New Dork

May 14, 2010 - Leave a Response

From www.geekologie.com

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School’s Rockin At Gavinburn

April 21, 2010 - Leave a Response

This is the write up from the Scotsman on the games-based learning project that’s rockin Gavinburn primary in West Dumbrtonshire.

PRETENDING to be a rock star on a computer console is not how most parents imagine their children spend their time at school.

But at Gavinburn Primary in Old Kilpatrick, West Dunbartonshire, such a game has seen youngsters dramatically improve in subjects ranging from French to geography.

Headteacher Gillian Penny said: “All kids want to be rock stars but once you’re into it the game doesn’t have a huge impact apart from being the hook.”

It is an example of what is described as contextual hub learning, in other words, using something that interests children to sneak in some education – without them realising.

Mrs Penny added: “The learning that goes on after that is all very firmly based on literacy and numeracy, and ICT (information and communication technology].”

The project has been running at the primary for two years and this year all 40 primary sevens took part. Pupils were split into ten “bands” and had to use literacy skills to create alter-ego characters and a band history. They then had to use their music and technological skills to write and record a song, digitally, and make a video. After that they were “invited” on a tour and so had to research it, finding a venue in France and, finally, had to do a radio interview in French.

“They have to create the whole conversation in French, which is huge,” said Mrs Penny: “It’s probably one of the biggest results of the project – the improvement in their French – which is not what we expected.”

The project has been highlighted by the school inspectorate as excellent practice in promoting literacy and numeracy.

Additional topics, such as drugs awareness, are also taught by creating a storyline involving one of the band members.

Mrs Penny said: “There’s a huge amount of writing – they have to write a band profile, character, respond to letters, write news articles, lyrics, and speeches for our Gavin awards – our version of the Brits. And when going on tour, they have to work out flight connections, prices, currency conversions and, space for staging. There’s a huge amount.”

It is a programme which is now firmly on the school calendar. Mrs Penny added: “Because it finishes with this huge event at the end, which is a black-tie do, it’s something the rest of the school are very aware of so they are looking forward to it when they are in primary two.

“It’s become a rite of passage almost, it’s a very good fun topic but they also work very hard.”

Ollie Bray, a depute head of Musselburgh Grammar School, now seconded as a national adviser for emerging technologies in learning at Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) – the body responsible for the curriculum – was the first to innovate with Guitar Hero in the classroom.

He said Scotland is leading the way in the use of computer games in schools. He added: “Guitar Hero has now been used all over Scotland as a context for learning and social interaction.”

Touch Physics

October 4, 2009 - Leave a Response

Lately I’ve been playing Touch Physics again…I blogged a while back about this great app and only recently rediscovered it’s childish yet scientific fascination.

Great game for the scientific mind.

Great game for the scientific mind.


Touch Physics is a fantastic little game that allows the player to manipulate a given environment using the basic laws of Physics:

Motion
Gravity
Mass
Force
Energy

Combining Science with the most basic Art skills the aim of the game is to get your Ball to the Star and complete the level.

Throughout the full fifty levels your ball starts in any and every kind of scenario. It may be static, at the top or bottom of a hill, trapped in a box, on top of a triangle, inside another shape, on a see-saw and so many more. From here your job is to create shapes and actions that will allow your ball to travel around the screen and reach the star.

Get the ball uphill if you can...

Solutions include building walls to protect the ball from falling off screen, constructing a see-saw on which a larger shape can be dropped sending your ball towards the star (if you’re lucky!), creating shapes that will push your ball out of a hole or off a ledge and creating slides and /or hills to navigate varying heights.

Using very attractive artwork that emulates crude chalk marks on backgrounds of crumpled paper, polystyrene and wood this will appeal immediately to your pupil’s as well as your own inner child while challenging the natural scientist in all of us.

You can download a Lite version of TouchPhysics for free in the App store for the first 5 levels. The full version has 50 levels with the promise of more to come.

Ideas for use:

• (Individual) Pupils tackle levels, working their way through the levels to the end.
• (Group) Pupils work in groups to tackle each level, taking shots in turn.
• (Group) Pupils complete each level then discuss each element of Physics involved.
• (Group) Pupils recreate levels using physical objects in class/school.
• (Class) Pupils tackle levels on paper first, planning their solution then attempting each in turn.
• (Class) Teacher tackles each level following Pupils instructions.

Ideas for application:

• Try projecting your iPhone to the White board using Honlai’s QingBar MP101 iPhone projector.
• Use multiple iPhones for individual/group learning
Collate screenshots from your iPhone then project them to the White Board and invite pupils to solve the levels using the pens.

We hope you enjoy this iPhone app and find many ways to enrich the learning in the Physics classroom. To finish we’ve included a neat video of the game in action.

Teach-It lands in John Paul Academy

October 2, 2009 - Leave a Response

We are delighted to continue our work with John Paul Academy. They are the first school in Glasgow to use Teach-It and one of the first schools in Scotland to be trained on the resource.

Frank Bannon (teacher and ICT whizz) was excited when is the Teach-It’s arrived this week and commented,

“I’m so impressed with the Teach-Its. They are all glossy and cool looking”

John Paul are going to be using the Teach-Its to engage their ‘digital natives’ in learning across the curriculum at all levels. Their training session is taking place on Monday so we will keep you updated with their progress. Special thanks to Vincent Docherty (HT) and Frank Bannon for their continued support and brilliant minds.

SLF09

September 30, 2009 - Leave a Response

Do Be SLF Stand E48

My legs have only just started to recover from this year’s SLF09!  I really enjoyed being part of the whole experience and especially enjoyed this year’s TeachMeet which we sponsored.  I had worried about getting a stand as….well let’s just say it wasn’t cheap, but I really feel it was worth it in so many ways.  Firstly, I met some amazing teachers, many of whom I follow on Twitter.  Conversations that went like ‘are you DoBeLou?’ ‘Yeah are you skinnyboyjim?’ gave me such a thrill I can’t put it into words!  I really enjoyed the wine and the presentations at this year’s TeachMeet.  People like Doug Belshaw, Ollie Bray and Neil Winton make it look so easy.  Also, the Camel hardly made an appearance!  See more photos at http://bit.ly/1tS2c, and watch videos of the presentations at http://bit.ly/4GAAIq and finally, read the thanks sent to the sponsors from the teachers that attended at http://bit.ly/Qkai0.

Secondly, I enjoyed spending quality time with Kirsten, Sam and Scott.  They must be pretty special people to have been with me from 6am on Wednesday to 6pm on Thursday and still managed to be laughing at the end of the day (or was that just at me?!)  They are a special bunch of people and we had a lot of fun.  Did I mention that I love the people that I work with?  After TeachMeet we went to the Grill on the Corner in Bath Street.  If you book online you get 40 percent off your food bill (what do you mean I’m tight?!)  Food was absolutely scrumptious.

Grill on the corner - Sam and Scott Grill on the corner - Scott and Lou

Lastly, I saw some cool stuff…..the main one being an S1 pupil beat his teacher at Guitar Hero!  I am really excited to be meeting with Ben from Skoogmusic – I loved ‘The Skoog’ and exploring possible links with ConnectEd

All in all I had a great few days…..I just wish I hadn’t worn those heels :0)

Teach-It goes live

September 28, 2009 - Leave a Response

Hands up sm

Finally, after months of development, hard work and quality control the Do Be Teach-It has gone live.

Introduced to a number of clients shortly before the Scottish Learning Festival we were able to draw feedback allowing us to add the final touches to what promises to be one of the most exciting and useful classroom resources this year.

Teachers have always looked beyond the classroom for ideas and resources to bring learning to life, and in the 21st Century this means turning increasingly to technology, and in particular, to the internet for Inspiration, Innovation and Ideas.

The Teach-It is the first in a series of new classroom resources packed with innovative technology lesson ideas designed to spark creative thinking and support the application of new technologies in different learning contexts to support interdisciplinary learning across the Early Years, Primary and Secondary curriculum. The lesson ideas are jargon free, fun and inspirational and cover:

Google Earth

Digital Imaging

MP3/4 Technology, Podcasting and Video

Games Based Learning

The Internet

The Teach-It comes in two forms:

• A bright and colourful A4 landscape ring binder which is visually attractive and easy to use and share

• An online virtual version that can be purchased separately to provide even greater flexibility for your teachers and learners.

Visit the Teach-It here.

TeachMeet 2009

September 27, 2009 - Leave a Response

This year Do Be were proud both to sponsor and attend the TeachMeet as part of our Scottish Learning Festival plans.

TeachMeet09

Over the past few years TeachMeet has become the most popular fringe event associated with the SLF and this year, as always the TeachMeet was a roaring success with some of the most fantastic minds in education attending.

It’s important to recognise that TeachMeet is organized by teachers for teachers and is about what goes on in the classroom. Here is a video to give you a good understanding of how this unique get-together works.

Hope to see you there next year…

St Mary's PS – You Rock!

September 17, 2009 - Leave a Response

St Mary's3

Felt really inspired this morning by the P6’s and 7’s at St Mary’s PS in North Lanarkshire.  Stephen and I were working with them to explore the different ways that they could use mobile learning, specifically MP4 technology, to develop literacy, numeracy and much, much more.   All I can say is that I was blown away by their creativity, confidence and enthusiasm.  Believe me, they taught us a few things.

Here’s some pics of the training and I’ll update this post shortly with some audio feedback.

Is Social Media a Fad?

August 24, 2009 - Leave a Response

Another look at some of the concepts and statistics behind the rise in Social Media. Take from it what you will…

Happy Birthday DoBeScott

August 20, 2009 - Leave a Response

The Do Be offices were privy to a celebration of huge proportions today as we enjoyed Scott’s 35th birthday.

Scott, our most recent addition to the team is a shy and retiring type who doesn’t like a fuss to be made of his young years but as he’s working with the likes of us he hasn’t the luxury of modesty. We made a fuss, showered him in gifts and praised his talents before setting him off to work harder than he did last year ;o)

We posed for Photos…

Notice Scott doesn't change at all...Stephen was sneezing and Louise was being herself!

Notice Scott doesn't change...Stephen was sneezing and Louise was...well...!

We enjoyed cake…

Stephen loves chocolate cake!

Stephen loves chocolate cake!

We gave him pressies…

All in all we had a good day. We wish Scott many happy returns and look forward to working with him for many more to come.

Welcome Back

August 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

Do Be Banner

The Do Be team would like to take this opportunity to welcome the countries finest back to school and wish you every success this year.

That’s right…we mean the teachers! We recognise the unmeasurable value you bring to the experience that is education and hope you have all had a fantastic and restful summer in preparation for the journey ahead.

As part of our commitment to you all we will be raising the bar with our blog this year by first of all rebranding the blog and moving it to a more suitable system and also bringing you more useful blog posts designed to help you make the most of the tools we know you need.

Have a wonderful first term.

Pixton

June 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

While writing the new Teach-It resource for schools we’ve had a tremendous amount of pleasure in trying all the various applications we promote as learning tools in the classroom. Among them is Pixton, a free comic software that allows you to create astounding comic artwork in just a few simple steps.

Below is our own attempt to create something. This took just over half an hour and serves as an adveret for our services as well as a meet the team. Just think of the links to Literacy, Numeracy, The Arts that can be found in a small piece of work like this..

Give it a go yourself…

more about “Pixton“, posted with vodpod

Well Done Ollie Bray

June 3, 2009 - Leave a Response

Ollie Bray

Micorsoft Teacher of the Year - Ollie Bray (right)

The last couple of months have been……..how can I describe them……remember that game ‘Heads Down, Thumbs Up’ at school? Well it’s been a bit like that! We’ve been working hard on our latest pack and have failed to say congratulations to the award winning teacher, Mr Ollie Bray.

Ollie recently won a prestigious Microsoft European Innovative Teachers Forum Awards in Vienna because of his Guitar Hero Transition project which he designed to help improve pupils’ transition from primary to secondary school.

In this project, students work in groups using Guitar Hero as a context for learning across the curriculum. The project has been such a success that it’s now being implemented across other schools in East Lothian. It will soon be carried out in schools as far away as Hong Kong and Australia.

Ollie is truly inspirational and works with such incredible drive and passion that I often wonder if he ever sleeps and if I can have some of whatever he’s had.

We were completely behind something Ollie said at the Forum when he was presenting this work to other teachers. He said he initially received some resistance when he wanted to purchase so many XBoxes and copies of the game for the schools. People were concerned that he wanted to spend so much money on technology. Ollie’s response was great and I plan on stealing it for forthcoming sales meetings for the pack…… that first of all, “Xboxes are far less expensive than computers”. And secondly, “we are investing in children, not in technology…Nuf said.

Ollie, we wish you every success at the Worldwide Innovative Teachers Awards in Brazil in November 2009. You couldn’t squeeze some of us (me) into your suitcase could you?

More about Ollie’s Guitar Hero

Schools and students were able to develop their own learning activities around Guitar Hero, which ranged from creative writing and character studies around fictional bands, design of t-shirts and animations, marketing merchandise, learning and performing music and dance, and more.
Bringing together all of the primary classes – pupils who would be attending the secondary schools in the autumn- for a “Battle of the Bands.” Throughout the day, children had the opportunity to work together in workshops that allowed them to develop a band (logo, name, and jingle), compete against each other using Guitar Hero, and participate in several dance, music and drama activities
Continuing to work on Guitar Hero activities in the context of secondary subjects up to and during the pupils’ transition to secondary school. This allowed children to have connections with other pupils when they arrived at their new schools in the autumn and to continue a project they had already started on in primary school. They designed a Guitar Hero postcard about their work, which they sent back to their old teachers in the primary schools.