Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chemistry Diagrams and Animations

Perfect after last weekend at ConSTAWA
This site is full of chemistry diagrams and animations - most of them perfect for use in eBeam Scrapbook.

I find that most of the stuff you need to use in scrapbook lessons can be found on the Internet - it just may take you a while depending on your subject.

Remember you can now add flash and flash video into the scrapbook (YouTube, teacher tube, and etc.) Use FireFox add ins to grab the files and use either the gallery or the page menu to add them onto the pages of the scrapbook.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More web based interactives and visualisations

I remember doing a project in primary school about cars... I think I was in year five.
I got pictures from magazines and I did research and it was one of my best projects.... But when it came the the engine part - pistons and systems - I literally copied an image/diagram out of a book and had no real understanding of what actually happens in a petrol engine. It wasn't until I saw a cut away model that you could turn the crank on and a video of what happens did I truly get the engine - this was much later when I took up motors and machines in high school.

So for all those people who were wondering what goes on under the hood. I present the interactive car.

So I was wondering that there must be heaps of these interactive animations around - I just had to find them....
Found them
This is an amazing resource of animations, visualizations and interactives.

One of my favourites is the the direct anatomy site -

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Free Photo Resources

Copyright - it is one of those things we really have to teach our students (once we get our heads around it). It's all very well saying you can't but what can you use for free, without restrictions?

US sites - Using flickr
The Smithsonian Institution - Large photos to be used in a number of ways.
The collection: The Smithsonian Institution

George Eastman House - check out the advertising photos from the 40's
The collection: George Eastman House

The Library of Congress
The collection: The Library of Congress

The New York Public Library
The collection: The New York Public Library

NASA - Perfect for the year of astronomy
The collection: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The Kids Collection

the Powerhouse Museum
the collection:

State library of NSW
the collection:

ReImage Australia

That should do you for now.....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Massive Digital learning Repositories

Good afternoon -
I hope you`are feeling better than me at the moment - Burning the candle at both ends this week - work all week and then exhibit and present at a conference over the weekend, and another conference tomorrow.
Anyway still found some stuff you should know about.

Scootle - the learning federation (Australia) is a licenced product for all schools in Australia - most people have access to it from their department portal if they work for Government schools - for all others there is scootle. You have to look at this - thousands of great videos and interactive digital tools for teachers - Free for you (if you live in Australia and are teaching)

For everyone else in the world - there is FOSSWEB - FOSS (FULL OPTION SCIENCE SYSTEM) Web
is the official site for the inquiry-based FOSS science curriculum.
A place for support, resources, and fun activities.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Human Biology Animations and Videos

Huge resourse for teachers in Human Biology - Videos, animations and interactive resources as well.

Use this with the visable human project and you will never have to buy another text book again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


This week has be very hectic with stuff flying at us from all directions.

I have been preparing for ConSTAWA which is the Science teachers of Western Australia conference. I will be demoing all the usual stuff as well as the new Epson Visualiser which I think will be the next big thing in schools - if we get the price right.

I will be presenting a workshop on new technology and how close we are to Star Trek Technology. I get to bring my toys as well so it should be a lot of fun.

Memory Lane Trip - Yahoo centric

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ebeam Vs Traditional Whiteboard

Sorry I don't mean to post twice on the one topic but....

I was at a primary school today, the deputy got me in to demonstrate this eBeam she had heard about from another school. I set up my projector on a precarious stack of chairs and stuck the eBeam on a staff room whiteboard that looked a lot more like a notice board. I calibrated and started to use the eBeam and do my regular presentation...

Half way through she told me to stop -

You mean we can have an interactive whiteboard on any ordinary whiteboard? Yes
It does all the stuff an interactive whiteboard does! Yes
It is less than a thousand dollars? Yes
Excuse me I have to go get someone.. show him what you just showed me - I'm going to take over his class.

So she leaves - a few minute later a bloke walks in and introduces himself...
I start my presentation over again - he has used a fixed board before so I show him all the same features plus the video capture and shared meeting and the pen capture....

At the end he said something along the lines of -
"I was so against this type of IWB, I was only going to just look at this and still get a fixed board, but your software is clearly better and the technology clearly works well - and I can put this anywhere in my classroom. That software is clearly superior to what the others have."

I pointed out that, to be fair the "others" have a lot more pre prepared resources - His response was that when he had his other board the only thing he used was the grid paper - everything else he had made himself. - Fair call I said and then showed him the flickr integrated search.

He went back to class - by then the school day was at an end - And the deputy had gathered a few more - so the presentation was done again. One of them mentioned that they had seen a brochure but weren't convinced that it was up to the job - they were selling it for me at the end. Eventually I packed up and left.

The main take away I got from this is that people don't believe this technology is as good without seeing it. This means I have to get in front of a lot more people and do the demo more and more - or they can go to the luidia website and see the videos.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It doesn't matter what country you are from eBeam is great value!

I was scouting around for more resources for teachers and came across the blog. Particularly this one caught my eye:

Simon talks about the differences between a Fixed board set up and a eBeam set up and the cost difference. It just proves that it doesn't matter what country you are teaching in eBeam is great value.
So I decided to do one of my own.

Traditional Interactive Whiteboard (approximate)
Purchase cost
$1600 - $4000 ex GST
Installation costs
$500 - $1000 depending on the room
Shipping Costs
Depending on the destination $100 - $500. Usually and hourly rate and charged both ways.
$1500 - $3000
Installation of projector
$500 - $1500 Depending on the room, mount and wiring

or an eBeam system

Purchase cost (currently) - $995 ex GST
Installation costs - Nil
Shipping Costs - $35
Projector - $960 - $1695 (Keepad Interactive has the full range of Epson Projectors including short throw)
Installation of projector - $500 - $1500 Depending on the room, mount and wiring

Still good value... leaves some money for other things like - SRS, wacom tablets, books, PD, or even a few stickers.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pete's Power Point Station

Teachers are always looking for pre-made resources for their subject area. Sometimes you are just looking for ideas, and sometimes you have to give youself some PD.

All of these needs are met at PPPS - a massive repository of high quality powerpoints and links to other ppt sites. Ranging across subject areas there are powerpoint to use in class or for PD in the staff room, or just to learn something new. Backup documents are also available - worksheets, fact sheets and quizzes.

A huge resource that can easily be turned into a TurningPoint resource with a few well placed interactive slides.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kindersite and the Enigma Machine

This is a great collection of interactive games, videos and resources for K-7 teachers. - Again most of this can be used with a Wacom tablet/slate or your eBeam.

The resources are all sorted into learning areas so finding something for your class should be fairly easy. I do like the story section.

These are all links to other sites and then you can go on from there exploring for more interactive resources at each site.

For those of you who have an interest in computer history / code breaking the Bletchley Park site has a virtual enigma machine running in JAVA - link here.

lets make some code.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Powerpoint Games

TurningPoint ARS/SRS/CRT (new one I discovered - Classroom Response Technology), uses PowerPoint 2003/2007 to display questions, answers and responses as well as run the session. If you want to add a bit more competition in to the mix there are the team and individual leader boards and the new wager slide.

What you can also do is replicate game show styles - Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and even the Price is Right - and adapt them to your learning area. Again it is a way of engaging your students and making learning more about participation rather than just listening.

For a range of game templates here is a great source

Adapt these for use with TurningPoint and the subject you are teaching and add a little fun factor to your formative assessment.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Two new ones from other bloggers

I've written about Wordle before - this is slightly different and rather than being just Art - Wordsift adds visuals, context and a thesaurus -

The other website is for all those who need to convert a file quickly and without downloading software...
Zamzar will convert documents, video, images and sound to just about any format you need and email you the results - up to 1G files.
This is great when you are behind a firewall or you just can't download and install other programs - DET I'm looking at you.
This is great for teacher tube, teacherstv and of course youtube - a great work around when you are blocked at school.