I feel for all you teachers. Is Sparklebox groaning under the weight of all your downloads? Has the laminator or photocopier blown a gasket yet? Have you finally settled on a layout for your furniture? Books labelled? Pencils sharp? Ikea rubbing their hands and boasting record profits (just from your school alone)?
Anyway, over the last month or so I’ve gathered some bits and pieces that you might find useful in support of forthcoming topics or units of work. Apologies in advance for the slightly ‘dry’ presentation of this list, but if I leave it any longer, I’ll never get round to sharing. Once again, I am grateful to my ever-growing world-wide network of educators who I follow on Twitter, through their blogs/wikis etc and for their willingness to share and support others.
- First up is a wonderful, free, online image editor. Fotoflexer is extremely comprehensive and will do just about everything you’d want from an installed application.
- With Loogix you can create animated gifs from uploaded images..
- Karen Bosch’s “Great Tech-spectations!” blog recently yielded a post sharing ‘Eight Great Interactive Sites that let you Paint like a Famous Artist’ So, if you fancy adding a digital element to an art topic, you can choose from Picasso (Mr PicassoHead), Pointilism, Matisse (See the link on the right ‘Matisse for kids’), Keith Haring, Jackson Pollock, Rousseau, Surrealism or still life then you know where to go!
- My 9 year old daughter has been making her first forays into virtual worlds since she was given a ‘Webkin’ soft toy (see the Webkinz website). This whole virtual world thing is something worth keeping an eye on and is certainly of interest to young people. One Click Moms have published an online book aimed at parents ‘Tots to Teens: A Parent Guide to Virtual Worlds’ If I tell you it includes a 42 page alphabetical list of virtual worlds for young people, it will give you an indication of how big this all is!
- Phil Bagge has shared a great set of tutorial videos for a range of ICT software including Powerpoint, Excel, Digitalblue and much more. Take a look here.
- Is E-Safety on your agenda right now? Where is your school at? What would OFSTED make of it? Liverpool ICT team have produced this useful self-evaluation matrix.
- Thanks to Simon Haughton and Mandy Barrow for pointing out this great modelling resource. Park that Peugeot!
- Another modelling website here. This time it is for traffic flow. There are different scenarios from Motorway onramps to lane closures and speed limits etc with variables that can be adjusted. Top end of KS2, this one I’d say.
- If you have a topic on Space coming up, you may well find something useful here: 100 Amazing Online Tools to Learn About Outer Space
- The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has this charming little game to help you learn about wheels, pulleys, levers etc as you help a character called ‘Twitch’ complete a couple of missions.
- Dinners or packed lunches? I don’t know what your school dinners are like but you can see what the rest of the world is having here at ‘School Lunch From Around the World ‘
- Why is the sky blue? Why do people have grey hair? How do Santa’s reindeer fly? Answers to these and other essential questions can be found at http://whyzz.com/
- Who pooped? One for the scatologists amongst you.
- Virtual spirograph anyone?
- Teachnic has shared some Smart Notebook files here Although you may not use the money ones (American) there may well be some notebooks you can use (for inspiration) or modify.
- Learn times-tables in a 3-D game environment with Timez Attack. The ‘Base’ version is free.
4th December 2009mean anything to you? It should, it’s Number Day.
- Etherpad is an absolutely awesome collaborative writing tool. I am grateful to Mandy Barrow of the Kent ICT team for her excellent review that includes some great ideas for classroom activities. I agree with her about Twitter, too!
- Bubbledome is a site geared to developing literacy skills and has quantities of writing prompts that can be used online by students or that you might turn to for inspiration.
- Construct-a-word on the ReadWriteThink website has a simple word building activity.
- Clear your throat for some karaoke in French and more here. There are songs, words, exercises and games to help learn French.
- The Ordnance Survey have a couple good little map activities that help with directional language, compass points and coordinates. There is a Treasure Hunt activity and a Mystery Island activity.
- If you want to go beyond
Europeand have a more comprehensive History/Geography experience then TimeMaps might be for you. It describes itself as a World History Atlas and does what it says on the tin!
- The Geobeats website has video tours of thousands of places worldwide. You can search by country and then by topic.
- Another fantastic e-learning resource from the BBC can be found here in the Primary History section Topics covered include Ancient Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Anglo Saxons, Children of Victorian Britain and Children of World War 2 The site includes an interactive timeline that can be added to. Each topic section is incredibly rich in information, media, learning resources, packs for teachers etc.
- I love this site that lets you create signs/pictures that you can post on webpages/the VLE. Here are a couple I made earlier:
- Thanks to the Ace Online Schools blog for these 25 Awesome Virtual Learning Experiences Online. As well as Google Earth, there are some amazing virtual (3-D) tours of World sites etc.
- Nicola Stables of Holmfirth JIN has been playing with this website that will make little animated movies and convert text into speech that the characters will speak. The little films can then be embedded.
- You can search for ‘community-created’ Smart Notebook files via the Smart search engine.
- If you have found any of these resources useful, please pass the word on to colleagues. Please also feel free to leave a comment (requires registration, I’m afraid – due to spam attacks) and do also share anything you use that might be helpful to others! Don’t be shy!
- Well, that’s some of what I’ve done this week.