Monday, June 30, 2008

Web 2.0 Projects

Terry Freedman has put together a series of projects that have been used in schools using Web 2.0 tools.
This is well worth classroom teachers having a look at to see how others have been using Wikis, blogs, podcasting, Google maps, social networking for example.
I will be using this with my students to give them some ideas of how these tools can be used in the classroom.
This is such a great idea to have these all together and share these stories. With the way all of these ideas have grown so quickly (and will continue to grow) it is so important that teachers do collaborate and share with each other.
Thanks so much Terry!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yenka software

Yenka software is:

"Yenka is a new range of modelling tools for schools, which let you simulate concepts and create content easily.
They are designed for use either by teachers or by students, on whiteboards or on individual computers."

They are now offering free Yenka home-use licences to students and teaching staff at recognised schools, colleges and universities. There's no need to purchase anything, and it's not time-limited. A teacher needs to register. Then, they provide licence codes so that both teachers and students can install Yenka at home.

Well done Yenka, great offer for students.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Online mindmaps for collaboration

Great tool that I am using with my students to create a collaborative mindmap is Online Mindmeister.

We have a free account which gives access to a limited number of maps each month. There is an option to purchase a premium membership which gives greater access. The free account allows for:
Up to six mindmaps
Ability to share and collaborate on maps
Ability to import mindmaps from Freemind
Ability to export maps as a PDF or RTF Ability to publish maps to blogs or websites
"MindMeister brings the concept of mind mapping to the
web, using its facilities for real-time collaboration to allow truly global
brainstorming sessions.
Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere. In brainstorming mode, fellow MindMeisters from around the world (or just in different rooms) can simultaneously work on the same mind map - and see each other's changes as they happen. "

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cool schools: where peace rules

Curriki, a nonprofit collection of open online curricular materials, has available for downloading free of charge a computer game called "Cool School: Where Peace Rules". It features animated characters, in situations at school, that ask children ages 5-7 to select an action for resolving a potential conflict, such as others crowding in line, refusing to share, or treating playmates disrespectfully. The game is designed to teach children about conflict resolution in an entertaining and appropriate context.

Also available to download are the instructions as well as teacher lesson plans and handouts for the class.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Boolify is a fantastic search engine designed for children to use. It helps them develop their information literacy skills by becoming familiar with Boolean searching.
It illustrates how each change they make changes their results. These results are filtered through Google's Safe Search STRICT technology but as they say "no filtering technology is 100% secure".
There are also some Word documents to download and use in the classroom which have some activities about evaluating web sites, basic Boolean searching and refining search results. Currently being developed are documents about Venn diagrams.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Study about how children use media

The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) have launched a report, 'Seen and Heard: Children's Media Use'. 600 children between the ages of 6 and 13 were interviewed as well as their primary caregiver. The focus of the research was how New Zealand children use and respond to television, radio, the internet, and cellphones in the home.

This report is of interest to us as teachers as it gives us real data to show what children are actually doing. It tells us what they like, what they find disturbing and if the caregivers have any rules in place in regards to these. It is very interesting to see that many children are using the Internet on their own (53% mainly use the Internet alone). 29% of caregivers whose children have cellphones have no rules on how these are used. However children say:

When it comes to cellphone use, the most frequently mentioned inappropriate
behaviour is text bullying or playing pranks on other people (30% of children
mention this). Older children are much more likely than younger children to
mention this kind of behaviour (55% of 12-13 year-olds mention specific risk or
prank behaviour, compared to 39% of 9-11 year-olds and just 7% of 6-8

Relating to what disturbed children when using the Internet:

Sexual content or nudity (16%) most commonly upset children who have access to
the internet. Eleven percent mention internet-related risk areas that bother or
upset them, such as YouTube or pop-ups and advertising. Sixty-three percent were unable to mention anything that bothered them.

A very interesting report.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Learning to Change-Changing to Learn

An interesting video on YouTube. It is adult perspectives but very interesting and worthwhile to view. A great idea now would be to get student's views...