This December has been a big one at Flakefleet Primary School where, hot on the heals of winning the UK Happiest School Award, the seed of a dream was sewn in an assembly. That seed has now become a full-on raging express train of a mission to do the seemingly impossible: To be No. 1 this Christmas 2018 with their single ‘Light Up’ with all proceeds going to Alzheimer’s UK.
As part of our School in the Fast Lane Podcast, we wanted to share the power of what can happen when a community gets heart and soul engaged in a common goal using social media, particularly Facebook, as a platform.
John Bidder (Blippit Social founder whose services support Flakefleet) interviewed Dave McPartlin (Headteacher) in early December 2018 about the part played by social media in this school community-wide mission that also raises money for Alzheimer’s.
If, in the name of science, you want to cause stress in the life of primary school parents there’s one sure fire way to do it. Just change what the children have to wear in school on one day and then stand well back.
To amplify the effect, the following would be recommended for consideration:
be slightly unclear about the date for this variation in uniform
pick a time when parents are already emotionally roller-coastering along on their own journey towards a critical event over which they have little control
e.g. religious festivals, transitions across key stage or school, national charity events like Sports or Comic relief
include the information at the foot of a newsletter as part of a much longer list
also, use Comic Sans pt size 10 or another any off-beat font to dissuade reading
if asked, tell parents you told them already in this month’s newsletter, text, radio broadcast or personal address by the Head
this reinforces their sense of powerlessness to control even the most trivial variations in their life
forget that parents are only half-listening anyway
What was that last one again?
In short, for ‘pre-stressed parents’, finding a Christmas sweater for their child has the potential to festively and royally de-rail their normally stable emotional centre.
How can a sweater have such an effect?
Well along with applying one or more of the above top 5 tips, it’s probably worth stepping back a bit and looking at these two graphs about why people think they were bullied in 2016. Take a look at the top reason.
Schools are so nurturing, so accommodating and probably unlike any other setting a child will ever experience, aside from their own family unit, when it comes to putting their needs first. Schools with the best intentions may quietly tell a parent;
“It doesn’t matter really – just something red would be fine!” or, “Just send them in with their usual one on and we can put some tinsel on it for them.”
In reality, most parents, having once been in primary school themselves, don’t hear these kind offers as intended. They want their child to ‘fit’ or if they’re going to stand out it’ll be for having the most awesome sweater ever made. Back in the day when primary parents were in school it is very possible that the top reason people thought they got bullied was no different to the 2016 survey. Judging by appearance in today’s society has arguably never been more shamelessly normalised by popular media and at some time probably everyone has been guilty of doing it. Even us perfect people.
The instinct to protect offspring is hard coded and seemingly trivial things like Christmas Sweater day can be a trigger for this instinct to kick in. People act out of character.
Should this kind of thing be kept out of school?
It’s a difficult question to answer but perhaps, in amongst everything else that school leaders and teachers bear in mind every second of every day for every child, by stepping back a bit and seeing where parents are journeying from and to we’ll all have an even more wonderful <insert religious festival or special event name here> time.
Schools from 9/10/15 (GMT evening) will be able to use all of Blippit IO’s tools for FREE!
Blippit IO App Maker
Blippit IO PureCode Python (text based coding)
Blippit IO Spotlight (video web conferencing)
You’ll be able to set up unlimited student and teacher users accounts within your school to use all of Blippit IO’s tools whenever and wherever you choose (subject to the t’s and c’s). *Schools can upgrade their FREE Account to ‘unrestricted use’ at any time as per usual.
App Maker Privacy
Administrators can now choose whether or not to publish a student’s app onto Planet Blippit
App Maker Animation
We have re-designed both the Image Widget and Slideshow Widget so that you can now upload animated Gif files into your app. These clever little files can be seen on any mobile device and have seen a resurgence in popularity recently. Here’s an example of such an animated gif featuring Blippit IO PureCode Python.
Here’s another showing animated images in the rebuilt Slideshow Widget. Don’t watch them too long though or you may go a bit mad.
Image Widget Editor
Upload and press ‘Edit Image’ to open up the powerful image editor right there in Blippit IO App Maker. Add text, Instagram-type filters, stickers and more sophisticated effects with ease and speed. This in it’s own right transforms what users can creatively achieve in their app projects.
*free accounts are not available for home-school arrangements or schools using single-sign on platforms in the UK. Schools using single0-sign on setups can of course register outside of their single sign-on platform but they would then have to log in outside of their normal habits and subsequently have more than a single sign on account to manage.
Blippit IO FREE Version! Computing App Making, Python coding, video web conferencing
It’s time to put learning literally in the Spotlight. Meaningful, authentic and unique experiences with high expectations are where Blippit IO Spotlight is aiming to help out.
Historically face-to-face communications using technology has been thwarted in school because of
technical barriers i.e. Skype is blocked or Google meant a lot of account setup and wider thought
lack of service support
stranger danger worries
memories of megabucks needed to achieve anything worthwhile
So what have we done?
We’ve created Blippit IO Spotlight & the plan is that it’ll be exclusively available to all our Blippit IO School users as part of the Blippit IO suite whether you use the App Maker or PureCode Python or both. Here’s a quick introduction:
What does Spotlight do and how is it different?
We have given the teacher full control over everything with no need for tech support. The teacher chooses
who can use video to communicate
when it’s available and therefore when it isn’t by default
when ‘rooms’ for links are available
We’ve made Blippit IO Spotlight so that teachers can
create exciting and unique opportunities for communicating and collaborating with others
connect simply to another Blippit IO member or invited ‘other’ from outside of Blippit IO
use text chat to share comments or links with others
make best use of our quick file sender to share resources with others in project chat
collaborate and communicate via Blippit IO Spotlight safely any time and anywhere
We’d like to thank all our users, past and present, for coming along with us on this change-filled time in education. Let’s face it – change became the norm many years ago so why not try to have some fun along the way? 😉
The new app maker currently in closed BETA testing is getting a, dare we suggest it, beautiful overhaul of how user admin is handled. Having played tonight with the new interface and features first-hand I can say that it makes admin almost a pleasure.
We’ll be unleashing the new app maker for general release really soon so keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested in seeing the new incarnation.
Yesterday I was on a train journey that seemed so dull it could have been in black and white. And that’s when I had an idea.
I took a sneaky quick snap in the reflection of the train window, being sure not to arouse attention with a loud shutter sound effect or auto flash that would give the game away.
I sent the photo up to the Cloud via 4G which then synced to my laptop. Once there I loaded up my beta version of the new app maker which is currently in closed testing with peeps from schools.
One of the new features in the BETA comes under the heading of ‘funky’. It was never requested by any user ever but what the heck we built it anyway because we believe it’ll have a big impact for the better.
Essentially we’ve taken the app maker and turned the Image Widget bit of it into a full blown image editor capable of quite magical things. Well, in the right hands anyway; not necessarily mine as you can see.
We can’t wait to see what our users do with this 🙂 Choo choo!