Using Videos in the Classroom

1 06 2009


Many teachers love using video to enhance their lessons. The downside: many videos are too long, and it’s time consuming to scan a video to find the clip you want to use. Here are two sites that can help streamline the process.

TubeChop and SPLICD allow you to select a section of a Youtube video and crop the bits that you do not want to use, then you obtain a link that you can share with your students or place into your SMART Notebook file. This gives you the ability to launch a quick video clip with minimal classroom down time.

All you have to do is to copy and paste the YouTube URL, crop the video and copy the link to share or the embed code to insert in your VLE.


5min Life Videopedia – Another Amazing Video Website

26 05 2009







Click here to go to 5min

Click here to go to 5min




5min is a platform for instructional, knowledge and lifestyle videos. This library includes tens of thousands of videos across 20 categories and 140 subcategories, which are professionally produced and brand-safe.

5min features content from some of the world’s major media companies as well as the most innovative independent producers. You can watch video recipes, yoga and fitness routines, tech tutorials, DIY projects for home and garden, health videos on specific conditions, beauty and fashion tips, video game walk-throughs and much more.

It’s a great tool for every subject area. Go and have a look.


18 05 2009

What can you do to keep your learners engaged when introducing them to a new topic?

Why not play with Befuddlr?! Befuddlr will take pictures from Flickr, or you can also upload your own, and befuddles them to create a fun picture puzzle to solve.

It’s a perfect application for the SMART Board! Try it out!

Etherpad – An Online Collaborative Text Editor

18 05 2009

Try out Etherpad for a fast, free, easy and really live collaboration and chat session.


Click for screencast

Etherpad is an online collaborative text editor usable by anyone with an Internet connection. There is no sign up required; you just share a unique URL (web address) with the people you want to collaborate with.

Each user has a different colour and there is a chat box. You can use the random URL assigned or make one up just by adding the name of the document to the end of the URL.

It is real time; you see the edits of the other people as they make them, and you may discuss changes as you make them in the chat box.

The potential for use in education is unlimited. This is a great web tool for collaborative writing and planning; writing reports, stories or scripts, answering questionnaires, improving writing, making lists or also discussing opinions.

It really is simple to use.

  1. Just go to Etherpad and create a new pad.
  2. Email the link for the pad to your learners.
  3. Learners click the URL and they are ready to start writing and chatting in the same pad. You can see everyone editing the document.
  4. All revisions of the etherpad can be saved at any time.
  5. It is simple to format text as well as headlines and bullet points.
  6. You may delete your etherpad

There are also loads of opportunities for using it with staff. There are many situations where we have to put a document together with just one scribe! Well now everyone can get involved in the self assessment! It could also be used for communication!


11 05 2009

 Another great web tool! Another great way of communicating. And free!


Wallwisher is an online notice board maker. You can use it to make announcements, make notes, share opinions and resources, etc … Just think of wallwisher as your virtual post-its!

It is extremely easy to use. You don’t need to register or create an account. You just have to click on write post and that’s it.

You can add images, links, videos and music to your comments or post it.

To arrange your post its, you just need to drag and drop them where you want.

Check the wallwisher I have just created to try it out with you, and please write something to play with it. To add you comment you just need to double click on the denim background.


What do you think?

I am sure you can think of some good ways of using wallwisher with your students. You can ask your learners to give opinions on something you brought up related to what you are teaching, or you can ask them to try answer a difficult question and everyone checks all the answers and can have discussions.

All you have to do is to click on build a wall, choose a URL, pick a theme, add an image (optional), enter your name and email and edit the title (here you can type in your question). Then just click on done.

To share your wall, copy the link and send it to your students. Or wallwisher will send you an email with the link and a template email that you can use to send to your students.

Have fun!

Digital Storytelling

27 04 2009

Digital Storytelling has become a powerful instructional tool for students and teachers. Digital storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell a story, basically combining the art of telling stories with a variety of digital multimedia, such as images, audio and video. Digital stories bring together a mixture of graphics, text, recorded audio narration, video and music to present information on a particular topic.

There are several types of digital stories, such as personal narratives, historical documentaries and stories designed to inform or instruct on a specific concept or practice.

Here is an example of a digital story. Have a look!


Click here to watch a digital story

Click here to view a digital story

There are numerous ways of using Digital Storytelling in education. Teachers can create their digital stories or have students to create their own. An engaging multimedia Digital Story might capture the students’ attention and increase their interest, and it can also be a potent tool for students if they have to create their own stories. Teachers’ digital stories may also be used to enhance lessons, facilitate discussion, and make abstract or conceptual content more understandable.
Not long ago producing multimedia digital content required expensive equipment and technical expertise, but now we are at a point where we can make a very compeling content creation with Smart Notebook Software, PowerPoint, Photo Story, Movie Maker, iMovie or web tools such as:
               rock you
Click on the web pages logos and try creating your Digital Stories. All web tools have tutorials in case you get stuck.
Here are some links where you can find appropraiately free and licensed resources for your Digital Story.

Xerte – A Superb Free Toolkit

21 04 2009


Xerte is a suite of tools for rapid development of interactive learning content. The online Xerte tool is an effective way for staff with limited IT skills to create high quality, cost-effective and accessible learning materials. 

With Xerte you can create materials with the same quality as the NLN materials.

This toolkit provides a quick way for tutors to create presentations or interactive exercises, such as quizzes, with built in colour preferences, font size preferences, keyboard navigation and text to speech.

Xerte templates allow the content creator to make highly creative accessible learning objects in an extremely user-friendly way. You can integrate text, images, audio, video and animations, create interactivity, drag and drop and hot spot interactions.

Click to watch the video on MoleTV
Click to watch the video on MoleTV
How to get hold of Xerte?

Go to Xerte website – –  download and install the Xerte engine.    


OR  just use the online tool by going to To play with it you will need username: techdis and password: jisc. Try to create your own project. On the website you can find a very simple and fast demo, as well as Xerte examples.

This is a free open source that you can share with your students by uploading it as a SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) to Moodle.