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Friday, 31 July 2009

A Great Quote

Clarence Fisher: Teaching is not rocket science. It's way more complex than that.


Thursday, 30 July 2009

My First Voki

My new talking avatar. I am definitely going to make this a part of how I communicate with my classes! I could even have a different voki for assigning homework, one for announcements, one for cool ideas.... and the kids would eventually know which one to go to for each thing.

Get a Voki now!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Great Places for Class Trips in Second Life

These were suggested by Bob Sprankle. I have been to Paris 1900 and the Globe Theatre before. Tudor England is good as well as Macbeth. I'll post more on Second Life tomorrow after the workshop.

krstrallnachthUS Holocaust Museum
Land of Lincoln NOAA Weather
Sistine Chapel.
Paris 1900
Museum of Philosophy
Stomach Museum
Sive World
Smithsonian Latino Museum
The Globe Theatre
Renaissance Island

Fiery Ideas Freebies

This is a  collection of great tools for teachers. Registration and login are required.

Check out the timers!

Monday, 27 July 2009


I just had my first play with Scratch at MIT today.

This is what I've come up with so far. I was trying to make an interactive map for students looking at the local community, thinking that older kids could then create their own interactive game to support their work with virtual tours of El Salvador.
Learn more about this project

A fantastic second session. While collaborating on games my partner and I chose to each make our own version our chosen concept, by following the same basic structure. This is powerful. Students can create video casts, animations, games and more using critical thinking skills to present their understanding of concepts across the subjects. There's a lot of potential for integrating scratch instead of just teaching it in ICT lessons.

My First Game

Friday, 24 July 2009

Pixton Comic Strip Creator

We use ToonDoo heavily at our school for storyboarding and cartoon strip creation. As I've said in previous posts it is one of the best I've come across and has been embraced whole heartedly by both staff and students across the grades and subjects. This evening I was reading through the various posts on Classroom 2.0 and came across Pixton in one of the forums. This is a free service and an account is required. It looks very promising and I hope to introduce it to staff and students this coming school year.

A big thanks to Julie Baird for posting it.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Jing Screencasts

While playing around in cyber space this evening I came across a great screencasting application called Jing. I found it in an online survey I was answering for another eductor and just had to try it out. Earlier in the year I gave screencasting a try, but found that the app I was using wasn't really cut out for it. Jing is hassle free and the quality of the screencasts is good. It is offered as a free download and brings with it the capability to download screencasts or upload them to Videos download to your computer as shockwave flash files and those uploaded to screencast can later be embedded or linked. Another option is to set it up to upload directly to youtube. The website has easy to follow tutorials and the application is user friendly. So now producing tutorials for staff and students will be a breeze,  as well as getting kids to create their own screencasts in lessons. Try it out!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Guestbook Map Maker

Platial allows you to create embeddable guest maps for your collaborative projects. Once embedded, users simply type in their location and, add a photo,comment and email address and they are on the map. They even provide embeddable Kids Guide maps to what is of interest for children. Just type in the location and Platial will provide the map.I am using this as my starting off activity in August. I have placed a forum on the ABCICT Ning asking kids to place themselves (avatars and nicknames) on the map to share their holiday destinations with the group.

Search Tools

Teaching kids (and adults) how to search the web efficiently is a difficult task. Most people go directly to Google and perform a basic search, without realising that a wide variety of alternative resources are being overlooked, including blogs, wikis, Twitter tweets, as well as a huge repository of invisible web resources.  A big thanks to Joyce Valenza for her New Invisible Web post which covers search tools for wikis, blogs, tweets  as well as specific Google Searches. Here is a link to our LRC Webpage listing of search tools, many of which Joyce has also recommended in her post.

Poll Daddy on Twitter

Alright, here we go again with Twitter. I just found out how to create Poll Daddy surveys on Twitter. No account is needed and you can create the polls in a variety of languages, with both multiple choice or user defined answers. These same polls, or mini surveys are easily embedded in wikis, blogs etc. I am brewing up ideas for a Twitter training session which I now believe needs to happen early on in the school year, along with a session on Elluminate and Learn Central, which are also definate musts!

Friday, 10 July 2009

HOOT Suite

So I've done it, I now have 3 different Twitter accounts for 3 different reasons. The first one is now very much of my personal learning network, so much in fact that I now look to Twitter a lot more than I do my Google Reader. The second twitter account is for the LRC, which at present is being used simply for broadcast updates about the library, however as of August I hope to take it further. The third account is for the ABCICT wiki, and is meant for updates and interactions with the students in 6th through 8th grade. This last account will hopefully become a big part of our ICT lessons during sy2009/10.

Now, while all of this is great, it has been posing a big problem recently, as I have been forced to log in and out of the different accounts depending on what I am doing- slow going. Not anymore!  I have just come across Hoot Suite, which allows you to update multiple Twitter accounts by simply clicking the profile images from dashboard. Tweeting has just become a lot simpler.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


This is certainly something you'll want to add to your digital toolbox.

Yolink allows you to use keywords to search through numerous links on web pages, as well as specify which links you want it to search through by entering your keywords into the search bar (an add on) and highlighting. Searching through pages of online books is also possible using Yolink which facilitates easy saving and sharing of search results. This last option does require a user and password.