Friday, December 23, 2011

Earthquake update

I am so over all of this, you just get used to it
being over the earthquakes when bang you are back to square one.

We had 46 earthquakes yesterday (we don't feel all of them) and today we
have had 14 so far (it is 7 a.m.). Yesterday there were 4 really nasty ones
of 5.8, 5.9, 6.0 and 5.4.

One of them was centred a kilometre from our house!!! - it was only 7
kilometres deep!! I have to say they
were very scary again! The liquifaction is back so many roads are closed
again but luckily the bridges are not damaged this time. There have been no
deaths and there appears to be little more damage (there is not much left to
damage). I doubt if many shops will be open for those with last minute

Have a lovely Christmas

Thursday, December 15, 2011

YouTube for schools

Videos or movies have always had the power to engage the learners by bringing the topic to life.

YouTube, although it has many relevant videos for the classroom, is blocked by many schools as there are also many inappropriate videos to be found there.

Fantastic! Now YouTube have released YouTube for schools. This provides a secure, safe environment where students have access to hundreds of thousands of appropriate videos.

School admins and teachers can log in and watch any video, but students cannot
log in and can only watch YouTube EDU videos plus videos their school has added.
All comments and related videos are disabled and search is limited to YouTube
EDU videos.

Teachers can customize the content available in their school. All schools get access to all of the YouTube EDU content, but teachers and administrators can also create playlists of videos that are viewable only within their school's network. has hundreds of playlists of videos that align with common educational standards, organized by subject and grade. These playlists were created by teachers for teachers so you can spend more time teaching and less time searching.

YouTube for schools web site

There is an area which details 10 ways to use YouTube in your classroom.

These include:
  1. To spark lively discussion by engaging students through showing videos relevant to their lives. This can then lead to students considering different perspectives or another point of view.
  2. Organise the video content you find into a playlist for you and your students
  3. Archive your work so you can refer back at a later stage saving you time and effort.
  4. Allow students to dig deeper into a subject by creating an appropriate playlist
  5. Get struggling students up to speed and push strong students ahead by giving students the opportunity to review the videos at a later time i.e. at home. Videos can be used to address misunderstandings or difficult concepts
  6. Review for upcoming exams
  7. Create a YouTube centre for your classroom
  8. Create quizzes, using a Google Form, to accompany videos to give instant feedback
  9. Create interactive video quests by using annotations
  10. Flip your classroom where students watch the video at home so you can focus on applying the concepts

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas again...

Christmas is coming up again!! It is going to be a bit different for many people here in Christchurch as many of us are still living under difficult conditions after the earthquakes we have had over the last year.

My favourite web site is there for any of you who are parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents or friends.

Portable North Pole is just wonderful for children. You are able to enter the data about your children, some photos of your child and then a video is made for the child. This video stars Father Christmas speaking to the child - it is personalised for them. Children are so over awed by their video. If you have not used this site before try it - it is free to make and view your video online.