Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Film Street - resources

Film Street has been available to schools providing them with tools for film-making, analysing film, activities and animation resources for many years.  Im pleased to see that all of the resources are still available and that the actual site has now been archived.

The website describes the site as follows: 

"Film Street introduces young people to the world of films, highlighting filmmaking techniques in fun and exciting ways. Combining video, interactive games and workshops to inspire teachers, children and young people to create their own films."

However, it looks as though the original Film Street site has moved on, expanded and has been re-branded as Culture Street supported by London Grid for Learning. New art, film and books resources can be found here for schools and its definitely worth making this site a favourite.

Check out their latest animation competition for UK schools - Stop Frame Animation. 
Closing date is October 26th 2012. 
Enter and you could win a Flip HD digital camera for your school. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sharing Resources-iPad

As schools start using iPads more and more for teaching and learning the choice of method of saving content and transferring files created on iPads in schools is growing, and indeed evolving on a daily basis.
Ive previously touched upon this in an earlier blog entry - submitting work on an iPad, although things are changing fast out there, and now there are even more solutions......

Lets take the scenario where schools have introduced a single class set of iPads (16+). In this kind of set-up, usually the iPads are shared between different classes, and so it is essential that students are able to save their work and then be able to resume their coursework next time they are using the iPad - which for many schools may not necessarily be the same iPad. 

The problem is that all the apps don't share in the same way.  Some allow sharing to Dropbox, Box, WebDAV, Googledocs or emailing.  Currently these are the preferred options for saving and sharing for many classes and staff.

However, for many teachers this is confusing, they are unsure about which method of sharing they should be using for which app.  The inconsistency between apps is not helpful for the busy teacher and they would prefer a common and effective system for saving work with all apps when using iPads for learning.

Some of the more reliable methods for sharing and retrieving student work include this list of suggestions from colleagues: 

Showbie - see previous blog entry for details - now with teacher voice-recording facility to feedback on students work :-)

Three Ringssee previous blog entry for details.

You can add your school network drives to this app, allowing you to open and save from your school network to and from a variety of apps.  It works well with the iLife suite (Keynote, Pages), Book creator and strip designer.
This is a huge step forward in using shared devices in school, but schools need more apps to have the ability to export the actual project file and not just the final file, that is the book creator file and not just the final ebook.

Documents Pro - Store and view documents, transferring them easily from any Mac or PC.  Supports PDF viewing and full-resolution images. Play music; watch movies; access your cloud storage or download from the internet. The WebDAV file transfer works well on internal wireless networks.

iFiles is also a favourite amongst teachers but some users have reported that on occasions iFiles doesn't always show up in a web browser when trying to upload content into the file structure.

My final app for now is Edmodo, used by many teachers to set assignments and annotate responses. Many schools find that students are happy with this solution as it is cross platform and supports learning with library resources.

Let me know what you decide to use and how it goes!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Increasingly, as students start to use iPads more and more for learning, there is a need to be able to share the  work with the teacher and for the teacher to either mark it or provide feedback in some form. Showbie is a free app that does all of this and very effectively.  For help click here.

Watch the video tutorial to get you started - it couldnt be easier! And with the latest update, teachers can now provide voice-notes as feedback to student's individual Showbie folders :-)

The workflow for using Showbie is as follows:
Read more about Showbie and what it does below :

1. Go to -Teacher creates own account on computer- un and pswd

2. Teacher creates a class folder, an assignment and adds a file/s to this class folder.

3. Teacher shares a discrete code for a specific assignment to all students who need to access this homework.

4. If pupils are old enough they can create their own Showbie account, otherwise their teacher can create student accounts and passwords (nb. these can be changed by older students).
Its all free - just choose 'sign in as a student'. You will need the code mentioned in 3. from a teacher.
5. Student logs in and reads / listens to assignment
6.Student completes the task and resubmits to the teacher via Showbie assignment area.
7. Teacher has an overview of which students have submitted work to be marked. Teacher marks student work and feeds back to student - this may be through annotation of a pdf or a voice note.

What is Showbie?

Showbie is like a drop box for the classroom. Using Showbie, students can submit pictures, video, podcasts, presentations and other work from hundreds of apps into their Showbie online assignment folder. Teachers use the Showbie iPad app to easily review students’ work and provide rich feedback with document mark up annotations and voicenotes. Showbie unlocks the creative potential of the iPad to engage students in learning.

Here's a few resources to get you started with Showbie:

1. Get Started with Showbie [VIDEO]:

2. iPad apps that work with Showbie: - Showbie now works with the Explain Everything App too.

3. Install Showbie from the Apple App Store:

4. Still unsure? Ask a question here:

Thursday, September 06, 2012

UK Vol. App Purchase and Configurator

The long awaited announcement that VPP is now available in the UK has been communicated today.
The Volume Purchase Programme allows educational institutions to purchase iOS apps in volume and distribute them to students, teachers, administrators and employees.
Further details can be found at the following links:

Main page

FAQ page
Enrolment page
VPP store:
VPP T&C:  
(use a single code to sync a Product to multiple devices; audit rights)
Best Regards
ADE UK Team 
ADE Program: 

Using Apple Configurator MDM software to Manage Apps
As schools increase the number of mobile devices in schools the need to be able to manage the purchase of apps efficiently becomes increasingly more important. This is where Configurator software comes in - and its FREE! but you will need a Mac to be able to use it to sync your apps to iPads.

Follow this simple step by step process to successfully purchasing apps via the Education VPP store and syncing to iPad using Configurator.

1. Use your Mac/ Macbook Pro - download Configurator software free onto the Mac (mobile device management (MDM)) software. Configurator enables you to set profiles to install & remove apps from devices.

3. Create an Apple id or use an existing one to be able to use VPP

4. Place your iPads in the sync & charge unit & connect to the Mac using USB (not wifi)

5. Open Configurator on the Mac and start the purchase process. A Credit Card is required, itunes gift cards cannot be used.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

New Stat. Requirements for UK school websites

You may not be aware of a change to the Statutory Requirements for school websites.  
From 1st September 2012 all maintained* school websites must show the following information:
In brief, schools now have to supply the following information on their website:
  • Contact details
  • Admission arrangements or where they may be found (community and voluntary controlled schools only) 
  • Link to Ofsted Report
  • Most recent key stage 2 results
  • Most recent key stage 4 results
  • Link to school performance tables on
  • School curriculum information for each year group by subject, including phonics/reading schemes and key stage 4 courses/qualifications as appropriate
  • Behaviour policy
  • Pupil Premium allocation, use and impact on attainment
  • SEN policy
  • Charging and remissions policy
  • School’s ethos and values 
*(academies and free schools must already show this.)
The governing body is therefore responsible for:

  • Ensuring that  the information above is published on the school website – or arranging for the information to be displayed on a website, and the address/details made known to parents
  • Providing a paper copy of the information published on the website, without charge, to parents on request
  • Making sure that the information is updated as soon as is reasonably practicable following a change to that information and, in any event, at least annually

New draft UK English, maths and science curricula: 
Click on the side bar on the right hand side to find the documents in PDF form
The draft curricula are in consultation until March 2013 when the final documents will come out.
It’s optional from Sept 2013 for schools to teach, mandatory from Sep 2014.