After School Computing Club

We’ve had some fun this term making Bloxels video games. Some of the children have become very adept at designing with this app, adding story/narrative elements and instructions. We were going to enter the Bloxel’s competition (the prize includes a trip to the USA), but the majority of children at school are Muslims, they were very worried that they wouldn’t be allowed into the country.

So we made our own little competition  complete with winner’s T shirt!

We do love America, Americans and we love Bloxels. Shame some people can’t reciprocate the love.


Video made with Quik, iMovie and other Apple magic. Weird audio glitch in the middle is good though. Sorry about that!

Handing out and handing back PDF’s in Seesaw.

Ok! yep, I know you can’t edit a PDF in Seesaw. But with the file editing option you can share PDF files to the class , like worksheets and SAT papers, saving time and trees.

More importantly, your class can use another app, in this case Notability to annotate and hand back the completed worksheet or SAT paper.

Here’s how…


Trilby TV – Switch it on!

This video shows Y6 St Silas children enjoying the Hour of Code last week. We were using Apple’s Swift Playgrounds. Playgrounds is a good bridge between programming blocks and hard coding. It sits well alongside the Hopscotch app and feels like a very “grown up” experience for Y5 and Y6 learners. The app and content is quite large and needs a relatively new iPad.

The video itself, was made using the Quik app. This (unsurprisingly) is a quick way to combine text video and photos. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to shoot and edit a movie. Think –  Pic Collage for  video! Great for busy Teachers and LSA’s.

The video in turn, is shared across school, using the extremely marvellous Trilby TV digital signage. I’ve been wanting to use this tool for ages, but it’s only this week that I’ve had time to start getting to grips with it. Trilby TV lets us share videos across the school, making playlists for and targeting specific Apple TV’s. It’s great for the school foyer screen, but far more flexible than the clunky tools currently available. The fact that teams of teachers can all contribute to the stream of content takes the burden away from one person.  The videos can also be streamed/blogged externally using a nifty Trilby Media player.

It is a very well thought out way of compiling and presenting digital content in and beyond school. Switch it on!

Create an interactive timeline in Book Creator that works within Seesaw!

I get asked a lot about timeline apps. Books Creator has all the functions you need for an interactive timeline. However, if you use Seesaw and want interactivity you will need to share as PDF. Note only text and image will publish as a PDF. For many of us though, text and image is enough!

Of course iBooks with video and audio is great too, but this is about using two of the most popular apps in primary/elementary education and pushing some boundaries.

Organise on Mac, Teach on iPad with Google Drive.

Not all teachers are this lucky. But for those that have access to an iPad and a Macbook, Google Drive (for Education) offers unlimited storage. This combination of Apple hardware and Google infrastructure makes sense for many, many educators!

This video was made for new staff teaching at Heygreen and St Silas Primary Schools in Liverpool.

Enjoying Google Street View and creating 360 images.

This year I am introducing more Google tech into the classroom. I am still 100% iPad orientated, but Google Classroom is so much more accessible and easy to implement than Apple’s offering. They are different tools, but Google’s Classroom is all about collaboration and Apple’s Classroom is all about and controlling.

Here I’m just testing the camera in Google Streetview. See if you can see my dog in Corbar woods in Buxton?!

Sharing GarageBand Projects to Seesaw

The arrival of the Seesaw app has opened up so many creative possibilities for sharing and reflecting on the content we create. We can of course speak directly into Seesaw and record  voices. However, there are times when we want to create something more sophisticated.

This video  looks at sharing a soundtrack or sound bed created in iMovie to Seesaw. The music could be the background music for a podcast or a video. It also shows how you could create class Seesaw blog purely as a music channel or podcast style channel and share music and audio recordings beyond the classroom.

Above is a short video (made 3 years ago) that shows how to “tame” Garageband and use it as a simple voice recorder. By defaultt Garageband is set loop after 8 bars, which is great for jamming music but not so helpful if you want to record a voice for a longer period.

Combining these two approaches enables students to combine voice and music easily. I’ve also shown how to save a speaking and listening template. This could be shared using Airdrop  to student devices to kick start an activity. Finally, whenever possible use headphones when recording in Garageband. You will get a better result as you can hear what you are recording and there is less noise emanating from the speakers in the classroom.


Modelling ideas with Paper 53 and iMovie

Paper 53 is one of those free apps that every now and then I return to and wonder why I don’t use it more. Here we are exploring some expressionist style mark making. The actual project will be about Liverpool skylines. Here I’m just showing the possibilities. In this demo there is only one image, but if each student contributes an image, the overall effect will be more interesting! Also creating an ambient soundtrack in iMovie would be another way to develop this work.