This is my second mind map in an attempt to visually display the draft Science Curriculum in England and this time the focus of the Mind Map is Energy. In my previous post on this issue I set out to see how coherently the new curriculum has been written and I suggested that depending on how difficult it would be to mind map the various parts of the curriculum could give an indication of that. I have to say that in this second Mind Map I could find quite a few key ideas that interrelated to other branches quite nicely. However, I felt that I had to separate Conservation of Energy from Dissipation of Energy, even though the new curriculum has them under the same heading (which is fine in the document I think), as I wanted to stress the importance of the Principle of Conservation of Energy. Something I was not too sure about was the inclusion of renewable energy sources and fuel resources under the Conservation and Dissipation section. As a whole I am fairly pleased with this Mind Map and I think the development of this unit is quite coherent. I might have missed something though and I value your comments in that respect.
Tags: Biggerplate, conduction, Conservation, Convection, Dissipation, Education, Efficiency, Electrical, Energy, Fuel, imindmap, learning, Mind Mapping, National Curriculum, New NC, Physics, Radiation, Renewable, resources, Sources, Thermal, ThinkBuzan
Tags: Coherent, Curriculum, Education, KS4, Learners, learning, mind map, Mind Mapping, Science, Working Scientifically
I have been looking at the draft Science Curriculum in England and I will post a series of Mind Maps to show the curriculum visually. I hope this will help people to incorporate the new curriculum (when it becomes live) in their existing schemes of work in a more coherent way. I believe this exercise will also show how coherent the draft curriculum itself is. In fact, a coherent document will be very easy to mind map and for associations to be made, whereas an incoherent document will be something of a nightmare to process in a mind map, as it will be inconsistent and with topics and ideas that have little relations with each other and don’t lead to a consistent understanding of scientific ideas and processes that build on each other. What is your guess? Coherent or incoherent?
Tags: collaboration, Collaborative, Collaborators, Creative, DropTask, Excel, Innovative, Manage, Projects, Tasks, thinker, Visual
I recently came across this awesome tool – DropTask – that allows you to manage and organise your projects in a very visual and intuitive way and I have to say that I am already falling in love with it. You can create new events in your project, drag them around the project space and even gather them in groups. All this is done using colours to help you visualise and organise your tasks better.
But this is not the end of the story! DropTask is also the ultimate collaborative project management tool and, although it is still in beta and I can see more features coming, it lets you invite your collaborators to join your projects and see at what stage of the project they are. It becomes really easy then to keep track of your team’s performance and manage everyone’s tasks and feedback.
I know people who even take notes in Excel and I find that really strange. This tool is probably not for them, or maybe it is and they don’t realise it, but if you are a visual thinker, this is the best tool for organising your work I have seen in years. Just take a look at the video below and judge for yourself!
Tags: Innovative, Jedi, Kinect, Leap Motion, LeapMotion, star wars, Techonology, X-box
I recently came across Leap Motion and I am getting one!
Technology has moved on in great strides in the last few years and user interface devices are more and more amazing and immersive. This morning, for example, I was playing Star Wars Kinect on the X-box with my boys and you really feel like you are a Jedi fighting real villains, and I have always dreamed of being a Jedi since I was a little boy. Now my children can really play at being Jedi knights in very realistic ways! When they kick, their Jedi avatar kicks their opponent and it all feels and looks so cool.
But as cool and innovative as the Kinect is, I think Leap Motion promises to give an interesting extra dimension to user interfaces. Just check the video and see what I mean. I can see technologies like this leading to stuff like miniature robotic tools inserted in patients and a surgeon controlling the operation by waving their hands and fingers over a Leap Motion kit, or if you need to learn sign language there will be software that gives you feedback when you get things right, or even better that could decode people who use sign language to communicate and write/say what they are signing. Enjoy the video and please leave feedback and share.
Tags: Android, Apple, Innovation, Innovative, iPad, iPhone, smartphone, Tablets, technology
It is undeniable that Apple brought the whole world into the third millenium with a series of innovations that not even visionary film directors like Ridley Scott could have even imagined in a not so distant past when he made Blade Runner. A really creative story that places genetic engineering at the heart of amazing developments that allows to create “replicants” with superhuman powers. I watched the film recently and two things that caught my attention were the time in which it was set, 2019, and the fact that when Harrison Ford is waiting for his noodles he is reading a newspaper. What? A newspaper? In 2019? Yes, we still have newspapers and we might still have them in 2019, but try taking a trip in the London Tube and see how many people read their books, newspapers, or look at their photos on paper! Most likely you will see an array of electronic devices ranging from smartphones, Kindles, iPads and other tablets. So in 2013 we have well surpassed the technology imagined by Scott for 2019, apart for being able to create “replicants” of course
All this was brought to us by Apple and all other attempts to copy Apple’s astounding technology owe the Cupertino team an enormous amount of respect and gratitude, no doubt.
Today, in 2013, only two platforms are seriously competing for the biggest cut of the market “cake”. Apart from Apple and Android, mainly thanks to the beauty and functionality of Apple devices and the ever growing app market for both, no other competitor can seriously pose a threat for these two giants. But is the balance beginning to shift towards one of these two wrestlers? MBA thinks so and they have created this awesome infographics to illustrate the current state of affairs between Android and Apple. There are some interesting figures there and they will surprise some of you, as they surprised me. Enjoy!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 21,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals
Tags: Boys, Chores, Cross-Cultural, Marriage, QR Codes
Yesterday it was my eldest boy’s birthday. He turned eight! I know it makes me sound old, but to tell you the truth that also makes me physically feel much older and more tired than ever Anyway, a sudden thought came through my mind as I was pondering my relationship with my four boys and I realised that I am already more of a Chauffeur, a Butler, waiter, cook and a cleaner than a dad to them. And things are going to get worse as they grow up! So, I decided to come up with a fun way to involve them in little tasks they can manage everyday.
The other reason to attempt this training is that I want to save them from the clashes they will inevitably encounter in their marriage, if they are brought up the way I was. I am Italian, you see? and I have a sister. And, being Italy a much more civilized country than Britain, my sister was made to do all the chores when we were young and I didn’t have to lift a finger (only kidding about the civilized bit BTW, a bit of humour won’t hurt my lady readers .
The problem with this blissful youth is that it hits you when Mamma is no longer there to serve you, especially if you marry a beautiful Welsh woman, who is used to fairness in the house and job shares
In short, my cross-cultural marriage has brought me to the following paradigms.
How my wife sees me
How I see myself
I have gone back playing with QR codes recently, so I thought it would be fun to try to win my boys over and get them to share some of the chores using a simple game and technology. The game is a dice, the cube, and the technology is Quick Response codes! So, I came up with the The chores QR Cube (which you can download by clicking on the words). Each face of the cube has a QR code which, if scanned with a QR code reader app on your smartphone, will return the job the boy who rolled the dice has to do.
I have to admit I was a bit sceptical at the beginning, but I was amazed tonight when I tried it and all three boys (the baby is a bit small still) were eager to get their job done, so they could come back and roll the dice again Success!!!
Tags: Apple, devices, google, Handheld, iOS6, iPad, iPhone, London, maps, Siri, smartphone, youtube
Here we go. This must be one of the thousands of posts complaining about the recent upgrade to what was promised to be the most amazing operative system for handheld devices ever made, but I have to say that in my opinion it turned to be a big flop!
When Apple released their new iOS6 for iPhone and iPad I was as excited as I am sure everyone else to upgrade thinking of the expectations set by the media and Apple itself. It promised great things, but delivered very poor results.
So, what’s wrong with iOS6?
I can only speak about my experience with the new iOS, but from the very first few minutes I used it I noticed something wasn’t quite right. My first encounter with the software was Siri for iPad. Useless would be a compliment in this case! I tried it on the simple task to iMessage my mum in Italy, but even giving very clear instructions and speaking loudly and slowly I could get to send, but no further. In fact, when I said send, which by the way was one of the three options Siri gave, it would systematically get back to square one. I know what you’re thinking; “It must be his Italian accent!” But I would refute that! The proof is that when I started working in London, everyone thought I was Welsh. Ok, maybe it’s my Welsh accent then
He who seeks, finds… not with iOS6 maps!
You must have heard and read about the problems with Apple maps on the iPhone. Yes, the idea of turn by turn directions is appealing, as long as the maps can actually find what you are looking for that is! I needed to find the hotel I was staying in London last Friday, so I copy and paste the address and postcode in the search bar and I get a result (a pin). Success, I think! But soon I realise something’s missing. I move the map around for a while, but I cannot find the tube station near the hotel, nowhere! A thought creeped in slowly… Surely they haven’t got rid of public transport landmarks, like tube stations, have they? Apple would never do something that inconvenient, would they? Much to my horror, they actually did and because I move predominantly by tube in London, the Apple maps have become utterly useless to me. In other words, one of the things I found most useful and vitally important in my daily work was taken, without a word of warning. Why? Because of a power struggle with Google!
But the surprises didn’t end there! I worked out the station I need by the area, so I take the tube and get to the station I wanted, get off the tube and start walking towards the pin for the hotel. The problem was that there was no hotel to be found when I reached my destination, or the one the maps app randomly chose for me! Defeated I had to phone the hotel and ask for directions and it turned out that I was about one mile off target!
Has the big Apple turned into the big Brother?
There is another thing that I noticed only later, i.e. the YouTube app has gone! Another victim of the power struggle that remained nameless until its friends began to notice the gap it left. In all this, I cannot stop thinking about the legendary short video that opened the launch of the Machintosh, that revolutionary computer Job was so fond of. Apple seems to have turned into the big brother of that advert that was meant to represent IBM at the time. They control the market now, but instead of caring for their users’ experience, the focus has most definitely shifted on profit and shares. Steve Jobs would have never allowed the release of iOS6 in its current state!
Tags: Action Movie, Apple, Apps, Education, Fun, Gavin Smart, iMovie, iPad, iPhone, Jedi, knight, master, padawan, star wars, Trailer
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Star Wars, but my boys passion for the saga, animations, video games and anything with a Star Wars logo on it is even bigger than mine. So, when faced with a new iMovie trailer on my iPhone to fill the time during our holiday, there was no doubt about the theme in our minds
Take a look at the video below and see whto we came up with. The special effects, which look pretty cool and got the boys really excited, were created with the Action Movie Fx app. This app is really good fun to use and you can spend hours messing around with the difference special effects. The ones we used are all free and the great thing is that you can save your action movie to your camera roll, and once a clip is there you can add it to your masterpiece iMovie trailer.
I would be interested to see someone applying these two great apps together in education. I am sure Gavin Smart, who first showed me some great iMovie trailers made by his learners will accept the challenge
Enjoy the trailer below and please leave a comment
Tags: Cloud Chamber, fish, iMovie, Institute of Physics, IoP, Learners, Physics, radioactivity, Rdiation, Tailers, tank
In a previous post I wrote about the Fish Tank Cloud Chamber workshop funded by IoP and organized by Cerian Angharad in Cardiff and I promised I would run one in Gloucester. Well, this evening I did and all delegates had great fun taking part in the filming of the iMovie trailer you can see below. I made using an iPad third generation and it was very easy to do, because these trailers come with the storyboard already set up for you. In fact, all the clips, places for captions and duration of the trailer are fixed, which means that you really need to focus on the message you want to convey and do it in the simplest way possible. But it also prevents you from adding too much to your video. Also, I like the fact that there is no dialogue and the message is communicated entirely through the clips and captions you create!
These are important skills for any learner and I would encourage any educator with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch to let their pupils create these short trailers for their learning. I got the inspiration for this one and other trailers I made by the inspiring work Gavin Smart does with his learners at Priory Community School.