Archive for the 'History' Category

Oct 14 2013

Microsoft in Education Professional Development Program

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Are you a teacher in a school who trains or coaches other teachers? Are you a trainer who works with schools developing professional development? Then there is a fantastic opportunity for you to become a member of a free community with brilliant resources, the latest research and the opportunity to share and learn from other people in a similar role to you.

By joining the community you can:

  • Learn about the latest research findings on effective (and ineffective) professional development models and the implications for trainers of educators and school leaders.
  • Understand how you can utilize the Partners in Learning professional development model including needs assessment, adaptable training materials, and evaluation tools.
  • Access over 150 hours of content including level 100 (Digital Literacy), 200 (Teaching with Technology), and 300 (21st Century Learning Design) research-based professional development and adapt to meet your needs.
  • Participate in ongoing discussions, professional development and receive recognition for the important work you do.
  • Receive marketing assets including email signatures, co-branded workshop certificates, email templates and more.

In addition to this, currently we are launching a monthly theme which has some exciting opportunities each month:

  1. News and information about Microsoft resources and programs that can help you grow your training provision (virtual universities, highlighted tools, links to resources and more)
  2. Trainer Spotlights – showcasing the work of other trainers
  3. An opportunity to win a trip to the 2014 Microsoft in Education Global Forum in March
  4. ‘1 Minute Wonder’ talking heads videos from existing practitioners on different themes



So sign up and register today, it is free and a fantastic opportunity.

Here is how you can join Piltrainer:

Step 1: fill out application at

Step 2: view the on-demand webcasts

Step 3: become a Partners in Learning Training provider!

You can also follow us on Twitter


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May 27 2012

The Panda made me write this post!

Published by under History

Now you all know I love a person who dresses up in animal suits, so I was really excited to hear from Justin this week who was telling me about a great project he was involved in and yes he also wears a Panda suit!

It is called ‘The Panda made me do it’

What is The Panda Made Me Do it?

The Panda Made Me Do It is all about you. The natural world is in trouble – we all know that – climate change and our runaway demand for natural resources are taking their toll on the planet. But if we are all are prepared to take action we can make a difference. The Panda Made Me Do It is about collecting, sharing and celebrating things that people are doing
for our planet. Here you can find inspiration from others and suggestions of things you can do with WWF to play your own part.
It’s your future. Tell us what you’re going to do.

Why is it so important?

The world we live in is incredible, but it’s in trouble, and it needs you. Our growing demand on natural resources is putting the natural world under pressure. Around the world, nearly a quarter of all mammal species and a third of amphibians are threatened with extinction. Globally, we are using around 25% more natural resources than the planet can replace. And in the UK, we’re consuming three times our fair share of the planet’s natural resources. There is something each and every one of us can do to show we care, and to make a difference.

Want to join in?

Join the environmental movement that says it’s not all hopeless, you can make a difference. It’s not all doom and gloom, it’s about fun runs, forest picnics, fundraising and taking control of the future of the planet.

Shout about it

If you care about the future of the planet, we want your friends to care too. The Panda Made Me Do It is about collecting, sharing and celebrating things that people are doing for our planet.

What could you do?

They need primary schools to take part in the WWF and BT Green Ambassador scheme, which aims to encourage a new generation of sustainability champions. The Green Ambassadors scheme is helping pupils to make their green ideas a reality, building a more sustainable future for their local community. For example:
● At Alphington Primary in Devon, BT education volunteer Clare works with her daughter Amelia and her school friends to help them be more aware of the need to protect the planet, and do their bit to reduce their impact on it

● So far, through the scheme, they’ve created their own plastic bottle recycling point, made a nature pond, built a story-telling hut from mud and recycled wood, and conducted surveys to show each class its energy consumption and find ways to minimise waste.

● As Amelia says, having the colourful Green Ambassador graphics around “helps me remember to do things to help the school and the world.”

What can you do?

If you’d like more children to learn about green issues and sustainability by taking action in their primary schools, make sure your local school knows about the Green Ambassadors scheme. Teachers can register now and a school kit will
be sent within 28 days:

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May 11 2012

.COMmunity Project – International project

This week with a group of Year 7 students I have started working on the .COMmunity project inspired by teachers James Edwards and Jen Dunkey.

What is it?

“This project has been set up to empower the students to take control of their learning and promote independent learning as well as peer to peer collaboration. The students will be deciding on what the content will be and therefore shaping how this project develops.

As teachers we hope to link students and their communities from around the world. It is our hope that this project will help show the similarities and diversity of the different cultures and communities in our world.”

The idea is that students and schools to collaborate with each other via the projects website  to allow them to build and establish their own communities. Showing what they
value as individuals as well as the importance of the different roles we all play within our communities in the places where we live.

I spent an hour with some Year 7 students talking about what community meant to them and then collaboratively creating a PowerPoint to produce some background information on them and the school to upload to the website.



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Apr 19 2012

ICT – Slide rules

Published by under History

Check out my recent article in the TEs all about Pecha Kucha

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Mar 23 2012

Yet another award winning teacher

Published by under History

Special congratulations to Katie Boothman this morning as last night at Microsoft’s European Innovative Education Forum in Lisbon @boothmank won the award for her project called the H.I.T squad.

katie boothman

This is fantastic news for Katie, her students and the school she joins a long list of UK, European and Worldwide winners from over the last years working with the Partners in Learning programme.

Katie is in her second year of teaching and already a leading figure in the innovative use of technology across the school which is saying something considering the national and international recognition that has as a specialist school in ICT and new technologies. As an NQT Katie from day 1 has strived to engage and inspire all the students she has taught to use new technologies to enhance their learning. After just one term into her NQT year she was leading a workshop for other teachers across the South West as part of a regional training event for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, modelling good practice from her classroom.

The H.I.T squad is underpinned by utilizing student’s passions for ICT and history to fully created their own resources which can be used as a teaching resource within lessons in addition to resources used to within partner primary schools. She saw how much students loved using new technologies and she wanted to embrace that so she created this project. The objectives were to: to use ICT to increase knowledge of and enthusiasm for History; to facilitate pupil led teaching and learning within peer groups; to develop links within the broader community using ICT and to encourage students to read, write, and peer assess one another’s work through the use of new technologies.

You can see some of the HIT squad in action on their site:

You can read more about the project from this newspaper article here:

Congratulations Katie we are all very proud of your achievements!

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Mar 10 2012

Use music to engage children with difficult subjects

Published by under History

Check out an article in the TES this week featuring Microsoft’s Songsmith by me:

Science – Sing a song of study –

Let me know what you think?

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Mar 10 2012

Use music to engage children with difficult subjects

Published by under History

Check out an article in the TES this week featuring Microsoft’s Songsmith by me:

Science – Sing a song of study –

Let me know what you think?

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Feb 29 2012

Applications for Apps for Good now open!

Published by under History

What is it all about?

“Apps for Good is an award-winning course where young people learn to create imaginative mobile apps that change their world. Our students create apps that make a difference and solve real life issues that matter to them and their community, giving them a launchpad in social enterprise and the exciting world of technology, design and innovation.

Participants work together in teams to find out what issues they want to tackle and how best to solve them with mobile and web applications. With a focus on solving real-life issues that matter to young people and/or the communities they live in, students learn about the full software product development process in a very practical way. Apps that are successfully designed and prototyped may be selected for professional build via our annual Apps for Good National Competition.”

To learn more about it check out the video below:

Check it out!

As a school we have been working with Apps for good for this academic year and the students are really enjoying it.

If you want to get your school involved in next year then follow the link below and register your interest:

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Feb 25 2012

Tom and Ben news–why do I keep calling it Ben and Jerry?

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I am so excited to finally have the much awaited guest blog post by my brilliant collegue Ben Rowe @itsmerowey. Ben is an amazing teacher who normally teaches French, Learning to Learn and Integrated Learning at on rare occasions he even teaches Science but only when he lets me teach French, we have it all on video maybe one day we will share it. You can read what Ben gets up to on his blog:

“I have been teaching Year 7 Integrating Learning all year. It is fantastic. We deliver the subject 6 times a week and it is largely skill based, drawing on subject matter from across the whole curriculum.

For their current project the students are designing a Business Enterprise idea with an ethically sound element to it.

As part of their project I asked them to make a video using Talking Tom & Ben News for iPad By Out Fit 7 Ltd. You can find it here

If you click on the video you can see a dialogue between two cartoon characters talking about their project. They chose to do it as a news report. What I really liked about this particular app was the ability to record sound and video separately. The pupils were limited with recording time because I only have the free version but there was a pleasing side-effect. The students had to edit what they were going to say so that it was succinct.

All in all the students had a great deal of fun producing a short presentation on their project. I can thoroughly recommend giving it a go!!!! You can see the kids video below:

Better than some TV news :)

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Feb 24 2012

You can earn with O2 Learn!

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If you haven’t been to the O2 Learn site for a while, you might not know that their awards are back and they are awarding £2,000 every week!  They are continuing to help everyone connect to great teaching by creating Britain’s Biggest Classroom via teacher-created content.

o2 learn

See my blog from last year here:

This year, they are thanking every UK teacher who uploads a video lesson to O2 Learn with a free mobile broadband pack. They’re also introducing a weekly Best Lesson award, giving you the chance to win £2000 for you and your school department every week .

To date, O2 Learn has over 1,000 lessons available. All of which are curriculum focused and checked by their “Learning Champions”.

They have also recently introduced ‘Related Video’ functionality to make it even easier to find the lessons that are useful to you.

The competition works like this in 2012:

1. Secondary teachers upload a short video of their favourite lesson to O2 Learn and receive a free mobile broadband pack
2. Thousands of students across the country watch and rate the lessons that are useful to them
3. O2 Learn award prizes to the best lessons every week.

I think it is definitely worth a look!

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