Photos for Class


photosforclassPhotos for Class is a great tool to make searching for photos to be used by students online an easy and painless process. It is difficult for Primary age students to correctly attribute photos they may use in projects or understand the reasons for doing it in the first place. Photos for Class finds Creative Commons photos from Flickr’s database. Once you see the photo you want, you can download it. Your downloaded photo come with the attribution embedded at the bottom of the photo. Below is an example of a search for ‘Tigers’ and what a downloaded photo looks like.




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Microsoft Sway



Microsoft Sway is now in preview and open to anyone to try. Microsoft Sway is an online presentation tool that makes embedding and searching for online content much easier and then makes your presentation available on any device in the cloud. Sway is not fully functional as yet and has a few features labelled as coming soon, but playing with ‘Sway’ in it’s current form you get to see the potential of this application. You can choose from different layouts and themes to quickly give your presentation a good consistent look. You can share the content you create with Facebook, Twitter, share a direct link or embed your ‘Sway’ into your website or blog. There is currently an IOS app available and hopefully an android version will be coming soon. Below is a promotional video of what is possible with Microsoft Sway.

link Microsoft Sway

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Unlimited Storage coming to Google Drive for Education


google driveIt was announced a few days a go on the Google for Education Blog that Google Drive for education will have unlimited storage. This is great news and is a further reason for schools to consider using Drive for their file storage system. The unlimited storage will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

The Literacy Shed



The Literacy Shed is a great resource for visual literacy. The Literacy Shed has done all the hard work for you by looking for educational visual resources from around the web and categorising them into different thematic sheds. There is everything from Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Fairy Tales, Adventure to a shed just for the World Cup. The videos are embedded and come with suggested activities.





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Understanding Dyslexia


Below is a great video resource presented by 14 year old Eliza from the kids TV news show BTN (Behind the News) on understanding dyslexia. This could be used to educate your class on dyslexia and to give students an idea of the experiences and feelings that someone with dyslexia goes through. It could also be used with students that have dyslexia to better understand the condition.

There is a link below that will take you to the original page of this video, where you will find additional resources such as fact sheets and an extended interview with Eliza.

linkDyslexia: Behind the News

Pin It – A multimedia lesson creation tool.


mettaI came across metta recently while looking for an easy to use multimedia tool to create an online quiz for a Student Blogging Challenge that my class is involved with. Metta is a slideshow creation tool, that has some very handy bells and whistles. The clean and simple to use interface makes it easy for anyone to start using and just run with it. You have two options to insert text, video, images and audio. The first is using the inbuilt search which allows you to insert YouTube videos, images from Yahoo Image search, Text from Twitter and audio from Soundcloud. The second option is to upload your own content. In addition to this you can insert a quiz or a poll into your presentations.

Below is a screen grab demonstrating the clean interface.

metta screen shot

With metta you can also create groups for your students and assign lessons and see student responses to questions you have embedded into your presentations. Students that you have added to a group can both interact with the content you create for them or create the content themselves.

Metta is free to use, but has a Plus and Pro upgrade which gives you the ability to add more than one group, unlimited quiz module and an increase in storage.

Below is an example of how I used to produce a quiz on my home State of South Australia.

Metta is supported within Edmodo and Schoology and there are also android and ios apps available.


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Easy PD app


easy pdIt is now mandatory for teachers to record any Professional Development they take part in for Teacher Registration purposes. I have struggled to find a way to do this that was not going to turn into a paper nightmare or an inconvenience. Recently I found Easy PD and just like the name of the app says it makes the whole process easy. Developed by Jarrod Robinson this app allows you to simply log the name of the activity, the location, date, amount of time spent doing the PD, description and even a photo. The amount of hours you have completed are tallied and conveniently displayed. I currently use this app to record all my PD and it certainly has simplified the process and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Below is a how to video from Jarrod Robinson.

Easy PD is available for the iPad, iPhone and Android.

linkiTunes link
linkGoogle Play link
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Build with Chrome



Lego is a very popular material in any classroom. Online it’s just as popular. Build with Chrome is a partnership between Lego and Chrome (Google) where you can build your own design using virtual Lego bricks. Coupled with Google Maps, you can decide to build your creation anywhere in the world or discover other people’s creations by browsing the map. There is a ‘Build Academy’ for newbies, which takes you through step by step the features of Build with Chrome and what’s possible. The only glitch for students is the need to have a Google+ account to publish. Using screen grabs or clicking the publish key and then saving the URL seems to remember your creation. These are possible workarounds at the moment, but I would be interested to hear if anyone has a better solution. Build with Chrome has excellent Design and Tech applications, with designing a new home, structure, looking at floor plans or streetscapes just to name a few.



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100 Word Challenge


100 word challenge


The 100 Word Challenge website founded by Julia Skinner was developed to give students an authentic audience for their creative writing. Each week there is a creative writing challenge prompt posted either in words or a picture. Students then need to set about composing their writing in response, up to 100 words. Once they have completed their writing students must publish their writing in a blog post usually via their classroom blog. Then to enter the challenge a link to that blog post needs to be entered on the 100 Word Challenge website (more information on how to do this, including a video tutorial can be found on the website). Then comments are made on the student entries giving them feedback on their work. Julia has also set up ‘Team 100 WC’, a volunteer team of adults to assist with trying to ensure that students work gets feedback.

The 100 Word Challenge is a great idea, not only to give an accessible task to students, but it is an excellent way to get students involved in blogging and becoming a part of an online community.

What has been your experience with using the 100 Word Challenge website and what benefits have you seen for your students? Please respond by leaving a comment.


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Glogster Poster Maker Tool


Glogster is a web 2.0 tool that allows primary students to create posters that is embellished with all types of multimedia content. Aside from the artistic approach, the main purpose of the tool is to increase student engagement, wherein they have a myriad of ways to express themselves and learn from each other. How will this tool trigger and enhance children’s artistic knack?

Mobile Version

With Glogster’s popularity, the company has decided to create a mobile counterpart. This is the developers move to cater the increasing number of students that use smart devices for learning. Recently, it rolled out an update to bring in new features optimised for the iOS 7. For elementary students, they will find the graphics more appealing when using the iPhone 5S with iOS 7. As stated by O2, the handset comes with a Retina display, making the glogs brilliant on App-view feature.


From an educator’s perspective

When asking students to create a glog, you are able to incorporate four major skills – speaking, reading, writing, and listening. According to Box of Tricks, creating a glog combines all of these motor skills in a single work of art. Teachers can compile specific lessons through Glogster, which students can revisit anytime, anywhere.


From a student’s perspective

Aside from its benefit brought to educators, Glogster imposes more beneficial effects on the perspective of a primary learner.

·         Virtual Collaboration

Students can articulate their thoughts with a great deal of independence. The beauty about creating a poster is that a child can work with his peers, whether in the same or different location. Instead of a single account, you need to set-up a group account for your pupils, which require a different set of passwords.

·         Articulation

The tool makes it easier for kids to articulate their thoughts in a concise manner, as the bubbles don’t offer a vast space for writing. Students will need to strategize to fit their thoughts in a small  space, as they will include visuals, effects, and videos in a limited frame.

·         Freedom

While teachers can offer a rubric that will serve as a guide to making a glog, it’s still in the student’s discretion whether the resulting artwork will be simple or in depth.


10-minute Artwork

The beauty about using this web 2.0 facility is that you can create a masterpiece in just 10 minutes. By default, there are about 26 pages of walls that offer a wide selection of templates you want to use. . For personalisation, kids can upload their own photo, and use it as a background.


Glogster as a social networking platform

Aside from being a publishing platform, CNET notes that the facility doubles as a social networking site. You can create a learning community, where you can add your students as a friend. There is also a featured section called “top glogs,” where your students’ artworks get a place for comments and ratings. If a user permits, a glog can be embedded on Facebook, Edmodo, and Twitter.

However, the tool doesn’t allow its users to integrate a pre-existing photo or video-hosting service to be used during the process of creating the poster.Students must  upload both videos and images for processing first, before finally attaching them to the final glog.

Despite the absence of a tutorial mode, what makes the web 2.0 tool child-friendly is the glitter graphics, and the easy to navigate tools.

Along with Kizoa, how do you see Glogster being used in the classroom?

About the Author
Jennifer Birch is a TechieDoodlers blogger with a wide knowledge on web 2.0 tools. She dedicates most of her time trying out new applications, especially in unleashing her artistic knack. If you want to suggest a great tool, you can reach Jenni on Twitter.  
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