Sunday, 30 August 2009

Breathing E-Learning Into The Draft Literacy Progressions

On Friday, over 20 people packed tightly into a room at School Support Services, Tauranga. The goal of the day was reasonably bold but achievable in light of the huge amount of expertise in the group. In short, we spent the day breathing some e-learning into the draft literacy progressions. The end result was an online resource that teachers could use at all levels to support literacy in their school.
We kick started the day by creating a profile of a literate person in the 21st century.

This following clip and reading on "What's so different about multiliteracies?" helped to stimulate our thinking.

What followed was a sharing fest. as everyone collaborated to expand their repertoire of strategies, processes and ideas for using ICT to support literacy programmes. Good old –fashioned sticky notes were then used to match ideas with parts of the draft literacy progressions. We then split into three groups to synthesise the ideas and create an online resource.
Check the resources out for yourself: Please join the wiki if you wish to contribute to this resource.

Feedback from those involved in the day was overwhelming positive with participants being particularly grateful for the opportunity to create a practical resource that could be used straight away.

To learn more about this group and how to be involved please visit my blog: or the groups wiki:

Friday, 21 August 2009

20 Free ICT Resources for the English Classroom

Attribution:Image: 'Wisdom - Seeds of Light'

The Internet is full of free online ICT resources that can be used in English classrooms. These resources are a great way for educators to engage students, increase productivity, and promote learning. Here is a list of 20 free ICT resources to try out with your English class:

Vyew - Vyew is a free online collaboration and web conferencing tool that can be used to share and connect with students, parents, and colleagues. This site tool allows users to present, collaborate, and review information in a real-time setting.

Mikogo - Mikogo features easy-to-use desktop sharing that is a great for assisting and connecting with students, parents, and colleagues.

Wetpaint - Wetpaint offers a free way to create collaborative educational websites. Wetpaint sites can contain forums, blogs, wikis, and social networks.

Yugma - This free web conferencing tools allows you to share your desktop with up to 20 attendees. Yugma is the perfect place for connecting with students online, conferencing with parents, and holding colleague meetings.

Thinkature - Thinkature is an online virtual workspace that allows users to collaborate through instant messaging. This web app offers educators a meeting room, whiteboard, and collaborative environment for adding Internet content, drawing, chatting, and creating cards.

Stixy - This beta site makes it easy to upload and share notes, photos, documents, and lists. Once files are uploaded, users simply invite others in the group to view and edit files online.

Project2Manage - Project2Manage is a free online project manager that allows you to set reminders, post messages, assign tasks, upload files, and collaborate. This application is a great tool to keep your classroom organized and connected online.

DimDim - DimDim offers a free way for English classrooms to connect online. This easy web conferencing app allows you to share live presentations, web pages, and whiteboards.

WriteWith - This web app features group collaboration on writing projects. Through this site, students and educators can upload documents, share tasks, assign tasks, chat, and track actions.

Moodle - Educators looking to move their English classroom online should check out Moodle. This online course management system provides the tools for creating Internet courses and educational websites.

Yuuguu - Yuuguu allows instant screen sharing for web conferencing, remote support, and real-time collaboration. A free account gives users access to five-participant screen sharing.

Bookgoo - This easy-to-use web app allows users to highlight and annotate documents as they would a piece of paper. To use this web app, simply upload your content, edit, and share the finished files privately with others.

ooVoo - ooVoo makes it easy to connect with students, colleagues, and parents using video calls. With this site, educators can also send one-minute video messages, chat six ways, and send up to 5MB files at a time.

WiZiQ - This application allows educators and students to collaborate through virtual classrooms, online tests, and educational content.

Edmodo - Edmodo is a microblogging site created specifically for K-12 classrooms. With this site, educators can share timelines, assignments, grades, files, notifications, calendars, and more.

Postica - The virtual sticky notes provided by Postica offer an easy way to create and share notes, assignments, and files online. This web app can also be used with Twitter and iGoogle.

Phonevite - Phonevite is a popular, award-winning community broadcasting system that can send messages via the phone or social media. With this system, educators can send task reminders, emergency alerts, cancellations, and messages to students.

Wridea - This free web app provides a way to organize, manage, and store ideas to share. Wridea is a great way for students and teachers to brainstorm in a collaborative group.

SimplyBox - SimplyBox is a free content networking web app that offers tools for capturing and collaborating on content in web pages. Captured information can be organized into neat little boxes. The boxes can then be shared with students and colleagues for visual collaboration.

ReviewBasics - This free web allows users to upload documents, images, and videos that can be viewed by a specific group for commenting, annotating, and marking. This is a perfect way to collaborate on assignments, projects, and notes.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the Guide to Business School. She also writes for, site that provides accredited online college information.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Library Week 10th -16th August, 2009

Attribution: Image: 'Kawakawa Memorial Library'

"Library Week is a week-long celebration of libraries and librarianship in New Zealand taking place in libraries all across the country."

Library links you might find useful, please add any recommendations you have in the comments below...