Monthly Archives: April 2011


I was cruising the ICT conference today for new articles and ideas to use with my IT and Innovative Learning students, when I came across a fascinating article about a lego-style network multiplayer game called Minecraft.  A teacher by the name of Joel Levin has effectively used the game environment as a teaching tool with Grade 1 and 2 students.  I applaud his courage in implementing this, especially with such young children.

You can read the Ars Technica article here.

Levin has his own blog as well, The Minecraft Teacher.

Finally, I checked out the minecraft website, to see that there is a free version of their older software, along with server software to allow you to host your own games in a controlled environment (essential for education).

Following Levin’s own advice, I am not about to try to adopt this in any haste – I’ll take a look at it over the summer to become comfortable and confident before leaping into a classroom application of the software.

Exciting things are afoot in game-based education.


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Moodle Tool Guide

I got this document from a colleague some time back and think it is a great way to introduce someone to the basic tools available in the default install of Moodle.



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Posted by on April 15, 2011 in Resources



Popplet – Web 2.0 Graphic Organizers

There’s some absolutely fantastic stuff being done with Popplet right now, and accounts are free.

Popplet is a web-based collaborative mind-mapping software capable of creating flow charts, graphic organizers, and other visual aids.  It incorporates the best of the Web 2.0 world – it allows for collaborative editing, can be shared easily, and pulls in rich content from Youtube and other websites.

It is to softwares like Inspiration and Smart Ideas, what Prezi is to Powerpoint.

I have some examples here. I’ll post a warning to other wordpress users trying to do the same thing: you need to use gigya code to embed them, the embed code that popplet uses won’t work in wordpress.

Instructions are here

At any rate, some work my ICT students did in 20 minutes today:

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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Inspiration, Resources


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iPad as an Interactive White Board

I recently had this article brought to my attention by a colleague.  It very practically discusses how to set up a computer, projector and iPad to function similarly to an interactive white board (IWB) using screen-mirroring software.  The big benefit to this being firstly that it is cheaper than the costs of a full IWB, and secondly, that it can be more versatile than other portable IWB alternatives.

On the surface this sounds like a fantastic idea, and worth some consideration.  The portability of the iPad, and the relatively high access to computers and projectors in my school makes this an appealing alternative to outfitting every room with expensive IWBs.

Of course, IWBs have their place in a school as well, and if placed in the proper classes, with teachers who have the passion and training to use them, they will and do pay enormous dividends for students.  If you doubt the efficacy of these devices, see Marzano’s 2009 study published in Educational Leadership.

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Posted by on April 5, 2011 in Inspiration


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Creating Maps with National Geographic Tool

Just got this link from a colleague and had to share it. It allows you to create printable pdf maps of most places in the world – you can make blank ones for history and geography courses too!

I wish I had a tool like this 5 years ago. It can be surprisingly hard to find blank, printable map templates for some regions. This is a fantastic resource that fills a that basic need.

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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Resources


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