Sunday, August 25, 2013

4 Apps to Create Designs with Words

Creating designs with words can be a great way to reinforce spelling , learning of new words and describing a theme or topics.  Students can create their own designs and use them to decorate the classroom. here are 4 great apps which allow you to design using words in different ways.

Create a collage of words and customise text, colour and layout.

This app allows you to draw a line or choose a created line and the add text to the line.

Type the text you wish to use and customise font, size and colour and then draw on the device and the words appear.

With this app you can take a photo or use one from the gallery, type in a set of words and the app will apply the words to the image. There are a few styles to choose from and colour schemes.  The effects look great.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Learning Game Coding

Learning the basics of computer programming can be a useful skill. There are many apps and software designed to be user friendly for students of varying ages, to learn how to code using visual interpretation with drag and drop functionality. There are also games which involve giving instructions and using commands. These processes can help develop skills in sequencing, literacy and numeracy, problem-solving, creativity, and communication.
Cargo-bot - a fun game where students learn about sequencing and instructions, also good for developing memory skills.
Hopscotch - provides a visual drag and drop platform with colour coding.

Daisy the dinosaur -  This free app offers an easy drag and drop platform to move Daisy the Dinosaur.

Kodable - a game to learn programming concepts and problem solving.
Move the Turtle. Programming for kids - a fun way for younger students to learn the basics computer programming and using commands.
Bee-Bot  - provides a tool for younger students to learn directional language and programming through sequences.
Bee-Bot Pyramid - provides challenges for students to solve.

Web Based:
Gamestar Mechanic - a game which allows students to learn about game design and make their own games.

Creating Video Tutorials for a Flipped classroom

A Flipped Classroom is a teaching model which reverses traditional methods.  Instruction is delivered at home through interactive websites, teacher-created videos or content and moves the homework style learning to the classroom.

Class time is used for creating tasks, exercises and problem solving while the teacher is present to assist and give immediate feedback whereas the homework is designated for learning content and students can form questions about what they have learnt to prepare for their next lesson. This allows the teacher more time to interact with the students.
Some teachers like to create informative videos or ask students to create the videos for younger students. These can be made using screencasting software and some apps, such as:


These apps allow you to record your drawing and narrate at the same time.  Enabling you to explain a concept or give instructions.  Also great for students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept.  You can also upload images and diagrams in many of these apps.

Sago Mini Doodlecast

Explain Everything ™

ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard


This app allows you to record websites.

Explain a Website

Web based:

The best one I have come across is Screencast-o-matic which allows you to record your desktop and select the file type you would like to save it as and then save to your computer.


Microsoft PowerPoint - you can create some great tutorials with PowerPoint using the animation and record slide show tools.  It also allows you to convert into a video and record narrations.

Microsoft Community Clips -  this free software is an easy to use screencasting tool allowing you to record the entire screen or just a section.
Once you have installed the software. Search and click on the name to activate the program.

To start the program, go to the hidden icons on the bottom tool bar in the right hand corner. Click on the symbol with the question mark.

Selecting Start recording will record the entire desktop or select Start recording a region . To stop the recording go to the same place in the hidden icons. You can then save the video to your computer.



Camtasia - a commercial software which provides a screencasting tool and a video editior.

Professor Word

Professor Word provides a function which allows you to visit any web page, click on the word and a definition will pop up.
To activate it, you go to the Professor Word website and follow the instructions to add it to your favourites bar. You click on Run Professor word on the favourites bar and then go to a website and click on a word to see the definition.
This can be useful for students who are researching a topic or lower level readers and ESL students.

Add fun to learning with Trading Cards

This site allows you to create Trading Cards which gives students an alternative way to demonstrate their knowledge of a concept. This interactive activity allows students to create their own trading card about a real or fictional person, place, object, event or concept. The site also provides ideas and lesson plans.

Turn photos into art with these 3 apps

Popsicolor is a great photo editing app from the creator of Percolator. It turns your photos into an ink drawing using two colours. It is easy and fun to use. You can load images from your photo gallery on your device or take a photo.

This is another photo editing app which allows you to be creative with both images and videos. You can select from a range of tools to create artistic effects.

Repix provides you with a range of artistic effects which you apply straight to the image by drawing on the iPad.  This gives you freedom to add effects where you want.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Guide to Digital Portfolios

Here is a one page guide to Digital Portfolios I created.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Having fun with spelling

Here are two sites which can add variety and interest to spelling activities!

Create words using images from Flickr.  Great for writing names or adding interest to spelling words or creating banners to decorate Virtual Classrooms. Type in the word and click on spell.  To change the look of a letter click on it.  To save the image use can use the snipping tool on your lap top.

This is a great way to add some interest to spelling and integrate geography at the same time. You can type a message and the site finds an image from around the globe which resembles the letter.  You could do this as a class activity or send a message to someone.

7 Great sites for free images

There are many reasons why we use images in the classroom.  With the internet, we now have access to more images than we have before.  However, we need to be aware of which images we use and the copyright restrictions.
Here are a few sites which provide free images to use.  You still need to check the requirements before you use the image.