Archive for the ‘Free Resources’ Category

Today I had the pleasure and honour to present at a great event organised by the really lovely guys at @WordpressWales, Just WordPress Workshops AKA #jww. In my blogging journey I have made many mistakes, which means I have learnt a lot along the way, especially because I have met and networked with some really inspiring people, so when you have the opportunity to be in the same room for a day with a whole bunch of inspiring and cool guys you aught to make the most of it. So, this post is really a reflection about what I learnt today and I will try to write one thing from each presentation. By the way, these tips are not in order of awesomeness, but follow the order of the presentations, and before you ask, yes all presentations were awesome. Obviously I cannot comment on mine, so leave some love in the comments if you happened to be at the event and you like it 😉

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1. Be and invite guest bloggers – via @rightmoveaddict

Andrea Morgan gave an inspiring presentation on how she grew her following massively in a really short time. Her Blog is really cool and if you are an interiors kind of person you should certainly check it out. The main point I learnt from Andrea was to engage other bloggers in your field and get them to write for your blog and try to get invited to write for theirs. Andrea recommends, and rightly so, to retain editing rights to guest blogs on your site, so that your Voice is never lost!

2. Format your Blog writing – via @Whatsthepont and @Helreynolds

Helen Reynolds and Chris Bolton joined forces today to convince us that formatting our Blog writing can be a useful strategy to effective blogging. Chris had the “good fortune” (according to him) to get pneumonia and get off work for quite a while in March (I think) and that got him thinking about how to format his blog writing. Having thought about the format of your blog can help you focus on the important content of your posts and cut the unnecessary stuff that is likely to drive readers away. Helen then gave some examples of effective formats, so if you are thinking why I am writing a list of good tips, that is because I learnt a new blogging word today, “Listables” (or at least I think that’s what Helen called them). Apparently, lists of top tips are a really effective way to attract readers, so I have set a target to give more posts like this one a go.

3. Everyone has a book inside them – via @mindhiver

When Pippa Davies takes the stage you certainly cannot ignore her. She has the energy of a lion and the cheekiness of a monkey. It’s always a pleasure to listen to her speak and today she took us through her journey to turn her blogging into an eBook. Pippa is no stranger to publishing, so she gave a few great tips and tools for publishing eBooks online. A great tool that I want to try and see if I can apply to the classroom (hopefully in connection to the Literacy and Numeracy Framework) is Pressbooks.com and that is one of the things I took from Pippa’s session.

4. Put the crayons down and find your identity first – via @brandnatter

Russell Britton gave some really useful tips about what brand means and why it is so important to find the identity of your business, or whatever else you want to build, before you start creating content. Russell also encouraged us all to forget about Stock Photo like images and take our own. The point he was making is actually very useful, because using your own images will definitely make you look different from the rest! Half way through his presentation I noticed one of the pictures he showed as an example not to use featured in my presentation and my heart sank – yes, I was just after him 😦 but I think that taught me a lesson 😉

5. Engage the best in your field – via @Collaborat_Ed

Next it was me and I talked about our journey to try and climb the search engine results ladder. From the tweets I noticed about my presentation I could see that people seemed to find useful what I said about engaging the best in your field. These people are likely to be where they are because they have networked and shared a lot in their work, so they will respond to good stuff you do in their field.

6. Get approval from your boss – via @Tanwen_Haf and @DyfrigWilliams

This was another double act and focused on the barriers to blogging and social media the public sector hits. One of the biggest hurdles seems to be that anything that gets published on public sector websites needs to go through a long process of approvals and if you want to blog about current issues you know you’ve lost the race even before you even start. I suppose that is a problem that is true of big brands too. Brand image is really important and CEOs can often get really anxious about potential negative feedback they get on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. My answer to that is – Would you rather be talked about without knowing it, or having the opportunity to promote good stuff being said about you and defend your choices when not so nice things are said about your brand? Social media is not just a good way to promote yourself, but also a tool to gather information about what your audience thinks about you, so use it to your advantage and do not be afraid, or paranoid about it.

7. .com might just be all you really need – via @Joel_Hughes

Joel showed how much stuff can be done and achieved through a blog built on WordPress.com and that for a lot of purposes you don’t really need to host your own website using WordPress.org. I think the coolest and geekiest thing Joel showed was his “call to action” buttons made in wordpress.com. I never knew you could do that and I will have to check out his website to see how to do it, because it looks pretty awesome.

So, this are the 7 tips I took with me today and I hope you will find them useful too. If you haven’t attended one of the @WordpressWales events yet I strongly suggest you come to the next one. Keep an eye on their Twitter feeds and their website, so you will not miss out next time.

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Yet another mind map to help you making sense of the Guide for Schools: Part 2 of the NSP (Phase 2). This map deals with the content of the NSP Toolkit aimed at supporting school in the implementation of the Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) in Wales. You can use the HD image below as it is in presentations, or download the iMindMap version to edit it from this Biggerplate page, or just navigate through the map via this online viewer. Whatever you do with it, please acknowledge the source, Alessio Bernardelli (@asober). Let me know if you find this useful.

NSP Toolkit

This is another mind map you might find useful when thinking about what will happen in phase 2 of the National Support Programme for the implementation of the Literacy and Numeracy Framework in Wales. You can use the HD image below as it is in presentations, or download the iMindMap version to edit it from this Biggerplate page, or just navigate through the map via this online viewer. Whatever you do with it, please acknowledge the source, Alessio Bernardelli (@asober). Let me know if you find this useful.

Stages of Phase 2

I am preparing for the 2nd Cluster Meetings in my role of NSP Partner and I am going through part 2 of the Guide for Schools and since I understand things better when I mind map them, here is a mind map of the Phases Activity diagram on page 38 of the document. I hope you will find it useful.

You can download the iMindMap version of the image below from this Biggerplate page, or navigate the Mind Map in this web view.

Phases Activities

You might have noticed from the changes in my profiles across the social media world that my role is changing and that I have been appointed as a National Support Programme Partner in Wales by CfBT. I will work with them four days a week and developing as an independent consultant for one day a week, so if you are looking for CPD training in your school give me a shout 😉

But back to the focus of this post. When I was preparing for my interview I was trying to get a clear picture in my mind of what the National Support Programme offers and what the role of the NSP Partners involve. If you have come across me before, you probably know that the process of getting a clear mental picture of things to me means only one thing – Mind Mapping :-). So, I made two Mind Maps that really helped me organise my thoughts around these issues. I have added the images of these two Mind Maps below, but if you are an iMindMap user, click on each image and you will be taken to the Biggerplate page where the maps are stored and where you’ll be able to download them and use with iMindMap.

The National Support Programme

National Support Programme

The role of the NSP Partner

NSP Partner Role

I hope you will find these tools useful. Please leave a comment below as feedback.

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.

Cross-cultural marriage

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

That is not my wife BTW and the guy is not me either 😉

 

The Cube!

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!!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

BP resources?

Posted: December 6, 2011 in Free Resources
Tags: , , , , , ,

When EdComs asked me to host a guest Blog post for them I was quite glad to lend them a page. Why? Well because they have developed some great resources and because these are FREE!

Free online Science resource: How Science Works – Clip Bank

www.bp.com/bpes/howscienceworks

 

How Science Works – Clip Bank is a free interactive Science resource from the BP Educational Service. It provides students aged 11-16 with great examples of real-life science in action.

 

Short, engaging stimuli show students the real-life application of science within the context of BP’s business. Linked to the UK curricula for Science and Chemistry, How Science Works – Clip Bank features a range of multi-media, including:

  • Video clips
  • Animations
  • Interactive activities
  • Photo slideshows
  • Teacher guidance
  • Curriculum links for Key Stage 3 (KS3) and Curriculum for Excellence Sciences
  • Links to all major exam boards at Key Stage 4 (KS4) and Standard Grade

 

Topics covered in this resource include:

  • Hydrocarbons from crude oil;
  • Properties of hydrocarbons;
  • Polymerisation;
  • Combustion of fuels;
  • Energetic reactions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out more at www.bp.com/bpes/howscienceworks

“The video will be an excellent way of introducing this abstract topic to pupils and helping them to put a face to the concept. The animation will reinforce their understanding after the calculations.” Secondary school teacher

For other free resources from BPES please go to www.bp.com/bpes