Tuesday, 30 September 2008


X-Raye is a nice example of a problem-solving/strategy game. Minclip has a number of this type of game that require strategic thinking and planning as well as keyboard and mouse dexterity.

Whilst it's true that some of the games are of the 'shoot 'em up' variety, there's a lot more to Miniclip than that.

Games at Miniclip.com - XRaye

Guide Raye through all 14 levels.

Play this free game now!!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

At A Loose End?

The EBD's decision to close schools today in the wake of Typhoon Hagupit means that some students may be at a loose end! Not so the teachers who are in school working hard!

For those that would like some ICT related 'stuff' to do today, here are a few ideas for a rainy day.

Brainormous has some great Numeracy related games in the free demo section. Try blasting through some subtraction problems. Click here to visit the site.

Another really useful site for a range of abilities within Numeracy is Super Maths World, which uses gaming type scenarios to teach subjects such as addition and subtraction of decimals. Click here to visit the site.

Younger students may like to visit Help Kidz Learn which has lots of fun games and activities, including T-Tex Build Up and Knock Down! Click here to visit the site.

Another old favourite worth a visit is Samarost. P5 spent some time looking at this stunning problem solving game last year and loved it. Click here to visit the site.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Wish You Were There?

Another important event following on from Shanghai Learning 2.0 is the Scottish Learning Festival which has an extremely stimulating and thought provoking series of seminars. Hopefully, some of the presentations will be available online for those that are interested.

Through the work of Ewan McIntosh, Derek Robertson and their colleagues Scotland are leading the way in innovative uses of technology within the curriculum. Any conference that has a seminar list including 'Using the Sony PSP as a Learning Tool in the Primary Classroom' and 'Please Miss, My Nintendog Needs Fed' is certainly worth taking note of.

As I've mentioned on a number of occasions, Games Based Learning is an integral part of the ICT curriculum here at Kellett and we are always looking for interesting and innovative ways to expand our provision. Hopefully we can learn from the expertise the Learning and Teaching Scotland has put together, a case study of which appeared in the TES recently.

Monday, 22 September 2008


It's hard to believe that Microsoft PowerPoint is 21 years old now! During my lengthy time in education I've seen some interesting PowerPoints, but I've also seen some awful ones, many of them delivered by adults! The desire to include lots of brightly coloured backgrounds and animated text is not just limited to students.

Whilst it's true that PowerPoint is a useful communication tool, it's not exactly cutting edge and needs to be used carefully within the classroom. Is it the right tool for the job? Is there something that might work better or be more appropriate, should we be using Slideshare to enable us to reach a wider audience, or Google Docs to allow collaborative work etc? Is PhotoStory a viable alternative, or even Movie Maker, or Animoto, or one of a range of other Web 2.0 type tools?

If we decide it is the right tool, how can we ensure we use it to achieve our objectives? Year 7 are tackling these issues as they look at preparing to give a presentation to their peers about themselves.
There are lots of tasks to carry out surrounding collection of resources before they think about creating their PowerPoint, do they need photos scanned, will they use sound, where can they source digital images?

Examples of poor design have already been looked at and students have been able to identify aspects of poorly made slideshows. This will hopefully allow them to avoid making mistakes when they give their presentation.

Giving the presentation is a different matter of course. This relies on speaking skills and presentational style. It's imprtant to remember that the slideshow is merely an aid to your presentation, not the actual presentation itself.

For those of you that need a little tech help with the software, here are a few suggestions;

Useful short tutorials… ignore the ones that talk about inserting clip art!!


Some good advice for students on how to create interesting presentations


Easy to follow basic tutorials


Slideshow Tutorial from Microsoft – too long to find out the answers, maybe, but the template creation video may be helpful to you.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Shanghai Jealousy!

I have to admit to more than a twinge of jealousy towards those HK schools that set off for Shanghai earlier this week for the 2nd Shanghai Learning 2.0 Conference. This new event was a huge success last year attracting an impressive list of speakers and attendees.

I'll be sure to be paying attention to the Conference Ning to keep up with developments and listen to speakers such as David Warlick.

Good luck to all present. Maybe I'll make it next year!

Fantasy Football League

After the success of last year's staff fantasy football league, won (very luckily!!) by Mr Lovell, we have now started a league for all of the school. Already we have over 40 players in the Kellett Students league (including some teachers) all ready for the launch on Saturday 20th September.

If you would like to join the league please let me know (e-mail or pop into the ICT suite) and I'll send you an invitation. The competition is free to enter, but make sure your team is ready to go by Saturday or you'll be behind from the start!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The Gender Divide Hits Back

In the past we've discussed whether there's a gender divide in ICT. Are boys really more interested in computers than girls? With the new wave of games being produced by software companies that are marketed directly to young females I'd assumed that it was a pretty level playing field between boys and girls.

However I was a little surprised to receive my list of students who have signed up for Computer Club this term. They are nearly all boys! When you consider that some of the best work in Computer Club last year was created by girls this is a great shame and will cause us problems when we do tackle some of the digital video work we've got planned for later in the year. It could be back to the days of Shakespeare with boys having to take on the role of the lead female!

Maybe we should consider a project started some years ago in the UK called Computer Club For Girls (pictured). This DCSF funded project is now well established and has been a great success, as can be seen by a number of positive case studies. With ICT being an essential part of the career path of all of our students and the huge links with creativity across the curriculum it's vital that we work to address any divide that might exist.

Any thoughts and opinions gratefully received.... especially from female students!!!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

E-Safety Links

All Key Stage Two classes are now looking at aspects of E-Safety. The older students have been looking at chat rooms and how to avoid problems when using them.

Other year groups are looking at websites that help them to remember safe conduct. Here are a few of the links.

Younger students have also been watching episodes of Hector's World to help them make the right decisions when using computers.

Friday, 5 September 2008

A Message for the new academic year

Most schools always start the Autumn term with some kind of meeting to herald the new academic year, setting the goals and expectations. A sort of high school pep rally.

The Dallas Independent School District is no different except their pre-term meet involved all their schools and employees, some 17,000 adults. Their keynote speaker was a little different though, P5 student Dalton Sherman.

Dalton's words are a timely reminder....

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Flip Video

One of our new Flip video cameras was used for the first time yesterday as the Year 7s spent a day at Treasure Island on Lantau. These cameras are so easy to use and downloading 25 separate video clips took around two minutes... so easy.

As can be seen from the picture, we're not the only ones who have them!!

Monday, 1 September 2008


Welcome back to the new school year!

As usual, all classes begin the new year with a look at aspects of E-Safety. We will look at the new Kellett Acceptable User Policy which all students and parents are required to sign. Copies can be found in your school diary - try to read it as soon as possible and explain what it means to your parents!

Students in P5 and P6 will be looking at chatrooms during their lessons and will be taught the guidelines for using these safely. A good starting point for this type of work is the website Chatdanger, which can be viewed here.