Monday, 31 October 2011

Interactive Youtube!

Create interactive Youtube videos. Have a look at the video for some ideas and instructions.

  • Learners can create their own video pathways for creating 'choose your own adventure' stories
  • Create videos for learners in the 'flipped classroom' style with pathways for those that want to jump ahead or explore a particular aspect of instruction further
  • Use to produce multiple choice quizzes with feedback

Flipping the Classroom

If you're interested in an alternative classroom model which aims to provide more support for learners applying knowledge, this post is worth a gander. This is perhaps more relevant as we move toward a day when all learners have their own laptops, unless you're already there of course. A well-balanced article looking at this idea of changing the use of homework and classwork time.

Update: 30th March 2012

This infographic gives a comprehensive overview of the flipped classroom model in a visually-friendly format.

Flipped Classroom
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media


This tool from Delib may not be breathtakingly original, but the way it is presented is certainly more engaging that any other 'argument map' that I've come across. The philosophy behind it is well-explained on the site, but basically it encourages people to consider an issue and then provide supportive logic for that viewpoint. It's quite limited in that it only allows for 3 supporting points to be made, but as a starting point for debate, it's intuitive, quick and well-structured enough to get even slow-starters off the mark. Here's an example of one I made in less than 5 minutes.


  • Great for preparing groups for debate on any topic such as theology, history, science etc - just give them the topic and let them work up an aMap with supporting arguments
  • Use as a writing frame for learners who need support in structuring their persuasive writing
  • In analysing literature, learners can plan out their ideas using aMap e.g. 'Is the writer's use of [literary technique here] effective?'

Friday, 7 October 2011

Zimmer Twins Movie Making

Zimmertwins allows you to create movies in literally no more than a few minutes. The twins, Edgar and Eva are joined by their cat (13) and a range of actions, locations, props and facial expressions are available to create your very own animated movie. Soundtracks are automatically included to reflect the mood of the situation. Although talking is not a feature, speech and thought bubbles are available to add on if required. A very intuitive film-making tool that even younger learners will have few problems mastering.


  • Direct learners to create animations which explain concepts in a topic, whatever your subject
  • Encourage collaboration by giving learners the situations and possible actions to storyboard before making their movie
  • Use the starters to support learners who struggle for ideas in story creation
  • Create your own movies to introduce concepts or topics and embed on your online learning space
  • Language learners can create foreign language stories
Share your ideas in the comments section below!

Simple Wikipedia

Simple Wikipedia is a more accessible collection of articles than its more famous big brother. Learners who are younger or still developing their command of language will find this much easier to understand and contribute to.


  • Use for research with EAL / younger learners
  • Learners can contribute non-fiction papers on their chosen topics to add to the list of articles; the rating tool will allow them to see reactions to their writing

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Multiurl is a handy tool that allows you to combine several web addresses into one. Once you have distributed the url (in the way that you would any other) the recipient has the choice of navigating the list via a drop-down menu or left-right arrows to go backward and forward through the websites.

Registration is not necessary but if you do register (for free of course) you can save and edit your lists. Unregistered multiurls will remain available as long as they are clicked on at least once a year.

I'll leave this lady to tell you about how it can be used in the classroom, but feel free to add your ideas to the comments.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Youtube Downloader for Chrome

This Chrome extension makes life a lot easier for downloading videos from Youtube. I make a habit of downloading videos I will use again in lessons because sometimes content does disappear. Not to mention that reliance on an Internet connection during lessons is not always a good idea; we've all seen the 'spinning circle of no-show' as learners sit expectantly staring at a black screen, haven't we? In the past, I've used Keepvid but now there's no need for 3rd-party sites. Just add the extension to your Chrome browser using the link and watch the video below for directions on how to use it. 

NB This will only work with Chrome, not Firefox, IE or any other browser so if you don't have it, it might be worth downloading.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Tinypic Picture and Video Hosting

Tinypic offers a simple but invaluable service. You upload a picture or video to the site and a url is provided which you can then share as you please. Registration is optional for additional features but the basic sharing facility requires no sign-up.

  • Great for when you want to share videos for projects or other classwork but don't want to go via Youtube 
  • Learners can use this service without worrying about logging in or signing up 
  • Use to supplement space provided by your online hosting service

Twurdy Search Engine

The creators of Twurdy were driven to produce this search engine because search results often produce websites which are simply too wordy ('twurdy', get it?) for many of our learners, and possibly ourselves. By entering a search term into their engine, you get a list of results from Google categorised (by shades of colour) by their readability. Easier to read, or less wordy, results appear paler in colour than their less readable counterparts which appear darker. It is an algorithm-based search, rather than a human-moderated one, so expect some anomalies, but overall a very useful way of sifting through the web to find more accessible content.


  • Introduce learners to the different searches they can perform to help them find the quickest way to accessible websites
  • Use in planning to locate content that can be used in lessons
  • Very useful for projects where learners are doing a lot of independent research
  • EAL learners will benefit from the shaded coding in finding sites they can understand


Vocaroo is a very handy tool for recording your voice straight to the web. Although it's still in beta phase (i.e. under development) a quick test revealed no problems. The resulting audio can be linked to, embedded or emailed.


  • Learners can create podcasts around a given topic & upload them to your school web space for sharing
  • Create audio instructions to add to a website, wiki, VLE or blog
  • Mix up information delivery by adding this to your online toolkit
  • Language teachers can use to demonstrate pronunciation of words or phrases; these can be embedded beside visual prompts and text
  • Learners can record themselves in a discussion and then listen again to assess themselves for participation, contribution, clarity etc.; they can invite others to comment by embedding the audio in their blog or emailing it to peers
  • English groups can create and record audio dramas and share them easily

Ahead Presentation Tool

At first glance, Ahead might seem like just another version of Prezi, and for some users it will be, but there are some key differences which make it better for advanced users and those who wish to push the boundaries of what a non-linear presentation can do including the ability to use a wider range of file types in the final product.

The actual website for Ahead is itself a presentation so perhaps visiting it will give a clear idea of how it works and the possibilities.


  • Use as a much more interactive alternative to Powerpoint and Keynotes
  • Learners can complete and present entire projects digitally - great for PBL!
  • Present information on a topic in a way that lets learners experience it at their own pace
  • Create topic 'sites' containing information about an upcoming course, units of learning etc.
  • Learners can create multimedia stories (English?) or reports (History?)

Kidrex Search Tool for Kids

A "safe search for kids, by kids!" Kidrex provides results that are useful for identifying web content suitable for kids as well as sites which are accessible and secure for them to visit.


When I first came across Webdoc, I thought it was just another pretender to the throne of Glogster...but I was so very wrong. The things you can do with Webdoc go far beyond any current interactive poster and as it's still developing, it seems its uses can only expand and become even more valuable for educators. Have a look at the introductory video below and then visit this page for the applications it has in education.

Safeshare TV

With Safeshare, you simply type a Youtube url into the box and it creates a page where the only thing you see is the actual video. No ads, no links so a totally safe way of sharing links to videos without any nasty surprises popping up.