Thursday, March 31, 2011


Prezi is a neat presentation tool that kids can use as an alternative to keynote or powerpoint. What I really like about it, is that it is not slide based as are most presentations. Prezi is a flash based application that allows you to create non-linear presentations where you can zoom in and out of a visual map containing words, links, images, videos, etc

The interface itself is pretty intuitive, once you've worked out how to manipulate the "zebra" I had a play with it the other day and in no time I had made my first presentation. As with most of these tools, you can sign up as an educator (school website url and email address required) and then you are set to create an account for your class to use.

A number of my students were pretty keen to use this tool to showcase their most recent learning. Here is an example of a student's cultural heritage presentation.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Twiducate (2)

Twiducate is more than just a cool tool for bookmarking links, important dates and posting homelearning etc.

The other week I used it with my class in, what I think, was a real neat 21st century way. We had been having some discussion around what "culture" means. I got my kids in groups of 3 and they logged onto our class twiducate account. I then posted the question to the class, "What does the word "culture" mean to your group?

All groups posted their replies back to me, and as a class we went over them using the data projector. I then asked them, in their groups again, to use the "like" button to indicate which of the group definitions they thought was the "best" answer. Again, using the data projector, it was clear that one particular group's definition was the clear favourite amongst the class, having the most "likes" From there, as a class, we further developed this particular definition to arrive at a whole class shared definition of what "culture" is.

It was alot of fun and most kids were fully engaged for the duration of the activity :-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Social Media

I've been thinking alot about communication lately. I read recently where email as a form of communication is fast disappearing from the digital landscape and social media is the cool tool for the "now" Our kids certainly understand this and as educators we need to make sure we are meeting these "communication" needs within our own classrooms.

I still have a number of issues with facebook and twitter as options for use within the classroom. This has led me on a search for an alternative that meets my needs as a teacher (moderation, security etc) as well as the needs of my students. Twiducate is an option that is well worth exploring for your own classroom. As part of my presentation for the Learning @ Schools Conference held in Rotorua recently, I shared how my class is using twiducate on a day to day basis.

If you are looking for a closed micro blogging platform, where the teacher has full control over posts and chat, then check out twiducate - I'm sure you'll be impressed.