Review of Amazon Prime

I thought I'd review Amazon Prime today because there are quite a few substantial discounts for members for today only. For example, something I've been cogitating on for a while has nearly 20% off today. I've only talked about the UK site in this article.

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What I've been reading: Computers, they drive us crazy!

It probably won't have you clutching your sides and gasping for breath, but may bring a smile to your face.

It probably won't have you clutching your sides and gasping for breath, but may bring a smile to your face.

I don't need any excuse to leap into the nearestsecond-hand bookshop when I'm out and about, but if I were forced to provide one, it would be this. You occasionally come across some real gems.

My latest find is “Computers: they drive us crazy!”, by Helen Exley and Bill Stott. Having been published in 2007, this now officially counts as an ancient document. You can try purchasing a new copy from Amazon, if you're prepared to wait until the book is in stock, which could be never. Alternatively, you could pay anything from a penny to almost £800 to receive it very soon if your idea of deferred gratification is having to wait for the tea to brew.

Because of the difficulty of acquiring this book I thought more than twice about writing a review of it. So regard this as an exhortation to visit used book stores and a plea to give cartoon books like this a second glance.

It's a slim volume, consisting solely of wry comments on technology in the form of cartoons. It's thin enough to get through in a single sitting, and while the jokes won't have you visiting hospital with cracked ribs, they will probably bring a smile to your face.

These comments pertain to this particular book, of course, but I think they probably apply to many if not all such books.

Are they good value for money, these books? Strictly speaking, not really. At least, I tend not to buy such things for myself. On the other hand, as a small gift for the geek in your life, or a little extra on top of their main present from you, a book like this can be a nice touch.

Here's the link to this particular book on Amazon, just in case you can find a decently-priced used copy: Computers: They drive us crazy!

Book review: Don’t Change the Lightbulbs

This book collects together the thoughts and observations of over 71 people in education. These are each a little longer than the bite-sized comments typical of Twitter – I understand that they were curated from Google+ discussions. Being longer than 140 characters makes them "meaty" without being too long.

In total around 70 topics are covered, not all of them curricular.

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An article that I suppose might be called an infomercial

Self-portrait with coloured pencils"Erm, tell me, Terry. How do you actually earn money?" This is a question that I am constantly asked because, I think, I don't do a lot of self-promotion as far as drumming up work is concerned. I've tended to rely on word of mouth referrals, but in order to pre-empt the question I quoted at the start of this paragraph, and because I think I ought to be a bit more overt in my approach, I thought I'd write some articles about what I do for a living.
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Book review: Go on, bore ‘em: how to make ICT lessons excruciatingly dull

Michelle Liga writes...

boremMr. Freedman uses his extensive experience to write a clear and concise booklet on the different ways he has observed teachers instructing  their students straight into boredom purgatory.  But, he also explains how the lesson could have been changed to make it more interesting. 

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Review of Espresso Coding

esspresso code 1This application is designed to teach Computing at Key Stages 1 and 2 (a more sophisticated version for older pupils is being worked on).

What struck me immediately on using it is the amount of guidance available, both in verbal form and videos. There is quite a large range of modules to choose from, including “Starter” ones which take you through the basics and, where appropriate, recapitulate what has already been learnt.

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Review of the Google Chromebook

DSC06547I’ve been looking at the Google Chromebook, and I have to say I am seriously impressed. There’s a lot of talk about tablets these days. I myself have promoted the idea of Bring Your Own Technology, which usually means a phone or a tablet. But the Google Chromebook is worthy of consideration, whether for yourself, or whether you’re considering taking your school into the mobile future.

In order to thoroughly evaluate the Chromebook from a school perspective, I not only used the device myself, but interviewed Bruno Reddy, Head of Maths at the King Solomon Academy in London, and Jaime Casap, Global Education Evangelist at Google.

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3D Printing

Over the past few years I've written several articles about 3D printing and its potential application in education. I first came across a 3D printer at a City Learning Centre in London. That was 15 years ago at the time of writing, ie 1998. What I had not realised back then was that 3D printing had already been around for ages -- since the mid-1980s in fact.
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Review of 30 Day Blogging Challenge

If you're looking for a handy, no frills book of suggestions for blogging, this book should meet your requirements. Having been designed as an email course, 30 Day Blogging Challenge, written by Nikki Pilkington, consists mainly of 30 very short articles on different aspects of blogging. Being able to buy the whole lot in the form of a book is excellent for those of us for whom deferred gratification is an alien concept.

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