Book Creator & Trilby TV, working hand in hand

With 1:1 devices in Key Stage 1 and 2, Book Creator is one of our go to apps for pupils to create: interactive books, comics, journals, reports and portfolios, which include: video, green screens, music etc.  What our pupils (and staff) love about Book Creator is its simplicity and how children can focus on their learning, rather than worrying about handwriting. This is often evident in Key Stage 1 where pupils can spend more time trying to ‘sit letters on a line in their book’ instead of time spent on their learning.

Within our school, every class has their own blog and Twitter account, which enables pupils to have a global audience for their work, this also allows them to make contact with some of their favourite authors. However, we were finding that pupils and staff were not looking at each others blogs and seeing the outstanding work being produced across the whole school. As much as we share ideas and work in key stage and staff meetings it is only staff seeing work and not children. Too many times work is left sat on a device or hidden away; however, Trilby TV changed that within our school.

With Trilby TV, interactive books, videos, Twitter feeds and slideshows can instantly be uploaded and played around school for everyone to see. Seeing the looks on our pupils faces when they have their work playing on a screen is priceless! Knowing that their peers and visitors are going to see their work gives them an extra purpose for their work.

We currently have digital signage screens in our reception area, mezzanine and dining room and have a new one in our library area. We realised that our pupils were creating interactive books in Book Creator and publishing to the iTunes Store but again were not seeing what each other had produced. The screen in our library area now plays all our pupils books, meaning they can now sit and watch/read them. This is where Book Creator and Trilby TV really do work hand in hand to create a different outcome for sharing digital books on digital signage.

In addition, Trilby TV produces a QR code link so parents can see the work being produced by their child. Our foundation stage pupils recently created interactive phonics books (in Book Creator) to teach parents and carers how to sound and segment letters; through Trilby TV they can now access these books and learn with their child at home.

Recently, our Year 6 pupils joined a global project led by Jon Smith @theipodteacherwho is a Book Creator Ambassador based in Ohio, USA. He set schools around the world the task of creating a digital book sharing what they think is amazing about our planet. Pupils were asked to open their hearts, minds, eyes, and cameras to capture the beauty and good that they can find in the world around them. Our pupils were challenged to turn from the violence, anger, frustration, and turmoil to make an image that touched their hearts.

We were proud to have class 6D’s contribution, which was created in Book Creator, submitted to the global book and even prouder when we were able to display it through Trilby TV, on our digital signage around school, for everyone to see. This goes to show the power of how one app can enable children around the world to connect and combine their books into just one to share with a global audience. You can download the book here.

Our screens are now full of exciting content, which showcase our pupils progression on a daily basis, evidencing the impact of technology in our school. Trilby TV has given our pupils a real voice around school to showcase our favourite app – Book Creator, the only thing stopping our pupils now is their imaginations.

The video below, created in Clips by Neil Emery, shows how quick and simple it is to upload digital books from Book Creator directly to Trilby TV.

Reflections on ADE Academy – London 2017

I’ve been reflecting on last week’s London ADE Institute since returning home and wish I could bottle what happened during those magical 4 days.

Having followed the 2015 ADEs in Amsterdam, I was in awe of the collaboration you could see between them. From Twitter I was able to follow some of the Northern UK 2015 ADEs such as: Nic Ford, Rachel Smith, Lisa Whittaker, Louise Zwanepoel, Nathan Ashman, Alan Ellis and Paul Ridgway Lisa Seddon to name a few. They welcomed me into the ADE family, despite not being an ADE. What always struck me about them was not only their passion for pedagogy – and using technology to inspire their teaching and learning – but also their love for sharing ideas.

Having wished two years away, and busily evidencing impact of technology within our school, the time arrived for me to apply to join the class of 2017. Several more months were then wished away waiting to see if I would be one of the lucky 20 from the UK who would be joining the class of 2017. There were many tears on Monday 3rd April when the confirmation email arrived, I had joined the Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2017.

Arriving at Institute, was like walking into a room full of famous Rock Stars thinking, ’I know him and I know her’ the power of Twitter and #ADEchat. ADEs I had followed were now in the same room and I was in awe of them thinking, ‘I should not be here’. Peter Ford soon reassured what many of us were thinking by stating ‘You are here on your merit’, those few words meant a lot.

I didn’t realise how sitting at Table 12 (now #T12) would have such impact on not only my time last week but our ongoing project. Alan Frame is someone I have admired on Twitter in not only his role as a Headteacher but also the work he does with his Digital Leaders, and there he was as our table leader. My first words to him were ‘you’re so tall, I’ve only seen you sat down on Twitter’. Ruth Smith was on our table and I had been fortunate to meet her at a TeachMeet a couple of weeks earlier and also been collaborating prior to Institute. Lee Parkinson and Paul Tullock were also on our table along with Robbie Dunne who would prove there’s never a dull moment when he’s around.

As teachers, and feedback from working with teachers from other schools, we felt we were all often asked about apps to use for: assessment, curriculum etc and that as teachers and now ADEs we are the ones who start with ‘why’ use them first. So, @TechTeachGoals was born and has grown in strength since Institute. I’m so excited to see where this will go when we are back in our schools and have other teachers and pupils globally connecting with us. Thank you #T12.

I learnt so much from the inspirational showcases and took something from each and every one of them, thank you all for sharing. The workshop sessions were just ‘wow’! Alan Rosenfeld taught me all I need to know about future presentations and keynote. As a graphic designer( in a previous life) I thought I knew a bit about design, that was until I met Designer in Residence: Hugh Schermuly I could have listened to Photographer in Residence: Jillian Edelstein stories all day, on the people she has been blessed to photograph. Having so much respect for the Alumni it was fascinating to hear their stories and connect with many whom I may otherwise have not met.

Never have I been to an event where I did not want to leave and come home. All the way home I was imagining what a school made up of ADEs from Institute would be like. I am fortunate to now work in a school where most staff are open to change and know first hand the impact Apple technology has on teaching and learning. The flag huggers have realised that our vision is not the same as their beliefs and no longer do you hear the words ‘we’ve always done it that way’. But imagine all ADEs working in the same school…

My mind is still buzzing with ideas… I feel blessed to have met so many lovely, fun, inspirational people (too many to mention) who I know will be friends for life.

Without turning this into an Oscar speech, ‘Thank you’ everyone who made the week so magical and for making it one I will never forget. In three words I found: Collaboration. Inspiration. Family.

Class Dojo Blog

We have been using Class Dojo in school for several years now and have seen firs-hand the impact it has had on our pupils. Recently, I was asked to write a blog post for Class Dojo and have since been invited to be a Class Dojo Ambassador, which is a fantastic opportunity to share our story with others too.

You can read my full article by clicking on the link below.

How We Changed the Culture of Our School – And You Can Too!

App of the week – Spark Video

Following on from making our ‘Keeping Safe Online’ video in Spark Video, we decided to make it our ‘App of the week’ and have used the Shadow Puppet App to create a screen cast on how to use it.

Once a video is saved to your cameral roll it can then be uploaded to Trilby TV.

Digital Leaders 🙂

Trilby TV – Digital Signage, giving pupils a voice

Trilby TV has given our pupils a real voice around school! To start with, Neil Emery and Ben Stanley have to be two of the most enthused, genuine people you will meet in education and you can see the passion they have for their product as soon as you meet them. After visiting us, Neil showed us just how simple Trilby TV is. Staff can upload children’s work to Trilby, it then gets approved and plays on your TVs around school, it’s that simple!

We have televisions in: our main reception area, dining room, mezzanine and are adding two more to our KS1 hall and staff room, these screens were always previously switched off. They now have constant streams of children’s work being played, along with our weekly vlog, which features: news from throughout the week, sport, class dojo news and weather. In fact today, some of our children asked if they can add a birthday section too! Our vlog is now turning into a fully produced news show! Although we used to share the Vlog on our school blog not everyone would watch it but now you see children and staff watching on the screens around school. What better way for visitors to learn about your school than watching your children’s work as they sit in your reception area!

Recently, our early years children went on a visit to a farm and whilst out one of the teachers created a slide show of pictures using the Quik App, you can imagine their faces when they walked back into school and saw their images on the screen! Many of our teachers are also using the Book Creator App and are able to export their books as a video and then upload to Trilby TV to share with everyone. Once videos are uploaded you can then make them public, which enables you to share them with parents and carers and also embed into blogs, so much quicker (and safer) than uploading to YouTube!

Another great new feature of Trilby TV is being able to share Twitter feeds onto your signage; in our school, every year group and SLT have their own Twitter feeds and so again you can instantly see work being shared.

Anyway, don’t just take my word for it… listen to what three of our Year 5 children think of Trilby TV and also watch one of our weekly vlogs.


Using the App ‘Book Creator’

Each class at our school has their own blog and our children love having a global audience for their work along with a voice and real purpose for writing. This has allowed them to be authors sharing written work along with creative too.

We have used the Book Creator App for a while now but only a year or so ago did we first publish a class book to the iTunes Store, the children could not get their heads around the fact that people in 52 countries could download and read their interactive book!

Now all our children in Key Stage 2 have their own iPads and teachers have seen the possibilities for children to create their own books, save into Showbie and then publish on the iTunes Store. Our children from Early Years to Year 6 have been using Book Creator due to its simplicity and the creativity they can include. I have witnessed that children do not have to worry about ‘keeping on a line’ when they write their text, which enables them to just write! Children create videos with the Green Screen Do Ink App and then add these into their books. They also use Apps like Yakit Kids, iMovie, Garage Band and Adobe Spark, which they are not able to do when writing in a book. The features in Book Creator, such as recording their voices, has enabled the most reluctant speakers to record their voices.

Using Book Creator has made teachers think about copyright and where children access images, so they have encouraged them to use sites such as Pixabay. We use Apple Classroom in school, which is great for focusing on learning and ensures children are on what they should be on. The tools in Book Creator are so simple to use on the iPad, which allows inclusivity for every child, something that writing in a book does not allow.

We are also fortunate to have Trilby TV in school, which also enables children to share their interactive books on televisions in: our main reception area, dining room, mezzanine and KS1 area. Visitors have commented on how great it is to see children’s work as soon as they enter school and our children (and staff) love watching work play on the screens.

Book Creator is one of the most powerful Apps we have on our iPads and the only thing stopping children is their imaginations.

Here a just a couple of examples of how Book Creator has been used: