Teaching and Learning Bulletin

Issue 11

As we approach the end of the academic year, this issue focuses on some fantastic websites and apps that can be used with students. These suggestions are based upon brilliant presentations from: Paul Hynes, aka @thebuffetking; Martin Burrett, aka @ICTmagic; and Mark Anderson, aka @ICTEvangelist. These suggested websites and apps are a great alternative to asking the students to apply their new learning by making a dull PowerPoint! Have a play around with them over the summer and set yourself a goal of using a few of them when we return in September.

How can the students share their presentations if they don't have PowerPoint at home?

Simple! Share them online using Slidepoint or Slideshare.

How about getting the students to make a Prezi instead? Students can work collaboratively on the same Prezi by copying the link into their browser.

How can I get some quick feedback about my students' progress during a lesson?

The best website for this would be Socrative. You can set quizzes, get instant feedback. Quizzes can be multiple choice or open answer. You can time the quizzes and get students competing in groups - they call this the space race! They also have ready-made exit cards for your final plenary.

I'd really like my students to make a podcast - which websites or apps are easy for the students to use?

You could try audacity.sourceforge.net for making podcasts. Students find it very easy to use and you can make a podcast in a few minutes.

Alternatively, they could use the Spreaker app which is incredibly easy to use.

I'd like my students to make a video about what they've learnt - what should they use?

Explain Everything on the iPad is a brilliant app which allows students to import images, videos and add text and audio.

A fun video can be made with the Video Scribe app, which animates your images and text showing a hand drawing them!

Touchcast is an excellent app which allows students to make fantastic professional-looking videos. You can present to the camera and, in real time, drag and drop in images, news feeds and videos onto the screen. It also has a green screen option.

What are some fun ideas that I can bring into the classroom?

Voki creates animated characters who will speak your text! Students love hearing these characters giving instructions at the start of the lesson!

Zondle is a very easy website to use where students can make a little game to apply their new learning.

Animoto makes quick photo stories with your text, images and soundtrack. This is a good way of students recording their progress during a project.

What can I use to share key words in a visible way?

A great way of sharing key words for a lesson is to make a word cloud. It's very easy for students to make their own word clouds as well. For example, they could make word clouds as a revision aid for learning terminology, to highlight particular language in a text or to consider a series of words related to a key theme or event.

Wordle is a website that creates word clouds and Tagxedo is another website that makes specific-shaped word clouds. On the iPad, Word Foto is an interesting alternative wherw words can be layered over an image you have saved in your camera roll.

What can I use to share data in a visible way?

There are many websites where teachers and students can make infographics. Piktochart, Ease.ly, Infofr.am and visual.ly are four websites which are rated highly.

If you want to check that students have understood the importance of the data you've been discussing, why not get them to make an infographic?

For inspiration, ask students to go onto www.informationisbeautiful.net to see some incredible infographics!

What can students use as a platform for collaborating ideas on a shared document?

Students can use Padlet to post their ideas onto a virtual noticeboard. You can download all of the ideas as a PDF.

Try Popplet for collaborative mindmapping; alternatively, Bubbl.us is an easy-to-use mindmapping website.

Students can use Pinterest to pin important websites, images and videos onto their board to share with others.

Google Docs are still the simplest way to collaborate on a written text. It's similar to using Microsoft Office but anyone who has the link to the document can edit it in real time and not need to make another copy of the document.

Finally, www.realtimeboard.com is a collaborative whiteboard where multiple users can edit multimedia in real time.