Tutpup – Maths and English Games

June 16, 2009


Tutpup is a free online resource for children to play simple maths and English games against other children from all around the world. The beauty of the site is that every child chooses a nickname, based on a colour, animal and number, and therefore remain completely anonymous. A teacher can sign up and create a class code, so that their students only need to enter a minimum of information on the site.

Games currently on the site involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra and spelling. There is a Hall of Fame which shows the members who have won the most games over the last 24 hours, 7 days or month, with the leaders having won over 1000 games in the last 30 days! It seems to be a really motivational site for students to practise key skills.

(Thanks to Tom Barrett for pointing me there.)

Heritage Park – Digital Story Telling

December 3, 2008

Sheffield FloodTwo groups of students from Heritage Park have been writing and illustrating short stories at the CLC over the past few weeks, using 3 different bits of software. They began using Kar2ouche – this software contains a number of titles, from Creative Writing to Egyptians. In each one there are a number of backgrounds, characters and props that pupils drag onto the stage to create scenes. They can add speech/thought bubbles and text boxes to tell the story. Once finished, they can save the story as a movie file, or print it out. This s quite expensive software, but it proved to be very motivating for the students.

The second piece of software was Comic Life, which I have written about previously here. The students sourced photos from the internet, and took extras using digital cameras. They could then add these to their own comic strip and add dialogue. This software is relatively cheap, and can be used for so many different projects.

The final software we used was Photostory, which is free! Students uploaded photos on a particular subject, and added effects, transitions, movement, text and a soundtrack. Finally they published the story to play as a Windows Media file.

All three pieces of software were excellent for engaging the students, regardless of their level. They were easy to use, and the final outcomes were very successful. They are ideal packages for working on literacy skills across all age groups and abilities, and the content can be relevant to their interests.

Glogster – Create your own multimedia posters

November 19, 2008

CLC Glog

There are hundreds of new applications appearing on the web every day, but it’s not often you find one that ticks all the boxes for educational use. Glogster is such a one. Here you can create your own “Glogs”, essentially a poster with images, text, video, web links and sound. There is a large choice of backgrounds, types of text boxes, video players etc, to make it a very personal piece of work.

Perhaps most importantly, you can sign up for an educational account, where you can create up to 200 student accounts, and all Glogs can be seen by everyone in your class, but no-one else. There is the option to send messages via the site, which could be used for peer review (and since the teacher can see exactly who is sending what, there shouldn’t be any abuse of the system).

These Glogs would be perfect for presenting information in any subject and key stage, particularly for Modern Languages (reading, writing, listening and speaking all in one project), History (document a historical event, do mock interviews with the key people), Geography (project on the local area, with interviews, photographs etc.), English (interesting ways or presenting information, both spoken and written), Art (could be used in the planning stages of a piece of work, with sketches, commentary, links to artists). It is also a great way to document a field trip or visit.

To see a glog I created about the CLC, click here.

Update – Large video files take a while to appear in the Video box once you have uploaded them, so do be patient.

Power League – stimulating debate

April 10, 2008

Power League


This website from Futurelab describes itself as a “fun and easy way to explore any topic […] Power League is a versatile resource that lets you ask tough questions, stimulates debate and creates a visual league table based on votes gathered across your group.” Essentially you choose a question, for example, “Which is the bigger cause of climate change?”and set up a league. Students are offered a series of random choices between two people or things, e.g. Deforestation and Farming, each backed up with a link to more information. After they’ve made a number of choices you can view the league. Currently in the World Power League (“Who do you wish had more power?”) Albert Einstein is top of the list, Michael Owen second from bottom.

This ideal for use in English, Citizenship, Geography, History, RE and indeed any subject that asks students to make decisions about aspects of what they are studying and be able to debate why they made that choice. The website includes a number of lesson plans.

World Power League

TagCrowd – looking at high frequency words

March 14, 2008

Image 1

TagCrowd is a website that creates a tag cloud (like the one on the left showing tags on this blog) from any web page or piece of text you enter. In a tag cloud the most frequently used words appear bigger. This application would be ideal for use in Modern Languages, looking at high frequency words (see image 1 above), in English for text analysis (see image 2 below, tag cloud of Lear’s poem “The Jumblies”) or for any subject where students need to learn keywords.

The website can be accessed here.

Image 2

Comic Life

March 11, 2008

Comic Life is an excellent bit of software that helps students create very attractive comic strips, using photos, speech bubbles, colourful titles and a large number of layouts. It can be used for story-telling, or story-boarding a film or play, and therefore is useful in a large number of curriculum areas. Recently at the CLC it was used to tell the story of Martin Luther King in history, and also to storyboard the French films about the new school.

See examples Notre college and Notre college 2.

The CLC has Comic Life in both large computer rooms, or you can download a 30 day free trial from http://plasq.com/products/ It has both PC and Mac versions.