Saturday, 28 May 2016

Awesome ideas from #EducampTheTron

Today I joined a bunch of teachers at EducampTheTron.  If you're not familiar with educamps, you can find more info here.

I've been working my way through some of the slides from the SmackDown, (a SmackDown involves people sharing ideas and tools with each other in a short amount of time).  First up, I had a play with a couple of resources Dave Winter suggested.  There was Story Builder, a tool I've played with before but now I have a creative writing group, the Ninja Unicorns in Uniforms, and I think they would have a blast with it.  Here's my quick test.  

I also had a look at Background Burner, which is an online tool that removes backgrounds from images in seconds.  I used a photo without a cluttered background for my test:

Then I transported my Book Fridge to Egypt, using their stock photos.

I'm not sure what I might need this for at the moment, but it will probably percolate in my brain and I'll wake up at 2am with a crazy idea!

There was a slide about Creative Commons which had several sites I knew about and one I didn't -  Images are filtered so they are appropriate for school, and when they are downloaded they automatically cite the author and image license terms - awesome!

Moving on, I had a look at Breakout EDU.  Thanks to Kim Tautari-Scott I actually got a chance to play this game today.  It was another idea I'd seen on Twitter, but I couldn't get my head around it until I saw it in action.  I can't say I was very good at it; I imagine I'd be better second time up having got the general gist of it.  It doesn't fit into what I'm doing at the moment so I'll put it aside for now.

Over to a slide about Blendspace.  It is an interesting curation tool that lets you add in images, documents, Youtube clips and quizzes.  It looks great but I have no need for this one yet either.

Alex Le Long provided some great links to genius hour resources - Youtube playlists and a Google Drive folder from the GAFE summit.  I will share these with our Year 5 & 6 teachers as I am sure they will be interested in these.  I also noticed her Slam Poetry playlist and then searched for some done by primary school kids.  

Here is the back story to this - yesterday, Ryan, one of our teachers, came into the library and asked what I thought about students doing slam poetry in our Reading Wonderland.  I said 'awesome, as long as you do it!'.  I had thought about having the students put on short plays in there, because the tiered seating makes it perfect for performances.  But it would have taken a lot of organisation.  So, I'm thrilled that Ryan's going to get that going and now I can suggest some great YouTube clips.  Perhaps my writing group will be interested in trying out writing slam poetry.  Actually, I've just gone back into Blendspace and downloaded a couple of lessons on slam poetry shared by teachers on there.  Some of it is on performance, which I can share with Ryan, and the rest is about how to write them.  Ooh, lots of great things for the Ninja Unicorns in Uniforms on Tuesday!

And...this is how you lose hours online!  It's way past my bedtime and my laptop's battery is dying, which is a sign I should wrap this up.  If you get a chance to attend an educamp I would highly recommend them.  They are free and full of really interesting people and can lead you on new adventures!


  1. Great to hear that you found so much to inspire you, Michelle. Sounds like you have some great ideas for the classroom.

  2. Thanks Anne. As usual there was so much to learn, although for me the ideas are for the library :)

  3. I've just been teaching various classes about how to use Creative Commons Search to find images and how to give attribution - and now I know about photosfor Love it! Thanks for sharing Michelle.

  4. I love that the attribution is done automatically - these things need to be as easy as possible to do so nobody has any excuse not to do them!