Sunday, 29 June 2008


This morning I have been investigating what I think will be a very useful program for me. A huge number of times I arrive at a school, start training, then at some point decide to do a thought shower with the people I am working with so have to reach at worst for a pen and whiteboard, at best an electronic whiteboard and software, but rarely, if ever, any mind mapping software. This means the work is often unrecorded and shared, if it is it, is likely to be scruffy and probably unreadable after the event so not very useful!

All that can change now thanks to a website called

This freely available mind mapping tool enables me to embed the thought shower into a web page, export it as a picture so that it can be printed off and given to all delegates, and a couple of more options that I have not investigated yet.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Kaleidos Portal Administration Training

26th and 27th June 2008-07-01
Well – my head is spinning after the two day event but the possibilities for the Learning Platform look quite exciting.
I like the interactive resources that can be easily and quickly made in the interest spaces. Flash can be added to a page, slide shows can be added. Quizzes, web quest s etc. are all very easy to create and share. These interest areas can be shared with all pupils in all schools, and set up by any school. Where we have real pockets of expertise we hope they will be prepared to share resources, experiences and ideas so that we can all benefit from their very good practice.
In theory I now know how to do all of it – in practice of course I am sure I will make many mistakes – I certainly did during the training .
The overall structure is one of schools and LA being parallel, different from what we are used to where it was a hierarchical tree. What is slightly worrying at present is that it seems we cannot get an automatic log into to all schools LPs so that when they phone up in a panic saying I have done …XYZ… and can’t get out of it, can’t get it right etc, we will not be able to log in to the same area to say , “Ah I can see what you have done, if you do…xyz… or shall I do it for you?” I spent so many hours in that position with the last county LP that I find it hard to see how we will cope.
The only thing that I am not sure about is that the VLE sits outside everything. It is not a shared area. One school cannot share its VLE with another school so pupils studying for exams in two or more schools are going to have real problems access the shared folders. Apparently that is due to change before Christmas.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Family Wedding

Lovely news in the family today - Phillip and Vicky have announced their wedding day. July next year.
Woody is going to give his mum away.

I hope he behaves :-) at just three he is a little demon most days. Just four - is that going to be any better?

I can't find a nice picture of Vicky! She is always hiding as in this facebook one!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


I started to experiment with this lovely little word cloud program. I have asked a teacher to try it out for creative writing today - hopefully we may have some feedback at some point. I imagine making a cloud for each section of a story, the words to inspire pupils writing. Clouds than can be embedded into IWB software and introduced as appropriate.

I think I need to create it - when I have a few hours to spare and enough inspiration to find the right words :-)

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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Free software

A few bits of free software that are I am finding interesting or useful at the moment: Summize – and little tool that enables one to search Twitter posts on a theme or for a person! Look for ICT conferences, web 2.0 etc.
Also check your own or anyone else’s tweets any number of free VC clients – maybe we can use instead of the rather clunky provision by the county at the moment!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Scripting and Spanish lessons

You know the story – you wait for a bus and none arrive, then when one approaches you can see a second behind it…
I have just started a set of scripting lessons in Second Life – something I am looking forward to doing. Almost as soon as the sessions were arranged for Tuesday evening I was invited to take Spanish Lessons at the LanguageLab in Second Life – also on Tuesday evening but later. So… I am doing them all but Tuesday nights through the summer are now mad :-)