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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Adam Greaves launches #IPACATrek

I was surprised and delighted today to receive the below message from former IPACA pupil Adam Greaves. Adam, you have my full support and can I just say how inspiring it is to see a young person stand up for what they believe in. Your independence, determination and commitment are outstanding and I am sure all the readers of this post will support your actions.

Subject: My Trek to London in Support of IPACA

Its Adam, I am going to walk, cycle and paddle from Osprey Quay, Portland to 10 Downing Street starting on 22nd August at 12.00pm.

I’m doing this trek to help raise support for the new IPACA Maritime House Campus. This will allow the education of children on Portland to improve greatly. This development will create a great learning environment and recycle an old building into new and exciting school. I know this will improve the enjoyment of learning for every IPACA learner!

I have 2 younger brothers coming up through IPACA I believe it is up to me to try and make their education better whilst I still have the chance. I enjoyed my years at IPACA and all the teachers and staff try their best to work with the facilities they have. But I know that if the school buildings and facilities were better, the quality of learning for both my brothers and all Portland kids would be amazing.

I was really surprised that the planning application was turned down by some Weymouth and Portland Councilors. So to help get the new school built I decided to personally hand deliver a petition and letters of support to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and then to 10 Downing Street. I wanted to make this an exciting challenge. So I decided to walk to Dorchester via Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and then cycle too Newbury and them kayak to Westminster along the Kennet & Avon canal and the River Thames! I expect to get to Downing Street on 27th August.

I would really like some publicity to spread the word so people can follow the trek on twitter @AdamsIPACAtrek and sign the petition at If you would like to chat about the trek please email me on and I can arrange a time to speak.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Adam Greaves

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Enrich videos with web content

TouchCast is a video creation and publishing platform that offers rich multimedia integration. I found the following article about this brilliant app while exploring - I really recommend that you check this site out.

Regular readers of Springwise will remember our recent coverage of Sketchfab, the platform that aims to do for 3D design what Youtube did for video. Now TouchCast is a platform for interactive video creation and publishing that is challenging Youtube itself, offering rich multimedia integration.

Considering the endless interactivity that the web offers, videos can often remain a simple affair. Through TouchCast, creators can add any of a wide array of widgets – known as vApps – to their videos, from embedded text, images and other video to maps, Twitter feeds, clips from the web and even interactive polls that can display updated data in real time. Users can make their own channel on the site, as well as take advantage of other community features such as comments. TouchCast also offers a number of tools to aid users in the creation of presentations and broadcasts while integrating web content in real time. Guides help presenters stand in the right spot when extra content is being displayed, while a teleprompter ensures they remember their cues. Effects and camera angle switches can also be added in real time. The video below explains a bit more about TouchCast, but for the full interactive version head to the company’s website:

TouchCast is free to download for iPad from the App Store, while a desktop version is coming soon. By taking the power of the web and allowing videomakers to integrate it directly into their own broadcasts, TouchCast could open up the path towards true web video. Could this kind of presentation format eventually become the standard for news and entertainment broadcasting?


Spotted by: Murray Orange

Great new features coming to Socrative

Just had some great news from Socrative (which I featured on this blog before - click here for my previous post) -

We are excited to announce we’ll be launching  Socrative 2.0 in the next few weeks! Socrative 2.0 will include a brand new design, in addition to a variety of features you have been asking for.  (Catch a sneak peak below!)

Good News: You will NOT need to make any changes or updates to your current accounts or apps.

1. Student Quiz Navigation
Students can now work through student-paced activities in their own order. They can skip questions, go back or move directly to any question.  You’ll view their progress during the whole experience.  


2. Common Core Tagging
Tag your assessments by Common Core State Standards.  This will be a first step to help teachers and curriculum experts begin to match assessments to standards.  We’ll learn together and as always, improve the process based on your feedback.

common core tagging.png

You can now use Socrative for visual learning! Upload an image to any multiple choice or short answer question!

Great report on success of blogging at #IPACA

The below was published in the Dorset Echo on Tuesday 6th August, 2013 and a link to the online article can be found here: CLICK HERE. To visit the blog mentioned below, CLICK HERE. To view the tourism website also mentioned below, CLICK HERE.

AN INTERNET blog written by pupils on Portland has been making waves on the other side of the world.

Youngsters in Year 5 at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) wrote the blog as part of their work on a major wildlife disaster on the Dorset coast.

They detailed how seabirds covered in polyisobutene were washed up earlier this year and wrote about how experts cleaned the survivors using margarine and washing-up liquid.

 Class teacher Sharon Chapman said the blog proved an instant success, with almost 500 hits in the first few hours and people commenting from as far away as Australia.

 She said: “The project is part of the skills for life part of our curriculum, and it was really interesting for the children to learn about something so big that happened on our doorstep.

 “People were responding, saying that similar things had happened on their own coastlines, and asking questions, which we would find the answers to.”

 The children wrote to environmental ministers calling for better protections for coastal towns. Mrs Chapman said: “They had several replies and were really excited to read them. It’s very empowering for them to see they can make a difference.”

 The blog led onto another project which allowed the children to create their own tourism website. Mrs Chapman said: “Everything linked up very well and we talked about how tourist businesses are interdependent on each other.”

 She added: “We got them going out and about, visiting fish and chip shops, Portland Castle and local attractions, and taking pictures and writing reviews. “It was great, because it got them going to places they didn't even know existed.”

 The blog also impressed people closer to home, and Dorset Wildlife Trust invited the children to talk to Lord Coe on his recent visit to Portland.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Meeting with @singlestepsblog

Lovely blog post (originally from: from two friends, Andrew and Lynne, who I met with this week in Wales:

We arrange to meet Gary in our usual spot for a coffee catch-up. It's becoming a regular occurrence…and one we look forward to immensely. 
 It could more accurately be described as a play-date. A term we had not heard until recently. Basically, us big kids, arrange to meet up using the grown up 'coffee catch-up' as an excuse….but head to a play-date that is full of laughter, exploring various apps, playing on iPads, scribbling great works of art on serviettes and trying to remain blissfully unaware of the glances thrown our way from 'real grown-ups' as we become increasingly more animated and excited. We do drink coffee though. And, to be fair, the sight of an iPad being thrown on the floor to demonstrate the 'toughness' of the kid-proof case, is probably not something that is seen every day in this particular coffee shop. 
The conversation jumps between edtech, learning, eat all you can buffets, IPACA, twitter, trains, apps, risk-taking, education, ribs, packing a car, more apps, lego, photography, more apps, awards, teaching, kids, 3D printing, school trips, more apps, the possibility of 4D printing, spray paint that makes anything waterproof….and the House of Lords. 
 The 'chit-chat' never stops…and in the middle of that we are trying out new apps and attempting to make a video and import it into the 'aurasma' app (or Lynne is, badly!). 
 Andrew sighs at the sight of me (Lynne) jumping between apps…with Gary quickly demonstrating his skill of operating an iPad upside down (the iPad was upside down, not him). It must be a transferable 'teacher' skill - reading a book aloud to a class, at the same time as holding it up so illustrations can be seen, requires the skill of 'upside down, reverse reading'. Only this is the 21st century version! Andrew's sigh is related to the fact that I am likely to continue excitement at these apps way past our coffee catch up…and, with heading to Scotland for most of August, we are not needing distractions whilst in the midst of preparations. So I've promised not to play with the apps yet…but if anyone else has an iPad/iPhone and wants to try them out, search for 'Aurasma', 'Morfo' and 'colAR Mix' in the app store. You won't be disappointed. 
 Thanks, Gary, for a great couple of hours - we look forward to the next 'coffee catch-up'…and a trip to see you in IPACA.