Category Archives: General

Telegraph Pictures for iPad

456594938_icon175x175Similar to The Guardian Eyewitness app, The Telegraph Pictures app gives you a daily snapshot of the world with The Telegraph Pictures for iPad app. Ideal to use during tutor time to generate discussions about current affairs.


App Smackdown between @ICTEvangelist and @gavinsmart at #TMClevedon

Mark – Tap Roulette and Decide Now

Gavin – Too Noisy  and Decibel 10th

Mark – Cloud Art

Gavin – Wordfoto

Mark – Moldiv

Gavin – Spout

Mark – Space craft 3D

Gavin – Anatomy 4D

Mark – Oboto

Gavin – Thinglink

Mark – Wifi photo

Gavin – Electric Slide

Mark – Nearpod

Gavin – SpreakerDJ

The verdict…

4 Pics 1 Word game, Make your own to use in the classroom!

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 20.21.50After watching the whole of my tutor group playing 4 Pics 1 word app on their iPhones and iPods and getting very enthusiastic about finding out the answer I decided to try and use the concept of the game in one of my lessons.

For those of you that do not know the app, it is a very basic app but has become very popular with my students. Basically, 4 pics are displayed and the player must link them all with one word. Easy!

I decided to trial this idea with a Year 8 group that love using iPads and love playing the 4 Pics 1 Word app. The lesson was looking at the properties of metals and one of the objectives focused on learning new key terms. I challenged the students to make there own 4 Pics 1 Word game using Comic Life app. Students chose a keyword that described the properties of metals and produced some excellent game cards. Some example can be seen below. These could be used to aid recall of the meaning of kewwords and we will be using these as a starter activity for the next lesson.

O no Sir you’re leaving! What about the music game?

After being successful at an interview last Thursday for a new job, I thought it was best to tell my Tutor group that I will not be with them next year first hand before they found out from someone else. Understandably they were shocked, upset and concerned about the possibility of a new, unknown teacher taking on the group in Year 10.

After an onslaught of questions starting with What? Where? Why? When? One of my tutees was very concerned about the possibility of not being able to play the music game during tutor time again. After that genuinely worried response I thought I should share 9B3’s Music Game.

Using iTunes we regularly play ‘The Music Game’ with different themes and challenges. A number of ideas are detailed below. One warning, check for EXPLICIT content in songs before playing them.


1. Top Songs – Using iTunes you can view and preview the Top 200 songs on iTunes. This can be a simple competition between students to guess the artist and song title.

3. Higher or lower – Play one song from the Top 200 and then students must guess whether or not the next song is higher or lower in the charts.  2. Snip bit – Play the first 1,2 or 3 seconds of the preview so students can guess the song.

4. TV Movie/Themes – Search for TV Theme tunes compilation albums and students must guess the Movie or TV theme tune.

5. Think Fast – Play a number of songs very quickly one after each other and students must write them all down in quick succession.

6. Maths Charts – Students guess the chart position of each song that you play from the Top 200 songs, add them up and submit their answer. Closest group wins.

7. Links – Choose a theme or play a handful of songs.  Students must come up with tedious link or suggest a theme.


8. Covers – Choose a covers album from iTunes and the students need to tell you the original artist and song title. This week was Reggae Covers.

9. Humming – Courtesy of Mark Cole, @WoolyBully9. Some students listen to the song and then have to hum back the tune to their team. Points awarded to the team who guesses the most correctly. Similar to Never Mind The Buzzcocks intros round, as seen below. Hopefully your students will have more success.

These are just some of the ways we use iTunes to make Tutor Time fun with 9B3.

Please comment with any other alternatives to our Top 9 Music Game ideas.

A global tweet experiment using twitonomy

After being asked to deliver a week of assemblies focusing on ‘World Technology’ , I decided to try a little experiment using the power of twitter. On a dark, wet and wintry Sunday (5:30pm) evening I sent the tweet below.

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I was intrigued to see how far and quickly a tweet would travel without using #hashtags or mentioning any famous people. The tweet was only visible to my followers or anybody that happened to be searching my @gavinsmart username. RT and MT were the only way that this was going to work. After just a few minutes the tweets started coming in from around the UK.

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 10.08.58It wasn’t long however until tweets were coming in from around the globe from Canada, Australia and New Zealand. By 10pm Sunday I had received 325 mentions and using I was able to gather information about the locations of the tweets from all over the world. I also received an awesome tweet from @IanTLS who was 31,000 ft above the Indian Ocean.

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@Cmdr_Hadfield who is currently tweeting from the International space station was mentioned by many people but I am still waiting patiently for a mention.

The annotated google map below shows the location of some of the tweeters than kindly replied to the request. Thank you so so much to all who took the time and effort to reply. All tweets can been seen in the tweet archive here.

Students learning independently using the BrainPOP UK App

BrainPOP UK Featured Movie app is an excellent app that allows students to learn independently in a classroom environment as well as on the move.

Students can download the app on their iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch and learn something new every day for free.

Students can watch a different animated movie each day, then o test their knowledge they can take an interactive quiz. This is an excellent resource for a tutor time activity as well as topical videos that may be linked to your particular subject area. The subjects Science, Humanities, English, Maths, Arts, PSHE & Citizenship, and Design & Technology. Site subscribers can log in and access all BrainPOP content directly from the app. A free trial can be obtained from

Recently I used the BrainPOP app to encourage students to learn independently from the teacher with great outcomes. Students where motivated to learn as they were in control. The element of choice motivated students to learn in a variety of ways. Students enjoyed the short animated movies and all feedback was very positive. Students felt that they learn better from using the app and that they found it easier to use than YouTube and BBC Bitesize because the way that the app was set out and the quality of the videos and quizzes. The multiple choice quizzes provide a competitive twist to AfL and all students enjoyed taking part.


Students also felt that they learnt more Keywords and the correct spelling of these important ‘Keywords’ as the videos have subtitles which helped lower ability students with their literacy along with helping them determine the important information from the video.

This can also be used an excellent way as a whole class with ‘Keyword Video Bingo’ either at the start or the end. Students write down a list of words that they expect to be in the video. While he video is playing students listen out for their keywords.This could either be used to assess their prior knowledge or AfL at the end of the lesson.

Overall an amazing resource that should be used by students of all ages and across all subject areas. Although the free trail will not last forever the pricing is very reasonable and would be well worth considering purchasing as a whole school and allowing to learn when ever they want to and using both desktop computers and mobile devices.



Reflection – AirPlay Mirroring of your iPad/iPhone without Apple TV has provided an alternative to using Apple TV to mirror your iPad or iPhone. Reflection allows you to mirror your iPhone 4S, iPad 2 or iPad 3 to any Mac running OS X 10.6+, wirelessly. Previsouly I had been looking to purchase Apple TV to utilise the AirPlay function of the iPads within the classroom. The ability to wirelessly share the iPad screen with my MacBook linked to a projector allows me or the students to share the iPad screen with the whole class from anywhere in the class or anywhere on the school premises. As long as I the device is connected to the same WiFi network as the Mac running OS X 10.6+ then the mirroring will work.

Reflection also allows you to easily demo iOS apps on any Mac running OS X Lion using AirPlay Mirroring on iOS 5. Mirroring and recording the MacBook screen using Camstasia allows you to make instructional videos that can be shared with students or the students could produce their own to demonstrate to their peers. This is one option that I will be exploring with my Digital Leaders. Follow their progress and excellent advice at @PCSADigiLeaders.

Reflection currently cost $14.99 (approx £10) for an individual licence or $49.99 (approx £40) for 5 licences. This is a lot cheaper than forking out £100 for Apple TV + £40 VGA to HDMI convertor to allow this to work in the classroom with a projector that doesn’t have a HDMI input.

Check out my first attempt of a iPad Screencast. More to follow!

iBook Author – Apple continues to redefine teaching and learning

Recently Apple released iBooks Author that allows anyone to create stunning iBooks. All you need is an idea (or Scheme of Learning) and a Mac. Apple have offered a range of pre designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. You can add your own text and images, use Multi-Touch widgets to include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more. Preview your book on your iPad at any time. Then submit your finished work to the iBookstore with a few simple steps.

iBooks author offers an amazing opportunity for Teachers and Learners alike to personalise learning and offer an enriched interactive learning environment.

The Apple-designed templates give you an easily accessible way to design your book. iBooks Author allows you to import texts and chapters from Page and Microsoft Word.  The ability to add Multitouch widgets adds the interactive aspect to your iBook. Add a photo gallery, chapter review, movie, Keynote presentation, interactive image with callouts, 3D object, or custom HTML anywhere in your book. These could also include a range of ways to make your iBook accessible to a range of learners and abilities.

iBooks a can be exported to iPads running the latest iBook software via email or syncing via iTunes. You are also able to submit your iBook to the iBookstore and iTunes U or share your book as a PDF file.

I will trialling iBooks Author alongside other members of my faculty. It has a massive potential to make sharing resources with learners and colleagues leap into the future. There is so much more to follow!

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Using iCan Animate app in a Science classroom.

I recently used the I Can Animate app with a BTEC group who love demonstrating their knowledge through anything but writing. The lesson was focused on enzyme action and required the students to understand the lock and key theory of how enzymes work, the structure of enzymes and how the enzyme-substrate complex forms and works.

After a brief introduction I handed over to the students. Students were given a success criteria and suggested apps and the rest was over to them. I also chose to make some QR codes available to some students who required more support. These QR codes linked to websites and also short teaching videos to cater for different learning styles and abilities.

All students decided to use I Can Animate app combined with iMovie where they provided a voice over to their animation. I Can Animate is an excellent animation app for only £1.99 as it provides a very simple but effective onion skinning and a range easy to use settings and functions.

I Can Animate App features:

• Capture frames using the inbuilt camera
• Displays onion skinning
• Adjust exposure, white balance and focus
• Time lapse
• Review last five frames
• Preview whole project
• Supports a library of multiple projects

Share your movie
• Export your animation in three movie sizes: medium, large or HD.
• Exported animations are added to your camera roll which can then be shared through email, MMS, MobileMe and YouTube. Exported animations can also be added to an iMovie project for a really polished movie.

I Can Animate provides hours of fun for both the serious and amateur animator. This app also allows students to demonstrate their learning in a fun and creative way that is easy to share during the class and also upload to YouTube or share via Twitter and the you never know the video may go viral!

Once the students had completed their short movie, they were easily shared with myself via email and shared with the world via YouTube. Some examples can be seen below.

iMovie for iPad Calculating the speed of a water balloon

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