Category Archives: Key Stage 2 Computing curriculum

Scribbling on a PDF using Smart Notebook

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In this short (3 minute) video clip, I  demonstrate how to import a PDF document into Smart Notebook.  Why would you want to do this?  Many teachers have PDF documents downloaded from a variety of sources; with such downloads, teachers may wish to add notes, labels or highlights.   Please note: whilst I discuss ‘editing’ a PDF in the video, what I really mean is ‘scribbling over the top of’; to edit, tools such as Adobe Acrobat (not Adobe Reader) are required.

Scribbling on a PDF

Scribbling on a PDF

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The positive impact of creating digital games

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Today, I was privileged to attended a workshop organised by Stony Dean School, entitled:

Understanding and developing the use of digital games as a pedagogical tool in the classroom

The workshop featured presenters taking part in ‘The Games Project’.  The Games Project is an action research, collaborative project between Sweden and the UK, funded by the Erasmus+ programme – more information is available from the website:  http://www.gamesforlearning.se

The ethos of the project is centred around ‘Maker Culture’ (Maker Education Initiative – Every child a maker – http://makered.org), following the assertion that if pupils are makers they are more actively engaged.  In this project, such making is facilitated by computer programming to create and play digital games (artefacts). Continue reading

Deploying GAFE – Google Apps for Education

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Deploying Google Apps

Following the Google Teacher Academy (GTA), I was very excited to get going in deploying Google Apps for Education for our school (see post coming soon).    Prior to GTA, I had already successfully applied to Google for Google Apps for Education (GAFE) for our school, and I had set up a domain via registering with Go Daddy. Continue reading

Guidance for Primary Teachers on Computing

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NAACE and Computing at School have produced a very useful document that has been sent to primary schools across the country this week. Entitled ‘Guidance for Primary Teachers on Computing’, the document contains information on how schools can meet the statutory requirements for computing, and extend beyond them.  The document explores using a ‘pupil centred approach’ to learning, and encourages teachers to adapt rather than adopt any pre-written schemes of work. Continue reading

Algodoo (formerly ‘Phun’) now available for free!

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Quite possibly the most apt name for a piece of software ever, the software previously known as ‘Phun’ and now known as ‘Algodoo’ is now available for free!   This amazing piece of software allows 2D models to be created in a 2D physics sandpit.  Having such a flexible modelling environment is incredible for pupils exploring simulations and models at Key Stage 2, and it complements the Computing curriculum very well. Continue reading

A new home for Planet Number!

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After three years at its own home, www.planetnumber.net, my MSc project has now been moved to be a sub-domain of PlanetPDA. Planet Number can now be found at: number.planetpda.net.  The reasons for the move are purely down to cost.  Planet Number has been running for 3 years now, at no cost to the schools that have used it.  However, it has reached the point where I can’t afford the separate hosting. Continue reading

An Apple a day? Should we invest in Apple products in school?

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SmartboardA school that I work closely with is very shortly going to be upgrading its ICT facilities, and what a difficult array of decisions it faces, especially with a limited budget!  Currently, the school has a computer suite with seventeen PCs based around RM’s Community Connect network.  Teachers all have a laptop which can be connected to a Smartboard and a visualiser.  Teacher laptops can access the internet, but there is no facility to share resources via the network.  In addition to the RM network, there is also an ‘admin’ network for the small number of office PCs which have SIMs installed.  There are small number of PCs dotted around the school for pupil use, but the school was recently criticised for lack of use of ICT in lesson observations.   Additionally, the school has a website and an as yet unused Moodle VLE. Continue reading