Sunday, May 31, 2009

ICTEV State Conference 2009

Congratulations to all for another great conference yesterday! Our keynote speaker, Bruce Dixon (director of Ideaslab), was truly a great speaker and got everyone inspired for the fantastic range of presentations that followed. Although a bit cold and windy, there was plenty of great coffee and hot food throughout the day! It was five years ago that I was nominated to be on the State Council of ICTEV and I feel really proud to be part of such a great teacher's association. I hope all who came to the conference had a great day and we all look forward to ICTEV hosting the National Conference, ACEC2010, in April!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Very clever...

 HEMA is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam . Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands. Take a look at HEMA's product page. You can't order anything and it's in Dutch, but just wait a couple of seconds and watch what happens.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sir Ken Robinson - newest talk

I really connect with Sir Ken's philosophies and once again found his talk engaging. I have just purchased the book he is talking about, "The Element", using Fishpond - a great local book buying website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Art Project and Tumblr

About two weeks ago my grade 3/4 class and another were involved in a project with some students from RMIT (The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology). Their project was about endangered animals and students using art to represent their thought about how they might adapt to changing environments. The project, ArtAptation, uses a new blogging application (well new to me!) called Tumblr. Please take a moment to see the wonderful work these students did, but also check out Tumblr - I think I would like to use it for my next blogging project!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Animation from Buenos Aires

I came across this website a while ago and thought the animation was just outstanding, not to mention bloody amazing! The website, Blublu, has some fascinating links. So, here it is:

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

The video sharing site, Vimeo, has some fantastic videos covering a range of topics from stop-motion animation, time-lapse videos and some other fantastic creations!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our school's video sharing website using Fliggo

I am very excited about Fliggo, a place where you can create your own video sharing sites. I have created one for the students at our school to share the animations they make at school and at home. The site is called Animation@PHPS and all videos and comments are moderated by me, so no nasties getting through!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A selection of maths websites

I have found a selection of quite useful maths websites:

Math Playground - has a selection of games as well as instructional videos. - has a lot of useful videos, although mainly for secondary maths

IXL - Another site full of useful games, etc

Note: These sites are from the USA, so some of the activities around money and measurement may not be relevant to Australian school children


Just a quick one here. If you want conduct a web conference for your school or classroom then check out Dimdim a free web conferencing tool.

2009 Innovation Showcase

Yesterday, I went to the 2009 Innovation Showcase at the Palladium, Crown Casino. This yearly conference is organised by the state government. It was a fantastic day and the keynote speakers (Jason Smith, co-founder of TeacherTube, and Martin Westwell, Director of the Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century) were extremely engaging.
I found out lots of new things at the conference and will endeavour to showcase them in future posts. To start of with I learnt about a Ning, a place where you can create your own social network. So have a look at the Educator's Guide to Innovation Ning and find out all about the Innovation Showcase.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Teaching Animation Techniques

I don't need to go on about my love for animation if you are familiar with my blog, and if you are not - I think animation is great for education. Recently I had a well-known animator, Anthony Lawrence, visit our school for a session with our grade 3/4 unit. One thing he said sticks in my mind, it was...

"Animation is all about problem solving."

So, as I have been trying to inspire animation I have some things to share!

Firstly, this one is from Aniboom - my kids loved it! Unfortunately I tried to imbed this video but there problems with their new format that make it slightly imperfect. I must admit I am a perfectionanist when it comes to this kind of thing - if it is worth here is the link:

A great animation about animation!

Secondly... I would love for all my kids to do clay-mation projects, but time and technology are in short supply. So, I showed this next video to my kids as a way of saying; "Hey, you don't need lots of colour and a huge story..."
Well, maybe when you watch you will see what I mean.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another gem from TED

This is an amazing documentry that only goes for six minutes. It is about the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program in Columbia.

I have had problems fitting this video in and so click here to go to the website and see it full screen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The future of education...a timely reminder

I do not often get philosophical on this blog, but with the first installment of the national testing today I feel it necessary to replay an insipirational talk I used in one of my earliest posts! So, as the first day of the Australian NAPLAN, a country wide test for years 3 and 5 in primary school and years 7 and 9 in secondary school, on literacy and numeracy was implemented I wanted to play this video, because my question is how do we assess creativity and is it important in education, now and in the future?

"Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. He challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence."


I was fortunate to be contacted from the business development team at They offer a 'complete blogger's toolkit' and here is a brief of their tools:

"Tool #1:  The first of these is the Docstoc Embed, which has been used by HuffPo, NYTimes and Atlantic Monthly to name a few. 

Tool #2: Our newest tool is called Docshots and it turns any document link into a hoverable link that enables a feature-rich pop-up window.  It is great for incorporating documents of any kind into a post without consuming site real estate. 

Tool #3: Finally, we are also thrilled to announce our recent partnership with Lizzer, a great new bookmarklet that makes it easy to insert links and embed a variety of content (i.e. Docstoc Documents) into your blog posts or web-based email.  Lizzer also lets you use your Docstoc account login information to easily access and embed all of your saved Docstoc Documents wherever you are on the web."

As an example, here is a 15 page booklet I wrote a couple of years back for students to create digital portfolios using PowerPoint - still quite useful!
Digital Portfolios -

Pivot, Droidz and Shapeshifter

Pivot and Droidz

My fascination with animation and providing opportunities for students to express themselves in this genre continues. I have mentioned in previous posts about the stick figure animation program, Pivot. This free download is a great introduction to animation techniques for all ages. In previous posts I have explained how a Pivot animation can be turned into a movie file (see my 50th post for an example of this).
The latest news is about a website called This site has thousands of pivot figures and items that can be inserted into a pivot animation. Note: some of the figures and shared animations are extremely violent, so this site really is for more senior students (even though I found out about it from my grade 4 students!)


I have previously mentioned the fantastic site, Aniboom. As well as the amazing creations that are posted on this site, there is a section for creating animations as well. This is an online program called, Shapeshifter. Using only four geometric shapes, using this program can create some amazing animations. This would be a great stepping stone from Pivot to Flash animation. I would thoroughly recommend this one for students moving on from Pivot.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I found another document sharing website, Scribd. There are plenty of interesting documents covering a huge range of topics. I put one on my class blog as a reading activity. Here is an example of a document that has some useful ICT links (click on the box in the top right hand corner to see full size):

ICT in the Junior School ICT in the Junior School sharpjacqui Presentation on tools, software and Websites you could use for ICT in the Junior School. (5yrs - 7yrs)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

RSS web feeds

Have you seen this image on websites, blogs, etc? This is a RSS web feed button. It enables you to get the latest posts and news from your favourite blogs, news sites, video and audio sites.
This video is a great start to help understand RSS feeds...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Free Rice

There is a website, Free Rice, in which students can have a go at a range of multiple choice questions on a variety of subjects. For every correct answer 10 grains of rice are donated through United Nations World Food Program. This website is well worth a look and it is great for kids because they can actually see the rice they earn piling up!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

History and Technology

I was having a look at the revamped Teacher Tube site (it now includes audio, documents, photos and blogs) and found this animation about the Bayeux Tapestry. It is not really a tapestry but an embroidered cloth that is 70m long and tells the story of 1066 Norman invasion of England. At school, our children are looking at animation as part of our unit of inquiry, "Our World through Media". I really like the way something so historical can be made more accessible to a new generation through the use of technology!

This video can also be seen on YouTube.