Sunday, 23 September 2007

Networking Schools Internationally

Last week’s meeting with Jackson School, via Skype and discoverE, in Massachusetts highlighted to me how easy it is (via the internet) to virtually meet with schools across international borders - which could be used to great effect for learning (and of course it’s free).

However, one of the issues might be finding an appropriate school that would like to meet with your school.
With a large number of registered roythezebra users in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand plus other nations (a big hello to schools in Buenos Aires...), I was thinking I could quite easily put you in touch with like-minded teachers and schools in order to meet virtually - it could be to share or read stories that the children have written or simply to explain what it’s like living in a different part of the world... having that ‘real life’ contact can be so important for motivation and learning.

Naturally everyone involved would need to be vetted prior to meeting, but this is just an initial thought... if you’d like to get involved just let me know...



ps. leave me a note here if you think it’s a good idea... if I get an overwhelming response then I’ll put it out to everyone via email...

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Virtual Classroom Meeting / Jackson School Massachusetts

Very exciting afternoon yesterday - via Skype and some rather cool ‘Virtual Classroom’ software I was able to spend some excellent time with a small group of students and their teacher from 'Jackson School' in Newton, Massachusetts, USA (

Using Skype the students were able to ask me questions about the interactive Roy the zebra story and also to ask me my thoughts on the ‘Rescue Lucy’ online story and how that was coming along.

We then used the ‘discoverE’ virtual classroom software ( which allowed me to upload a powerpoint presentation with a number of my recent sketches - this included some new characters for the next story... we were able to talk about the story and what the plot could be.

Also using the discoverE software I was able to draw Roy and friends on the virtual interactive whiteboard. The students were able to draw with me adding stripes and to colour some of my drawings... wow...amazing to think that we’re thousands of miles apart... and using Australian software!

A big thank you to Lorraine Leo, their teacher, in helping to facilitate this, all the Jackson students and to Geoff Kaye, of CompuEd, for letting us use the virtual classroom software.

It was so great to meet the students and get direct feedback on and the other good thing... it was totally free as we were talking through the internet - VoIP (Voice over the internet protocol)...

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Operation: 'Rescue Lucy' Interactive Story

Work has begun on ‘Operation: Rescue Lucy’ - lots of you have been asking me when the next story is coming out and now with the new site designed I can put all my effort into writing the next interactive story... I’m interested to know whether I should go with the original title, which is ‘Operation: Rescue Lucy’ or go for the ‘Get Lucy’ (like Get Carter)... you can see I’ve got far... stuck already on the title.. (!)

I kinda like the latter... if you have a spare moment leave a note here letting me know what you think...

Also, the last story was written into 9 parts... which meant the story could be spread over a couple of weeks I mapped out the plot this last Friday and and I think it’s going to be another nine part story... I guess you could do the first story and then leave it a month and do ‘Get Lucy’... any thoughts or strong feelings welcome...
So, armed only with a pencil and a sketchpad I’m forging forward... even though I love the internet and all the flashy things that it can do my favourite tool is still the ol’ pencil and a piece of paper... HB to be precise, tried using a 4B the other day - what a disaster...

As I draw the pictures - I’ll be uploading some of them to this blog... you can try and guess what’s going on...

Best Tim