Monthly Archives: January 2010

We love yacapaca

As you might know from my last post, I made various presentations today at the University of Reading Institute of Education about using ICT to teach history.  I think it went well, and I’ll find out later when I see what feedback I got using a google form.

I had great help in preparing for this presentation from Ian (@yacapaca on twitter) and his colleagues at  One of the sessions involved the student teachers having a go at a mock up of an old style GCSE paper 2 that I’d made using yacapaca.  I discovered last week that the links had stopped working.  I mailed the support line at yacapaca.  Not only was I given excellent advice, but then I received an email from Ian this morning:

Ed, you lucked out. My colleague Alex worked until 2am to fix the
files list in time for your presentation tomorrow. I’ve just checked
it, and it all works now.



Talk about service.  To top it all off yacapaca raised a great deal of interest at the session.  Thank you Ian (and Alex!)

Reading ITT Partnership

I’m doing a session for the Reading ITT partnership on Monday 18th of January, and I’m going to try and avoid using powerpoint – not because I have anything against it, I’m just a bit bored of it.  As a result I need a place to put all the links to the things I’m going to be using.  So, I thought I’d use my blog.  AHHH – I hear you say, what if the internet is unavailable when I pitch up on Monday morning.  Have no fear – the friendly (very friendly actually) people at IT support have assured me that everything will be fine.  I have an offline version too.

So, here are the timings:

9.30 – 10.00 – Why use ICT for learning ? We’re going to use a card sort (yay!) to start off, and then do a bit of thinking about what makes history special as a subject, and therefore what ICT might offer it as a learning tool. We’re then going to finish this first bit with a short prezi on my own starting thoughts.  After this we’ll have five minutes to note down any thoughts we might have on how ICT might be used in learning about history.

10.00 – 10.30 – Having a go with a whiteboard! Not my strongest suite, I’m no fan of whiteboards, but loads of schools have them, and there’s lots of exciting things you can do with them.  As I’m planning this session I do think that I know several people who would do this much better than I though.  We’ll start with a clip from Ferris Bueller, and ask what a whiteboard could do for his history teacher, before looking at a few tricks and having a go ourselves.  Again, we’ll end by jotting down a few ideas in our table.

10.30 – 11.00 – ICT for Homework? As you know I’m more and more interested in what students can do at home with their computers to support their learning in and out of school.  I’m going to present three bits of technology – Yacapaca, Voicethread (using an amazing example by Ant Heald that I saw Mark Clarkson showing at the recent SSAT conference I attended) and Google Forms (using this example of class feedback and this one of getting to know a new class). We’ll finish this with a quick look at our table again.

11.00  – 11.20 – Break – Yay!

11.20 – 11.50 A History Lesson with ICT – using ICT to teach a lesson designed to help pupils learn about significance. I’m hoping to show how ICT can enliven (by showing them how not to do it!), can guide (buy giving clear success criteria) and can enlighten (by helping students think in new ways). At the end we’ll do some more thinking on the table!

11.50 – 12.10 Media Production – not much time, I think you’ll admit.  I’m going to focus on photostory, and possibly animoto.  I might get around to looking at imovie and movie maker, but only in passing.

12.10 – 12.30 Feedback – putting my money where my keyboard is – using a google form. Finally, to say thank you, a copy of a doc I made listing 51 ideas for learning with ICT.

If you’re present at the session, I hope you enjoy it.  If you’re not, then hey – you could hire me and I’d do a great session for your school / uni!