Archive for February, 2010

Next time you catch a child doodling in class, challenge them!

Brilliant piece of animation on the History of the World


Wallwisher in action

I first came across about six months ago but couldn’t really see how an online noticeboard would help with my teaching. Then, as is so often the case, a tweet came through that made me look at things in a different way, @tombarrett sent details of 16 ways to use wallwisher in the classroom. Now I’m working on using wallwisher pages to scaffold answers to GCSE History questions using the indicative content provided by the exam board, a link to an example is here, give me a shout if you’d like the addresses of any of the others. for Flashcards and other study aids

I’ve been experimenting with a number of online flashcard generators and this is the bext one I’ve come across so far for a number of reasons, The cards generated are minimal and clear, without any kind of distracting detailing. They can be embedded in vles and converted for ipods quite easily (although embedding in blogs has proved beyond me!). Different types of learning aids can be generated including hangman, crosswords, matching, tables and missing word exercises and the information can be imported easily from your existing chronologies and factsheets. All most impressive, and of course, it’s free!

Is Web 2.0 ‘pathetic’?

Jaron Lanier makes some interesting comments in an article in today’s Independent about web2.0 arguing that it has taken away much of the creativity of the early web and replaced it with ill thought out musings. He goes on to suggest that it could make all middle-class professions redundant. His case, with obvious connections to Wells’ Time Machine is nicely summed up here.
“And when something new is created on the web, it’s often a banal “mashup” of old culture. Lanier likens the people who create these mashups to salvagers picking over a garbage dump. It is only in the old-world economy – the world of books, films and newspapers – that original content is being created. But Web 2.0 is steadily undermining the old-world economy in favour of one based on free content and selling social graphs to advertisers.”
Perhaps he needs to pay closer attention to the work that teachers are doing with web 2.0, or maybe he has!

Econ 101

If only every topic leant itself to the academically accurate 7 minute hip-hop video as well as the ongoing argument between the economic theories of Keynes and Hayek does.

Feb and groovy

It seems an age since I was at BETT and blogged about all the good stuff that was there but it was barely three weeks. In the intervening time I’ve been remarkably busy with AS History marking, school mocks, preparation for an interview (not bad, find out Friday, thanks for asking) and heaps of lesson planning. The moments where I have had none of the above on, or am taking a break, have largely found me on Tweetdeck, the application that has opened the incredible world of Twitter up to me. As a result I thought it might be worth sharing the steps I have taken to become immersed in the world of Twitter and benefit from the remarkable CPD it provides.

Step 1: Sign up at – effectively this is the last time you should use this site.
Step 2: Download the Tweetdeck application from – this is what you’ll use to search twitter and to follow people.

Now you’re ready to go, tweetdeck acts in a similar way to your email client (Outlook etc.) you have it open (or minimised) on the desktop and whenever there is a tweet for you an alert pops up.  The quantity and usefulness of these tweets now depends on who you are following. To follow people search for them using the quickprofile icon (top left). There are lots of interesting people on twitter but also a host of dullards, charlatans and spammers so you have to choose carefully who you follow. For what it’s worth these are the people I find most useful; @russeltarr, @dajbelshaw, @misterhistory and @ianyorston. If you start by finding and following them then it’s a fairly intuitive process to pick up others of interest (and if you want a laugh try following @serafinowicz.


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