Posts tagged: Schools

Oct 15 2010

Turning Text Book Into a Multi Media Experience


Books remain the information tool of choice in most schools. The benefits are tried and tested however in the multi-media rich environment in which we now live, work and learn augmenting the written word is key to leveraging 21st Century Learning.

High-quality multi-media educational resources can now be readily found online. Cheap and effective video and audio recording technology provides the means by which educators can create their own learning resources.

Devices such as iPods, smart phones and some handheld games consuls are capable of playing multi-media assets.

By combining such devices with appropriate multi-media learning resources and text books, educators can create an engaging, effective and efficient learning environment exploiting technologies that many young people already have in their possession and confident in their use.

An Example

Dorling Kindersley Space Encyclopedia

This is an excellent example of a well written, superbly illustrated text, serving as a perfect introductory reference for anyone interested in finding out about space.

There are many space related websites with supered video, audio and images available for free download. NASA and the European Space Agency are a couple that were used for this project.

The concept was to find resources that would complement the text and illustrations, and then to use a technology which would trigger the playing of the resources when needed and with minimum intervention by the reader. This aspect is regarded as a key concept, the continuity of the learning experience is very important, stopping to search for a relevant file can be very disruptive to the learning process.



The project uses PlayStation portable running Second Sight application to trigger the playing of multi-media resources. Using the PSP camera to identify black and

white markers called semacodes the application recognises a specific pattern and plays the associated resource. The association between a specific semacode and a particular resource can be defined by the user and is created in a partner application called Content Creation Suite.


Appropriate assets were downloaded from the Web.
If files were not in the appropriate format, MP3 for audio, JPEG for images and MP4 for video, then they were convertedĀ using the free application, Media Coder.
Using Content Creation Suite the various assets were associated with a specific semacode pattern.
The resources and the configuration files were then uploaded to the PSP memory stick from within the Content Creation Suite application.
Semacode patterns in the form of jpegs were printed onto 24mm circular sticky labels using a Brother QL-560 label printer.
The labels were then stuck in the appropriate locations in the text. Care was taken to make sure this was done accurately as the semacodes are very similar.
The text is now available as a truly multi-media experience.

Example of Saturn 5 Page

Aug 03 2010

Flipside game from the Institution of Engineering and Technology

Take a look, it is about combining gears to about movement in the correct direction. It does get a little complicated, I have yet to get to the end of the game. Would this kind of game be useful in the classroom? What do you think? Leave a comment!

Aug 02 2010

Research document, Games bases leaning – Horizon Report

Interesting and informative looking at games based learning:

Apr 18 2010

Self Review Framework

UK schools looking to audit their use of ICT to enhance teaching and learning, improve learning outcomes and to engage students should take a look at the BECTA Self Review Framework at

The is no charge to sign up to the process which is the first good point. The framework is splits the whole school use of ICT into 8 elements. Elements are then split in strands. Schools complete the first stage of the process by making judgments about where its stands on a number of statements. For example “our vision of ICT…” is clearly expressed. There is then a spectrum of responses ranging from “not at all” to “very well”

After completing each element schools are provided with a summative statement about the schools use of ICT and a comparison to similar schools. Providing evidence for judgments is also a key part of the process.

By engaging with the process schools can get recognition for their commitment to ICT and work towards gaining the ICT mark. Schools should take a look at the BECTA Next Generation Learning Charter at

We will return to Self Review Framework in the future including who schools can get help with the process and additional links.

In the meantime this is a short Prezi presentation we put together for marketing SRF at a Headteachers conference enjoy, and please comment, constructive ones work best!

Jan 28 2010

Space and You Presented by Mike Grocott

After the broadcast we would be very grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete a short feedback form, please click here.

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