ICT @ Bede

This blog aims to share ideas around web tools that may assist our integration and effective use of ICT. Feel free to contribute your ideas and practices.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

PREZI - A PowerPoint and mind map in one

I have moved away from always using PowerPoint for my presentations. Lately I have preferred to create presentations through an online tool called Prezi

Essentially, Prezi is a mind map that when displayed as a presentation, zooms into individual elements of the map to concentrate the discussion around that particular element.  Text, images and video can all be embedded into the mind map.  Students have found the presentation more dynamic and report that seeing the entire concept or topic initially helps them to contextualise the information that normally appears on individual PowerPoint slides.

This video (found on the Prezi website) does a better job at demonstrating the features and potential of using Prezi. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Free Learning Tools

Take a look at the list of free learning tools found on the Learn Central website. Among the list of 152 tools there's bound to be one you have been looking for.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Twitter in the Classroom

Regardless of your fondness or otherwise for Twitter, this video is worth a look to see how social networking tools are moving into classrooms.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


If you are interested in Web 2.0 tools and have not yet formulated an approach to incorporating them into your teaching, take a look at this video for some ideas. It considers how Google Aps, Moodle, Wikis, and Blogs can enhance student learning, enable collaboration and information exchange both inside and outside of your classroom.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Print Friendly - Webpage Printing

Print Friendly is an online tool that modifies the information on a webpage into a format suitable for printing. See the video below for details.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Networked Teacher

The diagram above is derived from the work of Dr Alec Couros and represents in a simple fashion the possibilities of e-learning and online tools in education. The value of this diagram is the reflection it can inspire - How networked am I? What opportunities do these tools and practises offer my students and I? Are there possibilities I have yet to explore? Could I be using better tools than I presently am? How might this enable engagement with and of students in their learning? How might such tools assist me administratively? Am I taking advantage of the professional dialogue that is increasingly found online?
The answers to each are varied and individual. If you incorporate technology into your teaching practise, it is worth taking time to reflect on the elements in this diagram so that such integration is evaluated and considered for its value (good or otherwise).

Sunday, April 19, 2009


TED is a valuable online source of video talks and presentations across a range of subject areas. It is probably best described by the site authors themselves:

"TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Google Docs

While some of you may already use Google Docs, I suspect that it is an untapped resource for many of us.

This online tool allows you to create a document, slide show or spreadsheet that is saved online at Google Docs. It is secure and requires a userid and password or an email invitation from the author.

Once you have invited others (or been invited) to contribute, everyone can collaborate on the task by editing the file and saving their version online. This means that only one version exists and avoids multiple versions (that often vary from one another) of the same file. You and they will access the most current file everytime and email attachments will be a thing of the past.

This tool has potential when we are collaborating on programs, and providing feedback on issues that are normally done using individual paper copies.

Furthermore, the possibilities for student use are endless. This video presents the experiences of American teachers who have employed Google Docs in their classrooms.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Crowdspring - Logo Design

Take a look at the Crowdspring website. Organisations post a creative brief for the design of a logo or visual text, inviting people to submit their design and compete for the prize on offer. In terms of English teaching, each project allows for the deconstruction and analysis of the visual design. Students could also be asked to judge the entries for their preferred winner that is justified with a written or oral presentation. Potential uses by other KLAs could include study, analysis, evaluation or composition as follows:

PDHPE - healthcare logos
RE - not for profit and charity organisations
Business Studies - marketing of products and services
Visual Arts - participation in and analysis of the design projects
Music - music that might also serve the design brief

Potential assessment opportunities include presentation skills, understanding of visual techniques and design, metalanguage ... to name a few. Creative opportunities obviously exist for students to partipate in a design project. This is a great way to connect students as real life composers and analysts of visual texts.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

'Ideas to Inspire' website

Mark Warner has compiled some great ICT strategies on his website 'Ideas to Inspire'. It contains plenty of practical ideas and tips for a range of ICT applictions as shown above. It also includes 'techy tips for non-techy teachers'. Worth a look if you use, or would like to use, in your classes.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A commonsense approach to ICT

This slideshow by Rachel Boyd contains some excellent practical ideas and tips on how to implement and manage ICT in the classroom.


http://metaatem.net/words/ uses Flickr images to create words.


Take a look at this. Eyeplorer is knowledge program that scans the web and organises the facts into a user friendly chart. Items that appear on the chart can be scrolled over to reveal their detail and link you to the website they came from. If you require that information it can simply be dragged from the chart to the accompanying writing pad, allowing you to collate notes throughout your search of the topic.

Eyeplorer is a development on most search engines that only give you a list of sites to explore. You would normally have to visit each site and discern if it is what you require. Eyeplorer rationalises some of this activity into one screen and gives you the power to manipulate the search findings to your own needs.

Word Clouds

http://www.wordle.net/ is an easy online tool to produce word clouds. Word clouds are great for students to get the gist of a text and examining word choice as part of their study. In English they are valuable for students to ascertain the themes/issues of a text by sifting through the plot details to discern the important elements they contain.

This word cloud of the NSW Stage 6 English (Standard) Syllabus has been used to introduce my students to the demands of this course. As well as the various elements that students need to consider, it demonstrates the course is centred around students. It generated great discussion around why ’students’ is such a dominant element of the word cloud. They came to see that not only do they have a responsibility to their study of English, but their responses need to provide are personal ones rather than simply regurgitating what they have been taught.

Cue Prompter

One of the online tools I have trialled this term is Cue Prompter's online teleprompter. It works in the same fashion as it is used for television news, with text scrolling up from the bottom of the screen. Apart from the novelty of this form of reading, my students have been fully engaged in this activity as ‘they can’t afford to stop reading’.

The features include speed control, pause and reverse functions, font size and the choice of black text on white background and vice versa. It is simply a matter of copying and pasting text into the site and within seconds, the text reappears in the teleprompter format.

I have used Cue Prompter as the basis for comprehension activities, grammar and editing activities, showcasing student work to the whole class and to model writing (this has saved heaps of paper previously used for exemplars). It has also allowed me greater insight into the reading practises of my students who instantly debrief with one another at the end of the text. I can also ensure that reading has occurred particularly for those students who ‘zone out’ during Sustained Silent Reading. It has worked successfully across Year 7-12 and I see a regular place for this tool in my teaching.