New Learning

August 25, 2010

Classroom Management Software

Classroom management software allows staff to view the screens of all the computers within a teaching room or library, from a single computer.  This ensures students are not accessing inappropriate websites or going onto applications they shouldn’t behind the teachers back.  Many of the commercial options have trial versions which are available to download.

Different systems have different features, but some common features of these systems include;

–          Staff being able to block or allow internet access for an entire group or individuals (can be used to reward students at the end of a session)

–          Staff being able to restrict access to limited number of websites/applications (ideal for safeguarding issues)

–          Staff and students being able to send files to each other from individual computers.

–          Staff being able to take full control of everyone’s computer which can be used to show a presentation on individual screens rather than having to look at the screen at the front of the class.

Below are links to a number of case studies and testimonials of some of the different solutions;

*The links below are the result of a systematic web search and do not represent recommendations of specific commercial products from myself or the JISC Advance RSC.  If there are any systems you feel I have missed out, and there are case studies available, please use the comments section to let me know.*

King George V College and ‘Swat-It’ (Stop Web Access, Teacher Is Teaching). A system which was developed in house.

Preston College have used Ranger Remote to provide control within a classroom environment and to provide an alternative to an interactive whiteboard

Kings College use NetSupport School to prevent students from using email, browsing the internet and using software they shouldn’t during class.

Blackburn College who have used LanSchool to give the teaching staff control over what is or isn’t blocked and allows students to ask questions in a class without having to put their hand up.
Available via;

MidKent College have used LanSchool to manage the ICT classroom and library

Sandywell college who have used  SynchronEyes to ensure students stay focused

Hamble College (comprehensive school) use AB Tutor Control to provide staff greater control in rooms with poor layouts.

The School of Engineering at Blackpool and Fylde College have used BrowseControl to ensure staff are more focused.

Moor End College use Sanako 500 to increase communication, collaboration and support within the learning environment.


August 20, 2010

My digital pencil case 2.0

Filed under: Learning Technologies,Libraries and Learning Resources — kevhickeyuk @ 11:57 am

For the last couple of years I have been study for a Masters with the Open University.  When I began the course back in 2008 I wrote a blog post in which I listed a number of online resources which I found useful.  I have decided to revist the list and update it.

Evernote In my original list I included Google Notebook which I used to clip and store content from web pages as well as type individual notes.  In 2009 Google announced they would no longer be developing Google Notebook, so I moved over to Evernote.  Evernote allows me to clip web content, save entire web pages, upload and save pdf documents, and other content.  These resources are stored online and can be searched for and retrieved via a web site, a downloadable desktop application or an app for my mobile phone.  What I find particularly useful about Evernote is its ability to search the content of all the resources I have saved including all the text on saved web pages and all the text within the pdf documents I have saved.

Freemind In my original list I included Mindomo, an online mindmapping tool which I used to plan my assignments.  I have gone on to use mindmaps more and more, not just for planning assignments but also for general note taking.  I still use mindomo and I also use Thinking Space for taking mind map notes on my android phone, however the main mindmapping application I now use is freemind, which is free to use and available as part of the fantastic EduApps package of free applications which run directly from a USB stick.  I prefer freemind as I find it so quick to load and easy to use, although some of my collegues prefer XMind which is also part of the EduApps package.

DSpeech For this course I have had to do allot of reading which can take alot of time.  Using DSpeech text to speech programme I have converted text documents to mp3 audio files which I have listened to in the car.   I still read through the text to make sure I have all the important information, but listening to the documents is the equivalent of skim reading a long document.  DSpeech is also available as part of the EduApps package.

July 6, 2010

Pecha Kucha Template

Filed under: Libraries and Learning Resources,Uncategorized — kevhickeyuk @ 11:24 pm

Pecha Kucha is a style of presentation which follows the following rules

  • The presentation includes 20 (powerpoint) slides
  • Each slide is only on screen for 20 seconds
  • Avoid text (the audience won’t have time to read it)
  • Use image, cryptic images can help get your message accross

For a better idea have a look at this example

Later this summer I hope to post some examples of Pecha Kucha which were delivered at the 2010 JISC RSC NW conference

In the mean time, if you are interested in delivering a Pecha Kucha, you might be interested in the template in the link below.

This is a blank powerpoint presentation with 20 slides which will automaticly change every 20 seconds ( created using animations> Advance slide timings) and a timer bar which moves across the bottom of each slide (created using custom animation)

To download the template right click the link below and click ‘save as’

PK Template

June 25, 2010

Bury Workshop

The following video is of a Pecha Kucha presentation I delivered at Bury College about various elearning ideas.

The links below should provide further information on some of the topics covered.

Pecha Kucha
Presentations that consist of twenty slides, which are each on screen for only 20 seconds

Application that can run from a USB stick which is used to capture any onscreen image

Online tool for creating wordclouds

Online tool for creating cartoon strips (No longer free)

Create and publish online audio my making a phone call

Create interactive online posters

Dozens of free applications that can be downloaded and will run from a USB Stick

Free programme that will capture anything that is happening onscreen and create a video from it

Free downloadable application for editing and creating audio files

Free mindmapping software

MUVI Camcorders
Tiny camcorder that can be clipped or attached to almost anything (Accessories may be required)

Educational alternative toy youtube which allows cideos to be downloaded in a wide range of formats

June 14, 2010

Science Games is a new blog that lists online, mobile and console games as well as virtual worlds, which can be used to help learners get to grips with science subjects.  The games have been categorised according to which science they refer to and the suitable age range.  The blog includes photos and videos of the various games and currently includes games for the iPhone, Android phones, the Wii as well as various online games.

The Blog can be accessed from

May 5, 2010

Audacity at Lakes College West Cumbria

Filed under: Learning Technologies,Libraries and Learning Resources,Podcasts — kevhickeyuk @ 11:03 am

Chris Johnson, an eLearning Mentor at Lakes College West Cumbria, discusses how the college has used the free audio editing software Audacity.

Chris explains how he has used this software to provide audio feedback for learners to listen to via their mp3 players or mobile phones.  Chris explains that although you can do allot with audacity, you don’t have to be an expert to use it.

March 31, 2010

eBooks and Library Management systems at Bolton Sixth Form College

Filed under: Libraries and Learning Resources,Podcasts — kevhickeyuk @ 3:11 pm

Mishka Fielding is the Learning Resources Supervisor at Bolton Sixth Form.  In this podcast she discussed how they have made use of ebooks though ebray, and how this has been incorporated into, the library’s information management system.

Bolton Sixth Form was recently named as one of the top 20 FE colleges, and the top Sixth Form College for ebrary usage in terms of number of page views.  Mishka explains how students can create their own ebrary accounts where they can create their own collections of books which they can annotate and save specific chapters.  Mishka points out that using these ebooks, which are cover to cover electronic copies of books ranging from GCSE to Degree level, can save the college money and allow every learner to have personal access to the same book at the same time.

In this podcast Mishka claims the ebrary system give the college access to 80,000 books. This was an error and the correct amount is approximately 3000 however new titles are being added on a regular basis.

January 8, 2010

Free Online Tools at Carlisle College

Filed under: Learning Technologies,Libraries and Learning Resources,Podcasts — kevhickeyuk @ 12:58 pm

If you subscribe to this podcast via iTunes or another podcast directory service, you will have to re-subscribe next month due to a change in our podcast host providers. Further information will be available here and at next month.

Sarah McGrath from Carlisle College discusses how they have used the free online tools Prezi, & Wordle

Sarah McGrath teaches Key Skills within the IT and Business department at Carlisle College. In this podcast she explains the benifits and uses of the free online tools Prezi, Bubbl.ys and Wordle.

Prezi in an online presentation tool, which can be used to create linier presentations, similar to PowerPoint, and non-linier presentations in which the presenter can zoom in and out of a page to display slides of text, images, video and audio. Sarah explains how students have used it to create hidden slides around the word teamwork. is an online mindmapping system which allows learners to easily create, share and collaborate on brain storming mind maps. Sarah has used this with learners to come up with fundraising ideas.

Wordle creates word cloud images from pieces of text where common words appear larger than smaller words. Sarah has used this to quickly analyse feedback from learners.

Sarah goes on to explain that the collaborative features of online tools such as these has led to learners working together between lessons which means projects have a head start before they reach the classroom.

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