Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Competition for kids

As you may be aware Christchurch has been hit by a series of devasting earthquakes over the last two years (we had a 3.9 one on Monday this week). The Central city and East Christchurch were badly hit. Many of the schools in these areas suffered and have now got smaller rolls. The Minister of Education announced, late last year, a lot of changes for some of the Christchurch schools. This has been very unsettling for all concerned as many teachers are losing the jobs. What changes go ahead will be announced soon.

Hey kids! We need your help to make Christchurch the coolest little city in the world. We’re running a competition this year to get you thinking – and creating. There are fantastic prizes up for grabs for you and your school. Plus you’ll have bragging rights forever that you helped make the new central city an amazing place.
It is really apposite as many of our schools are rebuilding their grounds and while they are designing the city playground (older children have other projects to work on).

How wonderful to include the children of our city in our city rebuild.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Kizoa is a great Web 2 tool to use in the classroom. The students can create slideshows, collage and edit graphics. This is a free tool to use. Once completed the students can save the collage for example to their hard drive (this is not part of the free membership, you need to pay a fee) or share it online through their blog (free). With the slideshows you can put in text, music, animation and other special effects, there are all sorts of possibilities to customize your slideshow! Be careful to only use the free tools and effects if you plan to share your creations.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Knowmia is a web site for teachers where they can upload their videos so that the students are able to access them.

Ariel Braunstein and Scott Kabat developed this web site so that teachers could share experiences and resources with each other.

There are some great case studies with interviews with teachers who are successfully using these videos in their classrooms.

There is a large database of videos that teachers can access and use with their students.

For those using a flipped classroom approach with their students Knowmia has, coming soon, a simple home assignment tool. For each assignment you will be able to include a series of lessons that you create or find in their ever growing lesson database. Homework may include three types of assessments: multiple choice questions, open-ended questions, and textbook questions (questions from textbooks that your students already use). Once you send out an assignment, you will be able to keep track of your students' actions and performance: When did they open the assignment? How did they answer each question? Which concepts require additional help and/or practice? Although the actions of your students are completely private and secure (visible only to you), the homework itself is shared instantly with other teachers so they can learn from you and borrow any portions of it for their own students. You may opt to do likewise with their assignments and lessons.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Wordle is a commonly used word cloud (it was one of the first around) but I wonder how many use Tagxedo. I know I have written about this one before but I think that many still don't know about this one.

With this cloud you can have the words shaped (for example I have used an angel) and also you can save it as a jpg file onto your hard drive which is not possible with other word clouds. All of this is free.  You can customise the colour, the theme and the shape to suit what you are doing.  I know that children will love using this one.

Hardy Leung has done a presentation to show you how to use Tagxedo in 101 ways! Each way gives you an illustration to show an example.  Very useful for classroom teachers for ideas to use in their classrooms.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Web 2 tools

A great new book by Professor Dr Mohamed Amin which he has made available is this 40 Must Know Web 2 tools. This book explains what the tool is,  benefits of using this tool, ways of using the tool in teaching and learning.

40 Must-know Web 2.0 Edutools