UKED Magazine Apr 2015

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April 2015

Issue 16

Supporting the Educational Community

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p12 Generate to Stimulate

Reluctant Writers Science Fiction or Science Fact? p5 How literature has influenced technology

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Who is in Control?

18 Where do good ideas come from?

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Issue 16: April 2015

Subscribe by email for free at Subscribe to the print edition at 4 Science Fiction or Science Fact?

Mark Anderson examines how science fiction has inspired the development of modern world and the technology around us.

5 Phenomenal Technology

Martin Burrett takes a look at how technology can be used to collaborate with colleagues and helping students to work better.

7 ICTmagic EdTech Resources 8 Beware of the Send Button

Our special UKEdChat feature discusses the potential dangers of sharing information online and how everyone must be responsible.

10 Who is in Control?

Jill Turner discusses the power-play which happens in schools and classrooms and what you need to know to stay in control.

12 Generate to Stimulate Reluctant Writers

Julian S Wood writes about his love of using online generations to make images to stimulate reluctant writers.

16 Book Shelf

Learning with ‘e’s by Steve Wheeler Aquila I Don’t Believe It, Archie!

18 Where do good ideas come from?

Stephen Lockyer explores where educators can get teaching ideas and some thoughts to inspire your creative side.

From the Editor Ever present and time sapping, technology is a pervasive element of life. It is often a double-edged sword. We connected like never before, which brings monumental benefits. But we need to be disciplined to ensure that technology continues working for us, rather than us for technology. Digital technology has been present in the classroom for two decades now, yet we continue to ask what is the impact on learning and how to best use it. An additional problem is the rapid evolution of the technology and the lag of educators to catch up. In this issue of UKED Magazine we have gathered a range of expert tech educators who are leading the way, and will help you get up to date. At least until it all changes again! Martin Burrett - Editor @ICTmagic @UKEdMag

19 Recently on 20 To tech or not to tech

Rachel Jones discusses ways we really should use technology and how it can best impact on the learning of our young people.

22 Ten iPad Apps to Help Your Children Learn to Code Danny Nicholson reviews ten iPad apps to get your students coding and creating games plus much more.

24 UKED Resource

Resource: Behaviour management starts before the lesson

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Follow @UKED_Directory for commercial updates Contributors Mark Anderson @ICTevangelist Martin Burrett @ICTmagic Amanda Nairne @Nairnecat Jill Turner @sheep2763 Julian S Wood @ideas_factory Stephen Lockyer @mrlockyer Rachel Jones @rlj1981 Danny Nicholson @dannynic

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Cover Photo Credit: Image by Martin Burrett

Science Fiction or Science Fact? By Mark Anderson

It’s true that the science fiction of our youth have informed much of science fact in today’s society; particularly when it comes to technology. There are lots of examples. The genre of science fiction has many proponents. In popular culture today we see it in Marvel films, such as Iron Man, or Big Hero 6. These ideas come from literature and have been around for many years. Adam Roberts writes in his 2005 book, ‘The History of Science Fiction’ ( about science fiction saying “the great majority of science fiction written in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is actually ‘extrapolated technology fiction’”. He goes on to say, “We find tools and machines at the core of most science fiction: such that spaceships, robots, time-machines and virtual technology (computers and virtual realities) are the four most commonly occurring tropes of the field.” We can’t see spaceships and time-machines in our classrooms today (although we can create our own virtual time capsules using technology to facilitate virtually travelling back in time), but we are certainly seeing virtual technology, computers and realities alongside robots (such as the Sphero ( or 3D printers). Whilst we’re talking about spaceships, certainly naming NASA’s first space shuttle ‘Enterprise’ was certainly more than just a hat-tip to the illustrious flag ship ‘Enterprise’ of Star Trek. Whilst we aren’t seeing spaceships in our schools there are definitely technologies in our schools that have been influenced by the classic science fiction series. Take the iPad for example. As Chris Foresman wrote in his article in 2010 ( ‘How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad 23 years ago’, the science fiction show had a massive influence upon iPad and iOS design. I know from my own personal experience that I remember seeing the PADD (Personal Access Display Devices) in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and thinking how amazing and futuristic it was. Never did I imagine that in 25 years time I’d be holding something even more developed than his original PADD in my hand in the form of an iPad, just like Geordi La Forge. So enough of the science fiction history lesson; let’s get some facts... As Oliver Quinlan notes in his article ( innovation-education) from February 2014 “In the last five years UK schools have spent more than £1 billion on digital technology”. My first encounter with Nesta was following their report in 2012 called ‘Decoding Learning’ ( uk/publications/decoding-learning) and as the report stated, the findings of their research were that despite this massive spend on technology, very little or no impact has been seen on learning or outcomes.

Image credit: by L.E. Spry used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. 04 UKED Magazine

There are some key points for getting a return for your learning investment on education technology: ● training ● ongoing support ● sustainability ● infrastructure ● culture / ethos ● pedagogy If you can get those key elements right, then technology can have an impact. The thing is, we live in 2015 now. Not 1995. I think it’s about time that the whole education community took technology in education a bit more seriously. While I realise that many will feel cheated because it’s 2015 and we haven’t yet got our hoverboards, despite being promised that in ‘Back to the Future 2’. I understand that. But I also know that just like we are all teachers of literacy, we are all teachers of digital literacy. As with most things in life, if we can model them well to our young people then they are more likely to pick up our good habits too. So just like we should err away from saying ‘I don’t do Maths’ we should also think carefully about making sure that we embrace our use of technology in purposeful ways too. I firmly believe that there are no such things as digital natives or immigrants, despite seeing my five year old take to Google Search better than my mother. When it comes to technology in general, young people are good at what they’re good at; namely Instagram and YouTube. For the most part, the same is true of many educators, although of course no all. I know many who use technology both with purpose and pedagogy. However, also in my experience, show many educators a new app and they’ll want training on it. Ask them who taught them how to play Candy Crush or to use Facebook and they will reply ‘no-one’. It’s all about having the right mindset. Not just that; they of course need everything else - namely the tools to do the job and ongoing support and training. We should all be taking our use of technology far more seriously. We are investing too much money in it for it not to work. Otherwise, you might as well not bother at all. After all, you expect to see learning returns for the investment you make in other areas of the school; why not technology? So this is my plea. If your school is providing those key elements of training, ongoing support, sustainability, infrastructure and are developing pedagogy and a culture and ethos linked to the use of technology - give it a go. Don’t expect to be a whizz overnight. But give it a go. One thing at a time. After all, every (digital) journey, starts with a single step.

Mark Anderson @ICTevangelist is a former AHT, education consultant with a passion for creativity, learning and innovation in the classroom. Mark is an award-winning blogger, author of best-selling ‘Perfect ICT Every Lesson’, Independent Thinking Associate and finalist in this years UK Blog Awards. Mark blogs at /

Phenomenal Technology

Making Connections

By Martin Burrett

I used to work in a creative school. In fact the creative curriculum at this north Essex island community primary school was celebrated as one of the best features of this high achieving school. Teachers and senior managers came from miles around to see how we taught using topics, yet provided true coverage of the national curriculum. I have moved away from the school and the school has also moved away from a creative curriculum to follow a more rigid approach. Sadly, the school is no longer high-flying and I believe that is is in no small part to the change in direction. In recent years it seems that there has been a shift away from a thematic approach to the curriculum. Yet, with the recent news that Finland, the PISA education powerhouse, is dropping the notion of individual subject and will begin teaching by topics, what the Finns are calling 'phenomenon teaching', will cross curricular teaching be back in vogue in the UK? What will be the implications for educators' subject knowledge and professional development? Would this mean that the silos of specialism will be torn apart and all teachers will be generalists? Finland isn't the only country moving in this direction. On a recent visit to China I was proudly told by educators, headteachers and government officials that in the years to come there would be an expectation for all teachers to teach across traditional subject barriers at all levels of compulsory education. Whether you prefer teaching in subjects, as a cross-curricular topic or somewhere in between, all teachers and pupils can benefit from knowing what others do in their classrooms, both in their own school, and across the world. Educational technology, one of my specialisms, is uniquely placed to help educators and students communicate and collaborate. I will forego the more obvious examples, such as widely used collaborative tools such as Google Docs, blogging, educational event like Teachmeets, or of the educational community on Twitter, naturally including the ever helpful and inspiring #ukedchat on Thursday evenings, and delve a little deeper. Communication For all schools communication is key, but even in relatively small schools this can be an issue. There are no easy answers and schools need to carefully look at how they communicate with teachers, students and the wider community. and its Android and Apple Apps is a well established social platform for educators to communicate, with as a free alternative up to 50 users. Email seems to be a necessary evil of the teaching profession, but their are ways to make it more manageable. is a popular Apple and Android app which turns your emails into a chat platform for quick reading and informal responses. For those longer emails, policies and documents you can use apps like on Android or on Apple to read out the text while you are doing something else. Communicating with students and parents outside of class is vital for everyone keeping up to date. Two useful tools, and, are prefect for sending short messages via email/apps. Of course, most schools under use the potential of their learning platform and looking to see what else can be done with your existing tools should be your first step. 05

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Creating Collaboration and creating takes planning and discussion. Mindmaps are one way to note down information quickly and connect ideas. offers a free collaborative space to pool your thoughts and share with others. Teachers seem to love post-it notes and no INSET seems to be without them. The post it app ( allows you to digitalise and manipulate the handwritten notes on your device. Educators and students can collaborate making videos resources and projects using a variety of digital tools. is a wonderful site and app which allows users to collaboratively record short videos and then edit them together. is a similar web-based service, but offers many editing functions. Sharing Sharing what you do in the classroom should be a given for educators. Sites like allow educators to curate collections of digital resources and sites and while and sites and app allow you to record your lesson through your whiteboard activity to share or use as revision. Hoarding your talents, resources and expertise from other educators, either in your cupboard or behind a paywall will not help students beyond your classroom. Imagine a educational world where every teacher shared their best ideas and materials. UKEdChat has an open access resource bank at where any educators can share a link to their teaching stored in cloud storage, like Dropbox or Google Drive. Anyone can download the resources without signing in. While the lone educator is now a rarity, but the silos of subjects and departments largely remain at our secondary schools and between year groups at primary. It is clear that education still lags behind the business world when it comes to collaborative team working. With digital tools and the right attitude we can work together to improve education for our young people. Image credit p5/6: Cable images by Martin Burrett

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Beware of the

Sometimes we can say something out aloud which we soon regret. People around us will know our true intent, and possibly laugh of any malicious interpretations. Those close to us will understand our meaning, and add our comments to a wider context of why they were said. Human communication can be such a simple beast, but the interpretations and paranoia of others can quickly help relationships deteriorate allowing conflict to arise. This has been concentrated during the last few years through the proliferation of online social media, which has suddenly given multiple and very quiet voices a considerable amplification of messages, feelings and conversations which were once the target of only a few people close by.

breed. Teachers are always wanting to improve their practice, and most visible conversations are about improving professionally, or scolding the latest policy vagary advocated by politicians. But who is watching, and who is ready to pounce on you should you say something off the cuff, which can be taken completely out of context? This is the danger, and there are examples of the extremities taken by ‘leaders’ to silence those who they think have

crossed a line or spoken out of place. This often says more about the ‘leader’ than the person who made the comment in the first place, but it is easier for leaders to manipulate the power they have. It is so easy – perhaps too easy – to open up Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WeChat, Instagram... (we could go on here with an ever evolving, and complex list of broadcast messaging apps, but suffice to say – there are a profusion of messaging services out there!) which are easily accessible to anyone with a computer, tablet, or mobile device. This article is not about them – this article wants to focus on challenging ourselves to really think about hitting the ‘send’ button, as the dangers of surveillance and exposure are now inherent in our society, of which no-one could have reasonably predicted. Some sectors of society are particularly sensitive to the perceived dangers of posting online. For example, you will not (should not) see a police officer tweeting about their day at work – sharing how they arrested 4 people this week, or how they are planning a sting operation against drug dealers tomorrow morning. Doctors or nurses will not pop onto Facebook and ‘friend’ their patients, or comment about the health behaviours of those they are looking after. These two examples are good illustrations of where professionals keep what goes on in the work place within the work place. There is no place for these conversations to go beyond the realm of their workplaces. Teachers, I believe, are a different 08 UKED Magazine

But these decisions and choices are being made by professionals – adults – what about comments already made on social media by our pupils? What impact could this have on them? Worryingly, recent research - reported on the ukedchat. com website – suggested that the way teenagers manage their online privacy and risk is completely

different to how adults manage theirs. Who is to say that privacy settings of today will be different to the settings of the future, and once hidden comments are suddenly out in the public domain. The research reported that ‘teenagers are often more exposed to online risks because they are using social media as a platform for self-expression and as a way to gain acceptance from their peers.’ Platforms, such as Facebook, are commercial entities, and their whole business model works when everyone is open and sharing, so perhaps by adjusting privacy settings occasionally could work in their advantage. The surveillance aspect of social networking is one of the biggest concerns, especially when you consider the future which youngsters are going to have to work in. This YouTube video ( illustrates a nightmare scenario, which is unequivocally plausible, and should be shared with pupils to exhibit the potential dangers beyond what they are currently warned about. People will always misinterpret and use any excuse to protect their brand, with comments on social media being used as evidence to attack a person. This may be warranted, but in many cases the responsibility falls on the individual to ensure no excuse is justifiably used against them in terms of what has been said online. Today we have the ability to press ‘send’ on so many different networks, but if this is not a considered process, then this simple action can really transform the product of our lives. Image credit: by L.E. Spry used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. ‘Think before you send’ image by Martin Burrett

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Geographical Jigsaw Puzzles

by Amanda Nairne


With the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, students are encouraged to develop (through the application by their teachers of a program of learning encompassing four capacities) to become Successful Learners, Responsible Citizens, Confident Individuals and Effective Contributors. A strategy that aims to develop these four strands is Co-operative Learning. This is not just a trendy buzz word for group work, or a justification for apparently unstructured lessons. It is a theory that allows students to make the transition from individual and predominantly passive learners, into independent and confident young people with a broad range of both social and academic skills. Using Co-operative Learning in the classroom from an early stage across a range of subjects allows students to achieve their potential in the new style National exams, with their emphasis on continuous assessment and use of a wide range of resources. Equally, having taught GCSE and A-Level, I feel that co-operative learning techniques could prove equally beneficial to students south of the border. I re-worked a unit of work I was teaching to my S2 (Year 8/9 equivalent) Geography class at Inverness High School, incorporating a Co-operative Learning technique known as the Expert Jigsaw Puzzle. Both the unit of work and the technique were new to the class, but I knew the group well and decided to see how they responded. How does it actually work? Unit of work: Health and Disease. Length of Activity – 4x50 minutes Learning Intention – to gain a detailed understanding of the main aspects of a disease. The students were divided into groups of between 2 and 4 people. Each group was then given a disease to study - malaria, cholera, obesity, measles or heart disease – chosen randomly by picking them from a hat. Within each group students were each given a number between 1 and 4, referring to different aspects of the learning intention. (1=location and causes; 2=symptoms and impacts; 3=solutions; 4=case studies). The idea was that each student would become an expert in their own section/sections, then bring their knowledge back to the group to complete their understanding of all aspects of the disease. Four stations were set up around the classroom, and each student had to visit the stations to gather information about their disease. The information was in a variety of forms – maps, graphs, text and images – and students had to make their own notes. Students spent 20 minutes gathering the information (the jigsaw pieces) for their disease, then came back together with their group to share their knowledge. They then had a further opportunity to go back to the stations to collect their final pieces of information, returning to their group to put the pieces of the “puzzle” together and produce an information poster. Finally, each group presented the information to the rest of the class, resulting with the whole class having a good overview of the main diseases. Conclusions - Although it takes a lot of time and effort to plan, produce and set up, the results achieved make it worth while. Students not only handle a variety of information sources, but practice skills such as summarising and sorting information. The Expert Jigsaw allows the students to develop their social skills too, as they must be able to work both independently, but also as a member of the team. As a teaching and learning strategy I would recommend co-operative learning. It can be used across the curriculum and at all stages of a pupils development. Although it works best when used as a “classroom ethos”, many aspects of it, like the Expert Jigsaw, can be used as stand-alone lessons. It takes many of the techniques we already use in the classroom, mystery tasks, group work and more, and gives them structure, whilst at the same time encouraging students to develop their social skills, which are often neglected in pursuit of academic achievement, but which ultimately can make the difference between success or failure in the real world. 09


Who is in

By Jill Turner

Control. It seems quite a negative word, wanting to be “better” than others, to get others to do what you want them to do. These days, where mental health issues for children seem to be talked about much more, the need for control often seems to crop up – controlling what they can, sometimes leading to anorexia or self-harming or outbursts of violence. Is control a bad thing? Is there a difference between controlling and leading? There are different levels of control, in school some people automatically are given some control – the head teacher, the governors, and within classrooms the class teacher should be in control. We expect children to control themselves – to do as we ask, to behave in a way that is socially acceptable. We need someone to lead, to be in control so that there is order and a way forward. Some of our children seem to feel that they need to be in control. “Come and do your work,” can be met with a variety of answers: • Yes, of course • No, I won’t • I’ll only do a bit of it • I’ll only do it if I can then …. • I’ll do it sitting with Jimmy but I’m not sitting with Jane The first answer is obviously what we all hope for, groups of children all doing exactly what we asked – we are in control! The second, outright defiance, often then leads to discussion, and then potentially the next 3, the child needs to gain some element of control.

This need for control seems to happen everywhere. I’ve come back from church where a Golden Wedding was being celebrated, the elderly couple had all of their family with them to celebrate. They took up 3 pews. There were mumblings and grumblings from some other people, “their” seat was taken. It was fine they found other places to sit, it was temporary, next week they can return. It is the first Sunday of the month, the children lead the service. A lady in her wheelchair arrived, her normal place had been taken by someone who had had her hip replaced. She was happy to sit a little further along with her daughter sitting behind her. Good plan. The lady in charge of the children’s group told her to move, she wasn’t part of the group. I have several problems with this, but now isn’t the place to discuss them. She was in control, she was going to get her own way, no compromise. Sometimes there is a place for compromise, to give up a bit of the control, especially if someone has a good reason, but sometimes you need to be in control so that chaos doesn’t reign. Where does this need for control come from? From within I suppose. Some seem to need a constant diet of being controlled whilst others feel the need to be in control. Looking at some of the children’s backgrounds we can, sometimes, perhaps, start to make sense of why they behave like they do and we need to build in appropriate control for them either making them take control or allowing them something that they can control. It’s a hard balance and something that I don’t think I’d really considered up until the last year when I became a SENCO, perhaps this is because in my bubble of a classroom I knew the rules. The head said it, I did it, I said it, the children did it – if only! I had always previously considered it a matter of give and take; I had never thought in terms of control. I knew the chain of command. At times this seems to have broken down. I have no answers but do frequently wonder, “Who is in control?”

Jill Turner - After 13 years of teaching and an interest in SEN I fell into the SENCO job by accident - just covering until a “proper person” took over. I’m still learning, but love it. Find my blog at and on Twitter at @sheep2763. Image credit: by Jared and Corin used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. 10 UKED Magazine by Kevin Gessner used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License.

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Generate to Stimulate Reluctant Writers By Julian S Wood

When faced with a blank sheet of paper and told to write a story most adults would struggle to put anything down on paper. Yet we ask students to do this all the time, and it’s no wonder some of our students react to writing with such dismay. It’s the same with assessment of writing. I see students being assessed by given a blank piece of paper and a genre that they’ve hardly been taught. Shouldn’t assessment be an opportunity for the student to show off their writing skills and achieve the highest grade possible? I’ve never understood why so many schools assess what their students don’t know. ‘Creative Writing’ doesn’t mean giving students a blank piece of paper with a pretty border on it either. The beauty of the internet is that it’s a brilliantly creative platform, not just for original work but also a place where the ‘remix’ is flourishing. Online generators have been on the web for donkeys years - often infringing copyright rules, but always giving the ordinary online mortal a chance to imagine. To pretend that their name is up in lights on a movie billboard, that their own band is playing on their iPod or that they can have a snazzy animated logo without a sniff of programming knowledge. Having explored and used them in the classroom, I can definitely say that generators are an under-used web resource and are great for independent learning. You often just click the mouse for a drop down menu or type whatever you want and then click ‘Generate’ - it’s as easy as that! The beauty with generators is that they will produce a piece of text from nothing! Very useful for reluctant writers - especially boys. I use them as starters for a longer piece of writing or just to stimulate ideas within a topic or theme. It’s all about ownership. If those reluctant writers can enter a few words or choose a few objects, they can generate their own text. I have found this to be really empowering, as often these reluctant writers are only ‘reluctant’ because they find it difficult to actually start writing. Even the greatest authors in the world have tricks to help stimulate their writing when approaching a blank page. Often when we ask students to write a piece of non-fiction it’s within the confines of a template and never actually looks like the writing it’s suppose to imitate. Here’s where generators come into their own, because you can make a newspaper that actually looks like a newspaper. 12 UKED Magazine

Much better than students drawing textboxes and look great stuck into their books. You could use it as a stimulus for a new topic or a hook to draw the students in. Often with newspaper report writing students find the creation of actual news difficult. There’s an amazing fake news generator that will put the student as the subject of the news report. It’s called Global Associated News ( and it generates a news website just from imputing a name.

I don’t know why, but students really like it when it’s the type, you can also upload photos. There’s no sign up and it teacher that has suffered the terrible misfortune of missing allows the student to save progress with a local copy, just in a Congo Rainforest. It seems to motivate them to write in case they don’t finish. even more of the teacher’s misadventures! All writing should be taught as part of a process and another fabulous resource from ReadWriteThink, Cube One of my favourite sites at the moment is it allows you to type in any website and then literally change Creator ( addresses this in a very creative way. Cube Creator is a great writing planning tool. anything, text and pictures. It allows you to plan Stories, Biographies or Mysteries. Especially useful when most students find planning a piece of writing, very difficult. It asks the students pertinent questions related to each stage of the planning process. Then the really innovative aspect of Cube Creator is that it turns the pupils own answers into a 3D Cube net that they can print out and use to write with.

The great thing about generators is their ability to infuse kids imagination with a few clicks. I have found that this benefits students that struggle with creating an initial idea-even an adult finds creating original concepts hugely challenging. Teachers often search for templates for most non-fiction text types, brochures, leaflets, posters, etc often the awkward Publisher is the tool of choice. Printing Press ( from is ideal for presenting student work this way. Not only have you a host of choices but several templates within each document 13

A good way to stimulate students with generators is to use the Blue Peter ‘Here’s one I made earlier’ approach. You want them to write a story or an article, show them a magazine or book cover with the teacher’s photograph on it and tell them that this could be them. It’s amazing how much writing gets produced when students have something to aim for.

the pupils generate their own name tags using some of these inspirations, I guarantee that will definitely have the whole class engaged for the rest of the year. As with every piece of new technology or Web 2.0 tool, the learning runs alongside the stimulus. I interweave the generators within a learning process, often using them at a time when I feel the students need a little creative push to help them produce more imaginative work. It’s essential to use generators like this, too often educators use them as a ‘starter’, the students quickly lose their enthusiasm and the very reason that the web tool was used in the first place becomes a reason not to use them!

Quite a number of websites do this. Big Huge Labs ( does will convert a photograph into a printable magazine cover. Even I can be on the front cover of RockStar magazine! Pulp-O-Mizer ( is another favourite generator, especially useful when teaching the Science Fiction genre. You can generate a series of fabulous ‘Pulp’ 1950’s inspired book covers that look fantastically retro, but are very customisable. You can change the title, text, colour and illustrations to produce a very professional looking cover.

With a few clicks of a generator you can transform those reluctant writers into the authors of the future.

I’ve also used them to teach about persuasive writing, generating slogans, logos and billboard ads. It was a 6 week project and I have written about it in more detail at Finally, generators can be used simply for signage. Instead of a boring draw label that the teachers print using MS Word why not use a Star Wars or Harry Potter logo generator! When you have a new class in September why not let 14 UKED Magazine

Image credit: All images provided by Julian S Wood

Julian has taught for 16 years across all year groups and Is an Assistant Headteacher in an Inner City Primary School. He is a passionate advocate of using technology to stimulate learning. Julian co-created the Creative Partnerships ‘inathirdspace’ project, which partnered teachers and artists. In 2010 he was awarded the Microsoft Innovative Educator award for using QR Codes to stimulate storytelling Julian shares his ideas at Follow him on Twitter at @ideas_factory.

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Book Shelf Learning with ‘e’s – Educational theory and practice in the digital age By Steve Wheeler It’s all around us. There is little escape. Technology is embedded into our everyday lives, and even technologically uninitiated members of our society cannot escape the advance of new and streamlined hi-tech innovations now surrounding us. In the main, industry has embraced new and innovative ways of working with technologies, but lagging painfully behind are certain educational theories and practices that fail to move with the times. This may be good. This may be necessary, in their worlds. But the future worlds which current students will be working in are probably unrecognisable as innovations continue. In fact - just look around – young people have already embraced the social benefits of modern technologies. Many see these as a distraction but, if used smartly, educators have the opportunity to boldly appropriate these as powerful tools that can inspire and engage. This is the crux of Steve Wheeler’s “Learning with ‘e’s” book which deftly examines educational theory and practice in the digital age. The issue that education is currently faced with, claims the book, is the struggle between the old and the new, the closed and the open, the traditional and the radical. Steve explores some of the main issues throughout the book as he explores the changing nature of education; theories for the digital age; old theories, new contexts; rebooting learning; a 21st century curriculum – all challenging the traditional roles in education, and how adaptation can continue to support learning in the modern world.

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The moulds will need breaking. There is a lot of change required, and technology advances cannot be ignored – despite the best efforts of many colleagues who find such change overwhelming, but Steve Wheeler dissects the issues which education is facing, with encouragement and words of wisdom that can help all of us look at the future opportunities with excitement and with a sense of awe. Learning with ‘e’s – Educational theory and practice in the digital age by Steve Wheeler is published by Crown House Publishing, and is available from Amazon in paperback (£20*) and Kindle (£12*).

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Aquila Imagine finding a fantastic flying machine that can travel incredible distances, taking you wherever you wish. Imagine that machine could also make you invisible! Would you want to share it with everyone? That’s the dilemma Tom & Geoff encounter as they discover such a vehicle - while skiving off from school. This award-winning novel (1997 Whitbread Children's Book of the Year and shortlisted for the Smarties Prize) is a fantastic adventure, full of humour, excitement and the kind of adventures children are always dreaming of. 16 UKED Magazine

View on Amazon at I Don’t Believe it, Archie! Ordinary things happen to most of us each day, as we go through our routines, but imagine a world where extra-ordinary things were encountered on a daily basis. This is the world that Archie lives in, with bizarre and odd incidents happening every day! This is a wonderful book for young, or reluctant, readers strewn with humour, fantastic imagery, and illustrations throughout.

*Correct at the time of publishing

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Where do good ideas for the classroom come from? By Stephen Lockyer

I’m incredibly lucky in that my head buzzes with ideas all the time, like a creative tinnitus! That’s not to say all of them are good ideas by any stretch, but I’ve recently been exploring where good ideas come from, and think that they come from one of five key areas. The important thing to remember about ideas is that experimenting is the only way you can really see whether an idea has legs or not. Upcycling I love upcycling - that is, re-purposing something for another use. This can be done in many small ways (such as using clothes pegs and card for a Classroom Jobs list for example), or in a large way (tractor tyres + blanket = reading corner seat). I especially love re-purposing one idea totally unrelated to teaching into something which contributes to learning. I rebuilt the Periodic Table in my classroom, putting our class values as the elements and so on. We could have made a list, but by using a familiar format, the children were exposed to this, and the conversations which sprung from this. Anything different from the norm is often more interesting, and more captivating for you. Learning Lents This is a favourite for forcing creativity and new ideas - ban something which you rely on! It sounds a strange thing to do, but really does make you think outside of your box. Imagine you rely on your IWB for every lesson, and then the bulb goes - what do you do to recover? Now put this thinking against all the other ‘default’ tools and routines in class. Here are a few ideas: • No chairs for one day • No photocopying • Computers off • No writing • No numbers in Maths Choose one of these and see how you get on; it really is quite liberating! Don’t reinvent the wheel, search online for it We are enormously spoilt for the range of places we can now search for ideas - and you don’t have to dive in headfirst to make the most of the resources stored in the cloud (but it’s always good to give something back). For personalised help with ideas, ask on Twitter (using the hashtag #asktwitter) - you’d be amazed what responses you get. Pinterest. com is another good vault of ideas for teaching, often in the most surprising of ways, and it also works as a springboard for your own ideas too! Another growing source of feel-good ideas is, the blogging 18 UKED Magazine

platform for teachers, which is growing daily with a wealth of good ideas on marking, planning, questioning, even creativity itself! Read around your subject It’s always good to read books specific for your subject specialism and age range, but don’t let this limit you. I’ve collected good ideas and generated lots of my own by reading around my interests too. There is a lot that Secondary colleagues can learn from Primary, and vice versa. Likewise, reading books completely detached from education can contribute interest and curiosity, and solve problems you may have in the most unusual ways - a book called Smart Swarm for example helped me work out a novel solution to congestion problems in my school, even though it was about insects! Cross swords together Imagine completing a crossword on your own, with someone next to you completing the same crossword. How many more words would you get if you collaborated together? Likewise, the best ideas sometimes need to be talked about in order to float to the surface. Often, we can go to someone with a problem, and they are far more capable of solving it than us because they aren’t carrying all the aspects of that problem which we are. Likewise, generating ideas with someone else can be incredibly liberating and productive. I love coming with ideas, but really like playing around with them too - it’s very rare for a discussed idea to become worse in the process. My #100ideas book ( came from generating ideas in this way and many other ways. The most important principle is to try something out, even in a very small sense, and see if it improves the teaching and learning or not. Once you’ve tried it in one lesson or on one table, roll it out further. Play with it, adjust it and get feedback on it from the children and other adults that might be in your classroom. If it does make a difference to you, tell others! Avoid being an idea silo - become an inspiration station instead! Stephen Lockyer is a Deputy Head in Kent, passionate about creativity and improvement in the classroom. He is on Twitter as @mrlockyer.

Image credit: by frankieleon used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License.

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To tech or not to tech By Rachel Jones

Oh yes, that is the question. To frame my thoughts in the words of Shakespeare is so much more apt than a Descartes-esq, ‘I tech therefore I am. ‘The latter implies a kind of technological determinism, that without technology our lessons or our practice is not a whole deal for the students. I much prefer to think of using technology as being a choice, where the teacher has the confidence and competency to be able to decide if technology is being used purposefully. If a teacher decides to use technology it should be for a good reason, that is, it brings something to the learning that otherwise could not have happened.



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20 UKED Magazine



Something which is not uncontested in educational circles is the value of students collaborating together. For me, this is one of the key positives that technology has to offer, and can change the habits of learning, develop soft skills such as teamwork or leadership, as well as refine academic skills and knowledge. Consider for example the use of Google Drive in education. Asking students to work on a collaborative essay requires planning and behaviour management on the part of the teacher. The technology in no way replaces the teacher, but it does provide opportunities for teacher formative feedback, and peer feedback. You can also role model via live writing how you want students to craft sentences and answers, and show them the writing skills they need to develop. Further to this, you can correct any knowledge errors and work with students inside and outside the classroom to improve their writing, and subject. This, massively wide range of teaching opportunities, simply cannot occur in the same way without using technology. It’s not really about what type of technology you choose to use, there are many platforms available, and again it is worth considering what

Another thing that technology can bring to students learning is equipping them with skills that they will

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Edtech enthusiasts will trot about a phrase about using technology to ‘enhance learning‘, now this is all very well and good, but what does it actually mean? For me, there are several key things that make the use of technology really have impact in the classroom. I can’t say how much I really believe that technology should not be used as a gimmick or a tick box for observation. Much teaching can be exciting, innovative, interesting and engaging without the use of any technology at all. What we do need to consider is how can technology have meaningful impact and affect outcomes for our learners, as well as the quality of experiences that they have during their time at school.

is going to work in your classroom, not trying to import solutions from other schools. Our learners are individuals, and so our use of technology should be bespoke for them, rather than wholly subscribing to a company that you are a teacher enjoy using.

need to survive in a world that is becoming, unarguable, increasingly digital in the way that people live, communicate, and share ideas. Curating information from the Internet is a skill in itself, and curing information about our own selves is crucially important for our learnersmany of whom will have sat through PSHE lessons on their Digital Footprint, without fully appreciating the negative implications that not being mindful of this can have on their future prospects. Curating for me, the ability to accurately research, cite sources, and be respectful of other people’s content is something that all learners need to be proficient in- otherwise they will leave school Ill equipped for future learning. Our ultimate aim as teachers is to prepare students for what awaits them in their life after school. Being an independent learner, and someone who appreciates the importance of having a positive online profile, and the opportunities this can afford them, is crucial. Certainly using technology is engaging to young people. Many spend a large amount of time in front of screens. However, what I have found they are most comfortable with is the use of apps that facilitate social interaction, rather than educational opportunities. I think the final thing I would advocate when considering using technology is not to rely on the students to be able to work apps or devices without teacher support. is very exciting, as issuing to podcast, but neither will work in a vacuum of skills deficits on the part of the teacher and the students. Plan well, know your learners, and give them the time and space to play with technology so that they can have a good understanding or it’s potential.

In conclusion I think using technology is something that should be supported across the whole school. Certainly students grow in competency using it when it is utilised in more than one lesson. The same applies to teachers, and it is practice and being brave (and nurtured) to try something new, when perhaps the norm in your classroom might be a worksheet. Seek advice from those with experience, and always have a plan B for if (when) the technology fails.

Rachel Jones is a teacher and e-Learning coordinator. She shares interesting ideas about pedagogy and other geeky stuff on her blog at You can find her on Twitter @rlj1981.

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10 Great iPad Apps to Help Your Children

Learn to Code By Danny Nicholson

With the changes in the National Curriculum for ICT in 2014 introducing a greater emphasis on coding and programming, there is a greater demand for easy to use programming tools for children. Tools such as Scratch are great, but it doesn’t currently play nicely on an iPad. Coding apps tend to fall into two categories. At the simplest level they allow children to produce simple algorithms to make something happen on the screen, whether it’s a turtle or a dalek move about the screen. These allow the children to begin to think logically to solve a particular problem. Other apps provide a more complex coding environment with features such as repeating loops and inputs.


The Doctor and the Dalek (free)

The Doctor and the Dalek is designed to introduce children to the idea of programming through simple codes. By issuing commands to an on-screen Dalek the children can solve various problems and eventually save the Universe. In addition to the app, the BBC has also produced a Doctor and the Dalek resource pack designed to be used alongside the game by teachers or parents. 3.

Daisy the Dinosaur (Free)

Here are 10 apps that can help your children learn to code: 1.


Scratch Jr is a version of the popular Scratch coding platform especially written for iPads and aimed at younger users. ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Like the other versions of Scratch, children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves — then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life. If you are looking for ways to introduce younger children to coding, then this is definitely worth getting. Image credit: by Kovah used under Commercial Creative Commons 2.0 License. Foreground images provided by Danny Nicholson 22 UKED Magazine

This free, fun app helps teach the basics of simple programming. It has an easy drag and drop interface to animate Daisy to dance across the screen. Children will intuitively grasp the basics of objects, sequencing, loops and events by solving this app’s challenges. It’s a simple, easy to use app which gives children an easy introduction into simple programming. 4.

Hopscotch (Free)

Developed by the same team behind Daisy the Dinosaur, Hopscotch is a free app which allows children to create their own games and animations with a simple programming language. Hopscotch works by dragging and dropping method blocks into scripts in the same way as Scratch. When you’re finished with a script, press play to see the code in action. More advanced users can add additional objects and use custom events, such as shaking and tilting the iPad, to run different parts of the code.


Cargo Bot (Free)

Cargo-Bot is a puzzle game where you teach a robot how to move crates. It sounds simple, but it gets quite challenging! It’s good for developing logical thinking. 7.

Kodable (Free)

Kodable offers a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving. Beautifully designed with little ones in mind, Kodable comes free with 30 levels of programmable fun! You can unlock additional worlds with inapp purchases, or get them all by downloading Kodable Pro (£1.99). 8. 5.

BeeBot (Free)

The Bee Bot app from TTS has been developed to mimic the familiar Bee-Bot floor robot that many children are already familiar with. The app makes use of Bee-Bot’s keypad functionality and enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns. The game is set in a cute little garden scenario and will appeal from age 4 upwards.

Move the Turtle (£2.29)

Move The Turtle is an educational application for iPhone and iPad that teaches children the basics of creating computer programs, using intuitive graphic commands. It’s very similar to the BeeBot app mentioned above. 9.

Cato’s Hike (£3.99)

Also check out the new range of Blue-Bots which are Bluetooth Bee Bots that can control with the Blue-Bot iPad app. They’re a great blend of app and real-world device.

Cato is stuck in a parallel world, and needs help to get home. Some solutions are simple, but there are also opportunities for more advanced concepts like loops and branching. It’s the most expensive app out of those I’ve looked at, but it does provide more of a challenge for upper KS2 children. 10.

Danny Nicholson is an independent trainer, PGCE lecturer and consultant. He is a former science teacher and now delivers Computing and Science training to teachers all over the UK as well as overseas. He regularly blogs about educational technology at and can be found on Twitter as @dannynic.

Snap (Free)

The final addition to this list isn’t really an iPad app, but it is a free website that has been designed to work on your iPads so it is definitely worth investigating. Snap is another visual, drag-and-drop programming language that’s almost identical to Scratch. The coding platform allows you to “Build Your Own Blocks” of code. It works by dragging and dropping method blocks into scripts. When you’re finished with a script, press play to see the code in action. 23

by @stpatsalliance Download an editable version at

Make sure you that are confident and prepared!

(getting rid of the clutter will help your organisation and the behaviour).

Maybe watch or get involved with the school teams or plays/music/ art and praise/chat at break/lunch duty about it?

(also think about the clothing you wearpower dress! Image!)

Breath deeply, stand tall!

Read the schools behaviour policy. Know it inside + out - Follow it ! This is your shield and armour.

Pupil perspective.

behaviour issues) Green pen (write in plannerspositive notes home)

Red Pen (write in planners –


Spare pens

Pre-lesson Checklist: Seating Plan Resources incl Pupil books

Sit at the back/front of the room in different places. Can they all see the board if people sit in front of them? Do you need to change the layout?

Build the relationship outside of lessons

(yes they should all have the book, yes it was there last lesson but you need a quick start . Get them working then sort it out).

Tidy the desk/room.

Know your topic and ensure you have the subject knowledge needed. If you are unsure of the work you are more likely to become defensive and lose confidence in front of the pupils. This could make you more likely to snap and shout without being in control.

Spare file paper to hand.

Make sure that you chased up any issues from the last lesson that you said you would.

(it really will get rid of so much unnecessary fuss)

Buy a Box of Tissues!

Speak to Form Tutors and other class teachers, SENCO for pupils who are not meeting expectations. What top tips have they got? Could you observe the pupils in their lessons?

You are part of the School communityGet help from the rest of the team.

Do your research!

You are not a bad teacher if pupils misbehave... They misbehave for lots of reasons. Do try to have a plan to get the lessons and learning off to a great start... Remember- this is skill that every teacher is always developing and refining.


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