Just because I haven’t written stuff up on my blog doesn’t mean that I have stopped doing the creative original stuff! It just means I’m too busy to write it up! It also means that I have plenty of stuff to deliver on here when I have a spare 3 hours!

So I thought I’d share a persuasive writing project I did with my Y3 (aged 6-7 years) class. As my regular readers know I love using free stuff that I find on the web-especially generators (parts 1 and 2 ). They are online web tools that with a few taps of a keyboard can generate anything from a personalised newspaper front page to a Rubrics’ cube with your face on it. Why I really like them is because they give students ownership of their own creation, can be used by all abilities and provide a brilliant stimulus for writing. Especially good for the reluctant writers (Boys!).

This was a half-term project of about 6 weeks, for each web tool the students used, I had a pattern of learning, to get the best end results. First they played with the generator for a lesson, then they were experts for the next lesson, when it came to creating the end result that I really wanted.

We have Cross-curricular projects at my school, the Literacy strand runs alongside the topic. We find that our students are much more motivated when the teacher says ‘We will write about Robots today’ than if they said ‘We will write non-chronological reports today’… The students topic was Yorkshire and we had decided to look at famous Yorkshire foods (Yorkshire Tea, Rowntrees Fruit Pastels , Terry’s Chocolate Orange etc). Watched some adverts and then set them a challenge- a made up letter from a Yorkshire Pudding manufacturer that was asking them to design a new brand of Yorkshire Pudding. The students had to create a brand name, logo, packaging, slogan and advert campaign.

This part is not very original, as I have seen loads of this type of project before, students creating their own product by drawing and writing but I wanted the students to create something that actually looked like a packaged product, looked like a professionally done logo and looked like an actual advert on a billboard. With generators the students could do this.

Firstly we talked about the importance of logos and how recognisable they are, we did a little logo quiz (Loads in this image search) and then the pupils created their own logo based on their name. There’s a fabulous Logo website (Logonut) which generates 100’s of logos just by typing. Allows you to include the product name and slogan, the only drawback being that to download the image you have to pay but we got around this by PRTSC (Print Screen) the image and editing in PowerPoint.


This led to discussions about how important their logo design was and how their design reflected their interests.  They then produced their own ‘name’ logo in PowerPoint. Changing font and importing clip art images from a tailored Google search.

Next we talked about product names and ones suitable for a Yorkshire Pudding maker. Students then used the same process as their own name to design a logo for their Yorkshires.


We then moved on to slogans, again we had a slogan quiz (and loads here) to see if the students could recognise products just from their slogans. We had discussions about how if a slogan is powerful enough you can recognise the product just be seeing the slogan. Pupils used The Advertising Slogan generator to come up with slogans for their Yorkshire Pudding brand. What’s great about the generator is that not all the slogans fit the brand and students worked in teams to select the right one for them.


Students then put their Logo and slogan together using Logonut and made something like this-



They also used PowerPoint to refine their Product and personalise, using the same process as they had with their Logo. So in a few short weeks students had produced quite professional looking Yorkshire Pudding Brand Logo and Slogans. They had used generators as a stimulus to spark their own creations using PowerPoint. I definitely know that if only given a piece of paper and a pen, the students wouldn’t have produced the same!

Now we went on to look at advertising and showed them some Billboard adverts of Yorkshire Products. We talked about how the Slogan and Product name were a very big part of the advertising campaign. Students started making connections and could see how important their choices of slogan and logo had been.

We talked about the places adverts were seen and gave pupils homework to write down all the place they saw an advert. Pupils then used different Advert Generators to produce their own Yorkshire Pudding Adverts. Bus advert generator-

This excellent Billboard advert Generator lets you upload your own image (students had saved their creations in PowerPoint as JPEG image files).


Big Huge Labs is a favourite of mine and they have a brilliant Billboard Advert Generator which again uses images but also lets you choose a number of different locations.


Students had a lesson to play with the generators and I gave them a wide variety to choose from http://www.signgenerator.org/ and http://www.customsigngenerator.com/ have loads!

The students had great fun and were able to see their product as a virtual advert and most importantly it was adding realism to the project. Students had created their product brand name, logo, slogan and now advert. All the way through this process much discussion took place about persuasive writing, although not much writing was done the students were already in a creative mindset, were having fun learning and using generators for the process gave them ownership of their brand.

Now students were asked to create the product packaging and they had great fun looking at some Yorkshire Product Packaging (Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Rowntrees’ Randoms ). We talked about what crucial information needed to be on packaging and had a very interesting discussion about what info brands had to have on their packages by law. We then looked at Yorkshire Pudding Packaging and challenged the pupils to create an innovative package design for one Yorkshire Pudding.

Students used the brilliant 3-D package design ( have also used in a to create CD’s of their own made up bands )to use their Logos to make online 3-D box images.


Sometimes though you just can’t generate products using the web (maybe when I get my 3-D printer in 5 years time..) and on this occasion the students made the packaging using 3D nets. We used the fabulous SENteacher 3D net generator to print out some different 3D shapes onto card. Students then used the old fashioned cut ‘n’ stick method to transfer their images on to their 3D shapes.

Students then watched TV adverts and wrote scripts for their own Brand’s TV advert, concentrating on persuading the consumer to buy their Puddings. They then used iPads to video their adverts, editing them with iMovie to add music and graphics.

I hope this inspires others to try this project out, using web generators really does give students experiences they can’t have with a piece of paper and a pen.

For those who have no idea what a Yorkshire Pudding is click here

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

I thought I’d share some of the online resources that I use in class  to teach the pupils about Bonfire Night (5th November). Some you may already use and hopefully quite a lot of them will be new to you.

Obviously if you haven’t heard of the Gunpowder plot and Guy Fawkes or the whole reason us English folk have bonfires-then you need a starting point. Look no further than the ever brilliant Simon Haughton (@simonhaughton) and his Infant encyclopaedia.


Not only does it have text to speech but games and lots of activities to stimulate learners. http://www.parkfieldict.co.uk/infant/bonfire/contents.html

For older students look no further than a great BBC game about the Gunpowder Plot which combines elements of learning through games, searching for clues and using historical evidence. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/interactive/games/gunpowder/index_embed.shtml


Obviously Firework safety is a must and in particular the Children’s Burns Trust have some must use resources. They have a number of short animated stories that highlight the dangers of fireworks http://www.welephant.co.uk/bonfirestory000.htm they also have a few games, a matching game for infants is particular good at pointing out the dangers http://www.cbtrust.org.uk/prevention/learningzone/infants/cardgame.html . Prevention really is the best way and the CBT website has an excellent firefighting school that pitches the message just at the right level http://www.cbtrust.org.uk/prevention/learningzone/juniors/firefighter.html .


TES iBoard has a very good Firework shape poem activity http://www.iboard.co.uk/activity/Shape-Poem-Maker-Fireworks-1539 and lesson plans but unfortunately it’s a paid service but you can get a free trial.


I’m saving my favourites till last, these are the resources that the children use at home and request the most every year. Online virtual firework displays! First up is the Virtual Sparkler and it does what it says on the tin, it’s a lovely idea and very creative especially if you get kids to draw letter shapes- http://www.bleepbloop.net/swf/sparkler.swf

Next up is Art website Highlights with Make your own Fireworks show  http://www.highlightskids.com/flash/make-your-own-fireworks-show Here you simply press five coloured buttons to fire off fireworks to a soundtrack choice of 3 songs.


Disney Create have a rather nifty fireworks show creator-you add the fireworks and it provides the music for you to copy the famous Disney fireworks display behind their Princess castle http://www.disney.co.uk/disney-create/fireworks/

Crayola have a similar themed Fireworks spectacular, no music this time but the fireworks explode into interesting shapes like hearts or smiley faces  http://www.crayola.co.uk/kids-playzone/fireworks-spectacular.aspx .


Then there’s American Firework maker Phantom website,Just a brilliant fireworks show builder where you can actually choose from Phantoms whole range of fireworks, arrange them in a fireworks display yourself and watch as these really expensive fireworks blast off in glorious colour over your screen! http://www.fireworks.com/showbuilder/#

Lastly there’s a rather good History of Fire animation that documents our obsession with fire and why it has been so important in the development of the human race, since the dawn of time.  http://www.welephant.co.uk/HOFPart1.htm

I use all the resources I have shared with you to stimulate student writing-descriptions, adjectives, historical recounts, safety posters, etc. By using virtual Fireworks children create something they can’t possible do with real fireworks, it gives them ownership and they produce much better writing outcomes. That’s the beauty of the web!

For those children who find writing difficult-I’ve included the Makaton PDF of Firework icons that is free on their website.

Remember please stay safe and follow the firework code. .

If you know of any more links to resources please add them on the comments section below.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

This a post I wrote for June’s #UKEdchat magazine-I’ve since added a few more resources.

This Meme was posted on Twitter a while ago-


I kind of agreed with it but knew of loads of great ways that I have used Google Earth, Maps and StreetView in my classroom. Maybe people only used it to look at their houses because they weren’t aware of all the great resources out there. In this article I’ll showcase some brilliant resources that will definitely stimulate learning and especially writing in your class.

I teach in the top 2% most deprived areas in Europe, the students have a paucity of imagination because of their lack of experience, missed opportunities to visit places and having very little background of wider reading. They don’t tend to watch the Discovery Channel either!

So it’s with little surprise that they fail to be ignited when the teacher stands in front of them and tells them that they have just climbed the largest mountain in the world (Did we drive up?) and  are now standing at the tallest point on earth (I’ve been to the top of Blackpool tower). Could they now describe what they are looking at? (No) Could they write about they’re amazing journey? (Not really) and could they write a detailed description of the top? (No chance).

Why do we as educators make the same mistakes, are we trying to test how badly they could write about something? It’s not the students fault, when the nearest they’ve ever travelled is to the City Centre, they just haven’t the experience or the knowledge, to formulate an accurate picture for their imagination to work. It’s not just those poorer students who suffer from this, for most pupils the top of Mount Everest might as well be an alien planet hundreds of light years away.

That’s the beauty of today’s internet, the World Wide Web should be renamed Wherever, Whatever, Whoever because with the web you can visit places on this earth (and beyond) that most of us will never have a chance to visit in the flesh in our lifetimes.

Who needs imagination when you can actually go there!

After mapping the world (well the places that will let them!) with their StreetView car, Google have now turned their attention to places that their car can’t get to. They called this Google Treks and use a backpack 360 camera to capture these places.


They’ve included some fascinating places-The Great Barrier Reef and the Galapagos Islands Trek gives the viewer the opportunity to venture underwater and really explore aquatic life.


For the Great Barrier Reef, you actually enter the sea from a beach in Google StreetView!

Imagine using this a stimulus for writing about an underwater kingdom or using Finding Nemo as a complimentary learning topic-complete engagement of pupils.

Wanting your students to write factfiles of some of the worlds great wonders-Google has that covered too! Explore The Eifel Tower, The Taj Mahal, the canals of Venice and even the tallest Building on the planet, the Burj Kalifa


Google also have a wonderful ‘World Wonders’ website where you can explore Stonehenge and the banks of the river Seine in Paris, amongst many others.

Google have used Treks to map some of natures great places.

Want to travel up Japan’s Mount Fuji, explore the Grand Canyon in America, walk along the Colorado River or the Amazon Basin-You can!


Want to see the nature in Churchill (Canada’s capital of Polar Bears) or see the Arctic at Iqalut-you can!

Talking of nature and especially animals, there are a number of animal tracking websites that will allow students to look at the movement of animals in real time. Fascinating when teaching about migration or nocturnal animals. You can imagine the students faces when they see just how far an animal travels around when seeing it on a map.

You can see Polar Bears with BearTracker-



You can view the movement of Jaguars and many other species with the WWF wildlife tracker. These animals even have names and I have used this resource to ask the students to write about the day in the life of Naipi the Jaguar.



There are also quite a few Shark trackers and one of the best is Ocearch, where you can see the migration of sharks and it gives plenty of details of each tagged animal.


Google Maps views is a place where people upload their 360 photographs (photos that are scrollable through 360 degrees, giving the viewer a more in depth feel to the place photographed)


You can click on any place pin to access these and there are even a view surprises.

Click on the pin in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and you get a panoramic view of the International Space Station-complete with photo of that astronaut with a moustache!


Panorama photos are great for taking pupils to places that they would never be able to visit. Using the Screencast-O-matic screen recorder website you can create a pretty realistic walk on the moon. Especially when on Panorama.dk they have loads of photos (together with actual sounds from the landings) of every Apollo flight to the moon.





Actually there is a little known trick in Google Earth-by selecting the right hand menu you can change Earth to Moon

or Mars.

You can explore them just like Earth and Google Mars even has real time updates of the Rovers mapping the planet out.

It also has lots of handy information and even a virtual robot assistant!





Any guesses where this photo is from?


Yes-it’s from the highest point above sea level on earth, the top of Mount Everest!

You can have a brilliant explore around using the panorama website and when you link it with Google Treks streetview of Everest base camp it makes writing about the Epic journey of Edmund Hilary all the more realistic!

I going to end this article with a few gems. These websites I have used to fill a little time and to stimulate art in class.

Firstly there’s Geogessr, a genius site where it randomly shows you a Google Streetview image and you have to pinpoint where it is in the world. You get points for getting close to real location and is great fun!


Next is Red Bull Google Street Art view. Red Bull had the genius idea of tagging all the places in the world that you can see Street Art on Google Street View.

Get glimpses of Banksy classics in the proper environments!


Google now have their own Street Art section on their Cultural site.

Then there’s Tate Britain’s Google Maps Mash-up ArtMaps, on these maps you select a location it shows you any artwork that the Tate has in it’s posession that’s linked to that location. Brilliant when researching local history.



Let’s go back to the beginning, sometimes it’s really useful to use Google StreetView to explore where your house is. Especially when there’s two fabulous StreetView image manipulating websites that allows the user to create amazing images.

Streetview StereoScopic turns your house (or Eifel Tower or Stonehenge) into a mini-planet.



Especially useful when asking children to make up alien planets and to describe them.

Or using the Top Trumps Generator at the BigHugeLabs website to write planet factfiles.


There’s Roschmap that mirrors the Streetview image to produce stunning art works.

Finally I’ll share a fabulous resource from Google (only downside being you need to sign in with a Google/Gmail account) called Tour Builder.


Using Google Earth you can add points of interest around the globe, add written descriptions, videos and photographs.The children in my class used it to write written descriptions of their journeys from Home to School, with screenshots from StreetView of interesting landmarks or location stories.

After you have finished it produces a brilliant video stitching all these aspects together-here’s the video I made to support Nelson School in New Zealand and support their effort to connect globally. (#gigatownnsn)



I hope I’ve shared enough for you to see that Google Maps are more than just looking at your own house and that you can see how much potential they have to stimulate and engage writers in the classroom.

All the resources (and more!) are available by typing this into the web address bar idsfac.me/urthere and I have loads of stimulating resources on my website ideasfactory.me .

Please tweet me at @ideas_factory if you want to ask me anything.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

On the 23rd of January 2014 it was my 5 year anniversary on Twitter. It all started with this Tweet.



Nothing too visionary, groundbreaking or related to education. It took me nearly 10 months to start using Twitter as my Personal Learning Network (PLN), although now I prefer my Global Learning Network (GLN) as my twitter feed comes from so many inspiring educators from all around the world. This delay was because I didn’t know anything about GLN’s or teachers using Twitter for learning. Nobody in my school was using Twitter for education, in fact nobody in any of the primary schools in the City of Sheffield was either!(although I didn’t know it at the time the excellent Lois Linderman (@morethanMaths) a Sheffield Secondary Teacher started in 2007)  I had no trailblazers to follow, no innovators to inspire or any leaders to guide me.

Or so I thought.

What I didn’t understand at the time was how Twitter worked. My very first tweet was read by nobody! In fact my first months worth of tweets weren’t seen by anyone! I didn’t have a single follower for 3 months-yet I kept on tweeting because I didn’t understand Twitter.

Then in November 2009 some 10 months since my first tweet, I attended the Guardian Innovation in Education conference in London. They had a Twitter back channel and were displaying their tweets! I started tweeting my views about the conference and went to my first tweet-up.(There were 6 of us out of an attendance in the 500’s!)


At that first tweet-up I met up with Zoe Elder (@fullonlearning) and James Cross (@jamesrCross) who I still follow today, it was at this meeting where the group discussed the conference and we continued to tweet each other after the lunch meet-up had finished. It was this point I started to realise the potential of twitter for educators, I started following more educators from around the globe whose tweets interested me. I started joining in conversations.

At last I could see a purpose for using Twitter as an Educator, for sharing great practise, for discussing education topics and for learning from educators from around the globe.

Anyway enough with the nostalgia!The two reasons for this post (apart from celebrating 5 years of twitter and averaging 16 tweets a day since I joined!) are-

  • When I first started on Twitter I didn’t know who to follow, I had no idea who were the best sharers of resources and I had to go on a twitter journey following people as I had conversations. The more conversions and links I made on twitter, the more people I followed and who followed me. It took me at least 10 months to truly start my GLN and to follow enough people to make Twitter worthwhile.
  • Recently I have seen companies charging educators to establish a GLN on twitter for them! Cheekily asking hard-working educators for their money to do something that is extremely simple and cost-free!

So I decided to establish a twitter list (how to do this here) of 250 educators who are worth following, that will kickstart an educators GLN and lead you to opening up the brilliant world of twitter as CPD. This is FREE and most of the educators will follow you back (as long as you have a twitter bio that states that you are an educator) . There is no monetary gain for me-only the satisfaction that if you use this list, that I have helped you on an incredible journey that I started 5 years ago.

So open this link https://twitter.com/Ideas_Factory/lists/follow-these-edufolk-1st  to my list of global educators (admittedly heavily UK centric) and follow these instructions.

Click on members   image and follow!

A few more things-

Try @batttuk (Bring a Teacher to Twitter) brilliant website as a first port of call if you are new to Twitter.

If you want to know when you first started on twitter-try the excellent Twopcharts How long on Twitter website.

If you’d like to see how you can download and access all your tweets-this fantastic ‘how to’ guide by Aaron Lee shows you how.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

(NB From Julian-This post is By Jonathan Ovenden and part of my visit to BETT. I agreed to cross-post this blog post because I am a primary teacher who works with white working class children, at a school who uses technology and I can see that it does make a difference.)

Last summer, 63 per cent of our student population who took GCSEs walked away with five or more C+ grades including English and maths. While the debate raged around whether this performance was good enough, I was struck by another figure.

That figure was for FSM white working class boys. In this group, only 26 per cent achieve five or more GCSEs, including English and maths meaning they are the lowest attaining group of all children. Somewhat surprisingly, their underachievement is also lower than many other ethnic groups who may have additional language barriers to contend with.

Closing the gap

Although the problem is not new, the increasing focus from the government on closing the attainment gap between certain learners means schools need to direct more resources towards this and other potentially vulnerable groups to ensure all children progress.

According to David Godfrey, a principal of two schools in Northumberland – Central First School and Hirst Park Middle School, technology can help with this process and re-engage hard-to-reach learners: “Technology is a fantastic enabler. It pushes many of the buttons that motivate boys and develops many of the skills we need to encourage in lower ability learners.”

David is well placed to advise on the issue of using technology to motivate white working class boys. Both of his schools have over 50 per cent of children on FSM, and the area is predominantly white working class.

Having supplied the coal pits with miners years ago, the region now has little industry and many families are third generation unemployed. David shares his views on how technology can be used in the classroom and beyond to help teachers make progress with this group.

Encourage independence

According to David, technology has been useful in his school, because it encourages independent learning skills. “One of the issues you can find with lower ability learners is that they are often spoon fed learning and so are unable to apply what they have learnt in one subject to other learning.”

Technology can be used to encourage children to discover things for themselves and progress. Tablet use is widespread in David’s schools as it helps children find facts out for themselves, not from a teacher.

Personalise learning
If the right tools are chosen, it can also help tailor learning to the individual. “Personalised learning is an expectation of schools but in reality, is difficult to achieve,” explains David. “The right e-learning technology, however, can help teachers diagnose issues and then present learning materials that are relevant to that child’s exact needs.”

Reward success
It helps ensure progress is rewarded frequently. “Boys are motivated by competition so anything that feeds on that works well. But we also have to appreciate that there is another side to their nature. When boys do not win, they can feel like failures.”

In primary school, by the time you get to Year Five or Six in your hard-to-reach groups, this sense of failure can seem normal and so it helps to break that cycle. Online learning programmes that give frequent feedback encourage boys by showing that they can succeed and this encourages further success.

Make the content relevant to boys
The type of content is crucial in motivating boys as they can be switched off quickly by what they see as bland or ‘girly’ activities. An example at David’s school demonstrates the success of this approach, “We needed boys to be more engaged in written elements of the curriculum and switching the activities to focus on pirates and adventures achieved the desired effect. The girls adapted to the new materials without a problem too.”

Involve parents
“Parents hold the key to a child’s achievement so anything that offers the ability to share results or activities with parents is ideal,” says David. Sharing the learning at home allows parents to motivate their children to try harder and even learn alongside their child. With so many online or cloud-based resources available, this is far easier than it ever has been.

By choosing resources that are suited to this hard-to-reach group, you can have an impact on their achievement that will reap rewards beyond improved results. Happier pupils, more engaged parents and even more empowered teaching staff to name but a few.

imageJonathan Ovendenis a director at vision2learn who will be at BETT 2014 (stand F346) if any readers want to discuss these issues with him further.

Further reading: Centre for Social Justice report

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

For the fifth #BlappSnapp we’re off to Sunny Sheffield in the United Kingdom with the amazing Shaun Hopper (@shaunh0pper)

BlappSnapp Logo 300x225 If a picture paints a thousand words! #BlappSnapp

He’s blogged about the fantastic app Socrative on his great website, Fabtasticteachingideas


Intrigued?Please read this explanation of  #BlappSnapp

If you’d like to join the global educators who are writing a #BlappSnapp we still have spare spots after Christmas.

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp.

Next weeks #blappsnapp is from  @thisisliamM and his blog http://www.primary-ideas.blogspot.co.uk

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

For the forth #BlappSnapp we’re off to Lancashire with the brilliant Sarah Bedwell (@FlyMyGeekFlag)


BlappSnapp Logo 300x225 If a picture paints a thousand words! #BlappSnapp


She’s blogged about the fantastic app Stage on her great website, Fly My Geek Flag.


Please read this explanation of  #BlappSnapp

If you’d like to join the global educators who are writing a #BlappSnapp we still have spare spots after Christmas.

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp.

Next week it’s Yorkshire’s turn with Shaun Hopper (@shaunh0pper) for his #blappsnapp next week on his Fab Teaching Ideas blog.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

BlappSnapp Logo 300x225 If a picture paints a thousand words! #BlappSnapp

For the third #BlappSnapp it’s on to Canada and the Math educator Chris Webb (@crippit) from Montreal.

He’s blogged about the fantastic app Videoscribe on his great website, My Math adventures.


Please read this explanation of  #BlappSnapp

If you’d like to join the global educators who are writing a #BlappSnapp we still have spare spots after Christmas.

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp

Next week it’s Sarah Bedwell’s (@Flymygeekflag)  turn-look out for her #BlappSnapp on her website Fly My Geek Flag!

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"


BlappSnapp Logo 300x225 If a picture paints a thousand words! #BlappSnapp

For the second Blapp Snapp it’s over to @MrWilBaker with his post about using Thinglink.

A brilliant post-Cheers Wil.

Please read this explanation of  #BlappSnapp

If you’d like to join the global educators who are writing a #BlappSnapp we still have places for after Christmas.

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp

Next weeks #BlappSnapp  is Chris Webb (@crippit) a Math Teacher from Montreal, Canada.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

I love discovering new iPhone/Pad apps-especially ones where the application works well in the classroom. I love to share the newest apps and that’s why I started #BlappSnapp (Blogging about an App that has great edu potential) and this is the start of a series of #BlappSnapps by educators around the world.

Sometimes Apps work well on their own but occasionally I can see potential for blending 2 apps together. A number of educators have been calling this App Smashing.

This is the case for Sketchify and PhotoLayers.

These 2 apps are both photo or image manipulation apps. They both have rather unique features that when combined offer something of real potential to educators.

PhotoLayers gives the user the option  to cut out any image from a photograph and mix it with a background of your choice-similar to the online Clipping Magic.

Sketchify is an app that gives you lots of different filters for your photographs and the ‘Morfo Booth’ or ‘Crazy Talk’ ability of animating still images and making them talk.

Here’s how I used Sketchify to animate a photo of me as a 14 year old,

and here’s how I used Sketchify to produce a topic starter for my class’ new topic ‘We are Inventors’ (After I showed them a clip of Back to the Future-so they knew who Doc Brown was!!)Pretty impressive considering the app only costs 69p!

So for a topic of Recycling, I had this great idea that the Wombles of Wimbledon had relatives that lived in Sheffield and they came out at night and recycled all the Rubbish that the School community had thrown away. Only trouble was-how could I convince the pupils that the Wombles lived in Sheffield!This is where PhotoLayers came in very handy.

1. I took a photo of Skye Edge (The title of Richard Hawley’s excellent album ‘Standing On the Skye’s Edge’) 2. I then sourced a picture of a cuddly toy Womble from the internet. 3. Then I used PhotoLayers to cut out the white background of the Womble cuddly toy image and add the Skye Edge photo as a background.



I still wasn’t convinced that this would convince my students that the Wombles lived in Sheffield. I then realised how I could use Sketchify to make the photo come alive!


I thought it was a pretty impressive effect. By App smashing Sketchify and PhotoLayers it completely convinced my pupils to enter into the imaginary world that I had created and they thoroughly enjoyed the Recycling topic.

That’s the first Blapp Snapp-over to Wil Baker (@MrWilBaker) who will am sure Blapp Snapp my effort!

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp

Blapp Snapp




Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"
About me
UK Primary School Future Learning Technologist.I am into Experience and Fun Based Learning.I use web tools to stimulate writing. I've been Playing and Learning since 1970. Have some fabulous ideas now & again.. Check out my about.me profile!
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www.ideasfactory.me does not use cookies.

DoubleClick DART Cookie

.:: Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on www.ideasfactory.me.
.:: Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to www.ideasfactory.me and other sites on the Internet.
.:: Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy at the following URL - http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html

Some of our advertising partners may use cookies and web beacons on our site. Our advertising partners include
Google Adsense

These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to the advertisements and links that appear on www.ideasfactory.me send directly to your browsers. They automatically receive your IP address when this occurs. Other technologies ( such as cookies, JavaScript, or Web Beacons ) may also be used by the third-party ad networks to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and / or to personalize the advertising content that you see.

www.ideasfactory.me has no access to or control over these cookies that are used by third-party advertisers.

You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party ad servers for more detailed information on their practices as well as for instructions about how to opt-out of certain practices. www.ideasfactory.me's privacy policy does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other advertisers or web sites.

If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your individual browser options. More detailed information about cookie management with specific web browsers can be found at the browsers' respective websites.