All posts by Andrew Dowell

Lernstift Pen

CNN reports;

Lernstift (German for “learning pen”) is a digital pen with a difference, carrying not only ink inside its casing but also a tiny computer that alerts users to spelling errors. A pen which vibrates when it detects its user making a mistake is being tested in schools. The Lernstift does not require ink or special paper to work and uses an internal gyroscope to work out what is being written.

lernstift_tech2[1]Check out how it works here

The AAA battery-powered Linux computer includes a vibration module and a patent pending non-optical motion sensor which recognizes specific movements and shapes of letters and words. Lernstift recognizes all writing movements, the company says, written on paper or in the air and built-in Wi-Fi allows scribblers to connect with smartphones, computers or other pens in a network.

A Kickstarter campaign recently got underway looking to raise £120,000 ($180,000). The first pens will initially recognize only English and German spellings, but other languages will follow, says its co founded Daniel Kaesmacher. Eventually, the company plan to offer pencil, fountain and ballpoint pen options with a launch price between €120-150 ($160-200) falling to under €50 ($60) depending on how fast the company grows.


BrainRush is used by Functional Skills lecturer Jonathan Swaby who highly recommends it to other lecturers.

“Founded by video game pioneer Nolan Bushnell (creator of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese), BrainRush is on a mission to unlock the genius in each of us through smarter learning. We believe that adaptive games make learning faster, more fun, and more fulfilling.”

“Games have an amazing ability to capture and hold our attention. They are also an exceptionally effective way to learn. Our Adaptive Practice technology applies the science of learning to every BrainRush.”


Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
This teaching resource has been used by English Lecturer Will Sherwood, who commented;

“Socrative is a great type of assessment that can be used as either a Starter or Plenary. In teaching Animal Farm, I put together a quiz (made up of multiple choice, true or false, or one answer questions) to test what students had learnt since I took over the class. Socrative allows you to not only create a wide range of questions  but you can move them around during the creation process as well. The major thing to consider when creating the questions is how long could the answer be? Socrative is unforgiving and students answers must match your own. Although you can offer multiple answers (each one needs to be separated by a comma) if the answer is more than one word, you need to consider every single alternative answer your students could come up with. If they’ve given the right answer but it tells them they’re wrong, you’ll definitely be hearing about it! The great thing about the quiz is that they are never set in stone, after trialling one, you can go back and modify it depending on the level of your students or the success of the quiz.

An addition to Socrative is that once everyone has completed the quiz, it gives you, the teacher, an excel spreadsheet with every students answer to each question and colours in the correct answers green and the wrong answers red.

I would highly recommend Socrative quiz as students find it a great way to test their knowledge and as an extension task, you can get students to create their own quizzes to test the rest of the class on.”

Check out this instructional video for a how to guide:

iTunes U

March 5th report by BBC News education correspondent Sean Coughlan …

The exam revision season is approaching. It’s when students want as much information as possible at their fingertips.

So how about if you could touch a screen and download all the lesson materials you need?

Not just broadly relevant, generic materials, but the actual classes you’ve studied, video and text, put together specifically by your own teachers.

These are the equivalent of digital textbooks supporting lessons for each subject, including the days missed or forgotten. Continue reading

Skype in the Classroom

“Welcome to the world’s biggest classroom”

“We believe that amazing learning experiences should be available to everyone. Skype in the classroom is a free platform for connecting educators and experts to learners everywhere.”

Teachers globally are transforming their classroom using Skype to create motivating learning experiences for their students. From connecting with classrooms in other locations to learning about each others’ studied subject to connecting with content experts – teachers are extending learning beyond classroom walls.

Find out how Skype in the classroom works:

How to join Skype in the classroom:

How to create a lesson on Skype in the classroom: