The Missing Blog posts: 2. Teachmeet Bev

I realised the other day that I’ve got a stack of posts that I thought I’d published that are actually still waiting to be finished. Most embarrassing of all is that it included the recording of the sing along from Teachmeet Bev, which I cheerfully announced several months ago would be posted ‘tomorrow’. Hugh apologies to everyone that’s been waiting for this!

My presentation to Teachmeet Bev back in August was on turning your class into rockstars.

The idea for the presentation came from three places. Firstly, my own frustrated inner-rock star, who is so rarely allowed out these days, secondly, the line on the teachmeet wiki that says presenters are welcome to use song (although I’m not aware of any who have), and thirdly, and most importantly, two of my year 8 class from last year. As part of their open history project, they rewrote the words to both ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Telephone’ to be about the Great Fire of London. Having found kareoke versions of the songs on YouTube they came to me to see if we could work out who to record them singing along to them. The presentation owes a debt of gratitude to their ideas, and their willingness to sit around while I tried things out until we got it working 1

In practical terms, to turn your class into rock stars you need to do the folllowing:

  1. Choose a song, and enter the name of the song plus the word ‘Kareoke’ into youtube. Assuming that an instrumental version of the track is available…
  2. Use zamzar.com to download an mp3 of the video. Add the mp3 to an mp3 player of your choice.
  3. Fire up Audacity or Garageband. While listening to the mp3, record the new vocals
  4. Add the mp3 file you downloaded earlier as a second track, and sync it up with the vocals.
  5. Adjust the relative volumes of the tracks, add any effects you want and export.
  6. Bob’s your uncle – one recording of your classes song, with new lyrics.

Now, never being one for an easy life, rather than simply telling everbody this, I thought we’d give it a try. I cobbled together some new words to the tune of Empire State of Mind and, much to my relief, rather than being booed from the stage, everyone joined in and did a great job.

If I was being critical of myself, I would have got everyone to do sing it twice through (so as to avoid the slightly delayed start) and I would have sung quieter. The first is a good tip for anyone doing this in real life, the second is only for people as tuneless as me. I’m also mystified as to how I could get the fifth line to scan perfectly the night before, and again on the train home, but just not from the stage!

Can I say a massive thank you to everyone at Teachmeet Bev for being such good sports, and for the great feedback both from the ‘in-person’ audience and those watching on the Flashmeeting.


Everyone around you’s so friendly,
Ideas, we’ve got plenty
You’re at a teachmeet
Presenters show what they can do
And now you can do it too
Let’s hear it for Teachmeet, Teachmeet, Teachmeet


Teachmeet final

  1. It’s worth noting, not content with this, they went off and recorded a video to go with it as well!
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The Missing Blog Posts: Pt 1 – Teachmeet SHP

I realised the other day that I’ve got a stack of posts that I thought I’d published that are actually still waiting to be finished. I’m going to try and get them out in the next few days. In this case I thought I’d already blogged this, but unless I’m going mad I can’t see it, so I think I must have tweeted the link, but not posted a copy here.

I couldn’t make the SHP conference this year, but was glad to be in virtual attendence for the first SHP Teachmeet 1, organised by Nick Dennis.

This was my 7 minutes, on using open ended, student-led projects in history.

Micro Presentation for Teachmeet at the SHP Conference ’10 from Dave Stacey on Vimeo.

  1. A teachmeet, for anyone who has never been, is a teaching ‘unconference’ in which audience members make either 2 or 7 minute presentations based on something they’ve been doing in their classrooms. More information can be found at teachmeet.org.uk
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What can you do with a mobile phone?

Just curious as to what the position is on mobile devices in schools in the UK (and further afield). By mobile device I mean a phone, ipod or similar device which can be used for learning, although also has other purposes. If you get two seconds, please let me know your position below.

You can view the results as they come in here.

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16th Century Facebook

16th C FacebookI’m concious of a backlog of half finished posts, but here’s one I can put up quickly.

Emma sent round a link to this newsbiscuit story about Henry VIII lying on his match.com profile as a starter for our work on the Tudors which will be kicking off in half term. Never having been a member of said site I’m not sure what their pages look like, but the idea reminded me a couple of uses of facebook I’ve seen (and possibly blogged about) in the past, so I’ve just thrown together a empty facebook profile page in photoshop which can be dropped into the dtp / wordprocessing package of your choice and be used to get students to create facebook profiles of historical characters. Or countries. Or literary characters. Or in another language. Or one side of a quadratic equation.

Or maybe not.

Still, you get the idea.

Right-click and save as to grab a version. Email me if you want the psd file to change any of the parts. Note that for history purposed I’ve also blanked out the copyright date so students can add the date they’re writing from.

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