13 December 2014

Game Building

Intense concentration, advanced problem solving and tough personal challenges - that's what's going on in this Yr8 class. 

They're busy designing, coding and creating their own computer games using the Scratch programming platform. I had a go with several of them, and even though they were 'work in progress' they were still very playable. 

10 December 2014

Digital Art

All students throughout secondary school experience the use of digital tools for creating artwork. I'm regularly amazed at speed which they learn new techniques and skills. Under the expert guidance of our Art teacher, Mr Daniel, students create quality work, often high levels of creativity.

The piece below is the work of Alyssa (Yr9) and is a lovely example of what can be produced with the aid of a computer.

08 December 2014

Peer Support

This photo was taken in an IGCSE ICT lesson where we were building tables on a webpage using HTML code. What does it look like to you ... the boys helping the girls out?
Actually, the boys came over to find out how the girls had done it! Haha. 

18 October 2014


Learning with technology is very often great fun and highly satisfying. Learning about technology isn't necessarily exciting for everyone - especially when you have to do it as part of an IGCSE course that has seen little change since 2007. 

This week we were learning about the components inside a computer and what they do. My two friendly students in the picture were demonstrating what happens when the computer is switched on. In this 'scene' the OS (Operating system) is being loaded into the RAM, so it can be accessed and used much more efficiently. 

We figured that, as Operating Systems become more complex, computers will need more RAM to allow it to be used. Similarly, applications are becoming more powerful too, so they will need more RAM in order to function. 

Maybe it's time to boost your Main Memory by a few Gigabites!

iPads for tracking performance.

There are many ways technology can be (and is) used in PE lessons. This is a great example. At the start of the lesson these students in Yr7 are doing a quick 'self-assessment' on their iPads. The information they give is instantly available on the teachers iPad and will be used to guide this and future lessons. 

Data can be added over the coming weeks, and at the end of the unit students will complete a similar task, providing feedback and evaluation. They will then be able to track their own performance and improvements. A powerful and easy way of using their technology to improve learning. 

25 September 2014

Techno Haiku

Students across KS3 have been writing Haiku Poetry today. We wrote a few about some of the content of our IGCSE course. Here are some examples...

Mainframe computers
Extremely large devices
Never stop working

Ergonomics is
Lower back support, wrists straight
Eyes looking forward

The World Wide Web speaks
Hypertext Markup Language

Laptops & notebooks
They are light and portable
My favourite things

Excel spreadsheet - ugh!

Building a network.
Fibre, hubs, switches, routers
WAN, LAN? Confusing!

11 June 2014

Year 6 Start Blogging

All of the Year 6 students recently set up their own blogs and are busy using them on a Yr6/7 transition project. Here they are, learning some of the various ways to add photos and videos to their blogs.

29 May 2014

The Internet in Real-Time

I couldn't resist posting this. The data you see here represents the real time activity on the internet. Some of those numbers are staggering.

Click image to open interactive version (via Penny Stocks Lab).

26 March 2014

Hi-Tech Impressionists

Year 6 have concluded their study of impressionist art by organising an exhibition of their work.  The displays were arranged in typical Art Gallery style, except for the addition of QR codes and Aurasma icons.

The QR were easily scanned by visitors using their phones, but there were plenty of students with iPads to assist anyone without a scanning app. The QR code opened up a description of the art, written by the artist. Here you could read about their inspiration, the background knowledge they had learned and information about the painting itself, e.g. the colours or materials used. All very interesting.

I viewed several images using the Aurasma app, which miraculously displayed a video of the artist chatting about the work, giving a first-hand account of the story behind it. This was just like having the artist there, which was very cool, except it wasn't possible to ask them questions!

Well done to Yr6 and their teachers for taking the risk of pushing the bounties of technology to enhance the experience.

Yr6 Students demonstrating the Auras for parents.

23 March 2014

Tech Visitor

When a visitor from Hong Kong visited our school, the one thing he was most interested in was how students use their iPads. Mr Clive, Head of ICT from the prestigious Kellett International School, dropped in on his way to a conference, so I gave him a quick tour. As we wandered through Primary we noticed a lot of activity in Yr5. It turned out that they were showcasing some of their learning to their parents as well as students from other year groups. Their integrated project was created almost exclusively on the iPad. Photos, video interviews (with Green Screen), Keynote presentations and much much more were combined to create incredibly rich multi-media reports. 

I was really impressed with what I saw, but our visitor was blown away by the quality of the work as well as the passion that the students displayed. Fantastic job Year 5.

Animated Adverts

Year 8 experimented a little with Stop Motion animation on their iPads, and were then set the challenge to make an animated movie, promoting a product of their choice. They had to design, create, shoot and edit, with the aim to showcase their final advert at our very own Yr8 Animated Film Festival.
The movie below was made by Twisha, Nicole, Sung Min & Melissa. I think they did a really good job, with some imaginative shots & ideas. A variety of editing techniques were also used to enhance the final presentation. What do you think?

All movies were recorded and edited on iPad, using StopMotion HD or Stop Motion Studio. Some chose to use iMovie on the Mac to add additional edits.

06 March 2014

Blogging images

We work hard to help our students understand the importance of ownership and copyright when they're searching for images and other digital content online. This is particularly important for students who have their own blogs. We have a responsibility to consider the moral & legal aspects of what we use.

Finding high quality images for our blogs has recently become so much easier. Google image search now includes an easy to use menu. Within Search tools there is now a menu for Usage rights so you can search for images where permission has already been granted for use. 

Another method comes from a startup company in Singapore called imgembed. This site host thousands of images that can be embedded directly to your blog. All are free for personal / educational use.

And today it was announced that Getty Images, one of the world's largest stock photo suppliers, has released 35million images that can now be used free of charge for non-commercial use. So that makes it  perfect for student blogs. The images have to be embedded directly from Getty, and include an attribution - a label saying who owns the image. The image below was embedded from Getty.

Now there's no excuse. We have access to millions of high quality images that are 100% legal for us to use.

22 January 2014

Quietest Class Ever

I happened to drop by this Spanish class and was struck by the total silence in the room. Were they doing an exam? It didn't look like it. 
Turns out they were making movie posters on their iPads - in Spanish of course. The intense concentration and total engagement was extraordinary. 

20 January 2014

Instructional texts

Year 3 always enjoy getting into instructions, but now it's even more exciting. With Chinese New Year approaching they are following instructions to make Chinese lanterns. Today they each demonstrated how to do this whilst being recorded by their partner. Now each of the steps is on video they will add a voice over to it in iMovie. 

What a great way to share their learning and reinforce the concept of concise step-by-step instructions. And at the same time they are learning a variety of technical skills from the importance of holding the camera still to adding a voice over. 

09 January 2014

Test Animation

I couldn't resist sharing one the test animations we did today. Considering it was a first attempt, and just a test, I think the results were quite good. Especially as we only had about 20mins to do it in. I love the concept behind this, and the sinister soundtrack adds to the effect.

Lego Movie Maker

As an introduction to our animation unit, Year 8 are experimenting with some simple stop-motion techniques. To do this we are using the iPads and a free app from Lego. We're having a lot of fun and I'm sure we'll soon have some amazing movies to share.