I was really privileged to get an opportunity to speak to the Edinburgh University PGCE Students today about ICT. Although I still have concerns that the only compulsory 1 hour ICT lecture is left until over two thirds of the way through the course!
Anyway, feedback has been really positive and I hope that some of the audience might follow this up with emails or comments here.
I referred to the following links during my presentation:
The Generator Blog – 100’s of generators to make learning tasks fun!
2. Search Engines:
Google – The biggest search database on the planet. Always use the Advanced Search function and remember that a Google Advanced Search can return searches for specific file types (including PowerPoint and flash animation).
Google News – Searches the latest and historical news on the web.
Google Scholar – Searches academic journals and papers.
Searchmash – A Google Side Project that shows normal search results but also image results, blog results, video results and Wikipedia entries all on one page.
Qunitura – A visual search – great for project work.
Clusty – specialises in searching the deep web.
4. Presentation Tools
For every thing that you need to know about PowerPoint and other presentation tools (including Captivate) visit SWict.com.
Death by PowerPoint is not an uncommon phrase in schools and conferences these days. PowerPoint is a powerful presentation tool but you need to be careful how you use it as a teaching resource.
Remember to involve pupils in the design and aesthetics of slides. What might look great to you might look awful to a 14 year old. After you have shown a presentation to a class gather some feedback on it (see idea 15 or idea 2). Ask pupils what they though of the presentation, not the topic. Was there to much text, what did they think of the pictures, what were the animations like etc...
In the past I have given students PowerPoint presentations to take home and edit for me.
Use flash animation in your presentation. As long as your computer is connected to the internet you can get flash to play directly from a web site to your PowerPoint presentation. Click here for tutorial telling you how you can do this. Now all you have to do if find some animations on the web, below is a summary of some good places to start looking.
- The Guardian’s Education website offers a whole range of excellent ‘Interactive Guides’ which include flash animation http://www.guardian.co.uk/interactive
- The BBC News also offers some good flash resources.
- For S1, S2 and beyond try Brainpop. You can get a free 14 day trial for this excellent resource.
You can search on for Shockwave Flash Files on the web by putting the subject you are looking for into the search box followed by a space then filetype:swf. For example try typing Hurricane Katrina filetype:swf into Google.
There are also a number of commercial resources available which include flash files. Check out Boardworks and order a free sample CD.
Include catch up slides (if getting students to copy things down from the board) and think about using PowerPoint for differentiation.
Link difficult words and terminology to sites like wikitionary. This can also provide useful tangents and discussion points.
BBC Picture of the Day is a useful resource, ‘The Day in Pictures’
5. Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is a fairly new term that describes some of the recent changes to the World Wide Web. Traditionally the web was a place where people could get information it was ‘read only’. However in the last 5 years the web has developed. Now as well as being able to read information it is also possible to write to the web. Its two way, read and write. Wikipedia has a good article on web 2.0 and you can find that here. I would also recommend the ‘Coming of Age’ a free on-line book which talks about the new World Wide Web. Some people including Will Richardson prefer the name the read / write web.
Some of the Web 2.0 tools that we have available to us as teachers are Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts.
1) A blog is an on-line journal at can allow people to comment. They can be personal or public.
2) A podcast is an on-line radio programme that anyone can download. You can subscribe to podcasts through sites like itunes, which mean that new episodes instantly get delivered to you when they are produced. Ewan Macintosh once described this to me as the difference between going to collect your paper and having it delivered to your house.
Most students have mobile phones these days. To find out different uses for mobile phones in the classroom have a look at this article that I wrote as part of the 50 ideas presentation.
7. Internet safety
Think You Know – Useful information on Internet safety.
I’ve been doing a lot of work on Internet Safety recently and I think it should be the responsibility of all teachers and school staff. If your interested you can find more information here.
8. Other related posts:
Good Luck with your last placement!