Thursday, 29 April 2010

Twitter? I just don't get it! A guide for teachers

I have heard the comment 'Twitter? I just don't get it!' so many times, so I have created a guide for teachers. I hope it helps!

Thursday, 22 April 2010


I was reading a post about the iPad written by @dakinane when I saw him mention a flash based application using photos 'Fotobabble.
With this application you can upload a photo, add your voice to it and then embed into your wikis or blogs.
Fotobabble could be used in  many ways in the classroom

  • as an oral assessment for speeches
  • oral assessment for speaking in other languages
  • a way of publishing a piece of writing, (selecting a photo that represents the writing)
  • publishing explanations, narratives, persuasive and procedural
  • final assessment tool in presenting information
  • a linear slideshow presentation with several photos and voiceovers
This is a great tool for the verbal/linguist student. It is very quick and easy to use

The Amazing Web2.0 Projects Book

This book has been compiled by Terry Freedman (@terryfreedman) website
Teachers and educationalists from all over the world have contributed examples of Web2.0 projects to this book and what a great resource it is. Teachers will find many practical ideas of how to use Web 2.0 technologies in their teaching and learning.

PowerPoint as a modelling and teaching tool

I was helping a teacher with ideas of how to integrate ICT into her classroom programme. I asked her what her shared book was and suggested how she could teach 'Shared Book' using the class computer and a group of children. (Read the Shared book with the children first)

  • Start off with a blank page, introduce the shared book, ask what the title is, type the Title in
  • in the sub title box type by Room #
  • Insert a new slide
  • Read the text from the Shared book and then start typing it in
  • ask questions like "What do I need to type first?" "What goes at the end of the sentence?"
  • Computer skills are taught as they are needed i.e. "How do I make a capital letter?" "Who can show me how to type a full stop, what finger should I use?
  • As the book was one about 'I can run, I can draw' etc. The teacher taught the children how to take photos, so these 5 and 6 year olds took their own photos and the teacher inserted them into their PowerPoint. 
  • To finish it off she chose a design template and this was all done as part of the lesson with the children participating alongside.
 All this was part of their shared book learning experience, and put their learning into an integrated, authentic context. They now have this story on the computer as an extra reading activity.

As a follow up to this, students can take photos of other things they 'can' do and add them to this shared book or create an new one.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Word Clouds for Juniors

And yet another Word Cloud ABCya, (as tweeted by @mdanonbaird) which is perfect for Juniors.

Go to ABCya
Paste in text

Click on the Arrow 

Click on Randomize to make changes to the Word Cloud
Click on Fonts to change the font,

Colours to change the layout colours

and Layout to change the direction of the text!

Click on Save to save to your computer or print out your Word Cloud.

Simple As!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Tagxedo 'Word Cloud'

Thanks to Technololgy Bits, Bytes and Nibbles blog post and the writer @cyndidannerkuhn who posted it on twitter, I came across a new player in the 'Word Cloud' arena Tagxedo

There are a lot of choices with this Tag Cloud generator.

You have wide range of colours to choose from, interesting fonts (this example is called John Lennon).

Best of all, there is a variety of shapes or you can create your own word shape.
 There are huge opportunities for this feature to be used in education.
The word shape could be
  • main theme or idea in book
  • main theme of a poem
  • the title of an essay/story
  • main idea of story
  • the focus of a science, history, social studies study
This was a blog post I wrote about Wordle in June 2008, all activities can be completed in Tagxedo
This link are some of the sites I have found on Wordle or other Word clouds. This site (46 Interesting Ways to use Wordle in the classroom) by Tom Barrett is a collaborative Google Doc that anybody can add to with their ideas of how they are using Wordle.
Like Wordle you can save a jpeg or a png for printing out or inserting into blogs or wikis. But I'm looking forward to when you can embed an Interactive version called Tagxedo player like the example here on the Tagxedo site (Scroll down to the last example to see the Word Cloud dance).

Here is a great slideshow 101 ways to use Tagxedo by Hardy Leung