Word Cloud with a difference-how to use Tagxedo

Tagxedo creates word clouds with a difference.

Word clouds can be created by all learners teachers and students for many purposes. I prefer tagxedo as it allows for the clouds to be in the shape and colour i want them to be rather than just random like wordle!

Check out Michael Gorman’s extensive list of 108 ways to use word clouds in the classroom here http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/108-ways-to-use-word-clouds-in-the-classroom-word-clouds-in-education-series-part-2/

Word Cloud with a difference-how to use tagxedo

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Word Cloud with a difference-how to use tagxedo2

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or if you prefer the PDF version:

Word Cloud with a difference-how to use tagxedo

Kahoot is a real HOOT ….. a how to guide

My students and I love Kahoot. It is such an engaging and fun tool I use it with all aged learners who have a device either 1:1 or 1:small groups to create engaging and fun quizzes and surveys. My students love the quiz mode way more than the survey mode. The competition and ‘game show like’ sense of adventure that the quiz creates has all my students engaged and hurrying to class. Kahoot is the first thing i do in class once i have marked the roll. If a student has music and arrives late the first thing they say to me is did i miss the the Kahoot! What better reference is there for an engaging tool!

Kahoot is a HOOT

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Kahoot is a HOOT3

Kahoot is a HOOT4

Kahoot is a HOOT5

Kahoot is a HOOT6

Or here is the link to the PDF version of this how to guide:

Kahoot is a HOOT

Create QR codes easily …… a how to guide and ideas for classroom use

Create and use QR codes on the bottom of task information, as a scavenger hunt laminated, around displays for more information on how it was created or to a video showing the students working or talking about their creations, around your room to prompt inquiry, As extension tasks or to support students differentiation different colours for different activities. Anywhere around the school, your classroom, for teaching and learning tasks to make learning more interesting.


Here is the link to the PDF

Using Popplet in the classroom …… How to use Popplet

In the last 24 hours i have made several help guides in preparation for the HTAV conference in October. I thought i would share them here too 🙂

I love Popplet it is such a cool tool available on the web and on ios. All learners can use Popplet both teacher and students to create and show visual thinking. To create: mind mapping, make timeline visual and interesting, for story telling, character analysis, summarizing or organizing information, detailing and showing the processes: the creation process, the design process or the idea process, For How to guides, Explaining the steps involved in something, for revision material, as an intro to a topic, a real or virtual scavenger hunt, visual learner cues, for planning or storyboarding ideas before beginning a project, research work, assignment passion project or challenge based learning proposal. To show different processes, topics, unit outlines and information. So much potential here with this one tool.

How to use Popplet

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Popplet how to

Here is a link to the PDF version i created 🙂
Popplet how to

Using Skitch in the classroom …how to use Skitch

In the last 24 hours i have made several help guides in preparation for the HTAV conference in October. I thought i would share them here too 🙂

I love Skitch because it allows me to annotate any image or pdf on both my iPad and laptop. It could be used to give students feedback, to add directions, label diagrams, sketches and other visuals, provide written cues to visuals, give task information or directions, give prompts to clues, as a reflection tool for the learner to annotate thought processes and thinking, areas of difficulty and ease, feelings, ideas, future explorations etc, brainstorming, as a pre-test or post-test, where I am at now and how I feel I am going, as a colourful whiteboard, also you could use skitch to create a how to guides!

How to use Skitch


or view the PDF of the how to guide here:

How to use Skitch

iTunesU and iBook Author content creation

My Students love iTunes U it allows me to organize the course and the semester in a clear easy to follow manner. I use posts to clearly communicate with my students what they will be doing and attach the materials that will be needed for the subtopic being addressed. I use iBook Author to create interactive books for my students to use to engage them in the content. Some of the books i create are just revision books full of interactive multi-touch components like in my first History course i created. Alternatively I create iBook Author books with content, information and images to bring History and Geography to life for my year 7 students and include interactive multi-touch components to take full advantage of the iPads and actively engage the students.

Tips for iTunes U courses-

Use outline to plan and organize your course. Ensure that is logically organized the way you want to teach it so students are not jumping around the course from section to section. I find that creating and building a course before i teach it helps me works the best as you can change the outline but you can’t move your posts around which means a lot of copy and paste and frustration. Best practice is to work on getting the outline to a stage where you are happy with it before building your course. Subscribe to some public courses before you start to build and create your own so you work out what works best for you ( a few subtopics in the outline and lots of posts or Many subtopics and areas and then a few posts or one post in each) There is no right or wrong way just what works for you.

Share materials between your courses where you can rather than uploading the same materials. If you add the same feed to more than one course, Course Manager creates duplicate materials in the My Materials Library and counts the duplicate materials towards your 20 GB available storage space.

Uploading your files be aware that the maximum file size is 2 GB however remember that your students need to download the materials to use so think about reducing the size to manageable downloadable sizes. If you have created an iBook Author ebook and it is huge consider splitting it into two books pt1 and pt2. If it is video footage think about putting in the link to the uploaded video on Youtube or Vimeo rather than uploading the video footage.

When displaying video material in the My Materials Library or a course Materials pane, Course Manager creates a thumbnail image for the video from the image displayed 11 seconds into the video file.

Save materials as PDF’s and upload the PDF’s into iTunes U as students can then annotate the PDF’s in a variety of apps.

Once you upload a material into iTunes U materials you can edit it to change the name of the resources, give it an author, change copyright information etc. It is good to change the name of materials to make them make sense for the students. For example a screen shot of a website will have the file name screenshot! Not that helpful for the user but by going into edit you can change the title to login details for …. etc to give the image meaning for the user.

When you insert an iBook or a video you can direct students to a particular part of the video or a chapter within the book. In the context of a video it is great as you can direct students the relevant parts rather than view the whole video.

Here is what some of my students think about iTunesU courses:


Tips for iBook Author-

Planning is essential when creating an ebook with iBook Author. Changing the order of sections within chapters is difficult so planning out the broad outline for chapters and the topics within them is essential before you begin to create your book.

Always make a Landscape iBook so no matter which way you hold the iPad it can be read easily.

Where it fits add interactive elements to your book this is what engages the reader and involves them. Interactive elements bring the iBook to life and take full advantage of the iPad’s features.

Source your own photos ask friends, colleagues etc explaining that you will credit them as the photographer it works really well and then you avoid hassles with copyright.

iBook Author has interactive aspects within its included widgets however you can create different interactive aspects to add to your ibook using Bookry and BookWidgets. I have used Bookry and found it easy to use with great support and help videos when you get stuck. It is free to use and works very well with iBook Author. I have only discovered bookwidgets recently and am yet to have time to play. I do notice that only the trial is free!

Review your iBook on an iPad or on your laptop to ensure it is set out the way you want and flows logically.

Here are a few of my students talking about the ebooks i made using iBook Author:

For more tips on iTunes U and iBook Author check out my slideShare presentations in this post about presenting at the HTAV annual conference.

If you would like to check out my courses or those created by my colleagues follow the link below.

Ringwood Secondary College courses – https://itunes.apple.com/au/institution/ringwood-secondary-college/id692510040

Here is my Geography course – https://itunes.apple.com/au/course/yr7-geography-for-australian/id896645777

Water Scavenger hunt

Using coloured QR codes create with http://qrstuff.com/ My students will Solve the clue and find the QR code then follow the instructions on the QR code find and snap the water treasure. Students will then read the next clue then hunt for the QR code and so on..

Here are my clues for around the school:

Clues to find QR codes for instructions to hunt and snap treasure

1. Dewy has this covered
2. Captain of the ship RSC
3. Time warp into the past
4. Lights, Camera, Action
5. Fix it Felix Jr! or is it Wreck it Ralph!
6. Piping hot or freezing cold this is spot for what’s what
7. Data in all sizes, shapes and manifestations
8. Bounce, bounce lots of net
9. Bang, bang, clang, clang
10. Lost and need to be found, problem needs solving we are the first port of call
11. Spaces a plenty before 8 am after 9 no more til after 4pm
12. Flying high respect I show
13. Muscle and sweat to and fro lifting running beat…beat…beat…
14. Prepare and rest a breather
15. Siberia they call it where winds and young ones rush by
16. Fighting virus’s is what I do solving your issues I am there to help you

Here is a copy of my QR hunt:
QR codes for water treasure snap and hunt

I had my QR codes laminated so i can reuse them next year 🙂

The QR codes ask the students to find the following treasure:

Take an image that shows waters interaction with: Fauna, Flora, The Built Environment, The Natural Environment and The Water Cycle in action. Examples of: water conservations, sources of water, uses of water, water issues or misuse (without misusing water), the different forms of water. How much water do the the tanks at school hold? How is tank water used at school and how many tanks does the school have? Finally there ares some quotes about water from various sources the students are asked to choose a few and snap an image that would be an appropriate background for the quote.

Kahoot Rocks

Kahoot.it has changed how I am teaching my classes. I use Kahoot almost every lesson as either an entrance quiz or exit quiz to see what my students have learnt and or retrained from the last lesson. It allows me then to have a starting point for the lesson and go over important concepts again especially if they are needed as the basis of the current lesson. Students love Kahoot and adults. Showing it to staff in the staffroom and having them play a quiz that my students were to do they were completely into it getting up set when they answered right but someone beat them to be the first correct and upset when they got it wrong. Having shown five staff members within fifteen minutes it had been used in those five classrooms and another ten teachers in different areas of the staffroom had been shown this awesome tool by members of that first group of staff i had shown! It spread like a wildfire it was awesome with comments like you have changed they way i teach and think about my classes, to this is awesome i love it and my class were so engaged it was amazing. Who wouldn’t love a tool that can bring teachers and students engagement and joy 🙂

We used Kahoot at the beginning of our HTAV 2014 annual conference presentations and all the workshop attendees love it and were going home to explore the potential in their classrooms and schools. They were super excited to learn how easy it was to create and share with students on any device and platform and it is all free 🙂 We used Kahoot to gauge our audience/participants pre-knowledge and understanding on our presentation material. It worked really well informing us as presenters to the areas we needed to spend more time on and those which we could skim over.

Kahoot allows you to make a Quiz, discussion or survey. My students like the quizzes i create as they have a scoring system it engages them and keys them into our topic. You can see for your self in the video below – i love that during the video you hear a student ask can we do it again after we finish!

You need to make an account – https://create.kahoot.it/#login click on get my free account and then fill in the blanks to the questions – What is your role? then username, email, password and create an account. Now you are ready to create your first Kahoot. You might want to watch http://quick.as/nyyt7b to see how it all works with a room full of people different devices.

Once you have made my quiz, survey or discussion have your students open a browser on what ever device they are using and type in kahoot.it don’t google it as it comes up with the create.kahoot.it address. You then need to launch the game click on launch then participants will need to log into your game by entering the pin and their name. You will see the number of players increase as participants join the game. There is a count down clock for participants to join the game once the time runs out the game starts. Then the question appears for about 10 seconds and then the question and answers appear ONLY ON THE TEACHER LAPTOP so you need to project the questions so all participants can view the question and answers. On the participant devices all they see are colored squares with a different white shape in each. I like that the students have to read the question and answer from the board and then click on their own device. It is like being part of a game show! You can change the time participants get to answer 5 sec, 10, 30, 60. There is a countdown clock on the screen so you could call out 5,4,3,2 etc if you wanted to! When all participants have answered or the time is up a graphic will appear on the screen of how many participants answered each color and on the individual device participants will be told if they got it correct or incorrect. A scoreboard will them show giving the top point scorers before moving onto the next question.

You could use the same set of quiz questions and change the time start at 30 seconds and then change it to 10 at the end of lesson and see how students go! That would be interesting!

launch screen for Kahoot!

At the end of the quiz you can display the results and download the results. This is in the form of an excel spreadsheet and you get every participants answers. Love it. Here is a video of the second time i used it with my class

HTAV 2014 Annual conference presentations

Day 1 – Presenting with Kristi Usher on creating an iTunesU course. Participants on a range of devices and platforms began to create their courses. Here is our presentation. Be sure to check out iTunesU on the iTunes store. When time permits i will blog some tips and tricks about using iTunes U for course creation and iBook Author for creating multi-touch interactive books.

Here is what some of my students think about iTunesU courses:


Day 2 – Presenting with Lucy Moore on Creating content with iBook Author. Participants started to play with iBook Author and learn the basics of creating an ebook with iBook Author. Here is our presentation:

Here are a few of my students talking about the ebooks i made using iBook Author:

Green Screening

Having purchased a two green screens, 3m x 6m Chromakey Green Muslin Backdrop Backgrounds from Image Melbourne.
I organized for one to go into the library classroom. It is located at the back of the room away from student activity. Teachers generally need to book into this space. This has turned out to be an awesome space for the green screen in combo with the installed projector working as an auto cue for the students who are green screening. The library collaboration area has then worked as a space where students can storyboard and collaborate on their scripts, plan and gather images to used as the backdrops. The entrance to the classroom is also being used as a second green screening area with the second backdrop purchased. The size of the muslin has meant that it can be draped over a bookshelf in the library, which has actually created two other spaces where students can use the green screen.

Students used their iPads to create their scripts after story boarding their initial ideas. Using the app Green screening by Do Ink students are able to easily create authentic breaking news story from the newsroom and the field. The app allows the students to use either a still image or video footage as their background over the green screen. Students shot their segments and then put their braking news story together using iMovie.

The task was to create a breaking news story about Mungo man. Students had multiple scenes to make up their breaking news stories. Key was the story boarding ideas followed by the script writing. The students that were able to film efficiently and effectively were those that had thought about all elements of their breaking news stories – script which is fleshed out, props, back drop images and or video, camera person, iPad without a passcode to act as the prompter ( students in some groups worked out that their green cover allowed for green screen technology to work on it and that made reading from the script easier if they were using the green screens in the library itself.

The Library space was brilliant as the foyer worked as a practicing area, the collaborative zone worked for student planning and putting together movies with iMovie, playback and critical evaluation of content against the rubrics and reflecting on the finished product and group contributions. The library classroom green screen and the two green screen areas in the library were the filming areas. Outside the library worked for both practicing and for students who chose to use the app 8mmHD rather than the green screening by Do Ink. 8mm HD allows students to change the lens filters on the video and thus easily show change over time using the filters to go from black and white to sepia to the 60’s and 70’s filters etc.

Here are my students green screening efforts:

Green screening in yr 7 History

How to use Green Screen by Do Ink:

Take a look at these awesome videos that Emily Collins, the Head of Library @ RSC has created to support teaching and learning with the Green screens and iPads. Thanks Emily for permission to use your sensational videos and your passion and enthusiasm 🙂

Possibilities with Green screening using the app GreenScreen by DoInk and an iPad

and How to use the app GreenScreen by DoInk

Thanks Emily for your helpful tips and allowing us to view your videos.

So what did the students create?