to see if this would be a good idea, I also quite fancied playing the new call of duty but eventually came to my senses and saved my money - until I found a camera I liked but thats another story.

Can anyone think of any other games about to create levels?

My other purchase over the holidays was a Nintendo DS, Which has given me other ideas. I'm going to poll the S4 games class and try to get them to bring it in next week for a competition.