Padlet

Padlet (www.padlet.com) is without doubt one of my favourite Web 2.0 applications and one that I make a lot of use of. Simply put, Padlet is an online noticeboard or ‘sticky notes’ facility that lets you post text, weblinks, files and multimedia resources to a dedicated online ‘wall’ (the facility was formerly called ‘Wall Wisher’). Walls can be made ‘on the fly’ without any login (but you do not have editorial control…

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Docs and Sheets Add-ons

Last month Google unveiled a new development for Google Drive (Google’s web-based office suite) called Add-ons. Essentially this introduces an app store for Google Drive, although it is only in place for Google Docs and Google Sheets at this time. Add-ons are tools created by third-party developers that greatly expand the capabilities of Docs and Sheets. They can easily be ‘added on’ to your Google Drive account and can be…

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CESI Conference 2014

On February 28th and March 1st of this year the Computers in Education Society of Ireland will hold its annual conference in Galway. The theme for this year’s conference is Spark the Imagination. The CESI conference is a calendar highlight for those who are interested in integrating technology into their teaching and learning. Last year’s conference marked a very special milestone for CESI as it celebrated its 40th anniversary. It is fitting,…

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Twitter Lists

Visitors to this blog will already have read some of the many posts from teachers about the power of Twitter for educational purposes (for instance, see here,  here and here – and others can be found using the blog ‘search’ facility). Having set up a Twitter account and started to follow many users on Twitter, a common question that quickly emerges is ‘how can I manage all of these tweets?’…

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Socrative

​Socrative (http://www.socrative.com​) is a real-time response system that allows students to respond to questions seconds after they are posted by the teacher and will display the results for the teacher with the same rapidity. There are a number of points which make this an attractive piece of technology for education. Firstly, there is no need to create individual student accounts (or have them create any) to use Socrative– all that…

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Online Etiquette

Having recently had an interesting conversation with my sixth class about buying a DVD on line I was shocked to discover that they had no idea that it was in fact illegal to download movies and television programmes online from piracy sites. The situation arose when having read and enjoyed the novel ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar we decided as a class that we would love to watch the movie adaption…

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E-book Management, Conversion and Creation with Calibre

As more and more of my own reading material moves from traditional hardback and paperback texts to electronic format, one application that I make increasing use of is that of Calibre. Calibre (http://calibre-ebook.com/) is a free, cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) application that allows you to view, convert, create and manage e-books. The software supports e-book file formats for all of the major players in this area, including Amazon (Kindle), Android…

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Goodbye Google Reader

Last week, Google announced the decision to close Google Reader as part of its ‘second spring of cleaning’: We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in…

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Coursera

​One of the buzz words to catch my attention over the summer months is that of Coursera (http://www.coursera.com), a company founded by two professors from Stanford University with the intention of making available online courses and content from universities across the world to anyone who wishes to access them – for free. Perhaps the most notable things about this project is the speed at which it has progressed. Launched less…

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Quick and Easy Screencasts with Screenr

Screenr (http://www.screenr.com) is a free web-based tool for creating short (limited to 5 minutes in length) screencasts (video recording of a computer screen that can be accompanied by audio narration). There is no software to install on your computer (you may be asked to allow a Java applet to run however) which means it can run on both PC and Mac and can also be accessed from any computer with…

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