Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Show me the Learning

I have been working with a few teachers lately, helping them develop tools to showcase student learning. With MacBooks in the hands of the student they can demonstrate understanding in a variety of creative and innovative ways.
  1. Posting or commenting on a blog
  2. Creating a Keynote with an oral narration
  3. Recording a PodCast of oral recording
  4. Creating a CommonCraft Video
  5. Through developing a Mahara ePortfolio
Our counterparts at UWCSEA East, recently spent a professional development day exploring this concept. In groups they developed and documented techniques that could showcase learning in the classroom. The products of their work is available below. The resources created are nestled under the headings; Video, Words, Sounds, Images. 

Overtime it would be great to see teachers using a variety of tools in the classroom, to help them discover the level of student comprehension and hence learning. In my opinion tools that allow students to speak, force them to expose their understanding in a way that is not possible in a written format. Traditional formats such as worksheets or essays don't allow students to showcase their work to the same degree. Sometimes it is easy for them to plagiaries ideas from the internet, with the presumption that they understand the material.

Below is a nice simple example of something a Grade 6 Humanities student developed this week. The keynote recording looks at the primary and secondary effects of Tsunamis, by using visuals. A selection of visuals was provided by the teacher Ms McGrath and the finished products were saved into a StudyWiz Gallery. 


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Flipped Classroom and Infographics

Both of the concepts, the Flipped Classroom and Infographics are in vogue at the moment. Hence my choice to share the image below. Infographics are just an informative way of displaying information, you can use Google to search infographics and your subject and you will find a wealth of ideas. Student can also use the infographic idea to showcase their own information. We will try publish some more ideas and inspiration about this later.

An excellent website for infographics is here -

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media


Planning a video project? Send your students to Video School! Vimeo, a site created by film makers, has introduced Video School 101.  Video 101 is here to teach you the very basics of making videos and show you how fun it can be.

Vimeo Video School: Video 101

Friday, 25 November 2011


Triptico is a amazing collection of free teaching tools, currently 23,  for teachers that are meant for use with an interactive whiteboard, (although they could still be used whole class with an LCD projector).
What do you get? The list includes class timers, scoreboards, random student and group generators, word magnet games, quiz tools, spinners and more.
Download it HERE

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Google Doc Templates

Do you wish you had a Google Doc you could just set up as a template that could then be reused over and over?

Well it's not obvious, but it's not that hard to do either, with a couple of pointers:

First Create the Google Doc that you wish to become the template, or maybe and existing doc, that you wish to empty/edit/adjust to use for a template. When it is ready, save as a Google Doc as you normally would.

Now close the document and view all your Docs, most likely in the Home view. (Click Documents on the Main Menu to get to your Documents Home screen.)

Right click on the document you wish to make into a template and choose 'Submit to template gallery' from near the bottom of the list.

Now you will see a window requesting you to provide some basic information, for people who are wondering if they would like to use your template as well.

Fill in the basics, and then click 'Submit template' at the bottom.

In not too long at all your template will be added to the other templates created by our colleagues at UWC.

How do you use one? Next time you want to create a new Document, choose 'From template' from the bottom of the create list.

There a few other available, if you just want yours, choose 'My Templates' from the tab at the top. It can take a while for a new template to appear in this list, but it will. One day. Soon.

Food for Thought

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Using movie tools to support students writing development

This was a workshop presentation I gave recently at the Singapore Teach IT conference. It was based on my teaching experience of using the process of making movies in the classroom with students to help them develop their writing skills. The workshop focused on the pedagogy of setting up writing scaffolds, the process of creating a video then a simple tutorial on using Keynote to create a short video.

More information about the workshop is available here - Teach IT Singapore.

Presentation Tools for Collaboration

This was one of my presentations at the recent Teach IT Conference in Singapore. A presentation about presentations does seem a bit odd. The session focused on ways to encourage a group to work together to create a presentation, then looked at alternative tools such as Prezi and Prezi Meetings to enable more creative and conceptual presentation tools.

More information about the session is available here - Teach IT Conference Workshop

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

2011 Global Education Conference

We'd like to promote a wonderful professional development opportunity available online, focused on Global Education, for FREE.  It's time for the 2011 Global Education Conference! The conference runs from Tuesday 14th Nov to Friday 18th Nov, with a keynote from Alan November and continues all week with online sessions every hour around the clock.  

This schedule link is in local GMT +8 time.  

To participate, visit the conference Ning and sign-up. Then, you'll log in to the session and the Eluminate utility to participate in the sessions you'd like to see.  

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Effective Research with Google

This is a presentation about developing digital research skills in our students. This is something we have been trialling with our Grade 6 students and we have had lots of success. The accompanying poster covers the main points that we should be reinforcing with students when we guide students in completing research in class.

Lizzie Williams as Head of Middle School English has documented her work with some of the Grade 6 classes. She has highlighted the common issues that students face and has suggested some concrete teaching strategies to support you in the classroom. You can read her excellent overview here.

Friday, 4 November 2011

SixthSense technology

Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology

Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper "laptop." In an onstage Q&A, Mistry says he'll open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all.

mind = blown :o)

Using Keynote with Music


Lisa Hill and team have been doing some great things with Keynote. Once the Keynote slides are prepared, students perfomed and were recorded into the Keynote presentation using the File > Record Slideshow feature.

When finished, the completed Slideshow is easily exported as a Short Film/Movie.

Using Google Docs in Writing Workshop

This is the first time we've used Google Docs in this way and it was a really big success. The children did the rough draft on paper first of all, one session, and then took that draft into the Google Doc in a following session. Even the act of taking the rough draft onto the Google Docs enabled the students revise, because they didn't just transfer as it was, they were motivated to think about it and make edits even as they transferred it.

We found that the children were more motivated to make larger scale revisions and to more accurately edit through Google Docs. They really enjoyed the commenting feature and this definitely is a tool that enables much more effective teacher feedback including peer feedback with their writing partners. It enables you as a teacher to review their work outside of the lesson as conferring within the lesson with every student can be difficult to manage. These same comments are then the basis for discussions in class afterwards. Overall we found it really beneficial and definitely recommend using Google docs again within writers workshop.

Helen Gamble Literacy Coach - Dover Campus