Seasonal fun developing keyboard skills – Happy Halloween to all!

Sometimes it is good to learn in class with something seasonal. For students who need to practice their keyboarding skills, the typing games at FreeTypingGames are simple, intuitive and fun. There is enough variety to satisfy every sort of learner, and they can continue the practice as homework. As this screen shot shows, the current featured game is called “Trick or type”, and though the sound effects may become a…

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Testing with a Tarsia Twist

The Tarsia programme is a free download that enables the user to make a kinaesthetic test in which students can match up correct pairs of facts or questions with answers. The maker has control of the difficulty of the test to be generated, and there is a choice of format – triangular or rectangular jigsaw, or dominoes. Once the initial download is complete and the program is installed, there are…

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It’s revision time – travel with the Questionaut!

The Questionaut from BBC Bitesize games is a very engaging way for students to work through revision of English, Maths and Science. It is an interactive quest, very cleverly designed so that the small blue Qeustionaut (who travels in a balloon fuelled by correct answers) can only progress with the students’ help. The graphics are beautiful, the settings are fun, and most importantly, there is formative feedback with every question.…

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Fáilte #edchatIE – Irish debut for #edchat

​Edchat is a Twitter conversation about educational matters both general and specific. The brainchild of Americans Shelley Terrell, Tom Whitby and Steven Anderson, Edchat widely used by educators within Twitter to tag their tweets, allowing them to develop discussions. Some discussion are ongoing, some take place at agreed times among local groups who address an agreed topic. Thanks to the leadership of Irish tweeter @fboss, Monday night 8.30pm has been…

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ICT in Education – Changing Landscapes

As February rolls around, it’s time to mark the calendar for the weekend of the 4th & 5th – the 2011 CESI Conference. Once again the conference is in Portlaoise, which proved a popular venue last year. This year’s theme is ICT in Education – Changing Landscapes. Any Irish educator with an interest in integrating ICTs into their educational environment needs to attend this conference. Recent conferences have featured a…

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Are you sitting comfortably? It’s Storytime…

The Storyline Online website, a literacy development initiative from the Screen Actors Guild of America, is a collection of short stories narrated on screen by actors (some of whom each of you will recognise, depending on your era!). The stories take between 5 and 10 minutes each to tell, and feature animations and images from their respective book illustrators. They are charming and captivating, and very educational in that subtle…

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A not-so-quiet (r)evolution – from CPD to DIYPD…

I have been a teacher for 30 years, and have both attended and presented many CPD events (known as “courses” in the olden days!). Most of these have been devised and presented to teachers, who attend, participate to various degrees, evaluate, and leave. Evaluations almost always highlight that people like learning what other teachers are doing, and sometimes the most valuable part of the course is the informal social learning…

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Avatars in Language Learning? Try VOKI

Avatars are very much in vogue at this season. I have been using an an avatar generator called VOKI recently, having seen it’s use mentioned in this Teachers TV video. After login, the user takes three steps to creating a voki: 1. choose an avatar from a variety of human and animal forms, customise it and its background – this is the fun and engaging part 2. add a speaking…

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A useful free classroom tool: Scribble maps

​ Many teachers are already using Google maps to enhance their teaching and students learning in the primary classroom. Scribble maps is a very useful online tool that allows teachers to bring Google maps a step further in their classroom. http://www.scribblemaps.com/ What is it? Scribble maps allows you to edit and customise your own Google maps. Teachers and pupils can use the tool to draw on or label any map…

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