Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mindmapping software

A free piece of mindmapping software is Compendium. It is a visual tool to mindmap and very useful in the classroom. The site has many examples to show how it is being used.

Compendium is about sharing ideas, creating artifacts, making things together, and breaking down the boundaries between dialogue, artifact, knowledge, and data.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Drawing program

A free graphics editor is Inkscape with has capabilities which are similar to other programs (not free). You can edit nodes or trace bitmaps for example.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Interface is a New Zealand magazine put out for teachers to help support the use of information and communication technology in their classrooms. New Zealand teachers can register to get a free copy.

Greg Adams, the Editor of Interface says: “Our aim is to provide fresh, inspiring and independent coverage of what’s important to teachers, both in the classroom and their working lives. My hope is that INTERFACE will give them more confidence in using ICT, as well as the enthusiasm to give something new a try.”

There are many interesting and relevant articles in the magazine as well as many downloadable (free) lesson plans for teachers.

Links to teacher's blogs are also found on the site. Teachers will find this so useful to see what others are doing in their classrooms and also to see classroom blogs.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Many people are now using Twitter. To help explain this is a video from YouTube.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Online library

International Children's Digital Library is a great site for children to use for online books. There is a great range of books for different age groups and interests. There are many books and many different languages. It is free to use which is always appealing. I have seen some young children (a group of three) reading a book online together as an activity. This worked really well and the children loved it. However I do see you may find it difficult to read it in bed!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Educause Quarterly is an online journal from the United States with many interesting articles for those of us interested in ICT in the classroom.
I was particularly interested in an article on becoming Net savvy. This article points out that only 31% of searches succeed and that many use Wikipedia and Google as their first ports of call when looking for information without thought to looking at a library database.
It is important that our children do become net savvy and therefore it is important that all of us; parents, teachers, librarians for example, support our children to search for information quickly and efficiently. This needs to be done in a 'real life' context.
This article (and many others in this journal) are worth reading.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Handpicked collaborative projects

Handpicked collaborative projects is a site that has been developed for NZ teachers to locate pedagogically-sound, active, online collaborative projects for use in their classrooms. It is hoped that this site will aid teachers in personalising learning for individuals and for groups of students.

There is a link to Teacher Tap where there are other interesting ideas for collaborative projects. There are ideas such as:
  • What's it like to be an astronaut?
  • What was it like to live during The Great Depression?
  • Does water boil at the same temperature at different elevations?
  • Where in the world do fireflies live?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Practical support pack

A great site from the UK with many ideas for teachers to help support them integrating ICT into their classrooms. Whether you are new to ICT or more experienced, these materials can be used by all teaching professionals. The materials include lesson plans, classroom resources and practical advice. Some really great teaching materials here.