Google's latest offering helps teach children to be safe, confident explorers of the online world. I used it with a class of Y5 children today and the consensus was overwhelmingly positive. The children play in four areas, tackling hackers, phishers, oversharers and bullies.
Interland is split into the following four worlds:
This game teaches children to be respectful and kind online and to report cyber-bullies.
Here the focus is on sharing information online only with people you trust.
Tower of Treasure
Tower of Treasure is all about making strong passwords...
The fourth game teaches children to steer clear of phishers and other fake stuff online.
There's also teacher resources available and a YouTube collaboration in the form of the so-called #BeInternetAwesome challenge - have a look at the videos below to find out more.
'Smore where these came from...
Smore flyers are perfect mini-websites that are so easy to make - and you can easily share them, embed them on your learning platform/website, both for, say, admin tasks or professional development purposes as well as being a great tool for your students to use, as a change from them perhaps producing another presentation or traditional document.
The Smore below, as an example, allowed me to share all of my Y6's Scratch games they had been working on. They sent me a screenshot of their game, which I then hyperlinked to their project on the Scratch website. The Smore flyer was used in a celebratory 'Flappy Festival' at the end of the project:
The analytics you can get from your flyer are pretty useful too. On the free account you unlock analytics after your flyer receives 25 views. You can create 3 flyers on your free account as well.
Find out some useful stats:
So whether you're looking at making a presentation, a newsletter or you have an event or announcement to publicise, why not give Smore a try next time!
"I know you probably can't see this at the back" - why most presentations you see in school are terrible...
...and 5 things you can do about it - if it's you delivering the next one!
I would be willing to bet you have been to a staff meeting, INSET or some other form of training where the hapless presenter has uttered the immortal words 'I know you probably can't see this at the back', or similar. Indeed I have more than likely been that hapless presenter myself, in the past. But it doesn't have to be that way. Because remember if you're using PowerPoint or Slides, you're giving a presentation, you're not giving a document. We can also teach our children this as well - then maybe that phrase "sorry you won't be able to see this, but..." will die out...?!
Here are my 5 tips to follow, whatever presentation method you're using:
Aim for say, 15 words on a slide. This will be one point you are making. Providing 6 or 7 bullet points means the audience is just going to read the entire slide ahead of you, as you're still talking about your first point. This way you can also avoid those transitions, which often only serve to distract from what you're saying anyway.
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. Be brave and make those (up to) fifteen words fill the slide. Are people going to complain that the text is too big? Probably - you're in a school(!) - but that's better than not seeing it at the back, surely? Also remember they called it PowerPOINT for a reason - not Powerparagraph!
Rather than another sentence or bullet point, put up an image that relates to your point. As mentioned, you're giving a presentation, not a document, so your audience is more likely to listen to you as the image will be there to just support what you're saying.
Instead of just putting up a graph from Excel/Sheets etc and muttering the immortal phrase from this blog post's title, do some number crunching and pick out the headlines - why are you showing the graph? A few slides of the important key facts will keep your audience interested and alert. Have the graph up there initially if you must, but move on to your next slides with your main points as soon as you can.
As well as being a useful aide-memoire for yourself (what do I say when the picture of the panda comes up...?!) having speaker notes will be useful for anyone who needs to access your presentation who couldn't make your meeting or training. A presentation, unlike a document, is exactly that, a tool to augment what you're saying, so it's going to stand to sense it might not make the most sense than if you gave them the old-fashioned document-style presentation.
If you're interested in the finer points of PowerPoint/Slides design, check out 'You Suck at PowerPoint' - an irreverent guide to this subject. It's pretty old now (2010) but the points are still relevant today.
Get your class up on their feet and moving around to GoNoodle - a free resource (although paid-for content is also available) that focuses on mindfulness and movement activities to brighten your day! (I made the last bit up but it's probably going to help in that direction...)
Champs are the main motivation tool in GoNoodle - every time you complete an activity you help to grow your 'Champ' - there are at least 25 to choose from, available when you play more and more activities:
Have a look through a range of categories to suit the mood - be it a short 'brain-break' or something to calm down your tricky class after a boisterous lunchtime. Or something to break the transition between wet lunch and maths after lunch perhaps?
There are loads of cool channels to surf through, with specific styles of activity group together - 'Brainercise' with coordinated exercises to make you think as you move (at least I would have to think carefully...) to 'Zumba Kids' to 'Think About It'- that one setting a positive tone at the start of the day (and before you realise it's going to be a wet lunch...)
Having seen Glenn Malcolm demonstrate the amazingly powerful Sonic Pi at last month's FOBIT conference at Tanglin Trust School, Singapore, I am keen to try out the software with our Year 6 students. Now the software is ready to go on the school network, I am thinking about developing a sequence of lessons where children developing their 'soundscapes' in Sonic Pi, and then mix these creations into a completed soundtrack in Soundtrap. Perhaps these could end up in a class Soundcloud area. Further updates about this project no doubt in due course!