Thursday, October 21, 2010

Goanimate

Goanimate is a wonderful tool that students can use to create cartoon inspired animations. We have used this tool a number of ways this year from creating "book blurbs" through to cartoon animated movies that demonstrate virtues we have been studying as a class.

Its very easy to get started with goanimate and of course, as with most of these tools, its free! Create an account at www.goanimate.com and then start experimenting. Your students will absolutely love it. As with most of these tools, its quite intuitive to use.

Here is an example of how it has been used in our class. This example incorporates a screen capture as it was used for an assembly presentation. Click on the bottom right hand corner for full screen mode.

video

Friday, September 17, 2010

Google Docs




What a great tool! I started using google docs within the classroom at the beginning of the year. A couple of students in my class wanted to survey the class for an assignment they were doing. It was just a simple case of setting up an account, creating a "form" and editing it to suit their needs. The next step was to "embed" the survey they had created onto the survey link on our class wikispace. The class was then set the task as part of their weekly homework, to complete the survey in their own time.

Since then we have used docs to support our learning in a variety of ways, from creating surveys, managing group work and class resources - even using it for formative assessment.

This is where I have found it to be particularly useful, as a tool for self and peer assessment. Here is an example of how docs have been used in this way. Students were asked to assess themselves against the learning intentions for a recent maths unit they had been doing. The form was embedded into our class wiki so the students could complete the task when it suited.

I decided to take this one step further and use my summative assessment with another maths unit to create a form that could be printed off and put into students portfolios. A great looking result.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Image Tools


A few people have asked me how the front page on our class wiki was created. The process was actually quite simple, although labour intensive. The result though was well worth the effort. At the beginning of the year I had taken individual photos of each of the students in my class. I ran each photo through a cartooniser which can be found at www.befunky.com. Once this was done, each photo was uploaded and put through one of half a dozen different effects that can be found at www.dumpr.net. Finally, each photo was dragged into a template on comic life and the template was reformatted as a jpeg image. This enabled it to be uploaded onto our wikispace. It was resized on the wiki by clicking on the widget option when the upload had completed. Click on the image to take a closer look.

Why elearning?

A couple of years ago I decided it was time to get my feet wet with this "digital stuff." My first steps were quite tentative. I set up a blog for my classroom and basically used it to publish homework tasks for my class. The motivation behind this was purely in response to finding a solution to a problem I'd been having with particular students who misplaced their homework diaries within the first week of the school year. I had grown tired of students claiming to be unaware of what their homework was, when it was due etc. Putting it all online was a simple solution - and it worked!

As the year progressed, I realised that uploading students presentations etc to our blog was a great way to stimulate conversations around the learning that had occurred within the classroom, as well as giving students a voice within the wider community. It soon became apparent to me that presenting students work through this medium also enabled parents to interact with their children's learning. Another positive as far as I was concerned.

Roll on 2010 and it was time to ditch the blog and start a wiki for my class. It can be viewed here ... http://sisroom29.wikispaces.com/ If you are unsure about how to set up your own wiki, or would like to know a little bit more about the process, go to ...
http://wheretostartwithwikisandblogs.wikispaces.com/