Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Embed into PowerPoint

I had to share this bit of information.  Yesterday a colleague of mine showed me how you can embed items into 2010 powerpoint.

Go to insert, video and video from website

Copy the embed code from a website such as

Paste in the Code

Select Insert and the embeded content will now appear in the PowerPoint.

For years Language teachers have been asking me how they can save their Vokis without having students sign in.  This is a great way for students to present work from the web.

Vokis in particular can be used for students to demonstrate understanding, reflecting, learning words and greetings, asking questions, responding and give instructions.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Add interest with Glass Giant

There are some fun online sign generators available.  A great one to play with is Glass Giant.  You simply type in the message you want displayed and the site adds it to an image.  I like to use it to create images to use in presentations but you could also make images for work sheets, virtual classrooms or decorate your classroom walls.  Here are a few example.

Back to School

Keyboard Mods

Chocolate Bar


Plane Banner

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Create Talking Images

This post is an extension of the last post I made where you can attach sounds or speech to shapes.  In this activity you can drawing shapes onto an image and then making the shapes transparent.  This idea was inspired by acolleaue of mine and her great site on using ICT in the Early Phase . 
Ways to apply to learning are:

• Describing the words in a tag cloud

• Describing aspects of an artwork

• Discuss aspects of a photo

• Add music to reflect the mood in an image

• Eye spy photos

To start insert an image into PowerPoint.  Draw a shape over an area of the image.  This can be done by selecting a shape or freeform shape.  Attach the sounds to the shapes as explained in the last post.

Now to make the shapes transparent,  right click the shape and select Foramt Shape.

Move the transparency bar to 100%

Select Line Color and select No Line and your shape will now be transparent.

Now you cannot see the shape on top of your image.  To test go to slideshow and move your mouse over the screen, when you click you should hear the sound.

Create Interactive Multimodal Content

Recently I was working with Asian Language teachers who loved learning about creating interactive content by adding speech to shapes in PowerPoint. By combining images, text and sound you are able to create rich multimodal content.

First you create your slides with images or shapes.

Decide what you want to record. Open Audacity and click on the record button and speak to record your voice, click on stop when finished (headset with a microphone is best for this).

Select File – Export as WAV

Go back to your PowerPoint slide, click on the shape you want to attach sound to and select the Insert tab and Action.

If 2003 version right click the shape you want to attach sound to and select Action Setting.

Select Play Sound and scroll down to Other Sound.  Select the sound you recorded in Audacity.  You can test if it worked by viewing as slideshow. When you move your mouse over the shape and click, you should hear your recording.

This activity can be created by the teacher or students can apply their learning by creating their own.

Here are a few examples of how this process can be used:

• a talking ebook

• a talking map

• a talking timeline

• add sounds to music notes

• add music to images

• add avatars and create talking characters

• add voice to photos

• flash cards

• add voices to speech bubbles in comics

• learning languages

• attach speech to images and students give description

• students identify aspects of diagrams or cycles

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Creating Digital Multimodal Texts

With the introduction of the Australian Curriculum, there is an emphasis on the use of Multimodal Text in English. ICT offers a great range of tools to allow students to create digital multimodal texts, such as comics, animations, digital storytelling, video & audio, ebooks, poster & cover design and game design .

What are multimodal texts?

A text may be defined as multimodal when it combines two or more semiotic systems. There are five semiotic systems in total:

1. Linguistic: comprising aspects such as vocabulary, generic structure and the grammar of oral and written language

2. Visual: comprising aspects such as colour, vectors and viewpoint in still and moving images

3. Audio: comprising aspects such as volume, pitch and rhythm of music and sound effects

4. Gestural: comprising aspects such as movement, speed and stillness in facial expression and body language

5. Spatial: comprising aspects such as proximity, direction, position of layout and organisation of objects in space.

Multimodal texts can be delivered via different media or technologies. They may be live, paper, or digital.

(Bull and Anstey, 2010)

Photostory 3, Windows Movie Maker, Audacity, Soungle, Free Sound Project

Use software usch as powerpoint, publisher, or photoshop

Tag Cloud: Wordle, Tagxedo

Anstey, M. & Bull, G. (2010) Helping teachers to explore multimodal texts. Curriculum Leadership, 8 (16)

Create an eBook using free software

A colleague of mine is famous for his fabulous workshops where he shows teachers how to create ebooks using Flip Flash Album free.  So I thought I would share some information about this application.  It is a free software you can download.  Students can add images, text and flash animations to create an interesting ebook.  This is great for storytelling, presenting a research task, the alphabet, learning a language, instructional manual, art portfolio, digital photo album, etc.  The album can be exported as a flash file.

You can choose the size and template.  Add an image one at a time or select a folder of images.

Select one of the pages and add text and flash animation

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Comix - Free Online Comic Creator

I love looking for new ways students can create comics. A colleague of mine passed on a link to me called Comix. It is described as a free preschool online game. It is very easy to use with simple click and drag on the page functions.

The site offers a range of images students can choose from. In the Draw section ,there are text options with speech bubbles or text box. You easily change the size of the cell and add more. Students can also draw and upload their own images. The great thing about this site is you don’t need to register and you can save the image as a jpeg when click on Publish. (It asks for author's name but you don't need to fill it out to save)

Students can use this site for many purposes:

  • Creating a multimodal text
  • As inspiration for a story
  • To interpret a story
  • Practice spelling words
  • Create a sequence
  • Create Big, Bigger, Biggest images
  • A poster

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Using Animations to Apply Knowledge

Creating animations is a great way for students to apply their knowledge and demonstrate understanding. It also allows students to develop problem solving and decision making skills while being creative and having fun.  I have included a few links to sites to give ideas and a table to show how animations can be used across subject areas.

I Create to Educate

Great student sample I particularly like to animated diagram of the heart.

Sam Animation

Klutz: great ideas for stop motion animation

Animate Clay


Animation for education

Using Animations Across Subject Areas


  • Demonstrate knowledge of the genre and audience

  • Create a Book trailer as an alternative to a book report

  • Interpret myths and legends

  • Interpret a poem or nursery rhyme through animation

  • Create a persuasive animation by focusing on environmental issues

  • Bring characters from a novel or play to life by adding them to an animation

  • Write a story and adapt to an animation

  • Using foam letters to spell words

  • Using magnetic words to create sentences

  • Use new vocabulary words in context

  • Create an advertisement


  • Demonstrate understanding of fractions and percentages

  • Display number equations

  • Create shapes

  • Demonstrate understanding of percentages

  • Demonstrate understanding of time

  • Create animated graphs

  • Use lego blocks for counting


  • Demonstrate phases of the moon

  • Life Cycles

  • Solids, liquids and gases

  • Forms of energy

  • create a sun safe animation

  • Growth of a plant

  • Circulatory system

  • Digestive system

  • Demonstrate a volcanic eruption or earthquake

  • Time-lapse video of plant growing, weather changing and melting

  • Show understanding of laws of physics

  • Show the position and movement of planets in our solar system

  • Demonstrate understanding of magnets


  • Indigenous dreamtime stories

  • Re-enact events in history

  • Environmental sustainability

  • Travel around a map

  • Natural Disasters

  • Languages Stroke order of script writing

  • Characters speaking in the target language

  • Create an animation depicting a culture


  • Demonstrate colour theory

  • Bring an art work to life

  • Demonstrate understanding of the elements and principle of design

  • Document the creation of an artwork from beginning to end

  • Create animation exploring art movements e.g. Surrealism


  • Create music tracks for animations

  • Demonstrate how to write music

  • Demonstrate music theory

Home Economics

  • Demonstrate procedures and safety

  • Create the illusion that a meal made itself by taking images during the preparing and cooking process.

  • Nutrition

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Changing World - Show World

There are many sites now which convert data into visual forms. This site called SHOW world displays a range of data in a visual form using the map of the world. Instead of land mass, the size of each country will represent the data for that subject. This can be the stimulus for class discussions or research activities.

Categories include:

People: Demographics, Causes of Death, Education, Health, Religion

Planet: Animal Resources, Crop Resources, Energy, Environment, Metals and Minerals, Natural Disasters

Business: Economy, Global Brands, Industry, Technology, Transport

Politics: Government, Law and Order, Migration, War & Conflict, Aid

Living: Food & Dining, Travel, Sports, Media

Monday, April 18, 2011

Online Comics and Graphic Novels

Here is a list of Online Graphic Novels and Comics. They vary from being read online or download as a pdf. With these comics you can use them for comprehension activities, use them as stimulus to give students ideas when they are making their own, you can also look at characters, setting and the plot of the comic.

The WormWorld Saga is an Online Comic and is available in a range of languages.  This makes it a great tool for learning laguages.

DC Kids offers a range of comics which are free to download.

The Dream Chronicles is an online Graphic Novel.

This site offers a range of comics which are free to download.  they are great for beginning readers andto use for visual literacy.

This site offers a range of online comics for early Phase students.  They are also avaliable in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

This site offers a range of Online Comics

This site provides free sample downloads of classics which have been converted into Graphic Novels such as Romeo and Juliet, Jane Eyre, A Christmas Carol and many more.  The site also provides teacher resources and comics with no text so students can interpret the images and add their own text.

This site is a Forensic Science Mystery better suited for older students.

Free 'How to' downloadable comics

Free Download
Online Science Comics

Free Download comics on Biographies of the Twilight actors.

Free Download about internet safety

Online comic about internet safety
This link shows an adaptation of Hamlet created using a game similar to Machinima by Adrian Bruce.

This is a great resource to about Graphic Novels.