How to install ITV Player on Amazon Fire TV

ITV Player Amazon Fire TVAmazon Fire TV is a streaming media player that works out of the box for BBC iplayer, Netflix and Demand 5 but unfortunately has no direct support for ITV player. There is however a way to get ITV player working on the Amazon Fire TV by installing it as a plugin for Kodi and then side loading Kodi onto the Amazon Fire Tv. You don't need to root your Amazon Fire TV box to do this either.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

50+ ideas for using QR codes at school

QR codes at schoolQR codes are everywhere nowadays: on cereal packets, posters, adverts, TV, websites, etc, etc. More and more schools are using these little codes to enrich the learning experience of their pupils. They are free to create and the software to read them is also free. They can be read using tablets, phones and laptops and can contain text or link to any online resource. Here are 50 (and counting...) ideas for how to use them in your school.

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Scratch Jr programming with KS1

ScratchJr Ks1This week, we started introducing KS1 children to Scratch Jr, a new simplified version of Scratch designed for younger children from age 5 through to 7. Scratch Jr is an ipad coding app in which children snap together graphical blocks of instructions to make characters move, interact, speak and transform on the screen. However, its not just a coding app - it lets children run wild with creativity as we found out :)

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Primary Maths Resources

Primary Maths ResourcesThese free Primary Maths Resources, which are based on the current UK National Curriculum Year Group objectves, are fully searchable and sorted into different categories, including number and place value, the four operations, fractions, measurements, properties of shapes, position and direction, statistics, ratio and proportion, and algebra. It is a useful companion to my other APP maths objective planning tool.

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Using Google Maps to teach Maths

Google Maps is a great tool for children to explore their local area. Here is a maths map of Hull where the children can navigate to local landmarks and then answers maths questions based on what they can see. For example, how many lines of symmetry can you see in the garden at East Park or draw a pictogram of the different coloured cars parked around the stadium.

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Game based assessment

Game Based AssessmentWith Kahoot, primary school teachers can create quizzes for children to play on in a social environment, using any device with a web browser… including a laptop, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android, Chromebook or PC. The children can can take part in fast paced quizzes against each other, giving instant feedback and both formative and summative assessment. The multiple choice quizzes are simple to set up and simple to play and the results are available to analyse in Excel or Google Sheets.

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Self marking assessment using Google Forms

Self Marking Assessment Using Google FormsWhen you've finished testing, does it take you ages to collect the data, input it into a spreadsheet and then analyse it to work out where each student is with their learning? I've just started using a really productive system that takes a lot of the hard work out of the post-test analysis using Google Forms, Google Sheets and an add-on called Flubaroo.

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Oslo Trip

This weekend my daughter and I travelled to Oslo to see the sights of this wonderful city - deemed to be the most expensive city in the World. We visited Vigeland Park (the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist), the Nobel peace centre and the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. We were only there for the weekend and tried to make the most of this intriguing green and white city.

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Which Shell Am I Using?

Which shell am I using?You can typically tell which family your shell belongs to by a character in the prompt that it displays. Bourne-type shells, such as bash , usually have $ in the prompt. The C shell uses % (but tcsh users often use >). If the shell that you use has superuser privileges, then the prompt usually ends with a hash, #.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

A 5 year old writes

a five year old writesThis handwriting was given to me by one of my old headmasters years ago and I couldn't find it on the internet so wanted to share it. It shows a 5 year old child's handwriting from 1909. The child was educated by italian educator, Maria Montessori, whose focus was on not being taught writing, but discovering writing by being exposed to certain conditions and experiences, and then developing the fine motor skills needed to write.

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Creating interactive stories using Twine

Using Twine with KS2"Choose your own adventure" books were really popular for children in the 1980's. These interactive books allowed the reader to make decisions of where they wanted the story to go and, depending on their choices, this would shape the outcome of the book. Budding authors can now write their own interative story books and publish them online using a fabulous website called "Twine". My year 5 (aged 10 - 11 years old) literacy class have just created some wonderful Greek myths using this method.

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Mirroring ipads in the classroom

Imagine teaching a maths lesson where the children are using their ipads as interactive whiteboards, working through a problem that you've set them. When asked for their answers, the children simply press a button on their ipads and their work is shown on the interactive whiteboard for the whole class to review. This is all possible now using the AirPlay feature on your ipad, along with some inexpensive software for the PC.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Scratch Projects for KS2

Scratch Projects for KS2These scratch projects from Code Club are fabulous for giving the children step by step instructions for how to code their scratch programs. They also include online instructions that the children can open in another browser tab to follow and cross off while they are coding.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Maths games without computers

If you do an internet search for Maths Games you will find lots of maths games that can be played on a computer. But what if you don't have a computer or if the children in your class are all "computered out"? Here is a collection of maths games that can be played using either no resources, or simple resources that are around the classroom.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Inspiring Children to Program Computers

Inspiring ProgrammingHere are some great inspirational videos to inspire children to get involved with programming computers. There are clips here featuring Mark Zuckerman, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and will.i.am, carrying powerful messages as to why children should learn to program computers.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Progression in Programming at School

Progression in programming at schoolTeaching programming to children - where do you start? How can you make it fun and interesting, but at the same time develop the correct skill-set? This video shows the progression of visual programming from Primary school through to Secondary school, using both iPads and desktop computers.

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National Curriculum Android App

National Curriculum Android AppDo you ever feel the need to read the English National Curriculum whilst on the move? Well now you can with my new and exciting Android App which brings the National Curriculum to your tablet or mobile device! With an easy to navigate interface and extra resources such as spelling, grammar and a glossary, you will never be bored again :) Ok... its not that exciting, but it does include all the curriculum for all the statutory subjects from KS1 through to KS4.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Kodu Programming Resources

Kodu Programming ResourcesKodu is a visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. I've been working with a group of KS2 children for the last few weeks developing games so I've put together a list of resources which I've found useful.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Music Video Jukebox

Music Video JukeboxMy kids spend a lot of time watching music TV but they have no control over the videos that they watch. I've often thought it would be a good idea to have your own music video jukebox where you can select the music videos that you want to watch, not just those that someone else wants you to watch. I felt so strongly about this that I wrote my own Music Video Jukebox addon for XBMC which does just this.

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Estonia, Finland and Latvia trip

Baltic trip I've just returned back from a six day trip to Estonia, Finland and Latvia, with my daughter, Laura. We travelled by ferry, bus, tram and plane and managed to fit so many things in in such a short space of time including visiting the capitals of all the three countries along with seeing their major tourist attractions.

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Gordons Numeracy Teaching Resources

Gordons numeracy ITPsHere are over 100 simple Flash resources to support the teaching and learning of Maths. These are produced by the Coventry Primary Numeracy Team for use by teachers and pupils and are known as Gordons (due to the little superhero character included within them). They are ideal for class or small group teaching and cover the majority of areas of the primary maths curriculum.

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Installing Pygame on Ubuntu 12.04

Python, Pygame and Ubuntu 12.04 I've had a lot of trouble trying to get Python working with Pygame on Ubuntu 12.04 recently so I've documented the process which finally got it up and running. Hopefully this will save someone else lots of work trying to get Python3, Pygame and Ubuntu 12.04 running together.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Tunisia trip

Tunisia trip One of the countries on my list of places to go was Tunisia, so when we found a reasonable deal on a trip there we decided it was time to pack our suitcases and go. Our base in Tunisia was Port El Kantauoi, a purpose built leisure port close to the city of Sousse, on the north west coast of the country.

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Missing money grid

Missing Money GridA printable worksheet which helps to develop KS2 children's monetary skills. The children have to work out what the missing coins are which add up to the totals of all the columns and rows. Teachers can click on the coins themselves to remove them and generate their own worksheets using random coins. This can be left on the whiteboard screen whilst the children have printable copies themselves to work through. When the children are finished, they can mark their own work by revealing the missing coins on the Interactive Whiteboard.

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Teaching KS2 children how to write scripts on the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Scripts Last week I worked with a group of 10/11 year olds at the Raspberry Pi command line, using my speaking weather script to show them what can be done with the Raspberry Pi at the command line. This week I went a step further and got them to write a script to create a menu which incorporated the speaking weather forecast and also showed them some other cool things that the Raspberry Pi can do at the terminal.

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Creating epub ebooks without Calibre

Creating an epub ebook without Calibre This guide demonstrates how to create your own epub files using Libre Office (or Open Office) on Linux, Windows or a Mac. This is handy if you have some text that you'd like to read on your book reader but your book reader doesn't support the format that you have it in. Or if you have written some text yourself which you'd like to publish. EPUB stands for 'electronic publication' and is the open standard for digital ebooks.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

ipad apps for teaching programming at primary schools

ipad apps I went to an IT conference for Primary Schools today organised by the hard working team at Wawne Primary School and discovered a lot of information about using ipads to teach children programming concepts, from early years through to upper KS2. When you're looking for apps it can be really time consuming so I thought I'd put them all in one place for an easy reference to save people time and effort.

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Warsaw and Krakow Trip

Poland trip Here is a trip report of our recent trip to Warsaw and Krakow - two very different cities in Poland. I travelled with Steve, an old friend of mine, and we went for four days at the end of March 2014. We managed to cram a lot in during this time with the highlight of the trip being a Segway tour around Krakow. Why can't we have these machines to ride on the roads (or even pavements) in England?

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Using PHP with Pelican

PHP and Pelican I've been using PHP to develop websites since the mid 90's and, even though I'm really happy with my Raspberry Pi and Pelican setup, I really wanted to add some php code into some of my scripts. After spending a while testing a few approaches out, I finally found one that worked and seamlessly integrated into the Pelican framework.

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KS1 and KS2 Computing keywords display

Computing curriculum display images I've just come across this website which has a set of downloadable posters containing key words from the 2014 computing curriculum for KS1 and KS2. The posters are in "pupil speak" and contain computing keywords such as algorithms, debug, process and program. Very useful for the computing area in your primary school.

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Increasing the volume on a Raspberry Pi

Volume on Raspberry Pi If you plug your speakers into the 3.5mm jack on the Raspberry Pi, the volume that you get is really low. I wanted to make the volume louder so I used this script that I found on the Raspberry Pi forums to do just that. By increasing the analog volume and saving these changes in the correct place, you can increase the volume to a level that works for you.

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2014 Primary Computing curriculum guide

Computing curriculum booklet Computing at School, in association with Naace and other partners have published a guide which explains how primary teachers can get started with the new 2014 Primary Computing curriculum. It provides many pointers to excellent resources and ideas for building an innovative and exciting curriculum and can be used in conjunction with the Government's publications on the new 2014 Primary Computing Curriculum.

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Getting your Raspberry Pi to speak the weather forecast

Raspberry Pi Speaking Weather Every evening, I like to know what the weather is going to be like for the next day. Should I pack a salad or have a hot meal? Do I need my coat or not? Sometimes I forget to check my phone/tablet/laptop/TV etc to find out what its going to be like the next day, so I made these wizzy little scripts to get the Raspberry Pi to tell me my local weather forecast at 10pm every night.

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Tweeting from the Raspberry Pi

Tweeting on the Raspberry Pi I recently found a way to tweet from the Raspberry Pi using an app called Tweepy. I've written a tutorial below on how to do this as I've wanted to automate Twitter feeds for a while now and this looks like just the thing to enable me to do it. It took me about an hour to setup and now I've got it up and running, I'm going to look at reading data from the environment, the web and local databases and tweeting them out directly.

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Pelican: A fast blog/CMS for the Raspberry Pi

Fast blog for Raspberry Pi If, like me, you're hosting a website on your Raspberry Pi, you may have struggled finding a fast blogging engine or content management system. Over the past year, I've tried a number of solutions that really on an application server and/or database server but none have been fast enough due to the amount of grunt needed to run these servers.

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Running a Calibre ebook library on a Raspberry Pi

Ebook Library on a Raspberry Pi This article describes how to set up your own ebook server which will run on a Raspberry Pi or any other webserver running PHP. This allows you to give your friends access to your ebooks across the Internet without keeping the machine that manages your Calibre library turned on all the time, which costs more money and can be really slow if you have a large book library.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Berlin Trip

Berlin trip In October 2013, my family and I spent a few days in Berlin, taking in the sights of the city and soaking up the atmosphere. We stayed in a hotel just off Tiergarten which is the oldest public park in Berlin and the home of the Berlin Zoo and Bellevue Palace, the residence of the German President.

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Converting images on a Raspberry Pi

Ebook Library on a Raspberry Pi I've been using Imagemagick, a really useful tool, a lot recently to convert images for my ebook collection. I use it to create smaller versions of the images that Calibre produces to run on my own ebook web server. This mini-tutorial will show you how to install and use Imagemagick on your Raspberry Pi. This could be on the command line, in batch operations or using a server side scripting language.

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Southern Thailand Trip

Southern Thailand After the end of our Northern Thailand trip, we stayed on in Bangkok for a night before joining another group of friendly people and embarked upon a further trip to the islands in Southern Thailand. We travelled down on an overnight sleeper train to the port at Surrathani and, after crossing from the mainland, spent some time snorkelling and exploring the beautiful islands of Koh Tao, Ko PaNgan and Koh Samui.

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Northern Thailand Trip

Northern Thailand In August 2013, my family (Sue, Laura and Lucy) and I travelled to Thailand for a week to explore the north of the country. We had an amazing time visiting Bangkok, the temples at Sukhotai, elephant sanctuaries, staying with locals and trekking through the jungles. We also explored lots of Thai culture including watchingThai boxing matches, taking part in buddhist ceremonies, visiting local schools and watching lady boy shows!

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall