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Showing posts from 2014

Tech tool review. Looking back and going forward.

So, it is that time of year when people like to sum up their year or reflect on the good and the bad of the year and think about what has worked well and is worth repeating next year and what should be left behind.  In this post I intend to think about those tech tools that I have enjoyed using and that have helped me enhance what I do in my classroom and then I am going to look forward at ones that I intend making more of next year.
First up, looking back. Here's three of my favourite tools from 2014:

First on the list is explaineverything which is worth a post all of its own really. This app is so versatile and allows you to annotate imported work and images (perhaps of a town map in geography, a maths' problem or a student's essay) and you can even voice annotate your image or writing.  With my own classes I have used it to import pictures and label them and voice annotate these pictures.  I have then shared the videos with my students who have watched them in advance …


No digital ramblings here.  No talk of technological tools or how to make the most of them in class.  This post comes a few days into my holiday and I am beginning to wind down. Spurred on by @MartynReah and his stirling work on the topic of teacher wellbeing.  I have decided to take a moment to think about my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around me.  I am a mother, wife, teacher, Head of Department and MA student about to embark on my dissertation.  I am a busy person, I admit it.   Stopping now to reflect will do me good and hopefully have a positive impact on those around me.

#connect - I have gained so much from the few TeachMeets that I have attended this year.  It has been so good finally to meet the people I tweet with regularly.  It has been good also to be involved, to hear great ideas that I can take back to my classroom.  Part of the TeachMeet process has been to present and I have enjoyed this too.  I aim to attend more TeachMeets next year and connect with mor…

Creating books with Book Creator

Over the course of these last few weeks I have been using Book Creator app for my studies.  Book Creator provides an easy way to create your own book on iPad or on Android. Charged with keeping a scrapbook to scribble down ideas and thoughts in preparation for my dissertation I thought carefully about how to go about this in a way that would make looking back over my work a useful and easy task.   I wanted to see how my ideas had developed over the weeks and to see a clear progression.  So whilst I liked the flexibility of linoit and padlet as online walls where I could add power points, links to videos and any other URL I wanted I had to rule them both out as they did not allow for a week by week progression.   Book Creator became my first choice app largely because of its book like quality.  Each page would represent a week of my thoughts.  Below is a selection of some of the pages I created.

You might be able to see that I have some links to websites and some recordings too.  There…

Thinglink... A good thing

With so many technology tools available it is so easy to forget about some and neglect using them. This is just what happened to me until a recent communication with @HelenCaldwel reminded me of thinglink an excellent tool which certainly should have a part to play in the modern classrooms no matter what age the student.
thinglink is an online platform for creating interactive images and videos for web. I have made good use of this for my own studies and to get an idea of what can be done click on the photo below.  Although the photo describes my thoughts on my first term of my MA it gives a very good idea of what can be achieved with this fantastic tool:

As you can see, the picture has a variety of symbols.  This is because there are a variety of things that can be done.  You can: Add textAdd another photoAdd a link to another URLAdd a video These options are very easy to add with a simple click or tap on the photo depending on where you are working (on the web or on your tablet). 


Edmodo - a platform for telecollaboration

I have got into +Edmodo in a big way recently.  I have been exploring the possibilities of running a telecollaborative*  project and @edmodo seemed like a good place to start the process of learning how to get students from different countries to talk to each other.  However, before I got going on my exciting collaborative project I wanted to get to grips properly with Edmodo.  Last year I had used this tool to set quizzes for different classes which could then be graded and results stored in the system.  I was also able to award badges.   This all worked quite well but I was not enamoured with the results and I knew that I could exploit this tool more effectively.
So, in order to delve deeper and scratch below the surface of what edmodo can do I focused on the collaborative aspect of Edmodo.  I had noticed the ease with which students communicated with each other via the forum.  So, with this in mind and with a view to organising a telecollaborative project with a school abroad, I s…