Sunday, November 30, 2008

Web 2 tools

A very useful wiki for Web 2 tools. These are all free to use in the classroom and are in categories for easy access.

It is great to see how teachers (and others) keep adding to these and sharing information. With all the information now available it can be very difficult to find exactly what you want and by having all these links in one place makes it much easier for the busy teacher.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Measuring skills for the 21st century

I have just been reading this pdf file from Elena Silva which is very interesting and has implications for all educators.

"Skills that really matter for the 21st century—the ability to think creatively and to evaluate and analyze information—can be measured accurately and in a common and comparable way. These emergent models also demonstrate the potential to measure these complex thinking skills at the same time that we measure a student's mastery of core content or basic skills and knowledge. There is, then, no need for more tests to measure advanced skills. Rather, there is a need for better tests that measure more of the skills students' need to succeed today. … "

It is interesting to note New Zealand's standing in this table.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Open source software

I used a lot of open source software in my classroom. The children used such things as Tux Type and Tux Paint.

I was pleased to find a catalogue of Open Source Software which describes the software and lists the platforms it will run on - as well as the web link. Well worth downloading (13 mgs) for educators.
Of course there are other programs available but this lists a lot which will certainly give teachers some good ideas.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


To animate I usually use either Adobe Image Ready or Microsoft Gif animator. I have just been playing around with GoAnimate (another free Web 2 tool) and looking at the possibilities of using this tool in the classroom. It is very easy and children will love it. I can see a lot of ways making these animations fits into the Language curriculum but of course (with some lateral thought) they could make them around Social Studies, Maths or any other curriculum area.

I am going to use this tool with my students next year but would be interested to hear from anyone who has used it in their classroom.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Glogster is an interesting Web 2 tool which educators can use in the classroom. Graphics, sound, text and video can be used. Here is a quick play about with the tool. I will be interested to see how teachers are using this in their classrooms. I can certainly see that there are probably some of the glogs others have made that are not appropriate for children (similar to using some other tools).

Monday, November 17, 2008


Another great Web 2 tool. MyStudiyo allows you to create a quiz (you can add graphics, videos etc as well as text) which you can then embed it into a web site or blog.
You can use this with your classroom which is far more exciting than a written quiz. Children can also create their own quizzes to use in the classroom. I would be very interested to hear of anyone who has had the children creating their own. I am going to create some quizzes to use with my students next year. We are planning a new online learning environment and this will be a good option to use during their course. In this way we (the teachers) should get a clear picture of the student's understanding as we progress. Hopefully we can then identify those needing help early so we can help them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Animoto new feature

Animoto, as I have said before is a great little tool for the classroom. By putting your own photos in it makes a video for you - each one is different. It now has a new feature so that you are able to put in the text to go with the graphics.
On the home page of the site you can see a sample video. Don't forget that there is an education area where you can register. This allows you free downloads. Some of my students have made these to put into their web sites or into multimedia resources.

A poem about teachers

Trevor Bond has put up on TeacherTube a poem about why teachers are special. I think sometimes we forget as many times we only hear the negative things about teachers. Thanks for this Trevor and I hope that others also enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A vision of K12 students today

Having a look at this video on TeacherTube which I thought was great. Obviously this is not of NZ children but the points made a relevant to anyone who is a teacher.

See what you think: