Archive for the ‘Web 2.0 tool’ Category

Thesis builder

Posted: December 13, 2012 in English, History, Web 2.0 tool

This is a great site for English teachers. It was pointed out in the recent SLV Research Tools PD as a good way for students to develop research questions. However, as an English teacher trying to get students to write persuasive essays and speeches this site looks like a great big juicy bone of joy. One of the hardest parts of teaching persuasive writing is to get students to the point where they actually understand what it is they are arguing! The Thesis Builder here is a ripper as it gets them to outline their thoughts in a simple way then builds the thesis statement for them. Then you can take it further and use the suggested outline as a way of helping them formulate their arguments into coherent paragraphs. (maybe, unless they are year nine boys who need to be bludgeoned to get them to do anything ). I also liked the Causinator  as I think this would be a great way to show juniors how to get started writing historical essays.



Follow this link to watch a Jing screencast of how to create and share a simple document in Google Drive.

This looks very handy indeed – lots of ‘under ten minute’ in length how to videos for tools such as wordpress, google sketch up, Activinspire, google maps and others. Lots here to get inspired by and with the shortness of the tutorial you could learn a new tool every day! I’ve been meaning to have a go at google sketch up for a while (ever since some of my year 8 students completed a castle design project using it) and this will give me a bit of a start.


Text 2 Mind Map – The text-to-mind-map converter.

A very straightforward and easy to use tool. Here you can enter your ideas and have a mind map created for you. It might work best as a whole class or group activity or as a way of explaining what a mind map is and does. You simply replace the text about the months of the year with your ideas – the main idea is at the top, subordinate ideas are indented using  tab and ideas connected to these entered by using  tab again. Click on ‘convert to mind’ map and whoopee it’s done! You can the save the map very easily.

Teachit Timer

Posted: January 29, 2012 in English, Web 2.0 tool

Teachit Timer.

What teacher hasn’t needed a timer in class at some stage? Here is a super easy digital one where you can customise the final ‘buzzer’ sound (I chose a sheep which was a great laugh). This timer is one of the ‘Whizzy Things’ available on the site – I highly recommend all English teachers join this site, it has some terrific resources including lesson plans and units of work. It is particularly useful (being a UK site) for teaching Shakespeare or any of the ‘classics’ such as Poe, Chaucer etc. I also found loads of stuff for lessons in my year nine English unit ‘Crime and Mystery’. Easy to register.

Welcome to, a collection of Infographics. Looking at these things, currently I do not have the skills myself to create things like this for use in class – so have a look around here and you might never need to! The resource hound’s motto at work has always been ‘why re invent the wheel?’ (along with ‘neva frow nuthin away’ at home – a view shared by the hound’s father but not her mother – we keep trying to tell her that as soon as you chuck it you need it but we just can’t convince her….so father keeps all his ‘treasure’ in the hound’s shed…..). Click on the link to ‘view the showcase’. Choose ‘more categories’. The example I have embedded here came from the ‘education’ category.

This is a useful site for those interested in learning about using web 2.0 tools both in and out of the classroom. You need to register first before you can access the video tutorials but that is very simple – you just need to create a username, have a password and an email address and it registers you straight away. Then search the ‘How to videos’. They do take a while to load the first time you watch them but it is well worth perservering. Currently I am using one of these to start me off with ‘EmbedPlus’ which allows you to manipulate YouTube clips – more on this later when I get the hang of it…..

AND THEN….. I came across this fascinating one about using video to teach. The direct link to this is here

The teacher here talks about ‘flipping’ her classroom, by using video to deliver content to students out of class time, thereby freeing up classtime to actually work with students on the application and use of that content. I was trying to think of an example for my teaching area and the following came to mind – I am currently teaching year 8 history and have been focussing on William the Conqueror and his role in introducing Feudalism to England in the Middle Ages. The actual aim of the work is for students to see the links between William’s form of government and ours. But we have had to spend a lot of class time learning about William, his vistory at Hastings and the issues he faced when he came to power BEFORE we could get to the comparison and by then we were a bit ‘over William’ and it didn’t seem to be terribly effective. If, however, I could deliver the information about William in an engaging way via a video clip that students could access at home (and whenever they needed to in class) then maybe that would have given me more time to focus on the actual learning intention of the work AND to work with individual students to ensure they understood and achieved that intention. Well worth a viewing and a think……