Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Digital leaders

This post describes the process of 'employing' digital leaders at

Roydon Primary school.

Over the last few years keeping up with new techology has been a challenge and, in terms of time, difficult to manage. Trialling new resources and evaluating the benefits adds to any workload and sharing new ideas takes more time and organisation.

I had been considering different options and ways of managing my increasing workload, when I watched @chrismayoh's teachmeet presentation on digital leaders . I thought it was a great way of supporting the ICT coordinator role, whilst making the most of the talents of our children, so started the process at Roydon.

The interview process

The interview process started with a flyer advertising the post inviting applicants. The application forms included simple questions about their experience with ICT, their responsibilities and their views about different roles within a digital leader post. By the deadline, 14 children had applied for the post. I hindsight, I regret not using google docs as a way of applying for the post. It is something I will remember for next year.

The interviews spread across one morning. The children were excited but very nervous, so I decided against filming them. I was very impressed with their enthusiasm and their ideas. They had considered options that I had not thought about. They had visions for the future of ICT at Roydon and were able to articulate them.

The group task

In the afternoon the children were invited to participate in an 'observed task'. They were asked to access Kodu game labs, to program a Kodu to move and eat things. They were only given two tips:

  1. The escape button allows you to toggle between playing and programming;

  2. There are tutorials under 'load'.

The aspiring digital leaders were then left to it! They had around 40 minutes to see how far they could get and I was really impressed with the results. All children had completed the initial challenge and most had gone beyond it.

I asked them how they felt about not being taught and they told me that although some parts were a bit frustrating, they all felt proud of what they had achieved independently of an adult. They showed great collaborative skills and they all enjoyed the task immensely.

Their feedback about Kodu included such things as 'There are no limits, you can make whatever world you like,' and 'It's your own ideas, you could be the Kodu. It's awesome!'

They thought it was easy to use and can't wait to have another go.

All applicants showed entusiasm and strength in different areas, so all of them have been employed! The jobs that they do as digital leaders will depend on the skills that they showed at interview. This includes:

  • Running an ICT club

  • Blogging about what they have been doing and sharing resources

  • Supporting teachers to deliver lessons

  • Supporting during ICT staff meetings when appropriate

  • Running parent workshops

  • Researching and reviewing new technologies

As for me - I'm really looking forward to working with my new colleagues!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cartoon time

Jenson in year 2 created his very own comic at school today with a little help from Harrison (also year 2). What do you think?

Scroll down to see some more comic stories. Click on each page to see a bigger version.

Henry and Ben's comic on PhotoPeach

Erin and Callum's story on PhotoPeach

Try this fab free resource for making cartoons easily! Inspire everyone else with your brilliant work!

Or why not try another story writing program, free online. this one is created by the carnigie library of Pittsburg.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Animating with some old favourites!

Just to show that you don't need wizzy resources to make an animation. This was made with textease paint (other paint programs would work as well) and windows movie-maker (free to download). Each paint 'frame' was saved as a picture before it was added to. It's not scientifically accurate, nor is it very long, but it does show the growing process. Let me know what you think, or if you try it yourself in class.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kodu fun!

As promised, an update on the use of kodu in the classroom. Thanks to the enthusiastic children at Roydon Primary!

Rebecca's wedding

Scroll down for more videos!

I really enjoy Kodu, I even made a wedding! It's realy addictive but a bit tricky to work out when you start but it gets easier! Everybody crowded around my computer to see the wedding and they all started laughing! - Rebecca Bradfield

Miss BB's thoughts
Apart from the frantic tapping of keys, things could be heard like, "This is awesome!" and "Miss BB - look what I've just done!" But don't just take my word for it - this is what the children think:

We have had a go at making kodu worlds and creating games in them today.

We have added hills, water, waterfalls, factories and other kodus. By Charlie

We have programmed our kodus to react to our environment. There has even been a kodu wedding!

Kodu worlds is great! You can make kodus blow each other up. I found it really fun when I said my world was called Katie world and I was a god. I could make a tree talk and be really realigous. I like blowing kodu's up. -Katie Betts.

We made a war between Kodus and turtles. It was great fun and very creative as you had to make a world then play it. Charley and Amber.

Kodu game lab is so fun. Someone made a wedding and someone made a war. I made a Kodu Birthday in spotty world! My kodu said where are my presents!-Elise Squirrell.

This is really fun,especially when you get blown up because a rock has thrown a missle at you! Ollie
Watch a part of Ollie's game!


This blog is about an Etwinning project with the children from Ecole Darois in Dijon. We found our partner school through the global gateway and started to email one another. We shared work through our learning platform, then decided it was time to start videoconferencing.

We started by asking and answering questions in French and in English. Our class learned a French song called 'Au Texas' and the French class have been learning 'I can see clearly now', so we sang to each other. Then, Monsier Pont - the headteacher - had a great idea for us to play a game of 'Guess Who' so some of us dressed up in disguise!

During this project I took a short trip to the school, to share ideas and swap our guess who boards. The children enjoyed playing the game.

Playing Guess Who with the children from Ecole Darois.
The children thought it was good fun!

Our French friends had just got a new IWb and they were not very common in schools at that point. So ... it was a very big thing for their school. We played a game of guess who with them after school and there were some very important people watching, like the Deputy, the Mayor, reporters and lots of parents. We were on the news in France!

It was a very good project, which we all enjoyed.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Windows Movie-Maker

Windows movie-maker can be used in many different ways. Here are a few examples from class.

This is a music video to accompany Chris de Burgh's 'A Spaceman Came Travelling'. The children had to consider the words and images when editing.

Short film clips can be used successfully, as in Frankie's poetry box dvd.

A useful helpsheet for movie-maker can be found here on my 'Be inspired by ICT' weebly.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Photostories using photostory 3

Download photstory 3 here and start creating your own photostories.

They really are easy and the children love making them. You can access a beginners guide online, but chances are you won't need it as it is very user friendly. It's great for inspiring boys to write too.

You can add narration and create your own music to accompany your 'story'. Here is a story by Finlay, aged 6. He added narration.

It is a story based on 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. He drew pictures and photographed them, before adding narration and text to his story.

The next one is an example of how a teacher can use a photostory to promote learning. I showed my film as a poor example of a promotion video, although I was raving about it. I told the children I thought it was fab - the best ever. They quickly disagreed (they criticised language, effects, transitions, music) so I challenged them to make it better.

You could use photostory in any curriculum area, with a range of writing genres and themes. Here are some ideas for children:

Illustrate and narrate a story.

Create a tourist guide 'book'

Create a short history film

Explain how to play football, rugby, netball etc.

Write instructions or create a recipe

Promote your school / game / toy

Here are a couple of ideas for teachers:

Use it to showcase classroom events for parent's evening

Inspire learning by having it as a 'backdrop' during lessons

I made one when my niece got married!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Using your visualiser to animate

This film clip is a test that I did, using my visualier and windows movie-maker. After I made it (carefully cropping each photo) I remembered that Monkeyjam actually does that for you!

My year 2/1 class created fabulous animations for their 'Very Hungry Recycling Bin' stories. We used monkeyjam again to make them into films. The next step is to add some narration.

Molly and Eleanor in year 1 created this alien landing.

Stick figure animations

Stick figure is one of the easiset (and free) ways of getting the children to animate. They can select from a range of stickfigures and use the tools to 'pad' them out with clothes etc. All you have to do is download the software, introduce it, then let their imaginations roll! Suitable for all ages. Click on the picture to go to the download page. If you would like to watch a useful film showing you how to use pivot stickfigure, click here.

More animation news and resources coming soon

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Story time

Storybird is a collaborative storytelling site that was brought to my attention by Jill Duman (ICT advisor). It is a place where you can create, share and print short stories, inspired by beautiful art work. My favourite so far is Irisz Agocs' art work. What's yours?


Create your own myths and legends with this brilliant resource from E2BN. My children loved using it to create their very own Norfolk legends.


Listen to actors reading stories online here.


Story Museum

A great resource shared by Jenni

1001 multi-cultural stories online here.

My favourite so far is 'The snake and the frog'. Brilliant!

There are some great online resources on the topmarks site. The Animated Aesop's Fables are particularly good - the children loved them when we used them. One of our classes wrote to the author and they received bookmarks and a free signed book!

FREE control and modelling resources

To access the resources shown on this page, click on the pictures.

Create your own Zook with Bamzooki! It's harder than it first seems. You can create a wierd monster or a virtual pet, then play games with a huge community of zooks. You can even compete in the 'Ultimate Zook League!' This is a cbbc site, where children can extend their learning and experiences beyond the classroom.


Scratch is a free programming tool that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, games, animations, music and art. Click on the link above to see what you can do and how to download it.

Help sheets are available. Click on the picture below, then look at the tutorials. The scratch cards will help you with basic skills.


Star logo looks very similar to Scratch, though I confess I haven't used it yet. please let me know if you have! Leave a comment on th blog.


Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. Easy enough for older primary aged children. It looks really exciting, but i am having problems running it at the moment. I will add more news after our technician has tweaked it for me :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Welcome to the blog!

This blog is intended to be a place where ICT news and resources can be shared with a wide community. Hopefully it will work in conjunction with the facebook page of the same name. The purpose of the blog is to link online resources and ideas by subject, so that they are easy to locate. If you have anything that you would like to share, say or ask, please leave a comment either here or on the facebook page.

Sheli Blackburn (Norfolk Primary AST)