Global Messenger 12

This term’s Global Messenger is based on the theme of Earth Hour (29/3/8) and Earth Day (22/4/8) . Did you know that an average person uses 57 acres of natural resources per year, but the Earth’s biological capacity is only 41 acres per person.

Multimedia Resources
All the videos below can also be saved as file downloads from communICTy videos.

Download Title
Earth Hour – Turn your lights off for 1 hour on 29/3/8
global warming ad1 – So what if the affects of global warming will be irreversable in 30 years
global warming ad2 – What is the biggest threat we face in the world today
Global Wombat, All is One – Everything you need to know about how to get along on earth for the next million years.

Going Green.ppt – A presentation on green statistics and how to do your bit to save the planet.
[slideshare id=149923&doc=going-green-1193737361217716-3&w=425]

Notre Dame Sites
Going Green – an elanguages project with links to resources, forums and a poster activity.
ND Sheffield Environmental Site – Live webcams and weather station data

Global Footprint Quiz
Footprint quiz global – You can select any country in the world
Footprint quiz USA – A younger child version, more USA based

Green Online Games
Energy Hogs
Science Museum Games

Other Useful Sites
10 facts about renewable energy
Do the green thing resources on energy, climate and waste
GreenPeace EfficienCity

Oxfam, Climate Change Resources
Science Museum Energy Site
Solar Power Facts

Global Dates
29/03/08 – Earth Hour. People and organisations around the world are going to switch off their lights at 8pm local time. A great activity for your students to try at home. Also see video
22/04/08 – Earth Day. Some good teaching resources and Earth Day TV

Computer Games in Education

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I’m starting to gather resources for students to create their own computer games.  So far the most popular one I’ve found is Scratch.  I’ve also found some teaching resources to go with it.

I’ve made a wiki page to gather information, links and teaching resources.  If anyone wishes to add some ideas, either post a comment below or request to join

CommunICTy eNewsletter 3

Just in case you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas, here is the next edition of my ICT enewsletter. It was great to meet lots of you at ICTnet East and at BETT. To view this newsletter as a blog post click here.

Flashmeeting Video Conference 31/1
As a follow up from ICTnet East, I promised to organise a flashmeeting to demonstrate how it works and give ICT practitioners a chance to share some ideas. It will take place on Thursday 31st Jan from 20:00 – 21:00. Anyone is welcome to participate, but places are limited to 25. For more info click here.
Resources Update
7.1 MyTree – This SEAL project on creating a powerpoint presentation about describing your personality has proved really popular. We’ve now made a short video to explain the project in more detail.

8.3 Searching the Web – This project uses the contrasting themes of life and safaris in Malawi as its focus. There is an assessment task at the end in which students review two contrasting websites. I’ve also added some short films about Malawi.

9.4 Digital News – This project enables students to plan a storyboard in powerpoint and then save the slides as .jpgs and import them into movie maker. I’ve added some examples videos. I’ve also made simple life cycle and gantt diagram for them to do plan the whole project.

To visit our entire KS3 ICT SoW, some KS4 resources and lots more, visit

Useful Sites
Online stopwatch – a flash based countdown timer that can be used online or downloaded. – a visual search engine that shows thumbnails of websites as search results.
Etwinning – Help on how to set up a virtual link with another school, or contact the eTwinning Ambassadors for some free advice
Exploratree – Futurelab’s new thinking guides website.
Bridgebuilder 2000 – Free download simulation software. An excellent cover lesson.
QCA, new KS3 ICT PoS – Explains the revised curriculum in terms of concepts, processes, content and attainment targets. Useful definitions of terms.
Digital Video CPD
The Machine is Us/ing Us – This video explains web2.0 is revolutionising the Internet
Shift Happens – How the evolution of computing is influencing our own evolution (or right click here to save).
Do schools kill creativity – Sir Ken Robinson makes a profound and entertaining case for an education system that promotes creativity.

In the Pipe Line
Assessment for Learning resources for KS3 ICT including pupil tracking using Excel markbooks.
Digital Film Review unitRevising unit to enable students to create and analyse film review data in database, then create audio film reviews using audacity.
Internet Safety resources being developed by Pip Cartwright to teach the issues including digital videos

Just for Fun
Zombies in Plain English
– Watch your back, Zombies can appear where you least expect them!

Give PowerPoint the PUSH!

For my Lead Practitioner Seminar I wanted to demonstrate how the internet is changing and consequently the ways that we communicate with each other. In order to ‘walk the talk’ I challenged myself to give a 45 minute presentation without a single powerpoint slide! Instead I explained my ideas by using a wide variety of different web2.0 tools.

The main idea I was trying to explain was that the way we accessed information when we were teenagers was very different to today. If you asked a class of students in the 1980’s who was at number 1, nearly everyone could tell you. If you ask the same question today, only a minority of children will be able to give you the answer. Instead of using push media such as TV and Radio for entertainment, they use the internet as a pull medium. In this way they reach out to things that interest them and personalise their learning.

I showed how the following tools can be used to pull information into the classroom:
Survey Monkey – for creating online surveys and generating real data – for creating mindmaps and sharing ideas
Edublogs – for enabling students to share moderated comments
VoiceThread – for sharing images and discussing what they show
FlashMeeting – for basic video conferencing

The delegates to the conference responded really well to this more dynamic way to learn. Are you ready for the challenge to give PowerPoint the push? Visit .

Global Messenger 11

My Resources Update
[slideshare id=149923&doc=going-green-1193737361217716-3&w=425]
Going Green.ppt is a presentation I’ve made with some useful global statistics and ways for students to act for change. Good as an assembly and/or wall display.
My School Life is a set of lesson plans for students to make a presentation about their emotions in different school situations. It has a series of blog posts that students can contribute moderated comments to. So far children in the UK, USA, India and Serbia have taken part.

Oxfam Website Relaunched
The new Oxfam Education website is here! With a fresh new look and new search options, it’s now even easier to find what you need to take a global approach across the curriculum.
Oxfam Education offers a huge range of free teaching ideas, lesson plans and online resources, including all of your favourite Cool Planet resources – plus a funky new look for our children’s website. It’s the essential destination for Global Citizenship teaching!

School Partnership Toolkits
Oxfam’s Building Successful School Partnerships helps you build equal, effective partnerships that have real educational value.
New eTwinning Handbook a great way to learn how to get started in an eTwinning project and to find out about some of the top projects from the 2005-2006 school year.
Partners in Learning draws on the practise of schools around the world and Development Education Centres in the UK . With an emphasis on global citizenship, it answers the big questions and practical issues for any school considering or already involved in a sustainable learning partnership.

VSO Global Educators’ Register
VSO’s Global Educators Register has over 156 people trained to support teachers in embedding a global dimension in the curriculum. All Educators are VSO returned volunteers, have lived in a developing country for two years, received full training in Global Education activities, and have knowledge of a range of resources. This is a free resource, which can help a partnership develop or make the most of an existing one.

Teaching Resources
Save the Children’s Welcome to My World pack explores the lives of children from Peru, India, Ethiopia and Vietnam. Real life stories are told through four short films and are used as the basis for activities for Key Stage 2 geography and citizenship.

04/12/07 -The East of England Development Education Network are holding a FREE one-day event in Cambridge for teachers, advisers, ITE tutors, NGO workers and all global educators. To get informed of and inspired by the global dimension work happening across the region and to get involved in the plans for the next five years! For more info email
12/11/07-British Council National Conference, Involvement for All will give you the opportunity to share best practice and investigate new ways to bring a global dimension to the classroom.

Global Dates
12/11/07 International Education Week
01/12/07 World Aids Day
27/01/08 World Holocaust Day
01/03/08 World Book Day
20/03/08 Earth Day
22/03/08 World Water Day

School Life Blogs

I’m always on the look out for ways to bring more relevant themes into ICT. I’m also keen to bridge the gap between the ways students use computers in school and at home.

A project that my school is doing on SEAL (social, emotional aspects of learning) provided the ideal opportunity to update our first unit in Year 7. They used to create presentations about their family and hobbies, but this was rather dull and the content of what the students produced did not teach them anything new. Instead we used an emotions tree diagram with people showing a variety of different emotions and asked the students to create presentations showing which five characters best summed up their own personality.

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I needed to find a way to enable my pupils to share their ideas and use the best language to describe their emotions. The solution came in the form of This free, educational blog site allowed me to quickly put up an idea on the web and then invite my students to contribute comments (see examples). This is a safe and easy way to use web2.0 as there is no need to generate accounts and the comments are moderated by the teacher before they go live on the Internet.

To add a global dimension to our research, I created a project page on This DfES funded website enables teachers around the world to link up and collaborate ideas and resources. I soon had a response from Apeejay School in New Delhi. You can imagine the cries of excitement when my students were reading their comments and found phrases written by Nikita, Dhruv, Eashan and their classmates in India! They were also surprised to find out how similar they felt about school life in both countries.

Here are some examples of what the students wrote to describe the person who is scared to climb higher up the tree:
I feel like this person when I am in a class that I am not so good at, so I must cling on to hope that I will still get a good result! Krissi, UK
I feel like this image when I am feeling low, because then I feel helpless and alone in this world. Kavisha, India

Here are some examples of what the students wrote to describe the person at the top of the tree:
I feel like this person when I do well at lessons and get it right because I have tried really hard. Zak, UK
I feel like this person when I’ve overcome all the obstacles in my work and I feel on the top of the world. Ujval, India

There has been a marked difference in the engagement of my students in creating presentations about their emotions towards school life rather than their families and hobbies. I have also been surprised at how personalised their phrases are. I have realised that SEAL is an interesting theme to explore with my students. It also teaches them valuable lessons about positive attitudes towards learning and the need to understand themselves better.

Often in ICT, we concentrate more on how to create a product rather than the message that it is trying to communicate. However, I am convinced that allowing students appropriate time to generate quality content on a theme that is relevant to their own lives leads them into producing a better end product and consequently better progress.

Click here to view the lesson plans.

communICTy eNewsletter 2

Resources Update
MyTree – I’ve made this unit to replace the About Me powerpoint project. The students are given a diagram of different emotions and they write phrases to descrbe how they feel in different school situations. They then share their ideas by contributing comments to a series of blog posts. Finally they create a powerpoint presentation about the different aspects of their personality (example).

9.2 Online Survey – This unit enables students to compare the lives of young people in the UK and USA. We are hoping to involve students in other countries too this year for a global survey. Students then analyse the data using pivot charts and write a report to explain what the data proves.

MyMoney – This unit enables students to research real current accounts for teenagers and do some market research into how they save and what they spend their money on. They create a series of products including a billboard advert, leaflet and an audio advert. This unit is currently under construction.

To visit our entire KS3 ICT SoW, some KS4 resources and lots more, visit

Training Videos
I’ve collected a number of useful videos from the CommonCraft Show on themes such as:
Social Bookmarking, What’s a wiki and RSS. I’ve also started creating my own short videos on various aspects of how to teach ICT. To view my first attempt go to starting an ICT lesson.

I’m organising a SSAT Seminar with Ian Noble on practical uses of teaching ICT with new technologies including web2.0 and VLEs. The event is at the Eastern Leadership Centre in Cambridge on 15th November. For more info and how to book click here.

Websites to check out
MindMaps, FreeMind and are three excellent examples of online planning and brainstorming tools. I have seen several schools using them very effectively to plan DiDA projects.

What’s HappeNing

If you think that social network sites such as My Space and Bebo are just for teenagers and pop groups, then think again.

It is now possible to set up a social network of your own and customise it for a group of people with the same interests as you. provides a free service with similar features to My Space such as a blog tool and discussion forums as well as the ability to upload and/or embed images, audio and video. You can also communicate with other members of the network via email.

With a traditional blog, you put up your ideas in isolation and hope that other people will find them. With Ning, you are able to bring your ideas and questions to an existing group of people. This process of firing ideas off other people enables the content of the site to grow organically. Consequently, it becomes possible to show how your ideas form part of a wider context.

Ning also extends the concept of social bookmarking tools such as By clicking on a member’s avatar you can view not only their contributions on this network, but also what other networks they belong to and who all their ‘friends’ are. This more social form of tagging enables you to literally put a face to an idea.

Rss brings the site to life as you are able to keep up with new additions as they are added. As a result you sense that the contributions become more of a dialogue than a list of seperate ideas.

Networks such as classroom2.0 are excellent for finding out about new teaching tools and resources. However, they also enable you to communicate with teachers who are actually trying them out.

Some teachers are even considering using a closed Ning network as a form of VLE to enable groups of students to access activities and learn how to create their own virtual space in a safe and responsible way.

It is tools like Ning that are changing the internet from an artificial environment of ideas, into a space to meet and share ideas with real people.

Developing a Global Dimension in Your Curriculum

Why teach global issues?
Teaching the National Curriculum is a challenge in itself. So is the idea of enhancing the curriculum with a global dimension yet thing to squeeze in, or could it be the solution to bringing the existing curriculum more to life? Watch the r u global presentation for more information.

link to global wombat flash video

How to teach global issues
According to the DfES’ Developing a global dimension in the school curriculum all subjects can explore global issues. How can this vision be made a reality?

Pratical Examples
Global Village – If we shrank the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, what would it be like?
R U Global? – Answer the quiz to find out if you are a global citizen. What are the most important global issues and why?
The Banana Game – To introduce the banana chain. What happens to a banana before it meets the consumer and how the profits are divided
Rich/Poor – How do these statements about poverty make you feel? What do they make you think? What do they make you want to ask?
Global Dimension in ICT – Specific examples of how to put a global dimension into ICT.

Multimedia Resources
conflict.ppt – statistics on conflict
Peace.ppt – Quotes about peace
View from Space.ppt Quotes from astronauts after viewing the Earth from Space
Global Wombat flash video – How to get along on Earth for the next million years!
Peace One Day.wmv – One Man’s attempt for a global ceasefire day
Climate Challenge – How can we reduce global warming?

useful sites
Global Messenger – My website on with free downloadable resources
Global Gateway – Etwinning portal
British Council International School Award – A framework for global education in your school
Global Dimension – Links to the best global education resources
Oxfam Cool Planet – Excellent online resources based Oxfam’s work
UN Cyberschool bus – Great for UN MDGs and in lots of languages
Peace One Day – How to mark the International Day of Peace 21/9
Climate Challenge – Pratical ways to reduce global warming
BBC Newsround – Best site for internation current affairs in child speak
My global del.ici.ous tags – To see all my favourite global links

Additional Reading
Developing a global dimension in the school curriculum, DfES
Futures – Meeting the challenge, QCA
Education for Global Citizenship: A Guide for Schools, Oxfam

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