Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Art History

Smart History is an wonderful web site for Art History students and teachers.

This is a free and open multimedia website that can be "taken anywhere" replacing the heavy text books.

You will also find videos timeline, articles and podcasts to engage the students and increase their understanding.

They aim for reliable content and invite Art history teachers to contribute to the site through photographs, content or ideas.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Teachers TV

I have been a fan of Teacher TV for ages. This web site has now been closed down but luckily the Dept of Education in the United Kingdom has stepped up and:
signed a number of non-exclusive distribution agreements that will ensure that the 3,500 15 minute programmes in the archive will still be available to watch on-line.

I am so pleased about this as I have been sending so many students and teachers there as there are just so many useful resources and ideas for teachers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Eudtopia have free downloadable books for teachers. The latest is Ten Tips for Classroom Management which looks at all areas of the school. In their tip about the relationship between schools and home they suggest going digital and using Edumodo which offers a free platform where you are able to set up a secure social-networking site for you, your students and your families - this would have been a great site during our earthquakes (for those with access to the Internet!!). Many of our schools ban social networking sites such as Facebook (one school I was working in had also banned Delicious accounts!) so this might be acceptable for them.

Other (free) books they have available include:
  • Ten Top Tips for teaching with New Media
  • Summer Rejuvenation Guide
  • Ten Top Tips for Assessing Project Based Learning
  • Home to school resource guide

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Converge Special Report

Center for Digital Education published a Converge Special Report.
This report covers such things as:
  • From digital tools to digital teaching
  • What does digital teaching mean?
  • Types of digital content
  • Digital teaching and the evolving classroom
  • Ensuring digital teaching is effective
It discusses the different roles and the skills a digital teacher requires. They point to the focus in the classroom being on the student creating more personalised learning. They suggest that the classes are able to be interactive where students are fully engaged in their learning.

A teacher who uses Web 2 tools in her classroom has found that her students have a higher level of interest when they are allowed to illustrate their own videos and upload them to a blog or when they participate in a wiki collaboration with another school.

Another teacher discusses how they have used Inanimate Alice to infuse digital and interactive literature. The teacher says; 'I have never seen them more engaged in text'.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Automatoon is a great Web 2 tool to use in the classroom for free. There's no authoring software to install and you can share your animations online. You can also export your animations and embed them in your own websites (e.g. classroom blogs), all for free! These could also be used in other web 2 tools such as Glogster or 280 slides. What a great tool to use as a reading activity for example - certainly would give motivation for some readers. I used animation in my classroom as a reading activity where the children designed an activity (simple) that one of the characters from the story was likely to do. They could then make the animation for others in the group to guess who it is and what they are doing.

This video shows you how to use it.