Monday, June 20, 2011


A great Web 2 tool for teachers to use with their students is ZooBurst. This tool allows the students to create their own 3D pop-up books. When students start building their own books they can choose any angle and also rotate the book. They can make objects on the page clickable so that readers are able to read more about them. They can place speech bubbles on the characters that pop up when it is clicked and make them talk with each other. Children can retell a story or write their own stories.

A basic account is free. A free account entitles the individual user to make 10 books, upload your own characters (PNG or JPG files), use characters from the clip art gallery, arrange characters in 3D space, use character speech bubbles, customise backgrounds and have privacy options (e.g. private, public or password protected books).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A guidebook for change

The Technology for learning web site has a book to download called A Guidebook for Change.

In today's world there are many ways of using communications, media and digital technologies. Our students are using these in their everyday lives but often not as part of their education. Our learners need to use these skills as well as the traditional skills. Schools can embrace these technologies to help improve student achievement.

This book is a guide to help teachers. It is based on real-life successes and can help teachers whether they are new to these ideas or have already embraced them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Earthquake update

On Monday we had two more significant aftershocks. The first hit at 1 o'clock (lunch time) and many parents came and took their children home then - it was about 5.3. The school I was at did not suffer any new damage at that time despite the fact that it was a school near the sea. Other areas did suffer some damage and that time and then the second hit at 2.20 and was 6.3 - a vicious aftershock which did more damage to the eastern suburbs. The liquifaction came back, more flooding more buildings damaged and some came down. There has only been one reported death this time - an elderly resident in a rest home who had something fall on his head. In Feb there were 181 deaths.

My own house has more damage and more broken crockery etc (I'm running out...). Again we lost power and water - chemical toilets and portaloos are becoming part of every day life here. It was a cold night - down to freezing. Luckily I had a gas heater so the neighbours came over to our house for the evening and everyone sat round telling stories. We got the services returned on Tuesday.

All schools were closed on Tuesday but many reopened today (Wednesday) some are reopening tomorrow but a few do not know when they will be able to reopen. We still have several high schools sharing sites - this entails one school taking all their classes in the morning and a second school being bused over and taking all their classes in the afternoon before being bused home again.

Ways to use Tagexdo

I recently blogged about Tagexdo. In Google Docs is a great presentation 101 ways to use Tagexdo. The graphic on the left shows one of the ideas used in the presentation. There are some great ideas in this presentation which I am sure can be adapted for different classrooms. There are ideas for different ages but as I looked I at some of the ideas for older age groups I could also see how these could also be used with the younger children too. Teachers are good at thinking laterally and adapting to suit the needs of their students.