Category Archives: resources

Free Web Tools

This is the next post in #EdublogsClub. It came at a very appropriate time, as this morning I was running a refresher course on blogging for teachers who have either been blogging for a while or just starting out.

I showed them three different web tools they can embed on their blog.   You can read how I ran the Refresher Day course here!


The first tool I showed was Padlet which is like sticky notes but online.

The Padlet below was embedded into the Refresher Day post so the teachers could add a sticky note to share what they wanted to learn while allowing them to see how easy it could be used with students.

Made with Padlet


Add  your own note to the Padlet below to share your favorite tools you use with students.

Made with Padlet



The next tool I shared was Symbaloo which you can use to gather resources or websites you often use in class.

In the top right corner of this blog there is a drop down menu under Tools to Use.

This links to the following three Symbaloo:

  1. Coding Sites – from an Irish friend of mine who I met through blogging.
  2. Digital storytelling – a symbaloo webmix which I created from lots of resources from other teachers.
  3. Image and sounds symbaloo –  I use with the blogging challenge as it has links for using images and sounds on your blog.

I’ve embedded my avatar creator symbaloo below:


The third web tool I showed them was Voki where you can create a talking avatar.  Great for text to speech book reviews and children soon realise punctuation is important.

If I make a free version without signing in I can only add a link to the Voki, but if I join and sign in, I can use the embed code.

I’ve embedded a Voki below:

Terms of Service and Education Versions

If you have visited these three websites I have linked in this post, you will also have noticed they also have Terms of Service and Privacy Policy links at the bottom of their home page.

If you are working with students under 13, it is always a good idea to check these as you might need to get permission from parents for students to use these sites. (Good way for parents to see how kids can be creative on the web.)

Also you will notice that both Padlet and Voki have school versions. If your school prefers to keep control of what students create and don’t like them having their work out in public, then you might be able to opt in for the education version.

Always check for a special education version whenever you look at new tools.

Using images

Here's Looking at You

Russ Seidel via Compfight

This week’s prompt for #EdublogsClub is using images in blog posts.

I am not going to write a long post this time instead I am going to send you to some blogs and blog posts about using images.

I am personally taking part in a photo a day challenge. I have tried this for a few years and never made it all the way through the year. I use my iPad to take a photo then upload it to my blog via the Edublogs app. Write a bit of a post, add the categories and tags, then publish. I have chosen a them that automatically puts the first image in the post as the featured image. Thanks to Sue and Eugene (sorry I had Elliott) from Edublogs for their help in sorting this out. Keen photographers in your class, would be a great way for a group blog.

Mrs Yollis in California also takes part in a 365 day challenge with her students. She uses a blogger blog rather than Edublogs but she has students from around the world send in photos to her blog and leave comments. Click on the image to take you to the post and area to leave a comment.

When teaching students and teachers about images on their blogs, I use the post I have for the student blogging challenge. I use a lot of resources from various blogs around the world but I will leave it to you to have a look at the activities I get the classes and students to have a go at when using images. I rarely change this challenge other than to update to different student posts.

Global Education Conference

Mini globe

Roselinde Bon via Compfight

Are you interested in connecting globally with your class?

Maybe you want to connect with other teachers around the world.

Every year, there is an online conference for global education. It is actually on at the moment. Now I am retired, I offer each year to be a moderator and help with setting up and closing the sessions.

One I went to last night was by Rob Martin, a Social Studies teacher at the American international School in Chennai, India. He was speaking about “Out of Eden” project where students from various countries get together and follow Paul Salopek and his walk around the world.

Rob’s talk will be archived on the Global Education Conference website but here are some links to information from his session.

If you want to take part in the Global Education Conference, you will need to have Blackboard Collaborate installed on your computer and have headphones to hear the sessions.

One session that will be interesting is at 11pm tonight with Anne Mirtschin from Hawkesdale College in Victoria. Anne does a lot of skyping with classes around the world. Click on the title of her session and it will open up further. Then click on the session link with sas.elluminate in it.

Hope to see some of you in there tonight or at one of the other sessions during this conference.

Ideas for coding in classrooms

Coding is one of those areas in which many teachers have very few ideas of using it in the classroom. So while I was at ISTE I tried to go to some sessions or gather notes from coding activities. Here are some of them. I haven’t looked through them yet but you might find some things of interest to you.

Using robots to create empathy in the classroom – a padlet presentation
Coding for educators
Helping kids code from Scratch – a Google slide presentation
Kids can code – links to website with lots of ideas
Tickle me robot – beyond the hour of code program
Even K-2 students can code – lots of ideas on this page

Just received an email from one of the exhibitor booths for a coding program called Bitsbox. This did look interesting when I saw it in use in the expo hall.

I’ll add more as I go through more resources from ISTE2016. But here are a couple of photos of bee bots and blue bots which allows more difficult coding to be used.



Why use a Voki?

What is a Voki you might ask?

A Voki is a talking avatar or widget you can add to your sidebar or in a post.  Here is an example I created earlier today.

There are many ways in which Voki can be used in your classroom.

  • You can have students create the free version and then send you the code or permalink to add it to your class blog. Students can either type in their message or use a microphone and speak it directly into the Voki.
  • You can create a Voki Classroom where you have total control over the vokis students create – this costs money every year.

Here are some links regarding pricing and FAQs about Voki.

Visit  Mrs Moore’s blog – Easter around the world to see Voki in action on both sidebar and in post.

I will be writing a step by step guide for creating a free Voki and it will be in the Students as Bloggers blog within the next week.

Remember to leave a comment here saying where you could use a Voki in class.