Posted by: Bill Lord | September 16, 2010

Digital Media Conference

Today I am delivering a keynote at the Lincolnshire Digital Media Conference and promised the delegates that I would blog about what I showed them today.

Digital Mapping
Google maps allows the user to put placemarks on specific places on a map. I made a google map which was linked to Streetview and used the information already posted for the hotel. This was not a difficult thing to do but these help pages will help greatly.

These two blogs have examples of how they can be used in maths but there is also great potential for use in other areas:

Tom Barrett
Jan Webb

Video clips
In the keynote I used some videos to warm the audience up – one was the Extreme Shepherding video to underline my points about giving children a sense of playfulness in the curriculum.

Continuing the Mona Lisa theme I used the wonderful film (suggested by @dannynic) of the Mythbusters painting the lady using a massive paintballing gun)

The other one was the clip of Stephen Heppell, one of my modern heroes,  reflecting on schools today.

I talked about the negative impact of the rollercoaster of expectation and opportunity for children in schools where there is a wide range of use of ICT. The blog post deals with some of the ways in which schools can support members of staff who are not using ICT very much at all or are lacking confidence to develop their practice.

ICT mentors
The post on using ICT mentors may also be useful (including some very helpful comments from teachers citing their experiences with the same approach)

I quickly referred to the work of Mishra and Koehler in developed Lee Shulman’s PCK (pedagogical content knowledge) work to include the use of technology. This page gives great detail into the vision behind.

Unfortunately I cannot display the videos of children working on the web but much of the work is taken from the UKLA publication ‘I know what to write now!’ Engaging Boys (and Girls) through a Multimodal Approach) which is available from UKLA or Amazon

I referred to the use of Web 2.0 applications – Terry Freedman’s wonderful FREE ebook is definitely worth a read The Amazing Web 2.0 projects book.  I would also recommend Mitch Squires’ list of Web 2.0 applications and will add to this list after the presentation.

I talked about the value of picture books.
The books focused upon were:
Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (This is going to be released as a film directed by Martin Scorcese in 2011 starring Jude Law, Emily Mortimer and a host of other major stars.)

Once upon an ordinary school day

Once upon an Ordinary Day by Colin McNaughton & Satoshi Kitamura. This book sums up my beliefs about primary education and how I want the school I eventually join as Head teacher to approach teaching. (Readers may recognise Kitamura’s illustrative style from books such as Angry Arthur and Millie’s Marvellous Hat

“And as the music grew and swooped and danced and dived once more the ordinary boy began to write. He used words he didn’t fully understand and his story made no sense but it didn’t matter and he didn’t care. And he wrote as fast as he could but it would never be fast enough – there was just too much to say. It was as if a dam had burst in his heads and words just came flooding out…”

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Arrival

Tan’s fantasy tale of immigration has many images which will remind the adult reader of the arrival of migrants to 1930’s New York. Indeed there are many links which could be made to When Jessie travelled across the Sea. The story revolves around the central character, a father and husband, who travels ahead of his family to set up home and raise the finances to create a new life for them all in the new country. Surrounded by fantastic animals and scene he takes the reader through the bewilderment and fear felt by many migrants. Again, like so many Shaun Tan books the reader could spend a significant amount of time reader the end papers before entering the book.

The Flower by John Light I have referred to this book previously in this blog suggesting links with the Delivery and Varmints. It tells the story of one person going against the system to produce

The Flower by John Light

something of beauty. In this story Brigg is not immediately aware of what he is dealing with but the messages of acting on your instincts and not giving into apathy are strong no matter what the age of the reader. Here is an extract of my blog on Books into Films

In terms of use in the classroom my personal recommendation would be two lower profile releases from this year both of which are linked to high quality picture books.
Helen Ward’s book ‘Varmints’
is a beautiful but dark story of a creature’s fight against a dull and industrial world. In this world all traces of greenery and wilderness are eradicated and we discover our main character (a cute animal) who strives to save the last relics of the beautiful area and plant the seeds of change before it’s too late. The book contains strong environmental messages without lecturing and is thought provoking for young children. It was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway award in 2009 with a judgement that it is a ‘A breathtaking and magical piece of work, that is wholly original and allows your imagination space to work.  Craste (the illustrator) makes outstanding use of light to haunting and often poignant effect.’ The book was brilliantly translated into film by Studio AKA earlier this year and is available for download from iTunes or from the Studio’s website. There are links which could be made in Key Stage One to the wonderful book The Flower by John Light and moving up into Key Stage 2 Shaun Tan’s fantasy The Arrival could enable pupils to study alternative worlds or settings. The theme of one individual fighting against environmental decay could be explored with the thought provoking Till Nowak short animation The Delivery which has already been used in Upper Key Stage 2 classes.

FArTHER – Grahame Baker Smith (also see Leon and the Place Between by the same author)

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs (the book upon which the animated film was based)

The Island A very powerful book which should only be used with older Primary children and in the right circumstances. I find the book always gives the children something different to pull out with superb use of illustrations to strengthen the story

How dogs really work! & How cats really work! by Alan Snow These two books with cross-section illustrations reveal the astonishing truth about dogs and cats. Dressed up as a hilarious spoof pet-owner manual is similar to Until I met Dudley by Roger McGough and wonderful individual readers or for use with a whole class.

The Tin Forest by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson From the author of Varmints another book which will provoke thought and discussion

The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris – Jackie is one of my favourite illustrators and I  had to get this book when it was released only two weeks ago!!   It is magically illustrated with a deeply spiritual story. Buy it!

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. From the author of Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus (and other pigeon stories) This book tells the story of a trip to the laundromat and the loss of a favourite cuddly toy. You can also find the actual laundromat and streets featured in this book, made up of photographs with illustrations superimposed, using Google Streetview.

Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers All schools should have at least one Jeffers book. This is a favourite as it can be accompanied by the animated film (narrated by Jim Broadbent) but could be used as a prelude to The Way Back Home

Coraline – Neil Gaiman A strange and, at times, a scary book but like so many of Gaiman’s one which needs to be read by children. (Also see The Wolves in the Walls and The Graveyard Book)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney – the story of a wise vcracking 6th grade boy told in cartoon format. This has also just been released as a feature film.

Once – Morris Gleitzman
This book and the two sequels are inspired by members of Gleitzman’s extended Jewish family who lived in Krakow in Poland. Whilst it is a fictional account of the life of a young Jewish boy, Felix,  after his parents place him in an orphanage as a safe haven during the war.  The book is told in first person narration by Felix as he decides to run away to find them and so begins the trilogy. On the journey he finds Zelda (a 6-year-old girl) who takes under his wing and who he has to placate with stories on regular occasions during their ordeals. A book which allows you to step into the mind of a young boy in perilous circumstances.

Question and answer session with Morris Gleitzman on the BBC Newsround site

Hear the author read the first chapter

Then – Morris Gleitzman
In this sequel to Once, Felix finds refuge for a time with  Zelda. Grumpy turnip-digging Gernia takes them in to her farm as nephew and niece, bleaching their hair and re-naming them as non-Jewish-sounding Wilhelm and Violetta.

Hear the author read the first chapter

Now – Morris Gleitzman
Gleitzman brought the story to the present day by visiting the Felix’s grand-daughter, Zelda, and her life. This time Gleitzman based his story during the appalling bushfires of February 2009 when several townships near Melbourne were totally destroyed by fire. Although not set in the Second World War it would be wrong not to complete the trilogy and experience more of Gleitzman’s powerful writing.

Hear Anne-Marie Fahey read the first chapter
Read the first chapter

Morris Gleitzman cites a range of texts as the inspiration and texts he read on his journey to writing this trilogy. (These are of interest to the teachers rather than being intended to read to children)

Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce A wonderfully funny yet poignant tale by Boyce. It tells the story of a small Welsh village which is transformed by the introduction of art into its life. Inspired by the storage of the artwork from London’s national gallery inside a Welsh mountain during the Second World War this is a hard to put down book.

Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman: The oldest of the books in the list this book is told entirely in verse. It covers suspicion, bullying, friendship, jealousy and growing up. It provoked a huge amount of discussion, engagement, laughter and even tears with a class of Year 5 I recently taught.

Graphic Novels
Silverfin The graphic Novel by Charlie Higson and Kev Walker: The graphic novel version of the first book in the Young Bond series combines Higson’s excellent writing with the illustrations of Kev Walker who has made his name drawing for 2000AD and Warhammer comics. This book is one of a growing number of high quality graphic novel translations of well loved texts – Artemis Fowl, Alex Ryder – and should not be considered purely as a boy friendly text.

Stormbreaker, Skeleton key and Point Blanc by Anthony horowitz and Anthony Johnston. These three graphic novels are derived from the best selling Alex Rider books written by Anthony horowitz. Those who saw the books at the conference today were all highly impressed with them. The original books are fast paced and exciting whilst they have been made even more appealing through the use of full colour manga style art.

Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin Another great adaptation of a highly popular novel. The illustrator has worked for DC comics and creates a very stylish and appealing graphic version of the original.

Howl’s Moving castle – Diana Wynne jones and Hayao Miyazaki

World of Books
I talked about the World of Books google map which show the location of well known books. You can access it here.

Read for joy

You can also locate the read for Joy wiki here.

Finally I talked about the use of Web 2.0

I showed the latest presentation on the work of the Giraffes –

Audioboo is available here.

Twitpic is available here.

Wordle is available hereto create word cloud simply paste the text in

I also extolled the virtues of Voki I have recorded a message using one of the characters to show how easy it is to use.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

At the end of the morning the delegates were shown the amazing Engage me film made by the pupils of Robin Hood Primary in Birmingham.

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