Archive for September, 2006

Birmingham centre photos

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

28mm and around town. Just a few views taken with a film camera over the last week. I’m really getting back into the 28mm focal length on 35mm film.

Reading aloud

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Texts between 200 and 300 words long from a mix of sources for practice at reading aloud. A mix of journalistic and ‘formal’ sources should provoke debate about writing for speaking.

Beginner’s mind

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Seth has hit it on the nail again: for new students the college has just started… This is going to get printed in 24pt and put on the notice board. It means we can’t make assumptions about what adult students know about the educational process. It also means that I have to explain the learning process. Otherwise they fall back on the last model they had – and that didn’t work too well, otherwise adult students would not be taking level 2 qualifications.

Prime factors

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

More audio learning: five minutes on prime numbers and finding prime factors. Students need something to write on and with unless they have excellent short term memory!

Market maths

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

If 5 kilos of potatoes cost £2.60, how much will 7 kilos cost? These are simple everyday problems but spending a little time on them lays the foundation for percentages and ratios nicely. This podcast works through some easy examples.

Liquid layout or 960px width?

Monday, September 18th, 2006

Many people now use 1024 by 768 or slightly narrower as a screen resolution. 960px has been suggested as a width to design to as it has a lot of factors and allows a range of grid sizes.

Journalism Project

Monday, September 18th, 2006

In previous years, we have used a collective blog for journalism students with the tutor acting as editor. Perhaps it is now time to encourage NCTJ students to set up their own blogs on blogger or similar and self-publish (with safeguards for the College).

E-learning notes

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Download a 34 page handout that describes the various ways in which a teacher in an FE College in the UK might support students using various ICT/ILT/e-learning facilities. This is a draft, and I’m starting with the text and then adding photos, screen grabs and Web addresses later. Some of my colleagues will actually scan a handout like this and read parts that attract their attention.

Interactive Whiteboards

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

What is an Interactive Whiteboard? How can I use it? A description of the two main kinds of whiteboard (‘hard’ and ‘soft’ or membrane boards), and the two main modes (screen annotation and whiteboard).

PowerPoint: three viewpoints

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

MS PowerPoint makes it easy to produce screens with a mix of images, text and embedded sound and video clips. Microsoft have included a set of ‘slide layouts’ based on bullet points and screen-width text containers. Both Tufte and Godin are critical of these templates for contrasting reasons.

Numeracy blog and scientific calculator

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Numeracy blog for teachers from Scotland, and a Flash animation Scientific Calculator

Quick Quiz 5: Fractions

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

Word file with fractions quiz. I use a 10 minute quiz at the start of each lesson to soak up later arrivals and to consolidate the work from the last session. The students get used to working under test conditions

PowerPoint for screen based packages

Monday, September 4th, 2006

PowerPoint allows you to associate actions with buttons and other objects on slides. You can switch off the slide transition and use PowerPoint as a system for producing screen based learning packages. This 12 page handout covers the basics…

Digital voice recorder: raw WMA files

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

Listen to WMA files direct from the Olympus WS-200s digital voice recorder. One with the internal microphones and one with an external dynamic microphone.

Crystal balls

Friday, September 1st, 2006


Supporting students through e-mail

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Staff development notes: I may turn these into a script. Just a few points on how to use e-mail effectively with students.