Tasmanian Blogs

Linoit – a stickies wall for your blog

One of our blogging teachers asked me a question about adding linoit to their blog. This is very similar to padlet (used to be called wallwisher) So I tried to create a linoit to add to this blog. Your students might like to add a sticky to the wall.


To add a sticky
  1. Hover over the heading Blogging Info next to Miss W’s avatar.
  2. Choose a coloured sticky.
  3. Type your answer on the sticky and save.
  4. If you need to edit later, click the pencil icon (first icon on sticky)
  5. Spread the stickies out so they can all be read by clicking on the linoit canvas.
To add linoit to your blog – need to sign up for free
  1. Write the rest of your blog post in your dashboard.
  2. Go to linoit in a new tab and create a new canvas to add the main task you want students to answer.
  3. Top right corner, click the information icon.
  4. This opens your embedding choices – click on the last choice – embed
  5. Copy the code.
  6. Back to your blog post dashboard.
  7. Press enter to start on a new line then click on the HTML or text tab on top right
  8. Paste in the code you have copied.
  9. Save draft and preview in a new tab.
  10. If it looks great then publish.
  11. If the linoit board is too big for the blog theme, go back to your post dashboard and still in HTML tab, change the width to about 480 pixels.
  12. Save again and update the post.

NB In the free version there will be ads visible on the linoit.

How could you use a linoit in your classroom?

Making connections

Blogging and recording - all at onceNow that your class has been blogging for a few months and your students know how to write quality comments, maybe you want to start making connections overseas. One of the easiest ways to do this is to take part in the student and class blogging challenge.

I run this twice a year and the next one starts on 8th September. It lasts for ten weeks and every Sunday I publish a new challenge. You can do the activities in the challenge or you can just visit other blogs and leave comments.

You can register your class blog here and if your students have their own blogs, students can register here. Maybe there are some teachers at your school who might be interested in helping to mentor some students. Visit student blogs 3 times over ten weeks and leave some comments. Mentors register here.

In the March challenge, there were about 200 classes and 1200 students from 18 countries taking part.

Sue Waters, from Edublogs, has put together a Flipboard magazine about the challenge and you might want to check that out. It contains lots of posts written by students and classes. We will also have a flipboard magazine for the September challenge and both will be linked on the sidebar of the challenge blog.

Here is a link to the classes already registered and also one for the students who have their own blogs registered.

Maybe your students enjoy being scientists. I found this project called “Explore the Seafloor” where students look at images of the seafloor and have to pinpoint kelp and sea urchins. The project is only on during August, so get in there and be real life scientists.

Photo Credit: Jacob Bøtter via Compfight

Online classroom

I have just had a great hour with six students who have their own personal blog starting last week.  This was the first online session so it was very much let’s look at what we can do with the Blackboard Collaborate classroom.

  • Students learnt how to use smiley faces to show they understood what was happening and G. worked out how to use the confused face as well.
  • They learnt how to put up their hand in class if they wanted to have the microphone to speak to the rest of us – used the talk button and put hand down.
  • Then we had fun with the whiteboard tools – finding cups of coffee, maths symbols, making yellow ellipses.
  • We added a smiley face to a map of Tasmania to show where we were based
  • Finally we took a web tour of the main student bloggers blog, so they would know what the instructions were for the next three activities on their blogs.

The link to the online classroom is on the main student bloggers blog under the get help here link. You need Java enabled on your computer and if using wireless, make sure you choose that instead of Cable/DSL when it asks.  Allow about 10 minutes to set up your computer before the online lesson.

I will be holding online classes every Wednesday and Friday from 1.30pm until 4pm.  Any students or teachers are welcome to come and join in and ask questions about blogging.

If any teachers want me to run an online blogging class with their students or other staff at another time of day, please contact me by email which you can find in the sidebar of this blog.

Using mobile devices in your room

Nearpod: I was very impressed with this collaboration tool where the teacher has control over the student devices in real time, can see who has logged out and who is in attendance. Check out the school version where you can have up to 100 students using at the same time. They can also be on any computer not necessarily an ipad and can be using any browser. Follow on twitter and facebook and watch their videos.

Showbie:  is a way to assign, collect and review student work on ipads – paperfree classroom

Display note - share content on your computer with lots of students using multiple devices?

Symbaloo includes a free app to use on mobile devices – create share and organize in the cloud. Lots of resources already curated by other teachers. Basic version free, but can purchase class, school or district licenses.

Want to find some great apps for your students? Check out apps4edu.

Want to create stopmotion on your ipads? New app available for about $10 US

Another place to check out lots of educational apps here at Super Duper.

Educational games and books

Try out some of these websites – money may be American though.

Arcademics - both maths and English, also available as an app

Splash math including an app

Lure of the labyrinth – grades 6-8 pre algebra skills

Brainpop games – maths, science, health and social science games also have related movies to go with them, you might need to join brainpop though it is worthwhile.

One more story – for home, school or library use – classic and contemporary books read by an actor and with musical accompaniment – can be used on phone or tablet – many options for reading the book - free trial at this link

Visual learning with VizZle – great for special needs teachers – ways to create and share visual lessons including templates.

WeVideo – a platform for creating your own videos – 33% discount till end of July

Do you have students wanting to create their own apps? Register now at AppShed. Cost involved.

Have you checked out Professor Garfield and all his different sites?

Improve your students brain power with brainware.

Spelling city includes vocabulary enrichment as well – allows teachers to create spelling lists and children use games to improve their spelling

Storyline online has actors reading great books – includes student activities

Global activities

Want to connect with other classes around the world? Perhaps you could try:

The Wonderment – journeys into wonder from students

Students from Azusa Pacific University (many now teachers) created these projects:

Do Now respond to current issues through blogs and Twitter – for high school students

These students presented many times in the poster section – most activities related to science

Join ePals a global community where learners connect.

 Flat Stanley also has apps now. Join him on one of his many journeys around the world.

Projects by Jen – lots of choices of activities from K-6 – I actually met Jen while at ISTE 2013.

Journey north looks at wildlife migration and seasonal changes around the world

Same Day in March – get organized to join this project next year but check it out from 2013

Follow foraging penguins especially in the Antarctic seas with Penguin Science.

Monster exchange is a writing project around the world – get ready for September start in 2013

Finding and organizing resources

A few great places to find resources include:

Graphite from commonsense media

  • Discover apps, games, websites that have been reviewed and rated by teachers
  • Share with a community of teachers
  • Innovate with the right tools

PolarTREC: Polar region resources – articles, lessons, activities, interactive media

Power my learning – free and flexible way to integrate blended learning into your lessons – portal to some of the best educational games. activities, simulations and videos – search by subject, create personal playlists for each student if needed

21 things 4 students – suitable for students grade 6-8 – interactive program about vital technology concepts

Atomic learning now includes an iPad app

Teaching the inquiry process – includes apps, videos and tutorials

Schools that work – produced by Edutopia – links, videos

Apps in your classroom – apps, lessons, tutorials

Math Landing – resources and tools for primary teachers including apps

Edmentum – lots of different programs and courses for all ages

Cyber Science 3D – interactivity and reasoning – class, school or district license

Take students on virtual field trips around the world – a small cost associated with the site.

Looking at using eBooks in your library? Check out this site. Or check out Brain Hive here.

Do you find it difficult to get the most out of your interactive board? Check out Gynzy with a free trial.

Want to engage your classes inside the pages of any digital book, article, PDF or document? Check out Subtext - also available as an app.

Do you need to use a graphing calculator in your maths lessons? Here is one for free at Desmos

Online databases, streaming video. eBooks and eLearning modules all online – free trial available  at Infobase Learning.

Online resources for adaptive curriculum in maths and science, suited to middle school and high school students

An eReading platform for schools – online annotation, embed quizzes, immediate feedback for students – check it out at Gobstopper


Teaching technology and connecting with other teachers

Teacher playground includes resources, PD, lessons, tutorials

As a teacher, do you want to be more connected as an educator? Join in activities in October – some will be based in Australia even though this website is American.

Here are some online catalogues with useful programmes to buy: ShopK12,

Teachers First – a site for thinking teachers – free membership, 1000s resources, free PD

Want to do some online learning of your own? Check out FLO.

Want to buy, sell or create some teacher created resources? Head to the Teachers Notebook


Organizing resources

Got your own classroom library? Track student borrowing by using classroom organizer. Can also add eBooks to your library.


Blooms Taxonomy and apps

Scrabble! of sortsMany students and classes now have ipads in their rooms. While I was at the conference in San Antonio Texas, I went to a few sessions mentioning apps.

Here is a list of those recommended if you use Bloom’s Taxonomy in your lessons.

Stack the States (free and $1)
WordWeb Dictionary (free)
Flashcards Deluxe Lite (free and $4)
Google Search (free)

Skitch (free)
Spacecraft 3D (free)
What Does Not Belong? (free)
Flipboard (free)
Word Seek HD (free)

Educreations (free)
Xperica (free and $4)
MindMash (free)
Slice It! ($1)

Cargo-Bot (free)
QuickGraph (free)
Wolfram Alpha $3
PollDaddy (free and subscription)
NASA Visualization Explorer (free)

Nearpod (free and subscription)
Socrative (free)
Side by Side ($2)
InDecision ($1)

Puppet Pals HD (free)
Inspiration Maps Lite (free and $10)
WordFoto ($2)
iStop Motion ($10)
Comic Touch Lite (free)
Comic Life ($5)
iMovie ($5)
Garage Band ($5)

Many thanks to David Pownell for the link to his website where he mentions all the apps.

Do you have any other apps you would recommend under each section of the taxonomy?

If you are using ipads for blogging, I recommend the Edublogs app  with the campus set up. Please try some of these apps at home or in the classroom and in the comments leave something positive about the app.
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Amit Gupta via Compfight

Part of my holiday

Happenings at ISTEAs most of you know I have been in San Antonio this last week at the International Society for Technology in Education 2013 conference. I presented a poster session on Sunday evening, along with two other blogging teachers and two Edublogs employees, about the student blogging challenge which I run every March and September. Over 200 people visited our booth to talk to us, but we had a very loud Mexican band also playing in the mezzanine area, so it was very hard to be heard unless we were speaking one to one with people. We also had TimTams and Caramello Koalas for the people to eat and a business card for them to take away.

But it was also a chance for me to meet face to face with people I only know from twitter or blogging. I  met lots of new people who I added to my twitter lists but the whole conference was always noisy with attendees chatting together in the lounges. There was over 15,000  teachers and administrators from all around the world at the conference.

I also got the chance to attend lots of sessions on hundreds of topics relating to computers in schools. My friends and I would often go to different session then share each others notes – collaboration of a kind. I will be writing a couple more posts on these especially great websites mentioned in talks and apps for the ipad that were also recommended.

At these big conferences there are also lots of sponsors and companies which exhibit their goods and try to convince you to use their product. It took me a day and a half to walk through all these booths, leave raffle ticket draws at some of them, attend sessions run by the companies and pick up brochures and business cards. Once I have checked out the websites of these companies I will also be writing a post about these.

So the conference has now finished and the final keynote speaker Adam Bellow, had these words of wisdom to those in the audience:

Learning and doing something awesome without sharing is selfish.

It’s not about the technology, it’s about us and the connections that we make.

Acknowledge your challenges, and then see them as opportunities.

If you don’t think you can, you’re not willing to.

Explore. Share. Contribute.

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: David Warlick via Compfight

New term arrives earlier this year

Oh no, here come the BloggersHere in Tasmania we are not used to having term two start in May – this is the first time we have had four terms per year instead of three.

During the recent holidays I ran refresher sessions for teachers in the north and south of the state.

Check out some of the work by our newer bloggers as well as a couple who have started again since last year.

  • The blog at Westbury is run by a group of grade 6 girls with initials of FEAST.
  • After seeing the blog from Miss D&D from Longford, Mr Guy at Evandale decided to get his blog going again and asked the other grade 3/4 teacher at his school to join him. What a great start to their blogs this term!
  • The class of 4LB have been getting lots of comments for their posts – many from overseas as can be seen on their clustrmap.
  • I am impressed with the Monday Inspiration posts from Mrs Smith and Clark’s class. Mrs Smith is only there one day a week. What a great way to start the day with inspiration from the students.
  • Students are starting to write the posts on the blog in Mrs Thomsett’s class. Can you leave a comment on this post from Sophie?
  • The students in Mrs Fall’s grade 2 have just started leaving comments on their blog.
  • The students from Mrs Wells’s class have been doing a lot of reading and learning about early Australian History.

I will be leaving Tasmania on 23 May and heading to America for five weeks. I will be visiting Washington DC to check out the Smithsonian Museum and the Holocaust Museum. Then I will be driving around the southern states for three weeks to finish at San Antonio for a conference on technology in education. I will be presenting a poster session about the student blogging challenge which I run twice a year.

If you want help, I will still only be an email away or if the time zones allow maybe even a skype call.
Photo Credit: Brett L. via Compfight