HPS Tech News 2013 (no 4)



As we have worked through our Australian Curriculum and NSW English Syllabus training, we have identified areas we feel we need assistance with. All stage team audits identified composing 'multimodal and digital texts' by students and teachers as one area we need to work on to successfully implement the new syllabus. This 'Tech News' edition will focus on programs we already have at school and a selection of web tools available to assist us in this process. There are many tools available, so this flyer will only contain examples of those that have already 'tried and tested' by teachers and students at HPS. This hopefully will encourage everyone to have a go at one of these, knowing that they do work successfully and that support is there for you! (But remember, there is so much out there to discover, so please keep looking and learning!)

NSW English Syllabus - Multimodal and Digital Texts

What Does It All Mean?

A multimodal text combines two or more semiotic systems. Yes, sounds technical, but basically includes things such as animations, cartoons, digital stories, film, video, audio and web pages. For more specific 'technical' information please visit Syllabus Bites and Using digital and multimodal texts.

1. Animations - SAM

On all our computers at school we have SAM. An oldie, but a goodie! It's easy to use to compose stop motion animations. Examples from all the way back to 2008 are below:

Puppet Pals (iPad app)

Puppet Pals is easy for children to use, they can move objects around a set background and record their voices. An example is below (a few Puppet Pal animations have been joined together in an iMovie and shared via Vimeo).
Road Safety with KB

2. Comic Life

Comic Life is a program that can be found on all our computers. Again easy for students to use to compose a graphic text. Examples created by students below have been shared via Issuu.

3. Digital Stories - iMovie

iMovie is on all our computers and can be used for so many projects including digital stories. Examples created by students and teacher (to bring a collection of work together or as an introduction to work) are below (some are shared via Vimeo).
Our 125th Birthday at HPS by 2M

PowerPoint and Keynote

Please don't discount these programs for children (and teachers) to compose multimodal texts; these programs are on all computers. Two examples created by students are below. The first one is PowerPoint, the second one Keynote (shared via Vimeo).
My Story

ShowMe app

The ShowMe app allows students can capture an image of their artwork and record their voices.

Educreations App

With Educreations students can capture an image of their artwork and record their voices.

iMovie Trailer app

This iMovie app allows you to easily compose a movie trailer with a set template and storyboard, simply add the video and text. Below is an example created by the teacher and shared via Vimeo.
KB Keeping Safe at School

4. Glogs - Interactive Posters with embedded media

Glogs are created by accessing the Glogster EDU website. I have paid for a premium account that gives me 100 student accounts - I share these around with all the students I have for RFF. Some examples created by students (and lemon battery one by the teacher to summarise results) can be viewed below. Please think about this tool, the children love using it.

5. Podcasts Using GarageBand

GarageBand is on all our computers and can be used to create podcasts. Examples created by students are below (they also include an artwork track).

6. Slideshows - Photopeach

PhotoPeach is a slideshow web tool that incorporates text, images and music. Free and paid accounts are available. It is used extensively by a few teachers at HPS to showcase our students' work or school events.


Animoto is another free simple slideshow tool that incorporates images and music. It can be used to showcase students' work or school events, or in this example below, was a prompt for the 'Products, Service and Systems' COGS unit.


Kizoa is another great slideshow tool that can incorporate text, images, animations and music. Free and paid accounts are available.


I'll add Vimeo in here; a web tool that provides an easy way to share slideshows and video because it can be embedded into blogs and websites easily. There are numerous example of Vimeo already included in this flyer.


Don't want to use a web tool for slideshows? Use iPhoto. It's on all our computers and you can easily compose a slideshow with any photos you have popped into an album. Some examples are below created by the teacher to introduce a unit of work.

7. Word Clouds - Wordle

Word clouds allow you to organise text in a visual way to enhance meaning. Wordle is one such web tool.

ABC ya! Word clouds

ABCya! is similar to Wordle and easy to use.

WordFoto App

The WordFoto app on the iPad that allows you to add words over an image to enhance meaning.

8. Blogs

What can I say? blogEd and EduBlogs are used as the platforms used for blogging at our school. A fantastic multimodal tool that allows you to share with the world what is going on in your classroom!

9. The Easi Speak Microphone

Don't forget to borrow one of these microphones (in the box on my desk) to add audio to any of your projects.

10. Assorted

I'm calling this "assorted" as there are more web tools that have been used at HPS to created multimodal texts. They include Voki, Padlet (formally Wallwisher), Fotobabble, Audioboo, Issuu (examples already in flyer) and Youblisher. Examples of texts composed with these tools appear below.

11. Smore

Smore is what this flyer has been created with. It's a fantastic tool and there are many teachers who are using Smore as a way to share their students' work. Students are also using it to share their work. Please visit the Smore Trending Flyers page and you will see a fantastic selection of such flyers.

Where To Next?

If you have made it here to the end, (yes, I'm going for the longest flyer record) I hope you are feeling inspired. Why not choose one of the tools listed above to compose a multimodal text with your children this term (after reports are finished!!). The way to do it is to simply jump in and have a go.

If you get stuck? Visit forums associated with the respective tool, use their support section, google a question - there is always an answer out there, check on YouTube - so many 'how to' videos around. Ask teachers who have used the tools at HPS. Use Yammer, Maang, Twitter and Edmodo as your personal learning networks to learn from other teachers and share your learning journey.

All the best!