Teachers as digital curators and distributors

As educators, we often talk about the changing skill set for todays learners, the 21st Century skills, essential for our children to adequately prepared for adult life in the digital world. One thing I think we can overlook however, is the changing skill set required by 21st century educators. Today, I’d like to look at one aspect of this: Teachers as digital curators and distributors. Continue reading

The best collaboration tools for the classroom

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Collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking are some of the key skills that we need to nurture and encourage in our learners. I am always on the look out for learning opportunities that utilise these skills, and I love discovering tools which can be used in the classroom that can support them.

Here are some of the best tools I’ve found for collaboration in the classroom. Continue reading

Word Clouds – The Sky is the limit


Word clouds are great for use in the classroom. It is a visual display of a collection of words taken from the students, a text or a survey. I’ve seen some brilliant uses of these over the years, as it is a great way to provide a summary of data or even analyse text.

There are lots of different web tools (and iPad apps) which can be used to create word clouds, but I’m going to focus on just a few which I like using Tagul & AnswerGarden.

Here are some ideas of how these can be used to have an impact on learning in the classroom. Continue reading

QR Codes – Taking it to the next level

Many of us use QR codes every day in our teaching – here’s how can we get creative and take it up a notch.

Quick Response, or QR Codes are 2 dimensional barcodes which hold encoded information which can be quickly and reliably read by machines. In the classroom, this of course means we can use digital cameras (whether they be web cams, iPads, iPhone or any other Smart Device) to send information to the student.
I’ve used QR codes a lot since I’ve worked in iPad settings and have really seen the benefits of using them to do so many useful things quickly and easily:

  • Visit websites (no more emailing links or typing in long URLs)
  • Access specific video content
  • Treasure hunts around school
  • Encoding answers to questions on task cards.

The app I prefer to use on student iPads is Qrafter. Not only is this app free, but it has several benefits over other QR readers in the app store including: batch scan mode, security check & using Safari as the default browser. I blogged about why it is in My top 10 apps for a primary ipad here.

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I was motivated to write this blog post as there are so many other amazing uses for QR codes! We just need to get a little creative!

Continue reading

3 Tools for Youtube in the Classroom

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Youtube is probably one of the best educational tools available to teachers now. The #Education channel has over 10 million subscribers, with just the top 3 (Khan Academy, Howcast & SuperSimple Songs) chalking up almost 7 billion views between them (from Socialbakers.com)

How do you make use of this amazing, vast, FREE resource in your classroom? Here are three tools which can make video content more engaging, relevant and convenient for your setting. Continue reading