Friday, 25 January 2013

My Y6 Class Blog : Wallwisher and Myst to inspire descriptive writing.

I am teaching Y6 students from a local primary school to try and help with the transition from primary to secondary in terms of ICT skills and understanding.

Please have a look at my Y6 Class Blog to find out more.

The first installment is all about how we used the game MYST (along with a few other things) to inpire descriptive writing.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Using iPads and MacBookAirs to teach A-Level ICT


I think it's high time that I started blogging my journey delivering course content for two OCR Applied ICT units to my current sixth for students.

I have been lucky enough to be able to purchase 5 MacBookAirs to complement the 5 iPads and 20 iPod touches we currently have in my dept. 

The iPads and iPods have been in circulation around the school, being loaned out nearly every day now, for over a year.  The iPods have a carry case that doubles up as a sync and charge system which is very handy for delivering the iPods around school.  They have been used in many ways of which I will blog about over the coming weeks and months.

Onto the 6th form teaching.  In Y13 I currently teach 2 A2 units;

A2 Unit GO50 : Interactive Multimedia Products

Interactive multimedia products can play an important role in entertainment, education and in providing information.
This unit helps candidates to:
  • · Be critical of commercially-produced interactive multimedia products;
  • · Appreciate what is involved in the design and creation of interactive multimedia products.
In this unit candidates need to:
  • · Research into interactive multimedia products;
  • · Produce elements of interactive multimedia products;
  • · Design and build an interactive multimedia product to meet a client’s requirements;
  • · Review their interactive multimedia product for its effectiveness in meeting the clients’ requirements

A2 Unit G048: Working to a brief

This unit helps candidates to improve their performance and working relationships through the planning, implementation, management and evaluation of an ICT project. Assessment is intended to allow candidates to demonstrate the development of their skills and knowledge in relevant areas of ICT, as well as in their ability to work with others. Candidates are asked to find the solution to a brief chosen from a list. The briefs are set by OCR and may be completed by candidates as an individual or as part of a team.
Candidates will produce:
  • · A preparatory report into current working practice;
  • · A project plan in response to the set brief;
  • · A diary or log of work completed;
  • · Support materials for use with the project;
  • · A summative report on the project, some of which will be informed by client and user feedback.

G048 is an examined coursework component that has 5 different case studies to choose from.  Mt candidates are choosing the case study that can be taught alongside G050 very nicely.

The case study is as follows;

Road Safety:

You have been asked to create a prototype of a multimedia product that will teach road safety. The product will be aimed at children between the ages of three and six years. The main character in the product will be a cartoon character.

Your product must allow users some interactivity so that parents and children can personalise it. For example, parents could be given the ability to choose a name for the main character, or children using the product could choose the clothing that the character is wearing. Your client has also asked that any child using the completed product should be able to pause it at any stage, as well as repeat any section.

The following is a list of some of the features that could be included in your interactive multimedia product. Your client may amend this list and will certainly add to it. They will provide you with some of the material you need to include but you will also need to find/create some of it yourself.

·         an introductory page
·         a form of navigation through the story
·         sections representing different chapters in the story
·         images to be used in the product
·         videos to be used in the product
·         a sound track (including both voice and music)
·         buttons or clickable images to allow navigation through the interactive multimedia product.

As you can see, this lends itself perfectly to the students designing and creating some form iPad multimedia product.

Having looked around at the different types of software available to create apps I quickly realised that there isn't really a viable solution yet for creating apps efficiently enough for my students.  I had a quick rethink and looked into iBook Author.  This is a brilliant free app for the Mac that allows you to create amazing interactive ebooks easily. You can incorporate text, images, animations, sounds, videos, presentations and many interactive widgets along with so much more.

This video sold it to me...

So, I put some bids in and I got approval for the Macs and we are now about to embark on our journey.  A huge part of the units is showing how the students grow and improve their ICT skills and one of the ways they are going to do it is via their own blog.  None of the students have any experience using Macs before and are going to really enjoy creating a product that is relevant for their time and era.  One student has already said that this won't be like learning and will be amazing to see his product on the iBook store!

I am also going to hold workshops in the summer term (after silly season - or exams as we like to call them) and show staff how they can use their resources to create simple but effective eBooks for their subjects.  I will blog on this too!

So, watch this space and please feel free to comment.


Monday, 21 January 2013

Socrative (thanks to @mr_macmac)

Engage the class using any device

Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

The best thing this will inspire your assessment for FREE

Thanks to Chris McWilliam for pointing out Socrative via twitter (see below for details and for a brill video explaining how to use it)

If you are reading this within the confines of WHS, come and see me for a quick demo!

Check out

Chris McWilliam (@mr_macmac)

21/01/2013 20:10
Check out my first video blog about how I use my iPad to assess…

Sent from my iPad by @martlindgren76

How can wallwisher be used in lessons?


I have long been thinking how to use wallwisher in lessons and have come up with a big wallwisher 'wall' full of ideas. I have used many of them over the past year successfully.

Sent from my iPad

ICT and Business Studies app for iPhone/iPod

ICT and Business Studies app for iPhone/iPod

We launched this app a while ago now and it has undergone a refurbishment over the past month.

Please go to the following to download it

Alternatively, you can go to the WHS ICT and Business Studies mobile site from there. is a briiliant website that we have used at WHS for many years.

Yacapaca is a free e-learning platform designed for educators to create, share, set, mark and analyse assessments.

Students can revel in it's amazing wealth of quizzes raging form every topic imaginable.

Have a go!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

3 new and useful teaching websites – Brainstorm with mind maps online

Wallwisher – Generate ideas and gather responses

Animoto for Education – Create video slideshows in minutes

Friday, 16 March 2012

Blog Question 1

Many mobile phones now have GPS as a feature.

State two uses of GPS on a mobile phone. (2)

Email your answer to your ict teacher before Friday please.

A question will posted every Friday on the blog, you need to answer it and email your answer in to your ICT teacher. The mark scheme and some good examples of answers will then be posted. Here is how a finished question looks. A new question will follow shortly.

Question 1

Some people claim that playing video games is beneficial.
Make a reasoned argument to support this point of view.

Here are some examples of what you said.

Answer 1

Playing video games can be beneficial because it encourages the gamer to interact with something. This stimulates the brain and makes them think about tasks such as problem solving or navigational skills. Scientific research suggests that the more the brain is used, the more it is likely to prevent memory loss, so by interacting with games it involves thinking, using the mind.

Video games can also be beneficial to people in the rehabilitation process, in that they can use gentle exercise games, such as Wii Fit/Wii Sport, to physically build up strength in a gradual process to help them in making their recovery which is beneficial to their health.

Video games can also help people become more developed in reading skills and recognising new language and understanding new concepts. Games with written content allow the brain to engage with written instructions for the player to follow and involves new words and ideas, this is beneficial to the player because they are becoming more knowledgeable.

Answer 2
Playing videogames can be beneficial socially, as many games for the main current systems include a mode of online play, where you can socialize and talk to people, and create and maintain friendships. In older systems (and some newer games, although this has mainly been scrapped in favour of solely online play) LAN parties were held, where multiple systems were linked via cables (but still played on their own screens) where people would have to be in the same room. There is also split-screen play where multiple people play on one screen, where people also have to be in the same room.

Games can also be a benefit mentally as playing games can introduce you to new words through the games characters, and introduce you to new concepts and points of view, and games like Brain training and Professor Layton keep your mind active and so are good for keeping your mind young.

Games like Wii sports and Wii fit keep you fit and give you exercise in the form of games and so are more fun and interesting, and games that track your progress keep you coming back to beat your former scores and improve, introducing a type of competition with yourself to be the best you can.

Stress can also be lowered by playing games as you can relax and enjoy yourself and other forms off stress release are also incorporated, for example exercise.

Answer 3

I agree that playing videos can be beneficial because it can encourage teamwork when playing with friends or online, multiplayer mode can also introduce players to different people and cultures from all across the world and help them make new friends. Video games can also develop skills that people need in every day life like problem solving, reading and technology. Knowledge in technology is particularly important as most jobs involve use of technology. It can improve hand-eye co-ordination as the player uses the control while watching the TV and must also keep concentration. It can also build confidence in people as they win and complete the game, but most of all it is a very fun and popular form of entertainment.


Indicative content to support the benefits of playing video games

* Improves hand eye coordination

*Can be an effective tool for learning/cognitive development/thinking/problem solving/reasoning/memory

*Stops young people getting into trouble on the streets

*Multiplayer games encourage social interaction

*Some game provide fitness/exercise programmes

*Encourage interest in particular subject/research

*Developing language skills

*Games can mirror real life and allow players to make mistakes without harming themselves

*Whole brain activity occurs when playing games

Level 1 The student will produce brief responses, making a limited number of simple statements, probably with limited reference to the benefits of video games. Responses produced by the student will be generalised and will cover a limited range of benefits. They have used everyday language but their response lacks clarity and organisation. Spelling, punctuation and the rules of grammar are used with limited accuracy.

Level 2 Students's reponses will be mostly accruate and will include a number of relevant benefits. Candidates will have discussed the benefits that they identify. Limited attempt to argue the case. They have used some specialist terms and their response shows some focus and organisation. Spelling, punctuation and the rules of grammar are used with some accuracy.

Level 3 The student will produce a factually accruate repsonse that includes the discussion of a range of appropriate benefits. The benefits identified are appropriate and the case is wel argued. They have used appropriate specialist terms consistently and the response shows food focus and organisation. Spelling, punctuation and the rules of grammar are used with considerable accuracy.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Safer Internet Day 2012

Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world.

Safer Internet Day 2012 – the ninth edition of the event – will take place on Tuesday 7 February 2012, centred on the theme ‘Connecting generations and educating each other’, where we encourage users young and old to ‘discover the digital world together...safely!’.

At Withernsea High School we will be delivering a lesson regarding Safer Internet Day to all 7, 8 and 9 pupils and the majority of Y10 during the next two weeks.

Please feel free to use the links below regarding e-safety and safer use of the Internet.




Vodafone Parents Guide

Sixth form websites on mobile

Sam's theatre website is now accessible from a MID (mobile internet device). This is part of the testing process in Y13.
Since websites have to be fully functioning, they need to be tested on tablets/MID's too.

For all the people who have been asking me what php is. Php is a powerful programming language that powers facebook and other "clever" websites. for instance, putting

echo date("D M d Y"). ', sunrise time : ' .date_sunrise(time(), SUNFUNCS_RET_STRING, 53.7, 0.04, 90, 1);

into a website would make the website display the sunrise time for Withernsea every day you go on the page.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Sixth form php websites

After months of hard work. Year 13 students have published their websites to the server.

Sam's has a video, guestbook and survey questionaire too. As well as drop down menus and 3D buttons.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Thursday, 19 January 2012

New iTunes U app

The iTunes U app gives you access to complete courses from leading universities and other schools — plus the world’s largest digital catalog of free education content — right on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Whether you’re majoring in molecular biology at a university, taking Spanish in high school, or just interested in European history, you now have a valuable tool to help you learn anytime, anywhere.


Free courses in a wide array of subjects
• Take free courses created and taught by instructors from leading universities and other schools
• See all assignments and updates from the instructor in one place, and check off assignments as you complete them
• Take notes and highlight text in iBooks and see them consolidated for easy reviewing in the iTunes U app
• Access course materials, including audio, video, books, documents & presentations, apps, and new iBooks textbooks for iPad

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Code Academy

Just to let you know, I am going to start a lunch time school club for students and staff that want to learn computer coding.  I’m going to use the free website called which teaches people at their own pace using clever and interactive tutorials.  In New York they are using it revolutionise IT teaching across the state and it’s fast becoming one of the most popular sites of 2012.

When I've decided on a day I’ll put it into the student bulletin, on the ICT blog and in the staff sheet. Keep checking back.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

ICT Forum 20-10-11

· Mobile technology in learning

How do we use iPads and iPods within school?  Many subject areas are now exploring the use of these items within their classrooms and are realising the power of this new medium.  If you want to find out more, ask teachers in the following areas – ICT, Media, Sports & the Arts, DT, Science, English, History and Geography. Here is a link to an Apple article on how to get started with mobile technology in learning and how useful it can be;

Here is an interesting article on how mobile technology is being used in America;

Have a look ..... Click here

We also have 11 iPod touches that can be loaned out to trial using mobile technologies in the learning environment
· Helpful applications

Here’s a few new FREE apps that I have found over the past few weeks;
All subjects – Flashcards+, My spelling test free, Microsoft Office 2010: Video training course lite
Sci – Chemistry A level exams tutor, Biology A level exams tutor, GCSE Science, Skyview Free
MFL – Free French Tutor – 24/7 Language Learning, Free Spanish Tutor – 24/7 Language Learning, Free Italian Tutor – 24/7 Language Learning, Learn French Quick, Free Spanish essentials
6th Form – UCAS, UCAS Track, AA theory Test
Art – color effects,  How to draw (free lessons), Camera Studio+, Photosynth, Splice – Video Editor, WaterMyPhoto
Maths – iMathematica, Maths Addicted, Maths GCSE exams tutor, Mathscard GCSE, Mental maths lite
· Blogs

Here’s a list of all of our current blogs.  If you are interested in starting your own blog then just see Mr Lindgren.

· Collaborative learning

Check out this video about Google docs on YouTube (The Youtube links have all been generated using which gets rid of all of the content apart from the video):

· The ‘cloud’

The cloud will revolutionise the way we store and retrieve our data.  It is being harnessed by all of the big companies and is the next big step in ICT.  Check out this video about Dropbox on YouTube (Apple tried to by Dropbox for 800 million dollars earlier this year):

Check out this video about iCloud YouTube:

· New network developments

If you need guidance on how to use the new Office 2010 packages have a look at the 2007 video tutorials on as it is very similar
· Moodle

Our moodle is well on the way and is being populated with ICT resources and courses.  It can be found in the ICT & Business shared area.  Mr James is dealing with requests for training and the addition of new courses for other subject areas.

· The new school website

The new school website is well under way and the basic pages will be going live over the next few weeks. Ask Mr Lindgren to see the progress.

· ESafety

Here are a few useful links regarding ESafety that we all need to know and be aware of in this ever changing digital age;
The Yorkshire and Humber Grid For Learning website ESafety section;
Here is a link to a website created by Vodafone. It is full of parent friendly guidance;
I’m sure we’re all aware of the brilliance of Facebook, but it also has many downsides.  Here is their own guide, which sets out how to protect your account, avoid scammers, set advanced security settings, recovering a hacked account and stopping imposters.
Please see Mr Lindgren if you want any advice on how to manage, deactivate or delete your Facebook account.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

Steve jobs was a true game changer, innovator and imagineer.

Life as we know it would not be the same without his brilliant mind and eye for the next big thing.

Have a think. Read about his life. He is a true inspiration to us all. He took ideas and made them real.
Click on the title above to look at the best obituary I have read so far.

Are you the next Steve Jobs? I hope so.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Is this the new iPhone 5?

The launch date is .....Oct 5th (allegedly)
The bigger news is the new IOS5.  I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

A great report on iPads in a US school

Here is the link to a very good, balanced report on how one school is engaging students by giving them all an iPad each. Have a look ..... Click here

Good to see... many future ICT students tonight. We showed the year 5's and 6's the exciting times ahead.  The ICT blog is back!

Sent from my iPad

Friday, 15 July 2011

Handy apps


  • Dragon Dictation - a free app that allows you to read into your apple device and it converts your voice into text.
  • Evernote - A free 'must have' app that allows you to create notes, ideas, snapshots, documents, recordings etc all in one place.  This is really good for making a collection of ideas for lessons/sow/units/topics for staff and students.
  • Documents to go - is a paid app (5.99) that allows you to create, edit and view Word and Excel files. It allows you to view PowerPoint and PDF files too.  This app is not as polished as the Apple versions, but it links directly with Dropbox to allow you to store your files in their cloud.
  • PS Express - A free mini Photoshop app that allows you to put amazing effects on your pictures.  This app does things that would usually take hours to learn how to do in Photoshop.
  • Simple Transfer (lite) - is a free app that allows you to send pictures form your apple device to a PC via any internet connection
  • Photo Exchange - is a free app that allows you to send and receive photos or pictures over a wireless network. Great app.
  • Reel Director - is a paid app (1.19 when I bought it) that allows you to create your own videos from pictures, videos and sounds  - just like an iPad version of Windows Movie Maker. It is very easy to use and is well worth the price.
  • Cooliris - A free picture searching app that allows you to find better looking pictures.
  • Qwiki - is a free app that looks like the future of how we will get our information.  It gathers together information from around the web about any topic you choose and collates it together in an ingenious way.  Have a go, you'll be hooked.
  • ShowMe - is a free, but very basic whiteboard app which allows you to annotate over pictures taken with the iPad and record audio whilst doing so.
  • TED - is a free app that collects together inspirational speakers from around the world.  
  • Translate - is a free translation app by Google.  It seems to work fine, although if I'm not back at work in September, I may have told an Italian that their mother smells of elderberries or something.
  • Sas Flash cards - is a free flash card tool. This looks really good and useful.
  • iThoughtHD - is a paid app (5.99) that allows you to create amazing mind maps.
  • Airboard - is a free and fun app that allows you to collaborate ideas live with  apple devices over a Wi-Fi connection. Great for starters and plenaries.
  • Splashtop - is a paid app (1.49) that allows you to seamlessly connect to your PC remotely via an internet connection. When connected you will see your PC's desktop on your iPad - Windows on an Apple device.
  • Flipboard - is a free app that allows you to collate all of your favourite news feeds and social media feeds. It is like your very own magazine filled with stuff that you like - designed by you.
  • Sky News – is a brilliant free news app especially designed for the iPad.
  • Appbox lite - is a free app that includes currency converters, date calculators, tip calculator, unit conversion, loan calculator and many more.
  • Calculator pro - is a free calculator. The iPad doesn't have one.
  • abcNotes - is a free trial version of a note jotter. It allows you to create virtual sticky notes and put them on the ipad screen in any order you want.  The paid version is cheap and has much more functionality
  • Corkulous - is a paid app (2.99) that is a virtual cork board so you can collect and collate ideas.

Friday, 1 July 2011


Dropbox is a free file saving and sharing utility. There are versions for all ict devices meaning you can access your documents anywhere. Great for lesson plans!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Keynote, Numbers & Pages

Keynote, Numbers & Pages are the Apple versions of presentation, spreadsheet and word processing software. If you have a pc and use Microsoft Powerpoint, Excel and Word the good thing is that they are compatible with each other. This means you can create documents on your Apple device and they will work on your PC too (and vice versa).

The apps are really slick and cost very little (£5.99 each) in comparison to the Microsoft programs.

Here are the links to the official sites


Mobile technology update

I have been really pleased in the response to the iPad and I am really exited to see how we are going to use them. I have had one since February and used it in many lessons and the reaction from the students has been very positive. I have bought a visualiser and a VGA adaptor so it can be displayed on the projectors/monitors.

Here are few ideas as to how mobile technology could help us

* Portability: Instead of the traditional rows of students facing a whiteboard, wireless devices encourages the classroom to be more group orientated, with clusters of students carrying out work and research in small teams
* Less paper: These devices can easily hold a complete set of e-Textbooks. This will cut down on storage, having tatty dog eared books to use and perhaps less printing
* More convenient: Textbooks are heavy to carry, thus tablets will lighten the burden
* Multi-purpose: A tablet machine can hold many useful applications, including e-reader, calculator, organiser and so on.
* Multi-media: Creative applications include painting apps, video editing apps and so on. Thus offering a chance for classes to make exciting new ways of learning

And, lastly, have a look at this article and tell me of anyone else in the school who might be interested in being involved.

Monday, 27 June 2011

New iPads

Keep your eyes peeled for iPads appearing in your lessons.

The new 3G wireless modem

I am trialling the new wireless hand held modem connection today. It is the size of a small mobile phone and up to 5 devices can connect to it at once, sharing out a 3 g connection to the Internet.

This be perfect for field trips where people can post bog entries, with pictures - live!

All I did herE was take a picture and e mail it to my blog address. It then posts the content live onto the blog.

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Worst song ever?

She's hailed as the next best thing but have you heard the song? Rebecca Black's new song "It's friday" has been viewed 29 million+ times. But why? The song is truly awful. This is the power of the Internet.  Anything can be transmitted around the globe almost instantaneously and this has caused two major things to happen to Rebecca Black.  She's now very famous.......but for being rubbish.  Not what she really wanted.

The ICT moral of the story is BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PUT ONLINE! (especially if you're a very bad singer/dancer)

Thursday, 3 March 2011

New iPad 2

Just a quick note to tell you that Apple have released details regarding the new iPad 2.  It hasn't changed that much, although it's thinner, quicker and has cameras.  Click on the title above to be taken to the Apple site.  There is a fantastic section about how the iPad can be used in education.......more on that soon......

Friday, 18 February 2011

A new way of Googling

I've just stumbled on a new way of using google that may suit learners that like their searches to be categorized for them like this,

All you have to do is open Google, put your search criteria in (in my case "apple ipad") and then click on "Wonderwheel" which is on the left hand side of the page.........go on......have a look.
It breaks down your search results into categories that are looked at frequently.  This helps you narrow down your searches in a clear way.

A History of Computers

Ever wondered how modern day computing came about?  Well even if you haven't, this really informative infographic shows you how. Techking have created this and it is well worth 5 minutes of your time.

This is a great website that allows to create really good banners, buttons or text.

See the example below for MAXIMUM effect.

LCD Text Generator at

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Copyright Free Images, Sounds and Videos

As you are all aware, when you take an image, sound or video off the Internet, you must make sure that you have permission to take it.  If you don't, then you may well be breaking copyright law.

Here's a helpful list of sites that allow you to take their copyright free files;




Withernsea High School is not responsible for the content of external websites.  Special care has been taken to ensure that inappropriate content is restricted.  However, if you see anything inappropriate, contact any member of the ICT staff.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Did you know that the UK is a world leader in special effects? But for how long?

Well did you?  The UK is in fact THE major player in special effects for movies and games. 

Films like Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows had all of its special effects made in the UK.  The latest Grand Theft Auto, amongst many other brilliant games, was made in the UK.

There is a problem though.  Many schools aren't providing a curriculum that teaches the skills needed to keep the UK at the top.  At Withernsea High School we have integrated units within the OCR nationals that allow you to learn how to create graphics, animations, sounds and videos.  So keep up the good work and you may well get a job at the top of the special effects tree.

Click on the title to see an interesting video about this problem.

Friday, 4 February 2011

iPhone, iPod touch and iPad apps

In ICT we are trying to promote the use of mobile devices around the school.  There are thousands upon thousands of mobile applications to download and use to make your learning fun and interesting.

The website is a brilliant resource for Apple apps which categorizes all of the latest and best apps around.  Loads are free too! Click on the picture above to go to the site.

This site is a must for us at Withernsea High.  It's full of amazing help that has allowed us, and you, to achieve in ICT.

Just have a look at the video tutorials section to see how useful it can be.

We have a three year subscription to the site and many of the resources are password protected - so if you need access to them, just let one of the ICT staff know and they'll sort it for you.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Hi and welcome to new the Withernsea high school blog.

Over the next few weeks we will be telling you all sorts of news from the exciting world of ICT.  We will also be offering advice on how to pass your coursework, reviewing the latest ICT developments and make you aware of ICT news events.

Keep checking back to see what we're talking about.