Archive for the ‘City Learning Centres’ Category

Podcasting with Smallthorne Primary

June 25, 2009

Today, Media Technologist, Phil Gregory traveled to Smallthorne Primary School to teach children and staff how to get started with Podium Podcastingsoftware in their school.  The children who were taught would then act as mentors to pass the skills on to other students in Year 5.

Year Five teacher Mrs Leese, and NQT Mr Hepple took brought the class in and settled down to find out more about podcasting.  Phil explained what a podcast actually is and what the students would be doing in their activity.

Students Plan their Podcast

Students Plan their Podcast

Mrs Leese explained that year 5 had recently completed a projects all about the solar system and that they would like to make their first podcast about some of the planets they had learned about.  The group was split into twos and each group worked on a separate planet of their choice.  The Topics covered were

The Sun, Mercury,Venus and a way to remember the planets, giving Pluto a brief mention.
First of all the students planned on paper, what they were going to say and then they rehearsed ther parts.  After a short break the students gathered around the demonstration machine to begin creating the podcast.  First they added the Podcast meta data, which helps podcasts be found by search engines.  This information also helps users know what they are listening to and who it is produced by.

Meta Data

Meta Data

We then created a new chapter for each planet, and typed in the handwritten notes as a proper script for each group. Podium allows presenters to each have their own colour assigned to their lines in the script, this makes the script easier for students to read once recording begins.Then Each group recorded their chapter. Once all the groups had recorded their chapter Phil sourced some copyright free music to server as intro/outro music and chapter markers and added it into the podcast. We edited the podcast to remove and coughs, noises or mistakes and then published the podcast to the SGFL server.

Students enjoy listening to their own work

Podium makes it really easy to distribute your podcasts by simply emailing it out to people on your contacts list or by copying and pasting a web address into your website or blog.

* Listen to their Podcast >>
* Smallthorn Primary School >>

Mission Maker tutorial – Adding Simple Questions (Pt 2)

December 5, 2008

Or visit the tutorial link

Stoke on Trent City Learning Centres – 01782 591040

HTML an introduction

November 13, 2008

Creative Day (C-Day) at the City Learning Centres

November 10, 2008

Jenny Hulme


A simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online. You can create colourful mind maps online with your kids or colleagues, share and work with friends, embed your mind map in your blog or website, email and print your mind map and export your mind map as an image. graphically very pleasing and simple to use.

Les Leese

Brought to our attention.
mindomo is a more in depth mind mapper that can be embedded into HTML or used as a webpart on your learning Platform. The ability to add hyperlinks to it is one of its more attractive features.

Mark Bunyan

Mark showed us dabble board.

Dabbleboard is a powerful online whiteboard that’s actually easy and fun to
use. With a revolutionary new interface, Dabbleboard gets out of your way
and just lets you draw.

Draw with flexible tools. Reuse previously-made drawings. Share and
collaborate in real-time. All as naturally as using a marker or a pencil.

This tool makes it easy for us all to collaborate on the same

Dave Bloor

Dave brought Revision 3 website to our attention as a good example of how to share online video content that we create within the classroom environment. It was however, pointed out that we are currently already using the website to upload multimedia content within a safe environment.

Phil Gregory

Phil presented the Firefox browser.

Firefox is a very handy web browser. instead of just using Internet explorer take a look at the alternatives, you may find them more to your liking. Firefox can be extended. there is a massive library of addons for firefox making it do anything from syncing bookmarks across computers.

OLD but Good

June 17, 2008

Updating your website. (Part 1)

April 21, 2008

Teachers often ask me a number of questions about school websites, and the best way to go about getting one. In this article I’m going to present some information about why Schools might want to make the shift from a static website to a dynamic website

Keeping your website upto date is a task. However, it is an important task that someone should be doing every week, maybe even daily.

Keeping your website updated is a massive task. It’s usually something no one wants to do. However, keeping your audience up to date with all your recent developments is incredibly important if you want to engage with them.

For years now many schools have had a static website, that is to say that someone designed and built it uploaded it to the server and then it just sat there. Every time the school wants an update, some external person has to be phoned to add new photos or stories.

More recently though, database driven (Dynamic) websites that allow teachers the ability to log in and write their own articles, add photos and events have come along. Blogs or weblogs where the whole website management is taken care of by a 3rd party company are also popular and you don’t have to worry about costs or technical issues.

So, which is the best solution? No option is absolutely foolproof unless you have a member of staff who is specifically dedicated to maintaining the website.

What are the pro’s and cons of blogs and Dynamic sites?

If faced with the choice of a static and a dynamic website, the dynamic one would win hands down every time for me. The reason is mostly workload based. With static pages each and every new article written for the page needs a new page creating. It needs naming properly and linking to from all the other pages. A dynamic site on the other hand whilst being more complex and time consuming to put together, creates multiple pages without users needing any knowledge of computer programing. You can add pages easily by simply logging into the site and entering data into a series of text fields. Images and files can be uploaded easily to accompany the articles.

Providing you back up your server regularly, every article ever written fro the website is retrievable for other purposes, making it an excellent repository of your successful work.

Downsides of dynamic websites are that they cost more to develop and you need the full participation of your staff to make them work effectively. A dynamic website that is never updated will lose visitors unvisited and can then become as impotent as a static website that is never updated.

Blogs and dynamic websites are essentially the same thing. However, a blog tends to me more of a diary site, with snippets of useful information as opposed to a full blown corporate website. One of the main benefits of using a blog is the use of RSS feeds. RSS feeds are really just a text file which is updated each time new articles are added to a website. Users can subscribe to a websites content via the RSS feed. Whenever new content is added to the website users can see this via the feed and are often emailed a notification as well. RSS feeds are also great for improving your search engine rankings

The downsides of using blogs are that you are reliant on third party servers. If the server goes down , so does your site and if you use a free blogging service, you cannot complain. There are paid services out there though, but this is where you will need technical help as you will need access to a server to host the site, and some knowledge of programming to get your site up and running.

In Part 2 of this article we will examine some of the popular blogging platforms and how to choose the type of site you want.

Exciting Science Days blast off!

December 5, 2007

October Saw Secondary Science advisor Nick Hackett bring his Exciting Science days back to the CLC’s.

Sandon High came in on 2 days to take part in a number of experiments.

Magic Planet
Quizdom Vote Pads

Pupils evidently enjoy interactive teaching approaches and the quiz was an outright favorite in this respect. Interacting with PCs and carrying out experiments also feature highly.

After adjusting the delivery of the Magic Planet session following the evaluation of the first session it’s popularity improved measurably.

The blogging session, where the students recorded the activities they took part in did encounter some problems again however the students did manage to record their experiments successfully.

Exciting Science Day -blog

Exciting 3D resources for your lessons

April 18, 2007

Longton High City Learning Centre have produced some 3D resources for use in the Classroom. Images can be tailor made to suit your project.

Whether you need historical or contemporary images, we can create characters and scenes to suit your needs and enhance your learning resources.

Examples of content are:
Ancient Greeks

Using 3d Software we can create either still images or short animations to enhance your resources.

You could use the images to make posters, comics, slideshows, or simply as standalone images in documents or on websites.

If you are interested in using 3D content.

Contact Phil Gregory on
01782 591041 to discuss your needs.

Some Fun things… You can make at the CLC

March 22, 2007

If you wondered where all the fun had gone from lessons? Here are a couple of things I made this week in my spare time. Part of the fun of learning is playing.

1. Photobooth slideshow.

This just shows some of the grotesque characters you can create in Photobooth. Not everyone is as ugly as me, but you can use these images to create slideshows or characters for your movies, comics and photostories.

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2. 3D tours

A couple of years ago we employed eyerevolution from London to come and create some 3d virtual tours for us. Now with the aid of some niftylittle tools such as “Pleinpot” and “Cubic Converter” we have joined the tours up, See our cut down version before the main one appears on the website.

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If you are interested in using technology to raise attainment in your classroom, or even for a bit of fun, get in touch with us at either Longton or Haywood City Learning Centres.

Longton High City Learning Centre – Exciting Science Day

March 15, 2007

Here is the agenda for Todays Exciting Science Day.


You will need Adobe Acrobat to read this document.


  • You will be able to access all the images you need from the My documents folder.
  • Log into your SGFL email. You will have received an invite to join the CLC blog. Accept it.
  • You may have to sign up for a google account. If so follow the instructions.
  • Once you have accepted the invitation you will be able to log on to the blog and create posts.