Friday, 15 January 2010

The power of the pentatonic scale

Bobby McFerrin - the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from the 2009 World Science Festival .

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Kiran Bir Sethi - inspirational

Kiran Bir Sethi captured me with her passion and inspirational approach to teaching and learning . Absolutely wonderful stuff.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

iPhone - Book ... BookPhone - PhoneBook

A blended look at what's there - PhoneBook

Its all about passion ...

My wife says that I am very passionate ... about children and teaching and learning.

So is Angela Maier

Augmented Reality

Already may applications of the iPhone have this functionality ... Here it is ... how would you use it?

... and if you want to drive a BMW Z4 rather like the 'James Bond' idea ... try here.

If you want to try out a science context using augmented reality look here.

Where do you stand?


Ariana Leonard's high school students shuffled in their seats, eagerly awaiting a cue from their Spanish teacher that the assignment would begin.
"Take out your cell phones," she said in Spanish.
The teens pulled out an array of colorful flip phones, iPhones and SideKicks. They divided into groups and Leonard began sending them text messages in Spanish: Find something green. Go to the cafeteria. Take a picture with the school secretary.
Leonard's class at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel, a middle-class Florida suburb about 30 miles north of Tampa, is one of a growing number around the country that are abandoning traditional policies of cell phone prohibition and incorporating them into class lessons. Spanish vocabulary becomes a digital scavenger hunt. Notes are copied with a cell phone camera. Text messages serve as homework reminders.

"I can use my cell phone for all these things, why can't I use it for learning purposes?'" Leonard said. "Giving them something, a mobile device, that they use every day for fun, giving them another avenue to learn outside of the classroom with that."

Much more attention has gone to the ways students might use phones to cheat or take inappropriate pictures. But as the technology becomes cheaper, more advanced and more ingrained in students' lives that mentality is changing.
"It really is taking advantage of the love affair that kids have with technology today," said Dan Domevech, executive director of the nonprofit American Association of School Administrators. "The kids are much more motivated to use their cell phone in an educational manner."

Today's phones are the equivalent of small computers — able to check e-mail, do Internet searches and record podcasts. Meanwhile, most school districts can't afford a computer for every student.

"Because there's so much in the media about banning cell phones and how negative phones can be, a lot of people just haven't considered there could be positive, educative ways to use cell phones," said Liz Kolb, author of "From Toy to Tool: Cell Phones in Learning."

Even districts with tough anti-use policies acknowledge they will eventually need to change.
"We can't get away from it," said Bill Husfelt, superintendent of Bay County District Schools, a Florida Panhandle district of 27,000 students where cell phones aren't allowed in school, period. "But we've got to do a lot more work in trying to figure out how to stop the bad things from happening."

Seventy-one percent of teens had a cell phone by early 2008, according to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. That percentage remains relatively steady regardles of race, income or other demographic factors. Meanwhile, many schools are low-tech compared with homes outfitted with home networks, wireless Internet and a smartphone for every family member.

Most schools still have prohibitive policies curtailing cell phone use — often with good reason. At Husfelt's district, seven students were recently arrested after they got into a fight on campus that he says was instigated through text messages.
In other parts of the country, teens have been arrested for "sexting" — sending indecent photographs taken and sent through their cell phones. Students also use the devices to cheat: In one poll, more than 35 percent of teens admitted cheating with a cell phone.

But phones are so common now that seizing them is huge hassle for teachers.
"It's just a conflict taking them up and having to deal with them," Husfelt said. "It's too disruptive."

Teachers who have incorporated cell phones into their classes say that most students abide by the rules. They note that cheating and bullying exist with or without the phones, and that once they are allowed, the inclination to use them for bad behavior dissipates.

"Kids cheat with pen and paper. They pass notes," said Kipp Rogers, principal of Passage Middle School in Newport News, Va., "You don't ban paper."
Rogers started using cell phones as an instructional tool a couple of years ago, when he was teaching a math class and was short one calculator for a test. He let the student use his phone instead. Twelve classes, including math, science and English, now use them. Students do research through the text message and Internet browser on some phones. Teachers blog. Students use the camera function to snap pictures for photo stories and assignments.

Classes often work in groups in case some students don't have phones.
In Pulaski, Wis., about 130 miles north of Milwaukee, Spanish teacher Katie Titler has used cell phones for students to dial and record themselves speaking for tests.
"Specifically for foreign language, it's a great way to both formally and informally assess speaking, which is really hard to do on a regular basis because of class sizes and time," Titler said.

Jimbo Lamb, a math teacher at Annville-Cleona School District in south-central Pennsylvania, has students use their phones to answer questions set up through a polling Web site. Instantly, he's able to tell how many students understood the lesson.

"This is technology that helps us be more productive," he said.

Exciting isn't it?

No teacher left behind ...

Every teacher matters ...

Some other ideas/things/tools/games you might not have come across:


My artistic attempt ... here

This is what they say about themselves:

When you start development on a project, all you have are a few ideas and a long road ahead. As time progresses, you get to watch the concept become reality. Little steps contribute to the bigger picture.

Through the course of development, you hit roadblocks and stumble. Unseen problems become evident. You must adapt.

But you don't give up. You innovate. You conquer. You continue forward and exceed your own expectations.

We've put a lot of love into this, and we're proud to release it to the world.
We hope you enjoy it. This one's for you.

BBC Pinball - PINBALL is here to help you kick start new ideas, to get your thoughts flowing freely, and to develop your creative talents. Bounce your ideas around by using these fun and simple tools, and who knows what ideas might pop up.

Hong Kong with super technology


The idea is to provide a 7-12 years software, based on source code, say, extremely simplified.

The BBC have produced a new, exciting History site for Primary History
It includes sections on Ancient Greeks, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Children in Victorian Britain and Children of World War 2


This is what the developers say about it:

WordSift was created to help teachers manage the demands of vocabulary and academic language in their text materials. We especially hope that this tool is helpful in supporting English Language Learners. We want WordSift to be a useful tool, but we also want it to be fun and visually pleasing. We would be happy if you think of it playfully - as a toy in a linguistic playground that is available to instantly capture and display the vocabulary structure of texts, and to help create an opportunity to talk and explore the richness and wonders of language!

WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just cut and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. This function is widely available in various Tag Cloud programs on the web, but we have added the ability to mark and sort different lists of words important to educators. We have also integrated it with a few other functions, such as visualization of word thesaurus relationships (incorporating the amazing Visual Thesaurus® that we highly recommend in its own right) and Google® searches of images and videos. With just a click on any word in the Tag Cloud, the program displays instances of sentences in which that word is used in the text.

Rockford continues to Rock !

New Read Along Section on the Rockford's Rock Opera website. So you can now, literally, Read Along with the whole story!

The Big Picture

Deep Zoom ... it will blow you away HardRock Cafe zoom

What fun with evolution ... Devolve me

Build Yourself Wild

What is it that you haven't found yet ... click here if you dare ... it will/might/should/has the potential to ... change your life