Monday, 25 January 2016


Last week I had a wonderful time working with the year 6 class at Carrington Primary School in Nottingham. Having recently purchased some Crumble Controller Sets from Redfern Electronics we tried out all sorts of programming and electronics activities. The lesson notes can be found by clicking here 

Wall display created after the session.
We started by connecting some LEDs to the boards and then programming them to switch on and off in different ways. Previous  experience with Scratch meant that the drag and drop interface in the Crumble programming tool was readily understood by the class. It was impressive how easily they applied their knowledge to the new interface.

We progressed to using the sparkle lights; pupils cooperated by connecting them in long chains and also programming them in different sequences. We then added a push button switch.

We finished by experimenting with the traffic light module. First programming an individual one and then combining laptops to control both directions of traffic and finally all 4 points of a crossroads. Our intention is to have a follow-up session attaching the crumble controllers to some crumble bots and programming them.

Evaluating the session we agreed that the learning objectives had been exceeded in all areas. I was impressed at how reliable the equipment was and how well it performed. The class really enjoyed the session as it reinforced and extended their programming and knowledge of electric circuits. They were extremely creative in solving problems and celebrated their successes.

Thank-you Carrington for inviting me to join you.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Stop-Frame Animation at Cantrell Primary School

I recently spent a wonderful time at Cantrell Primary School in Nottingham. In year 4 our focus was to explore stopframe animation on the theme of A Roman adventure. We used iPads and the Zu3D app. Children worked in pairs having already made their plasticine models.

Setting up the stage and workspace is key to success in stop-frame animations. Our stages were a collection of old computer boxes with an A3 image blutacked to them. To raise the characters we used a pile of books covered in sugar paper and the ipads were supported vertically using a stand fashioned from a copier paper box lid. A bit Heath Robinson but it works and is cheap!

If you are unfamiliar with the Zu3D app it will be helpful to know that it has a really easy to use interface and in addition to capturing and editing frames it is possible to add music and sound effects, record voice overs, add and edit titles and subtitles and add speech bubbles. We didn’t explore the ability to group frames and the copy, paste and reverse them. The class were completely engaged by the task, collaborated well with their partners and met a really tight deadline to complete their animations. The results were fantastic!
Thanks-you for inviting me to your school to lead this project. You can see some pictures of the day by clicking here
Nottingham e-Learning Community is part of Nottingham City Council, Children and Adults