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Welcome to the first edition of ICTmagic Show. Inside you will find an eclectic mix of the best free educational links, tools and resource for your class from across the web. I hope you find them useful. Martin Burrett
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Hot Tip Did you know that you can take a snapshot of your screen? Itâ€™s a great way to add images into worksheets, websites and documents. Firstly, go to the application or webpage you want to capture an image of. Locate the Print Screen button (sometime abbreviated to Prt Scr or Prnt Scrn) on you keyboard, usually near the top row of keys. Hold the Shift or Function (fn) key and then press the Print Screen button. Now when you select Paste you should find that you have an image of your screen. Use a Crop function or paste into a image editor programme like Paint to make changes.
Wikispaces http://wikispaces.com I use Wikispaces as my main hub on the Internet, so it seems fitting to begin with this fabulous site. It is a wiki site, which means that the pages can be set up to be edited by many collaborators. These could be private collaborators, so only invited users can edit the pages. This is ideal for a class or staff. I have a Wikispaces page for my class and our school website uses the site as well. The site offers a good educational account with lots of extra features, such as extra storage space and no advertisements. Itâ€™s great to use with students, as it provides a public place for them to edit and make their own. The moderator is sent an email each time a change is made and you can even set the site to holdback changes until they have been approved by you.
Twiducate http://twiducate.com As the name suggests, this is a version of Twitter for education. However, your students are not constrained by 140 characters like Twitter. They can change fonts and embed images, videos and other media. This is all available in a protected, closed off environment with only moderated, invited users. Users can change their avatar and even chat in real time with their classmates. My class love it.
A wonderful site for sharing text, images and resources for a particular date and designed to be a media rich journal. It’s great for setting homework and recording and planning school events. You can set each object as public, private or shared with friends. You can have a mix of these on one page which adapts to the user. You can make a page right back to the year 1900, so it could be used for history projects. You can also add entries for dates up to 2100 for sci-fi creative writing and publishing futures events/projects.
KidBlog is a wonderful site that my class uses at home and at school almost everyday. It’s a secure online blog where students can keep a journal. They can choose if each post is private to themselves or is shared to the class or group. The site is defaulted so that every post in the public area must be approved by the teacher before it goes live. Students can add media to their posts to make them interactive. Both students and the teacher can leave comments about each post, which again, must be approved by the teacher before being published. I have used the site to make accounts for fictional characters, so students can write a journal from their prospective. It’s great fun.
http://sploder.com Sploder is a wonderful site for making platform, logic, and shoot â€˜em up games by simply clicking and dragging components into place. It is designed for children and the workings on the site are really easy to use. Users can also play another studentsâ€™ games and my class have great fun swapping and playing.
Kodu Game Lab http://fuse.microsoft.com/project/kodu.aspx Kodu Game Lab is a full game designing programme and it can be downloaded for free from Microsoft. It is designed for older students. The basic features are easy to use. However, for the more adventurous, this package has some more intricate tools to refine and tweak their games. For best results, use on a up to date computer, as it can be a little slow on older machines.
Symbaloo is the homepage on the computers in my classroom. It is a page of tools and links to websites that we use all the time. You can share the page with your student so they will not need to sign in. They just use the link. When you sign in and make changes or add a link, the page will update the shared page automatically. Itâ€™s nice and visual with big chunky customisable buttons.
Isle of Tune
Isle of Tune offers a unique way to make music. It’s a mixture of SimCity and a Casio keyboard. Users build a town where each object makes a different sound. As cars drive past the buildings and other objects, sounds are produced. Designs can be saved online and shared with the world. It’s great fun and it’s easy for students to use. They will make musical municipals in minutes.
SumoPaint http://sumopaint.com/app/ This is a really good online drawing or image editing site, which feels similar to Photoshop. While my class use it and like the site, it is not designed especially for children and many of the tools will never be used. But the simple features produce great results for the children and is a useful tool for preparing lessons for teachers.
http://fav7.com/ Share up to 7 links bunched into one url. This is a great tool for creating a resource pack of websites for a project. Just enter the sites you want to bunch and share the short url with your students.
http://panoramas.dk View stunning 360ĚŠ photos from around the world. There are many historical sites to view. Itâ€™s a great resource for geography lessons and cultural activities. All of the major world sites and cities are shown, along with the smaller, less well know corners of the globe.
Tutpup is a great maths and spelling site with well designed competitive games for practising basic skills. Students can choose their game and level from a choice of basic maths, times tables, spelling and algebra. Players are normally pit against human opponents, but play against the computer if no one is available. You can win awards for completing levels and reaching new better scores.
Internet Buttons http://internetbuttons.org/ Internet Buttons is a start page with big, bright, chunky buttons which makes it ideal for younger students. You can label the buttons with text and the colour you want. There is a space for you to write a message at the bottom of the screen to give instructions.
http://freerice.com/category Free Rice is a website from the United Nations World Food Programme. The site has a collection of educational multiplechoice quizzes for maths, English, geography, science, foreign languages and more. For each correct answer given in these quizzes ten grains of rice will be donated to the food programme. Doesnâ€™t sound like much, but trillions of grains have been donated since the site began in 2007.
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ Audacity is a widely used, comprehensive audio recorder and editor programme. Itâ€™s a great tool for making podcasts and radio shows with your class. You can add and mix tracks together to make new music. It has a great set of effects to play with. Give it a try. You will soon be mixing music like a pros.
iNudge http://www.inudge.net/ iNudge is a lovely site for creating wonderful pieces of music by simply clicking on a few squares on a grid. Choose different screens to edit a variety of musical sounds. The results are great and easy to do. You can share your creations as a link. You can even embed the player into your class website, blog or wiki.
As the name suggests, this is a site that makes booklets. But it is so much more. These flash-based books are like mini website. As with regular books, you can add text and pictures. But you can also embed videos, audio, links, whole websites, calendars, widgets and more. The booklets are easy to embed into websites or blogs. This is one of my favourite web tools because it is just so versatile.
Manga High http://mangahigh.com Manga High is a wonderful site, packed full of superbly made and engaging maths games that cover most parts of the maths curriculum. The games range from a shoot-a-robot game to practise the basics, to growing flowers to practise fractions and decimals. The games are so good that the children wonâ€™t even notice they are learning.
http://ptable.com Ptable is a fantastic interactive periodic table. If you click on an element on the first screen you can access information about it from Wikipedia. The second screen explores the properties of each element and is fascinating to view. It shows boiling and melting points, states at a given temperature, abundance and much more.
World News For Schools http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/wnc Keep your class up to date with world events with this great podcast from the BBC. The podcast is released each weekday and covers child friendly news, suitable for students from 11 years old and above.
http://zooburst.com ZooBurst is a great site that allows you to make interactive pop up books. Add text for the story and speech for your characters, as well as using the clip art bank and uploading your own images to tell your stories. You can share your finished stories with a link or embed it into your website or blog.
http://livebinders.com Live Binders is a superb online tool that lets you embed websites and links into windows in a virtual binder on the Live Binder site. This is great for making banks of resources for your class or staff to use.
http://clayyourself.com/ Clay Yourself is a great avatar making site where you can make a clay version of yourself or characters for your creative writing. The site is child-friendly, easy to use and a lot of fun.
http://qwiki.com Qwiki is one of my favourite websites. It is a search engine for knowledge. The site puts together a minute long video based on Wikipedia and image searches and uses a voice synthesiser with amazing results. The site is great for giving your students an overview of any topic, making a great introduction to a lesson.
http://edu.glogster.com Glogster is becoming a widely used tool in education. It makes superb animated and interactive posters. You can embed a range of media, including videos, images, audio files, links and documents. It has a good collection of clip art to add to your creations. The posters are made using simple click and drag, which will have you and your class creating fabulous resources in no time.
Fantasy Stock Exchange http://www.fantasystockexchange.biz/ The Fantasy Stock Exchange from Piggy Bank magazine is a great site to practise maths and encourage future entrepreneurs. New account get ÂŁ500 to invest in 50 London Stock Exchange listed companies. The stock prices are real and linked to the real market. Students buy and sell shares to make money.
http://ecosia.org/ Ecosia is a search engine which returns results from Bing. But each search donates funds to conservations efforts to preserve the Amazon rainforest. Search for websites, images, maps, videos, Wikipedia and YouTube.
EducationEye http://educationeye.org.uk This website is great for finding educational news stories, interesting articles, blog posts, great resources and research papers. Click on the circle next to the articleâ€™s title to see a snippet of the text.
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