10 02 2009

I haven’t posted for a couple of days because I have been practising with a few new sites that friends have recommended. The first is

You can explore the site for yourself, there are lots of different applications. I would like to recommend using the newspaper tool. I have not yet tried this with a class but have been playing around with it and can see its potential. It allows you to make up a newspaper extract with your own title, headline and story. It could be used to make up source materials in History or used by the pupils themselves to present research findings in a different format.


Lingo 2 Word

5 02 2009


I am useless at using text language. My phone messages are massive because I have to write the words out in full! The pupils are using ‘text speak’ all the time here is a little tool I have used to help me train in their skills.

Lingo 2 Word allows you to transform every day English into text style language. I would always expect pupils to write out their class work in continuous prose but have used this website to display my learning intentions in a different way.

 You will be able to : Ull B abL 2

LTS and copyright free images

4 02 2009

There are some fantastic free resources posted on the LTS website. They have a new section devoted to ‘The Homecoming’ as well as a focus on the life and work of Robert Burns. Their Spanish podcasts involve a group of young people discussing a variety of topics from Immigration to Family.

The site is definitely worth keeping an eye on the resources are free and could come in handy for your subject.

In terms of other free resources, I have always found it difficult to find copyright free images to use. There are lots of sites giving images for use in the classroom but few that would then allow you to put the images into short videos or presentations online. is a great educational resource. The images are subject specific and can be used for educational purposes. The only problem is that you cannot use them for public display. The school does have a subscription though and the site is definitely worth using.

For totally copyright free images, the best site I have come across is www.pics4learning

They are happy for you to use images in presentations. By doing this you could allow classes to make their own short movies and post them to this blog!

Photo Sharing and Editing

28 01 2009

There are lots of excellent sites devoted to sharing images and editing them. Two of my personal favourites are Flickr and Dumpr.

Flickr is already very popular and most people will have heard of it. As well as the benefits of sharing photos you can use it to help with the start of lessons. In the past I have used the images to introduce a new topic. On the home page of the site, typing in a term like the ‘Sahara’ will bring up all related images. In the top right hand corner there is the option to show it as a slideshow. This saves the time of making up your own image slides and targets those visual learners!



Dumpr was introduced to me by a fellow Geographer. I have been able to use the free tool to change photos into sketches. A much easier way to create a fieldsketch for labelling. There are other free effects on the site including changing images into jigsaws.



27 01 2009
This online tool was brought to my attention some time ago at a conference. It is easy to use (if I can do it, anyone can) and could be applied to any subject.

It involves inputing a series of words; this could be just a list of topic terms or it could be a poem, speech etc.. The words are then displayed with the most frequently occurring shown in a larger font size. The outputs would make for excellent wall displays.

My favourite recent use of this was tool was by someone who input the Inaugural speech of Barack Obama. The result is thought provoking and could be used to generate discussion with any class.


Barack Obama's Speech from

The site features a gallery with lots of ideas from other ‘Wordle’ users. Let me know how it works out for you- any image outputs would be appreciated.

23 01 2009 is another excellent online resource. It allows you to create games, activities and diagrams in Flash and all for free! There are lots of different formats to choose from so you can pick out which will best suit your lessons / subjects. The site is very user friendly and it really doesn’t take long to construct games.

You may already have discovered the site. I know that the ‘Dustbin Game’ has already been very enthusiastically used for revision exercises in one department.

The Random Name Picker!

The Random Name Picker!

I would also fully recommend the ‘Random Name Picker’. This acts like a fruit machine or a typewriter. All you have to do is to input the pupil’s names and set it going. It will pick a name from the group randomly.

This could be really useful for encouraging pupils to contribute in class or even for deciding groups for group work tasks.


21 01 2009
BrainPOP UK Website

Here is the first idea (hopefully of many) to use in the classroom. BrainPOP has been around for some time now, however the UK version has only recently been launched. The site features a range of short videos in which Tim and his robot friend Moby explain a whole variety of topics from subjects like Art and Design, History, PSE, Maths and Science.

The videos are fantastic and a great way to introduce a topic or summarise it. I have used them in the past with S1-3 classes and the pupils have responded really well to them.

You might have used these before, but if not I have set up a free three month trial to use them in school. If you are interested in trialling the site with any of your classes please let me know and I will forward the sign in details.

Let me know how you get on with it.