Reflections on a new S2L logo

Beginning to consider what a more exciting logo might look like..

AI is great, but the woodland featured in this creation does not yet feel accurate – Mourne Park is predominantly a beech wood with venerable trees creating a canopy through which the Whitewater river flows, sometimes in considerable torrents. The AI rendering reduces this to a rather generic coniferous wood!


Further ground views: CloseUpCam2


40 Years Later

It is a long time since I attended Kilkeel Primary School, but the large assembly hall door was just as I remember. There was a familiar sense of anticipation too..

Meeting with Helena McCabe and two of her IT team was tremendously productive. We have planned out a future KPS visit to Mourne Park to see Space To Learn in action. 

Just in time, I have the Transmission Zone camera up and running. It required a PoE extender and presented an opportunity for a sound focusing experiment. The clearing is ideal: easy to access from the main teaching area, yet undisturbed wild woodland. There is a badger / fox path running straight through it.

More information about Space To Learn here



Continuing an exploration into remote sensing and the ability to experience an environment from afar – the latest WoodsCam overlooks a badger set, extending the range of the cameras further into the woods.


Fumes machine

Swindon Borough Council – custodians of the Magic Roundabout – have kindly agreed to my request to site a particulate sensor on traffic lights in town. It is hoped that the busy toad will provide a new data stream to add to the mountain air / classroom feeds that are already in place.

All being well, the fumes produced by passing traffic will show pm 2.5 readings that can be viewed in realtime to provide a direct comparison to those found in a pupil’s own classroom and that found within ancient woodland in Northern Ireland. Zjeremy the robot brings the sensor into classrooms – see or

A preliminary visit to the site has revealed open WiFi access from the nearby Co-Op which could help!


Slow Motion River

The Whitewater River in Mourne Park is a what is known as a spate river. 

Torrents of water cascade down from the Mourne Mountains – usually rushing past faster than we can register. Slow motion photography helps to capture the beauty. It may look intense – but it is truly peaceful.



Pi Upgrades

Led by Zjeremy, (who retains what Steve (HoD GWA) affectionately refers to as a “prototyping look”!) – a number of Raspberry Pi upgrades are now taking shape. Zjeremy needs to run Scratch 3 with a bit of vim if he is to juggle multiple HATS for interfacing with. His secondary 3b board was not up to speed, but the 4b seems happier. To celebrate, he was coded into taking images of the woodland views from the second floor of Great Western Academy.

Meanwhile low cost LCD screens set into basic plastic boxes are a quick and simple addition for classroom kit. Raspberry Pi units deliver physical computing with core electronics and more advanced sensing: it is helpful to enclose them for protection during transport. A ribbon cable allows the GPIO to be extended for easy connections.

The CarFume Detector unit is almost ready for deploying on a busy Swindon street. It will mirror the functionality of Zjeremy and the Tree Pi – providing new urban data for comparison.


Thermal woodland trail

As the cold evenings draw in, there is a type of thermal enhancement that doesn’t warm the toes much, but that does identify hidden cctv cameras in the trees! Thank you Eden for testing out your thermal imaging mobile phone functionality in our wood!


System paused

A little note to say that, sadly, I am on compassionate leave at present due to my Mum being gravely ill. My regular schools know this, and I am grateful for their understanding. My Digital Writes colleague Keith continues to deliver our current courses. Meanwhile, with time ahead in Northern Ireland, I am preparing for the upcoming Woodland Coding events, through Space To Learn, about which: more to follow.

There are two new Project Based Learning initiatives brewing which I will be excited to share here in due course. They seek to offer a (pupil-built) helpful communication system for two distinct groups of people: those who are autistic and those who are refugees. This is my priority for TTH (Tech To Help).

An important upcoming development will be the Society of Tinkerers. Building on Flickernet Tinker, this seeks to create a forum in which TTH can be advanced as well as providing space for further projects to be skilfully investigated by those from a range of technology and educational backgrounds.

Flickernet Archive has an initial event pending, during which outdoor presentation of materials will be trialled, in support of my friends and neighbours, The Woodland Trust.

Swindon Borough Council have kindly agreed to support my extra-urban particulates sensor, which will go live (on the data page) once I have selected a location from those on offer, and installed the Raspberry Pi powered equipment.

Whilst I may be more difficult to contact over the next week or two, I am keen to resume all things Flickernet soon, and look forward to delivering all that I can going forwards.

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Reflections on a sabbatical year

From climbing trees in the woods of Northern Ireland whilst clutching Raspberry Pi units, to helping children who were on the cusp of quitting school to build adventure game-books, this year has been a real eye-opener to me.

It is a rare privilege to become free to teach what one chooses. I hadn’t dared believe that it could happen, but now Flickernet is full steam ahead – 24 years on from those early Dot Com years – with a new focus called TTH: Tech To Help. This is what I will be up to, going forward – please see the synopsis page for more information or if you would like to be involved.