Friday, 23 December 2011

The end of another busy year.

It's the end of another busy year and I'd like to thank you all for visiting my blog.

Have a great time over the festive season and I hope you all have a happy
and successful 2012.

Picture courtesy of

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Another random name selector.

I have come across quite a few random name selecting tools now. This is one I discovered a few months ago and was reminded of it via twitter last week.

This one comes from It works very much like the classtools fruit machine. It has a different layout, a bright yelllow background, it allows you to paste class lists into it but one of its best features is also its worst feature.

This version reads the students' names as they are picked. It is so cool. I used this only once in class and it unfortunately mispronounced the students names. It's fine if you have students called Tom, Anne or Billy but it struggles with any exotic sounding names. This could be a big problem in some of my classes. My year 12 would think it hilarious but I can see that some of my year 8 students would not like it at all.

The main advantage of this name/question picker is that you can embed it into a blog or website.
I've had to resize it to fit here, but you can get the general idea. I've included the names of the current Oldham Athletic squad to show you how its "voice" has some very interesting pronunciation.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Whilst randomly looking for random things to add to my "All things Random" collection I came across

It is a website dedicated to generating true (as opposed to pseudo) random numbers. The service is provided by Trinity College, Dublin and is the brain child of Dr Mads Haahr of the School of Computer Science and Statistics.

The site offers a range of free and paid services which allow the user to play games, shuffle playing cards, roll up to 16 dice, generate strings, pick random dates, and even pick lottery numbers.

One of my favourite things is the random number generator, which can be downloaded from the site, customised and tested here:
You enter a minimum number and a maximum number and click Generate. It's great for picking random students and it's a nice change from lolly sticks.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Using mobile phones responsibly and safely in schools.

Recently, I came across this article. It was produced in Austria by where almost everyone owns a mobile phone. I was going to post a link and then found that it had been uploaded to slideshare.
Using the mobile_phone_in_school
View more documents from Pedro De
It makes very interesting reading and has been written specifically for teachers giving advice and tips on how to deal with mobile devices in schools. It contains exercises which encourage students to learn how to use their mobile phones in a safe and responsible way.
It is definitely worth reading.