Cape of Good Hope

As the tour bus trundled along the coast road towards the Cape of Good Hope, we were stopped in our tracks. Baboons in the middle of the road! What a sight – and we weren’t even on safari! Just the normal sorts of wildlife you might expect to encounter, apparently.  And then came the farm. Neatly laid out fields, with fences around them.

A series of rectangles side by side, with the livestock huddled together in the corner, grazing. We could have been in Wales! Except that the livestock weren’t sheep, they were ostriches! Just like you’d expect in Wales, too, some of the livestock were just grazing at the side of the road, in between the road and the ocean.

Given that the only wildlife spotted the trip and conference in South Africa were a few sheep creatively stuck to the back of chairs during @innovativeteach’s seminar, it was wonderful to be so close to the native species.

So HOW did sheep manage to find their way into a presentation? It probably had more to do with the presenter’s aspirations to be a shepherd and to have a flock than with tech (!) … but a little laughter goes a long way when there is so much learning to be done!

A creative session with Stuart Ball, featuring the awesome random learning event generator from John Davitt and bug classification with liquorice allsorts – it’s amazing how much we can learn about children’s understanding of the natural world by giving them an “imaginary” creature to care for…..(the adults on our table just ATE them!) A useful tip for an interesting book was Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind”.

The other memorable seminar for me was Benjamin Nizet’s session demonstrating some of the potential of the tools we often take for granted – the new versions of them, anyway!

There are so many useful add-ins that can be downloaded – plex for powerpoint is one of my personal faves (improved dynamism for powerpoint and non-linear presentation opportunities).  A live@edu group can share files within a group skydrive; also worth checking out the Maths add-in and worksheet generator. For Uganda safaris click here.

In the latest version of word, it’s easy to create a bibliography; backgrounds can be removed from images again; powerpoint slides can be easily linked to one note for adding notes/comments so our students could make notes as we use our powerpoint; presenter view means you can see notes while the audience is looking at the powerpoint slides; mouse mischief makes the powerpoint interactive; we can teach pupils how to use the tools whilst playing on Ribbon Hero; check out the Chemistry add-in and Zoomit….. And check out the film here. SO many useful things to check out from this whistle-stop tour!!

And so my own whistle-stop tour of the week at Cape Town is almost over – a little more left to reflect on, but let me just leave you with my own tour of the Cape, starting with the historical house at Gran Constantia vineyard.

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