ActivInspire for Primary teachers

31 03 2009

a new tutorial guide for the primary version of the software. (page link to the right)




Getting down and dirty!

26 03 2009

img_0087That’s what yesterday was all about!

I spent the morning on a bug hunt with one of our Nursery rooms. 30 children excitedly crawled around under bushes, peered under logs and squealed in delight (most of the time) as they discoved ‘bugs’. We enjoyed using Google earth to track our finds, video and a digital camera to catch the action, and sound to record our findings.

Children loved the experience and i was amazed at the indepth knowledge of some and the complete lack of previous experience of others. My digital natives did not need to be show how to use the camera, although the video recorders red button did beckon a few (causing them not to video!)

And so what did I learn?

  • never assume anything. The previous experience of minibeasts varied greatly
  • to think about the vast amount of digital information children can create in a short time!  Next time I will limit this more
  • that I do not need to spend time treaching the technology to the children, much better to spend the time discussing why I am using it and the benefits..
  • that if you do bugs with four year olds, at least one will smile at you and tell their mummy you are the bug lady!
  • Nothing can quite match the enthusiasm of a four year old.

Google Earth

24 03 2009

Google Earth has so many applications in education, and many have been captured and collated by Tom Barratt

I love being able to tag places, make lines and shapes, zoom into historical images and almost fly around them. What frustrates me though, is that I sometimes find myself wanting to use Google Earth, but do not have it installed. So I was very excited when I found this link to a Google earth type application run on the web. But without the bells and whistles of google earth, is it not just the same as google maps?


Here are my findings.

Google maps is great but Shaded relief has a variety of natural views. Both can search for places etc. Shaded relief allows elevation, distance and areas to be found.

I did get excited when I saw there were videos linked to places on Google maps, but on closer inspection, the majority of videos were not very useful- the bus route 32, a yellow car at Kames….. you get the drift! The photos are better, there seems to be some moderation and being able to look at photos of locations is great, although the areas are not all well represented. But Street maps is pretty cool  (although I’ve not used it in class yet.)

So overall, the Jury is out. I will continure to use google maps for morecity based exploration but I will be using Shaded relief for more natural work, as the views are more versatile.

Here is what they say about themselves.


You can use this interactive map in the following ways:

  • Measure the distance, area or elevation of map features, share a map & send a link to a colleague to show what you’ve found.

Search types

  • Simple Search – search for a city, town or village and locate it on the map.
  • Advanced Search – search for any place in the world.  Powered by Geonames
  • Renewable Resources – locate biofuel and biodiesel production facilities & lease option homes, locate rent to own homes.
  • Lat / Long – enter a longitude and latitude to locate a property on the map.Map Types
  • Satellite Images & Maps – shows Google satellite images & Google street maps
  • Hybrid – shows Google satellite images with general road and town overlays
  • Relief – shows shaded relief of the world (Relief+ overlays general road and town from google)
  • Natural – shows Tom Patterson’s Natural Earth (Natural+ overlays general roads and towns from Google)
  • VE – shows Microsoft Virtual Earth’s street mapsTools
  • Elevation – click anywhere on the map to find the elevation of the clicked point. ( Meters or Feet)
  • Distance – click along a route to find the distance. ( meters, kilometers, feet, yards, miles)
  • Area – measure the area of a building or piece of land (square feet, meters, yards, hectares, acres, kilometers or miles) <!–
  • Cadastral Information (VERY beta!) – click any point on the map to find the Cadastral information for the clicked point.
  • –>

    10 steps to using ICT to enhance active learning-

    23 03 2009

    a new page in my early years section outlining how we have introduced ict activities which embrace the idea of active learningimg_00452

    Scottish Learning Festival 09

    19 03 2009

    I am proud to say I have been accepted to lead a seminar at the SCottish Learning Festival. I know lots of people have done this before, but I havnt and I am really excited, especially as the title is…. technowellies.

    CEOP training

    18 03 2009

    A big day for me tomorrow- After negotiating the M8 early in the morning, I will be doing my CEOP Internet safety training. I am really excited as i is an issue I feel really passionately about. I will update you all tomorrow!

    Phew, first training manual done!

    16 03 2009

    just finished my Inspire training manual (basic level)

    go to the Inspire training page for the scribd document