This page contains a list of tools (both hardware and software) to enhance teaching and learning across the age range and curriculum, and some examples of how to use them. All tools are free unless otherwise noted. Please add your own suggestions in the comments.
- Popplet – This is a really nice looking tool to create mindmaps, posters, galleries, and anything else you can think of that involves boxes that you can add text, drawings, images and videos to. You can see an example here of one used in Spanish by Jose Picardo to revise holiday vocabulary.
- Posterous – This is a really easy way to set up a blog. You register your e-mail address with the site, and to post you simply e-mail Posterous with a message. The message itself becomes the post text, and any images, audio and video are posted in a suitable media player or gallery. See our post about it here.
- Twitter – Fantastic tool for CPD and to widen your Personal Learning Network. Follow other educators to keep up to date on what others are doing, share ideas and receive feedback on what you do. (I’m @catherinelliott on Twitter).
- Prezi – An exciting alternative to PowerPoint, encouraging a non-linear approach to presentations. You can see an example of one here.
- Glogster – Sign up for a teacher account with up to 100 pupils accounts. Create multimedia posters which can include text, images, audio and video. Ideal for presenting information. See our post about it here.
- Create a class blog at WordPress, Blogger, or Edublogs – use it to keep students up to date on homework, create a blog on a particular topic for students to contribute too, or use as a way of keeping parents informed. There is a post on how to get started with blogging here.
- Picnik – Online image editing tool. Crop, resize, add effects and text using this simple tool. Great for annotating photos and diagrams, creating artwork etc.
- Photostory – This is a free download and can be used to create simple presentations by adding photos, text, voiceover and music. Use to present information on a subject and support literacy, particularly useful for KS1 and 2.
- Comic Life – Create comic strips using your own images, to support literacy, illustrate simple dialogues in MFL etc (need to buy a licence for this).
- GoAnimate – Create your own animations online using ready-made backgrounds and characters. Need to check appropriateness of content.
- Audacity – This is a free donwload and is used to edit audio. Post the audio on a blog or Glog (see above).
- Flip Video Cameras – Small, simple to use video cameras to create your own films in the classroom. Can be edited with Windows Movie Maker or iMovie (on the PC or Mac). See our post here.
- Diigo – Social bookmarking site, save all your bookmarks here and you can access them from any computer. Create groups for your students for guided research. See our post here.
- Bubblus – Create mind maps on this website. Can be used as a revision tool, to catalogue keywords in a subject, to expand use of vocabulary in creative writing etc.
- Wordle - Input or paste in a text and it creates a word cloud, like the one in the image above. Words that appear more often are larger. Ideal for looking at keywords, analysing texts, classroom displays etc. (See example image above)
- Flickr - Great site for sourcing photos. In the Advanced Search, search using the Creative Commons licence, this means there are no copyright problems (though often you need to credit the photographer).
- Wallwisher - Create an online noticeboard for students to post sticky notes, including images, video, links. Can be used for students to show what they have learnt on a subject, see example here.
- Animoto – Sign up, upload images and video, add text, select a music track, and this tool does the rest to create a professional looking presentation of your content. See some examples of use here.
- Timeglider – Create interactive timelines, with images, text and video. These can then be embedded into a blog. It’s a little fiddly to use unfortunately.
Making Office documents more whizzy:
Most teachers use Word, Excel and PowerPoint at some point for worksheets or presentations. Below are some help sheets on how to add interactivity to each application, for example drop down menus in Word, self-marking labelling exercises in Excel, and action buttons in PowerPoint.
Here are some examples of some interactive Office documents:
2. Using Form tools in Word – The Solar System forms
3. Action Buttons/Text boxes in PowerPoint – Solar System Presentation
Unfortunately I can’t upload Excel files here, but you can see examples on our website here.