Saturday, March 28, 2009

A new way to storyboard

When I was teaching digital media and we got to digital video or animation I would always make the students storyboard their ideas for planning purposes - plus we only had one camera so it got them started and through natural selction the ones who worked quickly (but up to standard) got hold of the camera first.

I've always thought of storyboards as a low-tech solution... It is hard to imagine how a film will come out just by looking at the storyboards. What if you could put in the scene, characters, script, camera angles and gestures in and see what it would look like...

xtranormal lets you do just that. Currently in beta it allows you to stage manage two characters of your selection.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Live webpage within PowerPoint

Ever wanted to showcase a website during a PowerPoint Presentation?

How did you do it? - Alt-tab? Screen shot?

Here is a nice easy FREE solution to the problem -

This embeds your live website directly into the presentation without alt-tabbing back and forth.

This is great for embedding flash, FLV, Java and other interactive directly into your presentations - it doesn't have to be on the server - you could have it locally.

Use this for a huge range of stuff. Ask TurningPoint questions based on a web site.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I'm going to have to write about "Wordle" - as my boss reckons it's the ultimate summariser. Feed it texts and it gives you a visual representation of the frequency and importance of each word in the text. You have to see a wordle to appreciate it.

This is an online tool, but it would be fantastic in a classroom - put a chapter of a book into it and see if the kids can predict the story - or get them to make up a story based on the wordle.

You could also use it to help kids with distilling the main ideas. It is also a great "art" activity - student can use public domain text from project Gutenberg to create art from poems and prose.

Very cool you will be looking for a whole bunch of text to put into the Wordle cruncher.

Word Talk

One of the most popular programs used in special education ans lower primary is "Clicker". I think I have already talked about EDword as a free replacement for it with the ability to make grids and change voices and controls.

One of the features of EDword and Clicker is that they highlight an speak the works on the page- giving students immediate feedback. You can now add this feature to plain old MS Word with WordTalk.

Word talk works as an add in and you can control what gets read and when - with controls for words, sentences, paragrams and selection. It even has a record funtion that records the speach into a MP3 or ogg file - good for getting people who don't like speaking doing a podcast.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Language and Maths activities for your IWB

With NAPLAN coming up soon there are teachers looking for the edge so they can give their kids that extra oomph in the tests.

If you are using spelling lists and an IWB this is perfect. Simply put your wordlist into the home pages and it automatically makes 11 different flash spelling games from your list - saves on a whole lot of work. You can also do it to automate your spelling tests as it says the word and puts it in a sentence. There are also a whole bunch of premade lists.

You need to online for this gem.

This is a downloadable program for lower school maths. With over 20 different activities (many that you can do with your IWB) 2+2 math for kids is a program aimed to help children's education in the area of basic mathematical skills.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cassiopeia Project

The cassiopeia project

This is a great collection of free high quality videos to be used in science classrooms. It goes from general science to quantum mechanics. You can easily download them and keep them on your hard drive or server with no restrictions.