Photosynth describes itself as a powerful set of tools for capturing and viewing the world in 3D. Take a load of photos of a scene, from many different angles and many perspectives. Upload them to the site and it will ‘stitch’ them together to create a 3D visualisation.
The site has some great examples. Check out these ‘Synths’ of Stonehenge and the Sphinx and the detail you can see of the Space Shuttle is amazing. Just viewing these synths makes them useful classroom resources in their own right. Challenging your students to make their own offer great learning opportunities.
Photosynth also allows you to view great panoramas, such as this one of the Grand Canyon. To create your own you need to compose your panorama using the free Image Composite Editor and just upload the finished image to the Photosynth site.
Application name – Photosynth
Free access at - http://photosynth.net
Requirements – You will need a Live ID to upload to the site and have the latest version of Silverlight installed.
If you happen to have a device that supports iOS then download the Microsoft Photosynth App to create some awesome synth images. Moving a person whilst taking the photos creates some great 'arty' effects.
A shift is happening in the classroom. A teacher who isn’t too confident about a new tool calls on one of her class to show her how to do it. Why not? She knows how to help children develop their learning and has some idea that this tool will help engage her pupils in motivating, active learning experiences. She knows that the tools will enrich what is happening in her class. She has the vision and the willingness to give it a try. But she’s stuck. So she learns ALONGSIDE her class. It’s not that she doesn’t know what she is doing, but that she is developing her skills ALONGISDE her class’ learning. This is increasingly becoming a familiar story in schools and I believe it sends out very valuable messages to our children. That we aren’t necessarily an expert in everything. That it’s ok to to ask for help. That it’s ok to keep learning throughout our lives. That experts come in all shapes, sizes, ages. That problem-solving is done calmly and in co-operation with others. That when things don’t work right the first time, we don’t give up, we find a way around it.
Teachmeets for teachers are happening all over the country and a very special one is happening in Blackpool on June 16th. This time the children are going to be showing groups of other children and their teachers how they’ve been using technology to help their learning. Find out more about this amazing Kidsmeet here. Watch out for some amazing children sharing their learning with others and some amazing teachers who have been partners in learning with their classes.
So what have YOU learnt from the children you teach this week? Are you open to learning from your class? Do your class expect you to be the font of all knowledge, source of all wisdom? Or are they independent and autonomous learners with you as their map-reader, guiding them as they navigate their way through their learning experiences? Do you feel that you would be criticised for not having sufficient knowledge or skills yourself? Or would it make you feel vulnerable to admit to your class that you don’t have all the answers? How do YOU manage this situation in your own classroom?
I can assure you that these days will be fun and will have lots free goodies. The Partners in Learning team will be there , along with the rest of the UK Education Team and we will be demonstrating the wide range of free software and addins that Microsoft offers for FREE that can support learning in your classroom. This will be like our Free stuff from Microsoft Blog series Live !
Demonstrations will include Mouse Mischief, Windows Live Movie Maker, Photosynth, Stamp Add-In for PowerPoint, Office Ribbon Hero 2, Montage, Bing Maps to name just a few.
Two days have been organised to meet the specific and differing needs of Primary and Secondary Schools
So if Are you a teacher, IT coordinator, network manager, advisor or educator working in the primary sector? Then this is the day for you.
If you would like to come along, meet some of the team, see some demonstrations and have the opportunity to ask us questions, you can register via here - https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032487566&Culture=en-GB
We have 120 spaces available, so register today to guarantee yours
So if Are you a teacher,network manager, IT coordinator advisor or educator working in the Secondary sector? Then this is the day for you.
If you would like to come along, meet some of the team, see some demonstrations and have the opportunity to ask us question, you can register via here - https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032487565&Culture=en-GB
Spring is in the air and a conference season is rapidly approaching! One highlight that I’m really looking forward to is the Sunday Times Festival of Education, which will be held at Wellington College in Reading on the 25th and 26th June this year. This year, the festival is being held in partnership with Microsoft and it promises to be even more memorable than last year’s event. There are speakers from a wide range of backgrounds taking part in the event, with much opportunity to have our thinking challenged, our tastebuds tickled and our brains stretched. There’ll be something for everyone and to find out more, book tickets and check out the programme, the website is here. Keep checking the Festival of Education website as there will be more and more information on there in the next few weeks before the event. And if you are using twitter as part of your professional network, follow @educationfest2011 and checkout the hashtag, which is #educationfest2011.
As part of the Partners in Learning commitment to sharing good practice about what is going on in the classroom, we have award-winning teachers Gareth Ritter (@ritzertech), Dan Roberts (@chickensaltash), Mandeep Atwal (@Shoutlearning) talking about how technology has made a difference in their classrooms and Isobel Bryce (@issybryce), head teacher from Saltash.net, will be talking about how it has made a difference in their school. Stuart (@innovativeteach) and I (@innovteach2) will be there too, sharing a range of free tools and talking about the difference that collaboration can make to learning. Come say hi to us on our stand and visit our workshops for inspirational ideas that you can take away and use in your classrooms. Put the date in your diaries and book your ticket for some great value professional development - we’re looking forward to meeting lots of you there!
I had the privilege last week of delivering a keynote to students at Plymouth University at their Onwards and Upwards Conference #onandup. I joined Oliver Quinlan and others in imparting our experiences to the next generation of teachers.
I spoke about Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and although this is something I work on delivering with Partners in Learning, talking about it directly was a different experience for me. I began by discussing my own CPD journey, starting with my work with science in primary schools with bugs and spiders. I illustrated how, as you can imagine, suggesting activities to develop science teaching with tarantulas might not appeal to everybody! ( yes, that is a real tarantula!). I realised it was not the activities I was doing and how I did them, but WHY I did them, the thinking behind their design and the impact they had on learning that was the real value to the professional development of others.
This is one of the fundamental principles of the Partners In Learning programme here in the UK. We encourage educators to be reflective about their practice and to share their thoughts with others through tools such as a Virtual Classroom Tour or Innovids. This encourages teachers to create their own Professional Learning Network / Community (PLN/PLC). Twitter seems the obvious tool to start this, and whilst it is undoubtedly a fantastic tool for CPD, we need to remember that effective CPD has to meet the needs of the individual, and believe it or not, Twitter is not everybody’s social media of choice. In addition there are other just as effective, but different types of CPD sources. Such as your own colleagues, conferences, subject associations, books and the Partners in Learning Network.
The impact of having connections to many different CPD sources and contributing to them was clearly illustrated at the conference. Dan Roberts (@chickensaltash) was known by the majority of the audience, some were even actively involved in projects he was leading. His impact through his PLN is immense, he does this, not spending his life engaged online , he does have to teach after all, but by interacting with the different elements in his PLN. As a result others can have access to one of the most innovative, creative and independent thinkers I know.(Why he hasn’t won a National Teaching Award is beyond belief!), but likewise and importantly, he is also learning from them. This is not just happening locally in Plymouth , but globally. Surely this is a measure of the success of a multi resource approach to creating your PLN. Dan illustrates that ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’ (excuse the chicken pun) does NOT create an effective PLN.
So if you are asking the question , CPD, is it for me ? The answer is yes, and the good news is you have a vast array of resources to choose from to create a network that is personal to you and meets your own professional development needs.
There are many amazing teachers in our schools who make a difference in the lives of the children they teach everyday. There are many amazing teachers who would love to use technology more effectively to help them do this, if only they had someone to give them a few tips or ideas about how to use it. There are many amazing teachers who know they’ve seen someone, somewhere show them how to use something …… but the memory is filed away in their brain and they just can’t seem to quite remember how. So how can we keep learning? Keep being reminded?
There was a documentary on the television at the weekend about the Pitmen Painters. A group of miners in Yorkshire learnt about art appreciation – not by reading lots of books about the art and it’s meaning, but by actually DOING it, by getting “inside the head” of the artist by trying to emulate what they had done. This could equally apply to the teachers who have learnt how to use a technological tool by creating a 2 or 3 minute instructional video – an innovid. There were some lines in Lee Hall’s play, which featured in the documentary that stuck in my head:
“Real art is something that’s shared.”
Just as the miners shared their pictures and learnt from each other, the innovids have been shared on the Innovativeteach YouTube channel. Check out the latest additions below!
“Real art is for everyone.”
So is learning. So is technology. So is learning using technology. What one person has learnt and developed into an innovid is there for everyone else to share and learn from. A constant reminder of those tips and tricks we file away at the back of our minds and a constant source of inspiration.
How to Compress Images using Office 2010
How to compress images using Office 2010 for use on websites or sending by email.
How to Create Screenshots in Office 2010
This video shows how to create and insert screenshots quickly and easily from an application you are working in.
How to Customise Ribbons in Office 2010
This video shows how to create customised tabs and ribbons for your class in Office 2010 - a great way to personalise resources so they are appropriate for the group you are teaching.
How to use shortcuts in Office
This is an introduction to using shortcuts in Office and other Windows applications.
Review Tools For Assessment for Learning
How to use the review tool for self and peer assessment.
Animations in PowerPoint
This video shows how to create animations using PowerPoint.
How to Edit Photos In PowerPoint
This video shows how to use the Format tools in Office 2010 for photo editing within an application.
How to use Mouse Mischief for PowerPoint
This video shows how to use the Mouse Mischief plug-in for PowerPoint to develop interactive presentations.
How to use Plex for PowerPoint
This video shows how to use the Plex add-in for PowerPoint to group slides in a presentation
How to use PowerPoint 2010 to use create Adventure Games
This video shows how adventure games can be created in PowerPoint 2010 to reinforce literacy skills.
There are still more amazing innovids to be seen – short instructional guides prepared by teachers, for teachers. This week’s clips that have been added to the Innovative Teach YouTube channel can all be found by following the links below. Check out the previously published innovids here and here. There are now 80 innovids shared by teachers and we are looking forward to the landmark of our 100th, which will be coming soon!
Community Clips for Explanations
Community Clips and Zoomit
Making Video Tutorials
Deepzoom Resource and VLEs
Conditional Formatting in Excel
Excel as a Diagnostic
Small Game in Small Basic