I often use short clips from a variety of television programmes; there is no shortage of business and economics shows at the moment.  I recently showed a clip of James Seddon, owner of eggxactly, from the 2006 series of Dragons’ Den when discussing research and development.  Keen to find out how he was getting on, I dropped him an email.  Here is his reply:

Hi Steve

Thank you for your email. I’m afraid things didn’t work out with the Dragons, and I have carried on with the development on my own. We have experienced a major problem in mass-producing the heating elements, which is now resolved. We plan to start production here in the UK in the next few months.

Kind regards

James Seddon

I can only wish him the best of luck.


Yacapaca and Google Docs?

I received an email from Ian Grove-Stephensen this evening outlining the exciting possibility that the fantastic Yacapaca could be integrated with Google Docs.  Only one small problem – Google need to be persuaded!  If you would like to contact Google’s education boss Jeff Keltner and explain how useful this mash-up would be please do.  He is expecting our emails – here’s my thoughts:


Hi Jeff

I would consider myself to be an early adopter of many on-line technologies – I love hearing in the months (and years!) after using various products/sites about this "new **** that really helps my teaching and learning in the classroom".

I wrote some of the first courses on Yacapaca and have been a great advocate of the site, for example:

As you will be able to tell from my apps sent email, I am also a great fan of everything Google.  I’m becoming more and more reliant upon Google docs to collaborate with teachers around the world.  It also allows students to work together in real-time projects which has been a great leap forwards for my classroom practise.  I’m finding that Yacapaca and Google Docs assist me in enabling deep learning to take place within the classroom.

A mash up of Yacapaca and Google docs would be a wonderful educational tool.  I am presently working in collaboration with a group of teaching across the South West on producing a complete set of resources for the new Business, Administration and Finance Diploma; I would be very interested in piloting this new resource on "Gacapacle" (excuse me) as I expect it to be a very popular, given that it will be distributed free of charge.  The possibilities of having students being able to work on spreadsheets on-line would revolutionise the way I could teach the finance and accounting modules.  Presentations would be another invaluable addition to the present text only entry.

One of the unique features of the new diplomas is that students will travel from their own school to a central school or college where they will undertake the main learning.  They will then return to their own school to complete further work – being able to continue to collaborate would be of great benefit to students and staff alike.  As students learning away from their main institution is becoming more the norm.

I also believe this would go along way to helping students move away from believing they have to have the prohibitively expensive Microsoft Office suite.  By encouraging students to work on spreadsheets and presentations within Yacapaca would make your suite of free programmes appear to be the norm.

If you would like me to expand upon any of these points or would like to discuss education and technology further I would be delighted to talk to you.

Kind regards

Steve Margetts


So much to try

I’m trying to complete an A2 Economics text for Nelson Thornes at the moment; the deadline is fast approaching.  I’ve just sat down ready to start a marathon session of typing and I see twitter has been  a bit busy over the past couple of hours.  Drew Buddie made a request for indispensible ICT tools for teachers.  The net result for Drew and his collaborators is this wiki and, no doubt, many hours wasted for me.


The header and Windows Live Writer

The first two emails I received were asking me about the header picture.  It’s not a picture of a snowy scene, it’s just off the Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite National Park, California and it was over 100 degrees at the time!  The hills are bare granite, which gives the appearance of a Christmas snow scene. 


After reading this article on lifehacker, I decided to give Live Writer a go.  It allows you to write your blog posts in a user friendly programme; it even automates the round edges for the photographs.  Will I continue to use Live Writer?  The jury is still out; I suspect that I will still use my web browser or iPhone for simple text posts.

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Inspirational teachers from the movies quiz

Another fun quiz that can be used with any year group, although I suspect younger ones will find it rather challenging!

ppt Inspirational teachers quiz

I’m sure that you know all of the answer, but just in case…..

  • Mr. Ray (John Ratzenberger) Finding Nemo
  • John Keating (Robin Williams) Dead Poets Society
  • Clément Mathieu (Gérard Jugnot) The Chorus
  • LouAnne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer) Dangerous Minds
  • Ms Norbury (Tina Fey) Mean Girls
  • Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling) Half Nelson
  • Dewey Finn/ Ned Schneebly (Jack Black) School of Rock
  • Mr Chips (Robert Donat) Goodbye Mr Chips
  • Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier) To Sir, With Love
  • Henry Jones Jr (Harrison Ford) Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Richard Dadier (Glenn Ford) Blackboard Jungle
  • John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Kindergarten Cop
  • Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) Sister Act 2
  • Miss Honey (Embeth Davidtz) Matilda
  • Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
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    Sometimes I really hate Sainsbury’s

    I know that when I go to Sainsbury’s they are a bit more expensive than their rivals. So what really annoys me? On a few products dotted around Sainsbury’s they advertise that the item is the same price as in Tesco. What do I infer from this piece of promotion? That everything else in the shop is more expensive!

    These signs just remind me that I should buy everything else from Tesco.

    Sainsbury's Price Check

    Not an exemplar piece of promotion.