Hopscotch Programming

Hopscotch Programming Kits  suitable for 10 to 14 year olds, is a great introduction to programming and code generation.  I found it through Computing at School (CAS), of which I am a member.  I have had a go with it and think I will try it out tomorrow on my year 7 students (11 – 12 year olds), even though it is the last week for the Summer hols – I want to see what they make of it.

Here’s my “dogpup” that I created!  Have a go yourself – it is suitable for all abilities, allowing for some differentiation, and paired for lower ability students.


Games Console Design Cover

Xbox, PS3, PC, Wii.  My year 8 students (14 year olds), are currently working on a fun ICT project for the Summer Term.  Their task is to design and create a modified version of an existing Games cover, or to design and create a new Games cover for any Games Platform of their choice.  It is a 4 week project – well that’s all the time we have left to work on this task!  They have been provided with a net that they will use for their cover.  Print it out and make up the net when finished.

Rather than use the Graphics programs available on the school network – Macromedia Fireworks, Serif DrawPlus, PaintShop Pro, and PagePlus, I have encouraged them all to try an online graphics program namely Pixlr.  They spent today’s lesson working on their design and learning the program for themselves by sharing ideas and tips.

There was a lot of excitement at doing this Graphics project, especially as the focus was Games!  “Games” is filtered at school, so I directed the students to the Amazon, Games website to get some ideas.  I think this project is one to be revisited with other groups!

Behave you little devils!

I’ve only just discovered this program, and it is such fun.  I plan to trial it after the long-awaited half-term break!  Class DoJo is a real time Behavior Management program.  You need to sign up and register and then just have fun.  It is also available as an App.

I have experimented with the “demo class” setup to try it out.  The program works in real time – you display your class names within icons projecting on the whiteboard, and select either a positive or negative award eg a positive: hardwork, or a negative: no homework.  (There are 6 positives, 6 negatives to choose).  This is then displayed momentarily on the screen and added as a point to that student.  The best bit is using it remotely from your smartphone.  Student reports are also generated could be very useful.  (Individual or whole class).

It is definitely a “must try” resource.  Class DoJo


Get on your Soap Box!

Well, yes today I did gosoapbox.com and whilst being observed too – well it’s all about taking a risk, isn’t it!  Gosoapbox.com is currently in beta, but you soon get setup with an account.

Gosoapbox.com is a back channel web program, working in real-time, that engages students.  It allows them to ask questions, during or after your teaching and learning session.  It is very easy to setup.  Just sign up, login and setup a soapbox for a teaching group.  An events code is automatically generated which is assigned to the teaching group.  Give this event code to students; they login using the events code only and can start asking questions.  Silly comments can be deleted. You can also poll students.  Easy.

Today, during my observed year 9 lesson we obviously had the silly remarks as expected, but once they had got this out of their system, it worked really well, and impressed the two observers in my lesson!  Consequently, I used it again with my year 12 students and they loved it, asking/answering exam questions at the end of my session.  I think it is good for assessment, and encouraging students to work together and share ideas. I recommend you try it out!

Making HTML Fun

If you have tried teaching HTML basics to year 8 students (13/14 year olds), for some it is a difficult concept to grasp, and for others it can be boring.

Hackasaurus is a fun program that teaches HTML and CSS to tweens.  It is interactive and using the “X-Ray Goggles”  you drag into Bookmarks, once activated it brings any web page to life. Just hover over a section of any web page, press “r” to remix that section and you can tinker about with images and text, rewriting web pages and having lots of fun.  Try it!

Memory Jogger! Exam Revision

Summer term, exams, revision, coursework, its a busy time for us just now and apart from marking coursework day and night, I have been creating exam revision quizzes etc  for my Year 13 WJEC ICT A level students. My Memory Jogger. I wanted a way of collating them on the web, other than  just embedding them in a website, and came across Jog the Web, which does the job perfectly!  I plan to use it for other students’ use, not just revision purposes.  Why not check it out – what could you use if for?  If you do, please let me know.

If you are looking for other ways of producing exam revision quizzes, why not look at How to use Powerpoint to create a Mobile Phone Quiz, I talked about earlier in this blog.

Using Youblisher in Education

Today, I put Youblisher to good educational use.  My year 7 students have been working in small groups creating a PowerPoint presentation advertising Devon, in England, as an excellent Holiday destination.  They had to research the county and produce a factual and pictorial presentation aimed at teenagers.

I collected their work online through Dropbox, and put group slides together, saved them in pdf format, uploaded to Youblisher, and published them on my school Weebly site to showcase.  This proved popular with the students!  Click the images below to view two different year 7 group Presentations, in a flip magazine style: A Holiday in Devon – you may be tempted to visit!

Youblisher : free flippable online Magazine

Great resource! I have been searching for quite some time now for a free online flippable magazine and here it is Youblisher. It makes all pdf files flippable – even PowerPoint files! Zoom in/out, and download. I have just tested it, by converting a recent WJEC A2 : Topic 4, Working with Computers PowerPoint resource to pdf format and uploading it to Youblisher.
I intend using it to showcase students excellent classwork and upload to our VLE. I also plan to use it as a teaching/learning resource for coursework.

The 2 image examples below: 1 : Youblisher. 2 : WJEC A2 : Topic 4 Resource