Tag Archives: Nintendo DS

Handheld Learning, Day 1 (Next Generation Learning Session)

I’m currently at Handheld Learning 2008 in the Brewery in London. So far it’s been good, waiting for the first session to start here shortly); I’ve already talked to a lot of people, some I know well and some I hadn’t (this just goes to show that there is more to a conference than sessions alone. The networking is very important as well).

Presented by Andy Black from Becta and Next Generation Learning, this session is a collection of presentations about “how to use technology well to make learning a more exciting, rewarding, and successful experience for people of all ages and abilities. I’m live blogging this session, so apologies in advance for any typos etc….

Andy: Seven presentations to make you think about learning. It’s not about mobile learning, it’s about the learning that’s mobile.

Andrew Davis from Clunbury CE (Aided) School Shropshire

Started off by showing a brief video made by students about learning with technology. It’s a rural school, so ICT is very important to connect to the rest to the world. Discussed the use of Nintendo DS’s in school and how he asked the kids how they could the DS’s:

  • to develop math skills
  • cooking skills
  • communication
  • memory skills
  • link the DS’s together

Or, in Davis’s words: engagement, fun, collaborative learning, competition, instant feedback, assessment. This was followed by some examples of use in math, used when appropriate.

Blogging to communicate with the outside world, literacy practice and feedback for writing (other students, parents; three stars and a wish).

Nicholas Hughes: Robots in KS2 (Nightingale Primary School)

Talked about the use of robots in education, and programming them. Started by experimenting and recording what they found out. Students worked together to talk and question (overcame language barriers for one student). After three weeks students started using GoRobo to control the robot and make it do things (“can you make him wave? Can you make him dance”). Showed a video to sum up the overall project.

Engagement and getting students to think and to question what they do and how they did it. Kids learned about control technology and had fun while doing it.

Gavin Hawkins (Wolverhampton LA): SynchronEyes at Stow Heath Junior School)

PDAs in schools since 2002. Involved in Learning2Go. Project grew to 200+, with 24/7 access to kids. The latter is important, and an underlying philosophy of the project. Providing content and applications, connectivity. Showed video of a day in the life of learners using mobiles in Wolverhampton (saw this video at NECC as well), with a range of examples, esp. for visual learning, including mindmapping, drawing concepts. Showed examples inside and outside of the classroom, including homework.

It’s the seamless use of the technology that really stands out here, as well as the integration into an existing school-tech infrastructure. Hooking up the handhelds to a whiteboard used as an example (using Dotpocket and My Mobiler). Then worked with Smart to develop software to show multiple handhelds, enable communication between device, laptop, and desktop, collaboration, distribute and collect files, and assessment: SynchronEyes. Number of handhelds you can use at once depends on the strength of your wifi.

Willington CE Primary School Co. Durham (Alison Richardson and Victoria Suddes)

Use of ICT and electronic assessment.

  • Electronic flying start assessment with linked evidence (children’s work, informal observations, formal observations, and photographs.
  • electronic portfolio
  • missed the third step here

Use of permanent laptops for student work, sent to network, assessed, sent back to child. Child then improves work based on comments. Works better electronically than on paper. Then showed examples of doing this, e.g. track changes in Word, Publisher, PowerPoint…

Use of stranded sheets for science, ICT, and narrative writing (they basically look like rubrics, linked to evidence, “literally just a click away”), i.e. combined into an electronic portfolio. Showed example of a claymation on the foodchain, used as evidence of learning. Are now working on making the assessment system avaible outside of school.

Matt Buxton, Djanogly City Academy, Nottingham

Plan for ICT in a “fit for purpose” curriculum with innovative ICT embedded into the planning. (anytime, anywhere, ubiquitous, independent, personalized (buzzwords, anyone?). Curriculum model is underpinned by embedded and innovative ICT. Design tasks that lend themselves to real world learning, based on a model from Queensland, New Basics: recognition of difference, supportive classroom environment, connectedness, and intellectual quality.

Connectedness: students engaging with real, practical, or hypothetical problems which connect to the world beyond the classroom (i.e. mobility too!!): learning gateway, computers for students (tablets, Q1s), wireless (wifi and wimax).

Examples of learning: oral histories, British national identity documentaries, International trade montages, etc.

Bristol – Hand e Learning  (Henbury Secondary School)

1:1 handhelds, 24/7 (both hw and www access), using Q1

Parents involved through e-Learning Foundation grants

Teacher training before students receive tech.

Video example of student interview: student talked about interactivity with teacher using the handheld, as well as using it when appropriate.

What did we do?

  • Connectivity (wireless, monitoring and filtering of connections)
  • Leadership
  • Pedagogical support
  • Parent financial contributions

Trying to minimize the things that can go wrong for a teacher, i.e. go simple.

Showed examples of activities: contextualizing literature – guided research; Image Blast, understanding poetry before reading; Video stars – building confidence and skills; Talk Wall – asynchronous tool to ask questions and get student answers that can be organized and turned into a text file.


Andy finished up by discussing how powerful all of the different tools presented can be. However, all of it should be supported by good teaching.

Image Credit: My camera


Scottish Research on Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training for Math Education


I came across some interesting work that has been done in Scottish schools with Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training. Following a trial study using the Brain Training software on a DS with three Primary 6 classes from schools in Dundee, a large-scale experiment was done with 32 classes in schools across Scotland (16 classes got the DS with Brain Training, the other 16 did not. Initial findings (however vague yet) seem to indicate some interesting results. The results will be shared at a seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival on 25th September, 2008. I for one am interested in seeing what the researchers found! 

Image Credit: Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training, http://www.braintraining.com.au/what.html

Another Handheld Learning 2008 Update

handheldlearning 2008

As sent to me by Graham Brown-Martin:

As an extra we’re providing you with a discount code for all the SIGHC members and those attending the SIGHC Forum at NECC that provides an additional 5% discount on registration against the already discounted early bird registration that includes the free Nintendo DS and game as well as access to the Handheld Learning Awards on the Monday evening (13th October). The registration fee is only £275 until July 31st and then it goes up to £325 then £375. All registrations include access all to all sessions and breakouts, attendance at the party and refreshments, lunches etc. Only the early birds get free Nintendo’s.

The code gets a 5% reduction onthese registration fees.

The code is sighchhl08 (case sensitive)

Those also thinking of coming for mLearn 2008 the week before can save money by registering for HHL 08 first with the 5% code and then get their 10% discount code from us for mLearn registration. Furthermore those flying Virgin can get a 10% discount on the lowest published price via our agreement with Virgin Atlantic.

Image Credit: www.handheldlearning2008.com

Handheld Learning 2008 Update

handheldlearning 2008

A quick update as some of the deadlines have been extended. From the Handheld Learning newsletter:

:::> Handheld Learning 2008


Wow! Delegate places are going faster than ever this year with over half of our initial allocation already sold. Is it the offer of the free Nintendo DS and game that you get to keep or is it the free invitation to the Handheld Learning Awards Party on the evening of Monday October 13th? or could it be that mLearn 2008 is running the week before, making this the world’s biggest celebration of mobility and learning ever?

To meet demand we’ve expanded the conference space and have now introduced a research strand to the event. The proceedings and programme will be ISBN numbered and published.

We have extended key dates for submissions and nominations for awards and urge you to visit the following link to avoid disappointment:

If you haven’t yet made your nominations for the Handheld Learning Awards then why not? Head over to:

We’re celebrating innovators and innovations, not tin! This will also be a party so be prepared to have fun.

Exhibitors are coming on board quickly and include industry leaders such as RM, Steljes, Toshiba, PC World Education, Wildkey, Futurelab, Becta, Childnet, e-Learning Foundation, Fourier Systems, Apple, Sanako and Koch Media.

RM are also sponsoring a breakout session and Channel 4 are this years media sponsor.

If you haven’t registered then please do it soon to avoid disappointment!

If you’re on Facebook you may like to visit the HHL 08 Facebook page at:

Image Credit: www.handheldlearning2008.com