Haiku Deck – Guest Blogger Alex N

If you are wanting to have a go at using a different presentation tool why not try Haiku Deck!  It’s the one Colin and I used to present BYOD at the last PD day.  It’s free and it’s really easy to use as well as being web based so you can access it anywhere.  To sign up click here

What I really liked about it is its message of simplicity and that the focus should be on the visuals not on the text.  We all know how boring text laden power point slides are no matter how many fade in’s and fade outs are used!

So, what makes it easy to use?  Themes, so you can be consistent with your message. Templates, that don’t let you put too much text on a slide. And, 1000’s of creative commons images for you to use.

You can download an app from iTunes for your iPad, tablet or smartphone and it’s just as easy to use on these devices as a PC or laptop.  If you really want to you can also convert it to a power point presentation once you have completed it but don’t forget to leave a blank slide as a place-mark to embed any YouTube clips or videos.  And, to look really “tech savvy” you can sync your smart phone or ipad/tablet to the smart board or data projector and use it to control the presentation!

Give it a try for your next presentation to your class, you could maybe convert some of those old power point presentations to give them a different look.

I’m happy to help if you get stuck or Haiku Deck have a help email and they get back to you really quickly.

EDMODO – Teacher Experiences

Edmodo is a “Facebook like” platform which allows teachers to create class pages where they are able to interact with students, post assignments, make quizzes and conduct polls. Student work is able to be marked and assessment goes back to the students. One of the best features is that it is safe and teachers are able to moderate student comments and posts. If you wish to sign up for Edmodo click here and go to sign up. Once you have signed up, put in the school code pep7nv to join the school network.

This week we have a couple of guest Bloggers who are going to share with us their experiences using Edmodo in the classroom. Thanks very much to Tom and Nick.

” I have been using Edmodo in my class now for two terms. I first implemented educational networking site after hearing about the concept from members of another school. Being referred to as ‘Facebook for the class’, it really has allowed the students to be able to connect with one another outside of school, generally around ideas or projects from school, but also socially as well at times. I often post polls on our class page for activities the students would most like to work towards which really fuels the students engagement as they can vote. I also use Edmodo for a number of literacy groups within the class (book clubs), with homework challenges (check out 100wc.net), as well as a way of submitting all subject assignments. Student often complain to me about how much internet Xen uses or how slow it makes their computers, so with Edmodo, students just need to be connected to the internet and they can easily access and save their work during the week.

It has honestly made marking easier as it is all done there and then once the students have submitted their work and I have read over it, allowing the students to instantly access feedback for their work. Edmodo is not without its flaws though. The Edmodo iPhone app is dated and slow, very much unlike the website. I currently have 73 notifications on the app which I am aware of but unfortunately haven’t cannot easily clear.

But if this is the only major flaw of Edmodo, I am sold! The simplicity, the safety, and the fun factor for the kids are all big thumbs up for me.”


“Edmodo has been a great use for not only myself but for also the students learning. In my class we use Edmodo for a range of purposes, from socialising to learning. For students to gain an interest in Edmodo I explained how they will be able to keep in touch with one another whenever they liked. They loved the idea of them being able to have their own social network, with an understanding that I monitor the website heavily. The students can only access the group which I have placed them in the ‘6NP ALLSTARS’, with parents having the opportunity to come and view the page as well. I allow students to ask one another questions and provide scenarios, so they can share their creative ideas with one another. A perfect example was “If I was stuck on an island and could only have three items I would have….” Or “If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?”. As a class we have had a large focus on elaborating our ideas and these questions are great way for students to work on their reasoning. I upload tasks which they can download of the class page and then hand up the task electronically. I am able to mark the students work and provide feedback on the website and the students will receive their marks electronically, without being able to see what any of their peers received. I also ask poll questions which generate a fair bit of classroom discussion, and also use polls to discuss what is happening globally. I have the students also placed in their Maths groups and provide learning experiences that cater for their needs. I use it myself for my own professional development, seeking support developing learning sequences and obtaining resources. I highly recommend Edmodo for Student, Teacher and Parental learning it is an excellent online network.”

Paperless #2 – Interesting reading

This week I am sharing a blog post and conference notes from the site “Ditch My Textbook”. There are a range of useful tools and great ways to utilise technology to decrease the amount of paper that you use in your classroom. I have used a number of these tools and really suggest todaysmeet as a good tool to give a go. If you have a go at any of these tools please post your experiences in the comments below.

In class idea #2 – Glogster

Glogster is an interactive poster maker which allows you as a teacher to create groups (classes) and give students access to these classes where they can create interactive posters. Posters can include video, pictures, animations and text just to name a few of the features. I have used Glogster with my students to create posters showing units of measurement. You have the ability to mark the posters within Glogster and add comments to each of the posters. To join Glogster click here and follow the instructions.

Being a connected educator -PLN

A connected educator is a connected learner who collaborates online and uses a range of social media tools to build their own personal learning network to interact with other educators.

Watch the following video to learn more about being a connected educator.

This video and article are part of this larger post about taking the challenge and creating your own PLN. You can find the whole article here.


Scootle is an online learning environment with 1000’s of resources as well as a collaborative platform for students to collaborate with their learning. If you have not yet registered with Scootle here are the links which you will need. Also there are some help files attached if you would like more information. If you are not yet a registered user of SCOOTLE you are able to join through accessing this link http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/register.action?key=gCGeBQCO . If you are already registered and have forgotten your password click on this link to reset your password https://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/passwordRecovery.action . I have also attached a link for further information on how to use scootle and some help files http://online.cesanet.adl.catholic.edu.au/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-18783/index.html if you require and further assistance with SCOOTLE please don’t hesitate to contact through the contact page.

Paperless School idea #1- Collaborative Documents

Once every few weeks I will post a number of ideas which can help to reduce the amount of paper we need to print out. This weeks idea is collaborative documents and file sharing.

Meeting Words – Quick and Easy to use no need to sign up, this site allows you and your team or class to all be working on a document at the same time. Each person is a different colour. Documents can be printed, and saved.

Self Destructible Notes – Type text (post note) and get a link for it, can be password protected, send the link (email, twitter) to the recipient. As soon as the recipient reads it, the note will be destructed. You can attach a file to your note. It will be automatically deleted after the first downloading

Google Drive:  Getting a Google account is a great step towards using a range of collaborative tools which give you access to the many Google apps. Google Drive allows you to upload your files, edit anytime from anywhere, choose who can access your documents share and collaborate online.

Week 1 Class ideas – Word Clouds

This week I thought we would start with an easy one to integrate into your teaching and learning, the “word cloud”. Word clouds are a useful tool for many tasks and are already widely used across the school. There are a number of sites and a number of ways to use them. My favourite one to use is Tagxedo which allows students to add words, websites or large amounts of text then customize the shape by either using the pre-set pictures and words or adding their own pictures.  Other sites which I have used and are used widely across the school include Wordle, and Tagul. The downside to Tagul is that students need to become members of the site to start using it, which just adds one more step when trying to set up quickly in a computer room or when using laptops. Please take the time to leave a comment on how you use word clouds in your teaching and learning as well any other sites which you use. The following articles are also a good guide to more word cloud generators and how to use them in the classroom.