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Google Story Builder

This has been around for quite a while now, Google Story Builder allows you (or even better, your students) to create short movies or video stories in a Google Docs style environment.

You can choose different characters, story and music and when you’re done there are a number of different sharing options. You are limited to ten characters in the story.

I find it an interesting/different way to present new content. I think it would be fantastic for use in English to presents conversations between characters in a book OR even in MFL (modern foreign languages)

In order to make your story follow these three simple steps:

1. Add your characters
2. Create your Story
3. Give your story a title and add sound track

Anyone tried using it?Would love to hear about how you’ve used it in your lesson





Today I had a double revision lesson with my year 11 GCSE class. I tried to mix up the learning methods to avoid 2 hours of “chalk and talk”. We looked at the Digital Divide by taking notes from a text book, which then were used to answer an exam question. We then did an individual task  of circling risks attached to a fake phishing email, which then evolved to paired discussion and eventually whole class.

Via  #ictcurric  I found out about Popplet which is a nifty web 2.0 piece of software that allows users to create 5 Popplets and even share/collaborate with others.

As a note taking method I got the students to work in groups and collaborate on a Popplet with the topic “How has ICT improved Banking” – I did warn them that a 6 mark exam question would be asked based on the topic at the end of the lesson.

Firstly  lots of refreshing is involved to view the contribution of others but overall the students got a hang of it quickly and produced some fantastic mindmaps. They were able to add images, embed Youtube videos and even draw their own images.  A really nice touch is the ability to view which students have contributed each piece.

After 15 minutes of researching and creating their Popplets I gave the students the exam question and was impressed with the amount they had retained. Although it did get a positive reaction from pupils and they enjoyed the collaborative aspects, I will avoid using it too frequently. Instead Popplet helps break up big chunks of theory and exam questions by getting pupils on to computers and collaborating.



Bring Your own device

BYOD Prezi

I attended an ICT for Education Conference in Nottingham this week that had an interesting presentation by Paul Hynes, the Vice Principal of George Spencer Academy, Nottingham @buffetking.

There were a large amount of Primary and Secondary school representatives that were interested in tablets/iPads for their schools. Mr Hynes showcased a model his school had implemented that encouraged students to bring their own devices and use them as the teachers saw fit. His school had rolled out free, filtered wireless internet with no password and allowed students to bring in any devices they wanted. It was an interesting presentation that had me wanting to see how teachers implemented this in classes.

A major point was raised about the choice of tablets available (in excess of 200 models) and how schools regularly opted for the lower specced and higher costing iPad with no concrete reasoning for their choice. He also drew on the ‘fad’ of apps and rightly pointed out that for each app there was a website that did the same and would more than likely be free. HTML 5 has changed the landscape of the web and allows sites to incorporate many fantastic features without locking them to an individual app.

Lastly Mr Hynes talked about the expenditure schools were laying out for tablets and the result of damaging the devices. He used an example of a school in Kent that bought 1200 iPads, of which 489 needed replacing in the first year. Resulting in a staggering £200k to replace. Yes, their insurance covered the cost but the schools premium was £15k which begged the questions “How long will insurance companies carry on paying out?” – Obviously it would also be paid for by raising everyone else premiums.

He made his Prezi available for all to see –

Web 2.0 tools


There tends to be another new Web 2.0 tool out every other week. I usually have a play with some and cast them aside but here is an interesting list of  7 new Web 2.0 tools which I have found useful.

Making an Infographic –

The first generation of infographic generators – expect to see many more of them with additional sophistication


On screen video recording with option of using camera, making subtitles and adding sound. You can download the file as mp4 or leave it on the site or upload to Youtube


Mobile phone app. Lots of quizzes related to GCSE and you or even students! Can make their own. You could make money selling yours possibly?


Student response system, quizzes, games etc to support learning and revision. Massive interest in this on Twitter at the moment – nothing to do with Bill & Ted though


Online photo editing – THE replacement for picnic – some awesome graphic tools including the “thinner” and “teeth whitener”

You Tube Create

NINE online video/animation editing tools including Xtranormal, Stupefix, GoAnimate and WeVideo – AMAZING!

 Jargon Generator

Extend interdisciplinary initiatives combine transition innovative functionalities and recontextualize over-arching engagement structures – need I say more

Wallwisher – Now Padlet


I’m sure many have already been introduced to wallwisher.  (* Now Padlet ( It’s an excellent Web 2.0 application, (hosted online) which is the equivalent of a giant sticky board. It is useful in a number of different ways:

The teacher creates a page topic in wallwisher, as in the history example below, and asks students for contributions on the topic. This can be a timed exercise during class, or can be used as preparation during homework. The full version of this one is at

Alternatively, a group of students create a page in wallwisher and discuss their contributions with the rest of the class, as well as asking for further opinions. The one below is at

The beauty of the application is that one simply double clicks on the page to insert information and this can be in the form of a comment, a URL, an image or a video clip.

For further excellent ideas on how to use Wallwisher in the classroom, see Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher. To create your own wall, follow these instructions.