Free and Easy Newsletter

December 2014 - Bumper Edition!

On the road to Christmas, or, more importantly... the end of term!

As always, we are here to share some Free and Easy tools for you to use. For those new to the College, these newsletters are produced by the e-Learning team to showcase a variety of free online tools and offer advice on how they can be used in your teaching.

To really get the most out of this newsletter, we have done a quick poll to see what kind of things people are generally after. The results for this is below!

Using these results, we will gear newsletters from now on to be more in line with this feedback so that you really get what you are looking for!

As always, further feedback is appreciated. If you want to see something on the newsletter, or maybe you have something to share, drop us an email at

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This is where to find us:

Inspire-Learning Space (Room 1.014a) - the area where the E-Learning team and the Head of Learning, Teaching and Assessment are based. You can also use this area to try out new technologies.

Inspire training Space (Room 1.012) - is used for training purposes, encourage peer to peer communications and used to showcase teaching and learning technologies.

Pop in and have a chat!

In this Free and Easy bumper edition...

Pixton - Comic Creation online software

Pixton introduces the world to Click-n-Drag Comics™, a revolutionary new patented technology that gives anyone the power to create amazing comics on the web.

From fully posable characters to dynamic panels, props, and speech bubbles, every aspect of a comic can be controlled in an intuitive click-n-drag motion.

Check out the comic Michael Egan, our E-Learning Technologist, has made about the new Inspire branding. This took him 20 minutes to do!

This is a great way of showing some information in a different way than just a Word document or other regularly used technology. Have a go by going to this website, and click on the 'Fun' option to start getting logged in!

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Classtools - A whole variety of different tools!

This is what Classtools says about their site:

"Create free games, quizzes, activities and diagrams! You can host these on your own blog, website or intranet. No signups, no passwords, no charge!"

If you ask us here in E-Learning, that ticks a whole load of boxes! Try creating a quiz where the reward is that they get to play PacMan by getting the questions right.

Just pop along to the website and try out all the different options there:


PowerPoint Pointers - something a little different

We have had some brilliant feedback regarding the training given from our E-Learning Technologist, Michael Egan on PowerPoint.

So for the next few Free and Easy newsletters, Michael is going to create some videos for you to watch on some useful stuff to do on PowerPoint. As always, these will be both Free and Easy!

If you are wanting something more advanced in PowerPoint training than creating a quick timer, or you want to learn PowerPoint from scratch, drop Michael an email at and he can give you some pointers.

For now, enjoy the quick video below on how to create a nice and quick countdown timer in PowerPoint.

Countdown Timer

TextWall - For when you want to show trends in Twitter

A textwall is a web page that learners or delegates can send text messages to. The messages can then be shown on a large screen or interactive whiteboard as part of a lesson or event for everyone to see.

You are not charged for messages you receive. It costs the learner their standard sms charge to send text messages to the textwall. Depending on their phone contracts, this could be free.

Great to have on a large interactive whiteboard or TV and people can see the feedback on a lesson, an answer to a question posed in class, or even for supporting a College-wide event in the street.

Check it out here:


PromptWare Plus - Using a 'tele prompter' to help with your recordings

One of the big areas of expansion in E-Learning is in video. With the learning style of 'flipping the classroom' a teacher can record their own materials and encourage students to read it outside of class ready for a discussion later in class.

If you aren't too confident in recording without a script, here is a potential solution. Download this app onto your iPad/iPhone, set it up in front of you and then you have got a great 'tele-prompter' style screen that will aid you in delivering just the right lines at the right times.

Below is a screen shot of what the iPad version looks like. It is really easy to use and has a lot of options that can be changed so you get exactly what you want. Have a look for it on the Apple store!

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E-Learning for Kids - oddly enough, not just for kids...

For those people who deliver teaching to GCSE or Access to Maths students, sometimes it can be very difficult to get them to engage and learn. This website has some brilliant interactive sessions that cover concepts in great detail.

Check this out for measuring angles for instance:

That lesson covers a practical scenario involving a pilot trying to triangulate the angle a UFO is from their plane using graphics and a great explanation.

There is loads of lessons on the main website. Whilst it is American, there is a lot of information on there that just might enhance the learning that you are giving out, or helps reinforce learning whilst they are at home.

Have a look at the website here:


Contact Us

If you have any questions or suggestions of things we can feature in Free and Easy - or if you have a tool that you love using - let us know!

Drop in to see us in room 1.014A or drop an email to our E-Learning Technologist, Michael Egan, using the info below.