Author Archive: Tim

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Français interactif

| May 18, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Français interactif!, is a huge & comprehensive, web-based French program developed at the University of Texas.

In addition to interviews of native French speakers and a wealth of cultural information, the website also includes recorded vocabulary, phonetics lessons, grammar explanations, and Internet activities.

Français interactif! helps you explore the French language and culture by following the lives of real students who participated in a Summer Program in Lyon, France. The students introduce you to their French host families, their French university, and their lives in France.

Français interactif is organized into 13 chapters that deal with themes relevant to beginning French learners.

Each chapter begins with a short video, in a combination of English and French, but using French mainly, to introduce vocabulary that will be encountered in that chapter.

After practicing the pronunciation of each word in isolation, videos capture native speakers who use the new vocabulary in a context that provides important visual support.For example, watch, and hear, a fruit vendor name each type of fruit on sale at the market that day. pdf support materials are provided, & the textbook is available as “print-on-demand” or downloadable by individual chapters free of charge.


The goal of these materials is in the title: Français interactif!

Onelook ~ search with a difference

| May 17, 2016 | 0 Comments 

OneLook® Dictionary Search a search engine for words and phrases: Have a word for which you’d like a definition or translation- it’ll take you to the web-based dictionaries that define or translate it. If you don’t know the right word to use, it’ll help you find it. “No word is too obscure”: More than 5 million words in more than 1000 online dictionaries are indexed by the OneLook search engine.

Define words: Type a word into the search box on the front page to retrieve a list of dictionary web sites that define that word. Be sure “Find definitions” is selected.
Find words: Type a pattern consisting of letters and the wildcards * and ? to retrieve a list of words matching your pattern. The asterisk (*) matches any number of letters or symbols. The question mark (?) matches exactly one letter or symbol. (Read these sections for more info on wildcards and the Reverse Dictionary.)
Translate words: Type a word into the search box and select “Find translations” to retrieve a list of dictionary web sites that have translations of that word into other languages.


| May 11, 2016 | 0 Comments 

CoSketch is a multi-user online whiteboard designed to give you the ability to visualize and share your ideas as images.

Anything you paint will show up, for all other users in the “room”, in real time. It only takes one click to save a sketch, as an image, for embedding on sites and blogs. Runs in all common browsers without plugins or installation. CoSketch is free & doesn’t require registration. Draw freehand, or use icons from the library.

Now with Google Maps support. Draw on a blank canvas or use Google maps as the background for your sketches to show directions or share trips. Get doodling.

May The Forth Be With You

| May 4, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Gombinoscope & Monoface ~ Face Creators

| April 29, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Two of our favourite face generators: Gombinoscope and Monoface. Both could just be good fun, or, useful in art projects on the structure of the human visage. How about making characters for a whodunnit story? Watch it though: Monoface has a potential 759,375 combinations to try!

Nicer Tube ~ “A Nicer Way To Share YouTube Videos”

| April 24, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Cut out all of the “extras” around the edge of a film with NicerTube.

YouTube is a massive repository of useful ‘How-Tos’, advice, research gems, & more.

However good the films are, there are a lot of aspects around, and below, which are less than useful in an educational context. In many comments, people are often trying out their rude spellings!

Similar to QuietTube, which we blogged about here, and, NicerTube could be useful when you want all eyes to focus on useful content, rather than advertising, or inane comments.

No sign-up or registration required…takes only seconds!

Enter Any YouTube Video URL, select a background type, (a web page URL, solid colour, or fun design) then visit the URL that is generated.

For example, leads to “that video of Tim in the classroom”, but without all of the extraneous detail around the edge.

Quiet tube…

| April 16, 2016 | 0 Comments 

One of the problems I am sure you often encounter, as we do as we travel, is a huge, and sometime illogical, set of filters on online sites and resources. Sometimes strict filtering, whilst understandable on some levels, is also frustrating and doesn’t allow people to fulfill their professional duties.

I am not going to get on my hobbyhorse (again!) but I do think there is a lot of utterly inncouous but powerful material that can not be used in some regions (and yet is open in others) and Youtube is one of those repositories of valuable information which gets blocked. This is often not because of the films themselves. Rather, because of the comments that people make when they are often trying out their rude spellings!

You still have to exercise professional judgement as to whether or not content is suitable and valuable, but there are a few ways to display content that you know is appropriate to your pupils, even when it is held at bay in school. Here is just one:

Quietube is, as it says: “Video without the distractions”

To watch web videos without the comments and !@£$%^&, just drag the button (on the site) to your browser’s bookmarks bar. On any of the supported video pages, ( YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Viddler, and Vimeo) click the bookmark button to watch in peace.

You can then make short URLs too, to send the quietube version to others. Easy as 1, 2, shhhhh.
(You will have to create the Quietube link at home, and then go to that URL in school).

Here’s an example.Here’s a quick tutorial.
Here they are on Twitter.

You might have some trouble with a few uploaders who prohibit embedding, but it is well worth the try.

There are others (to follow) but Quietube really is simple & instant. Oooh! Look at all that lovely white space!

Sculptris ~ digital sculpting

| April 6, 2016 | 0 Comments 

If you are up for something slightly more complex, then set some of your students the challenge of mastering Sculptris.

Sculptris is a free piece of software from Pixologic the makers of all-powerful Zbrush. Go play…

Ffired ~ after requests again. Thanks all. A fun couple of nights. More?

| April 2, 2016 | 0 Comments 

fFiredI used to be a potter, but I got fired!
I worked lifting heavy sieves, but I strained myself!
I used to be a butcher, but I backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in my work.
I used to be a cobbler, but was given the boot @xannov
I used to be a postman, but I got the sack @xannov
I used to be a pool attendant but I threw in the towel @lisibo
I used to work as a hot-air balloon pilot, but my job was always a bit up in the air
I used to be a runner but I couldn’t stand the pace @lisibo
I used to be an optician, but I made a spectacle of myself.
I used to work in a frozen food factory, but I got fresh and then they canned me!!
I used to be a skydiver, but I got given the push. @wigglemyears
I used to work as a werewolf impersonator, but I’m not nooooowwwww! @stevebunce
I used to work in a dairy., but they said I kept getting in the whey
I used to be an author but they wrote me off @dughall
I used to be a milliner but the cap didn’t fit @lisibo (Hats off to you for that one)
I lost my job at the massage parlor. I rubbed people the wrong way!
I was working in an orange juice factory, but I couldn’t concentrate.
My priest became a Canon but they fired him @SephieG
I tried to be a chef. I imagined it would add a little spice to my life, but I ran out of thyme
I used to be a Chippendale, but I lost my polish. @ wigglemyears
(and you couldnt speak French OR Polish)
I once was a tailor, but I wasn’t SUITED for it. It was a so-so job
I used to be a refuse collection operative but I was binned @lisibo
I used to be a plumber but it was a drain on my resources. @bevevans22
You’re career was goin down the plughole Eh?
I used to work as a rhetorical teacher, but let me answer this one…. @stevebunce
I worked at Starbucks, but it was the same old grind
tried working in an car parts factory, but that was just too exhausting.
I used to work as a tour guide, but was told to get lost (You had that one mapped out @xannov)
I used to work at Kwikfit but I’ve re-tyred. @dughall
I was a painter and decorator but they gave me the brush off. @bevevans22
(It would have been like watching paint dry)
I used to be a caterer but I was a sandwich short of a picnic @lisibo
(Did you try to butter them up?)
I used to be a coalman but I got sacked (or fired!) @dughall
I used to be a Becta Academies consultant but…oh hold on that’s not funny @kevinmulryne
I used to make frosted glass, but could see no way through it @xannov
I used to be a jigsaw maker, but couldn’t keep it together @xannov (Puzzling)
I tried to work at a deli, but no matter how I sliced it, I couldn’t cut the mustard.
I used to sell oranges, but it just wasn’t appealing. @wigglemyears
Pipped at the post for that job
I used to be a nun but then I kicked the habit. @ kevinmulryne
I even worked as a lumberjack, but I couldn’t hack it. So they gave me the axe
I used to be easily distracted, but… @stevebunce
I used to be a cashier but needed a change. I have taken NOTE of that @bevevans22
I used to be a swimming pool attendant but then I bombed @kevinmulryne
I used to impersonate Lilly Savage, but it was a drag @xannov
I used to be a ninja, but I got the chop. @wigglemyears
I used to work as a restaurant critic but I got fed up. @ dughall
I used to make trusses but I didn’t get any support. @bevevans22
(You should have boned up on that one)
I tried to work in a shoe factory, but I couldn’t fit in
I used to be a carpenter but then I got bored @ kevinmulryne
I used to work in a cushion factory but they told me to get stuffed @kevinmulryne

I was #ffired from being a pharmacist.
Apparently it’s not the same as being an agricultural labourer. @SephieG

I used to work in a petshop, until they caught me with my hand in the Trill @stevebunce
I used to make glass, but it was so shattering @chrisrat
I used to work on a bomb disposal unit but I was blown off. @Helikon
Those undertakers I used to work for as a grave-digger… Sod ’em! @dughall
I was a toothpaste tube filler once, but I got a bit too fresh @xannov
I used to be a superhero, but I was too much of a fly-boy @tombarrett
I used to make cycle helmets, but my head wasn’t in it @xannov
I was a fridge magnate once but I lost my grip and fell off @kevinmulryne
I wanted to become a doctor, but I didn’t have any patience
I used to be a tap dancer till it all went down the drain @janwebb21
I used to have self-respect but then I started wearing this t-shirt @kevinmulryne
I used to work for Microsoft, but I found Windows was a pane @stevebunce
I got a job as a historian, but there was no future in that!
I used to be a procrastinator, but…hang on, I’ll do this tomorrow @stevebunce
I then got a job at a workout club, but they said I wasn’t fit for the job.
I used to be a print journalist but I got de-pressed @electricchalk
I used to be a trapeze artist but they had to let me go. @helikon
I used to be a Geography teacher then a History teacher, but I kept changing the subject @stevebunce
I used to be a driving instructor but just ended up going round the bend @janwebb21
I used to work for Hoover. It sucked. @captincroc
I used to be a camel herder till i got the hump @janwebb21
I worked in a potato factory but ended up getting mashed @raff31
I was #ffired as a confrontational weight-loss counsellor, as I couldn’t stand the diatribe @SephieG
I worked in a fish factory but ended up battered @raff31
I tree to be a tree surgeon until I got hacked off @chrisrat
I worked in a shoe repair shop but it was a load of cobblers @raff31
I used to be a handy man but it turned out I couldn’t make it. @Helikon
I worked in a bank but ended up being bounced out @raff31
I used to be a Guardian copywriter but I got fried @simfin
I used to be an artist, but then I became with-draw-n @chrisrat
Worked at a railway station but it was just the end of the line @raff31
I used to be a botanist studying all kinds of fungi but it was just the same old slime mould @electricchalk
I used to be tractor fan, but now I’m an extractor fan @stevebunce
I thought I would have a go on twitter, before making a hasty retweet @chrisrat
I became a fisherman, but couldn’t live on my net income.
I used to to a human cannonball but I got fired…. *I’ll get me coat!* @daveterron
I used to be a deep sea diver, but couldn’t stand the pressure @xannov (Deep man)
I used to be God but I was unbelievable. @Helikon
I used to be an astronaut till I was blasted off. @janwebb21
I used to be a draughtsman but I got to the end of the line @bevevans22
I was a carpenter at a furniture manufacturer but I got #ffired for going against the grain @JeremiahAlex
I thought I was a solicitor until I read Belle de Jour’s book @SephieG
I used to be a human cannon ball but to be honest I wasn’t the right calibre @simfin
I used to be a speleologist but I’ve gone underground now. @spookingdorf
I used to be a speech therapist but it was all gobbledegook to me @janwebb21
I used to be an MP, but I flipped @stevebunce
I used to be a curtain but I couldn’t get the hang of it @yearsixteacher
Didn’t tell mum I worked for Heinz. I was embarrassed. When I got fired I spilled the beans @dan_bowen
I used to be a perfectionist, but I’m trying to improve
I thought I was a chiropractor but now I stand corrected. @SephieG
I used to work in a shoe shop but it was sole destroying
I tried looking for gold, but it didn’t pan out.
I worked for a lift company. It had its’ ups and downs. @thewhiteant
I used to be a banker, but lost interest in the work.
I used to work in Clarks but it left me down at heel @Lisibo
I used to be a baker, but I didn’t make enough dough
I worked as an opthamologist but I couldn’t see eye to eye with the boss. @NeilAdam
I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.
I used to look after fish but was soon out of my depth @thewhiteant
I used to work in a casino, but got offered a better deal.
I used to be an undertaker, but I was bored stiff @stevebunce
I used to be an archeologist – from the start my career was in ruins @kevinmulryne
I used to teach maths but the school couldn’t count on me. @Ideas_Factory
I used to taxidermist, but I told them to stuff it @stevebunce
I used to work as a taxidermist but one day they told me to get stuffed @dan_bowen
I used to be an astronaut but it just spaced me out @dan_bowen
I used to be a butler, but found the work wasn’t my cup of tea
I used to feed pigs but got sloppy @thewhiteant
I tried looking to be a dentist but I just could not get my teeth into it @dan_bowen
I used to work in a frozen veg processing plant. Conditions were terrible so told line manager to pea off. @SimpleKatherine
I used to run a Twitter theatre company but they said we had too many characters. @tombarrett
I used to be a public speaker, but…um… er… well… um @ellierylands
I used to be a circus clown who made dogs out of balloons but I just ran out of puff. @dan_bowen
I used to be a plumber. Now, I have something else in the pipeline.
I used to be an air traffic controller but I left it all up in the air @SephieG
I used to work as a physcologist, but enough about me, tell me about your childhood…. @stevebunce
I used to design rollercoasters but it just drove me loopy. @thewhiteant
I used to be a lollipop lady but I couldn’t lick it. @SephieG
I used to be a witch but I couldn’t spell. @lisibo
I used to work as a bikini waxer but I couldn’t pull it off @Helikon
I used to work in a helium balloon factory. It was all a bit up in the air @ellierylands
I used to be a lollipop lady but I couldn’t lick it (or make the cross over) @SephieG
I used to be a sailor…I rigger in fact…but the captain threw me overboard when I told him to get knotted @dan_bowen
I used to be a taxi-driver, but I came to a bit of a crossroads @ellierylands
I used to be a fisherman, but I got caught playing hooky. @dan_bowen
I used to work for Tetley.I had bags of energy until the last day. They just left me standing. I felt so weak after that @dan_bowen
I used to be a hotel receptionist but then I had reservations.
I tried my hand as a forecaster but I just dried up @NeilAdam
I used to be a monk, but I got expelled because of my dirty habits.
I was an accountant for 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…years @ellierylands
I used to be a schizophrenic, but we’re fine now. @stevebunce
I used to work in a casino but it was a bit too dicy when the chips were down @SephieG
I used to be a narrator, but I lost the plot @ellierylands
I used to be @timrylands but it was too hard and I was mystified @simfin
I used to arrange music but the work was too much to Handel. @grumbledook
I used to write for Eastenders but… duff duff duffdufduffduffduff
I used to be a marathon runner, but couldn’t stand the agony of de feet
I used to be a conductor on the railway. They found out I wasn’t trained.
I used to work as a chef but found it hard to cut the mustard. @SimpleKatherine
I used to be a road digger, but I got re-trenched.
I used to be a sanitation engineer, but I got dumped.
I used to do logos, displays, sides of vans etc, but I resigned. @dughall
I used to be a chimney sweep but I became Sooty @lisibo
I ran a newspaper before it folded @SephieG
I used to be a shoe salesman, till they gave me the boot.
I used to be a taxi driver, but found it a bit hackneyed.
I used to be a teacher, but found I didn’t have enough class.
I used to be a tennis instructor, but it just wasn’t my racket.
I used to to be a hunchback but I got my act straight. @Helikon
I used to be a binman but it was rubbish. @RowenaSunshine
I used to be a train driver but I got sidetracked.
I used to be a transplant surgeon, but my heart just wasn’t in it.
I used to be a regression therapist but there was no future in that. @Helikon
I used to be an exorcist, but my house was repossessed. @stevebunce
I had a papershop but it blew away. @SephieG
I used to work for a bungee jumping company but they let me go, thankfully I got my job back. @tombarrett
I used to be a bra-maker but I went bust. @RowenaSunshine
I used to be a Velcro salesman, but couldn’t stick with it. It was a rip-off.
I used to be a week planner but I called it a day. @Helikon
I used to do integral calculus, but the returns just kept getting smaller and smaller. @NeilAdam
I used to be a neurologist but I lost my nerve. @RowenaSunshine
I considered going into the ministry but I didn’t have an altar ego.
I used to be a lorry driver but I had no truck with it. @RowenaSunshine
I used to work for a well known fast food chain, but it all got too cheesy @SephieG
I tried to be a fitness instructor but it just didn’t work out. @stuartridout
I once wrote the fortunes for cookies, but then my boss opened one. My luck had run out. (1 of 2) @tombarrett
Managed to get a job writing cracker jokes, it is hard to find work involving writing on small pieces of paper concealed in things. @tombarrett
I used to work for kwikfit but it was too exhausting @simfin
I used to work at Kwik-Fit too but I was just 2 tyred… @iusher
I used to be a prophet but when they #ffired me I didn’t see it coming @Helikon
I was going to give up as a baptist to become an Anglican, but I would have missed the pasta. @NeilAdam
I had a job making EXIT signs, but that was always going to be on the way out. @ellierylands
I thought about becoming a candle maker, but it got on my wick.
I used to make hay bales but that was the last straw @ellierylands
I was a tarot-reader for a while – until I was given my cards. (in a re shuffle?) @RowenaSunshine
I wanted to be a parachutist, but I changed my mind and dropped it.
I used to be a clockmaker but there just wasn’t the time. @RowenaSunshine
I used to run my own hot air balloon business but suffered from an inflated ego so #ffired myself. (What a let down!) @SimpleKatherine
When I complained that I was #ffired as a trapeze artist they told me to “get a grip” @stuartridout
I was a cross-eyed teacher but I got #ffired because I couldn’t control my pupils. @RowenaSunshine
I used to be an organist but my heart wasn’t in it. @SimpleKatherine
I used to be an underwear model, but it was just pants. @stevebunce
I used to be a comedian but I was just a joke… @Ideas_Factory
I used to teach ceramics but I got #ffired @MDuette
I used to work at a riding school but I was told to quit horsing around. @Helikon
I did my work experience as a doctor but they let me go as I didn’t have any patients. @stuartridout
I used to be a butcher but I just didn’t cut it… @Ideas_factory
I used to be the saviour but I got too cross. @RowenaSunshine
I used to work in a clock factory when I was younger, but the times are changing @ellierylands
I once worked as a cellist before I had to bow out. @dughall
I used to be a Matt Lucas impressionist, but yeah but no but yeah but @stevebunce
I used to be a journalist, but I couldn’t keep up with the Times @ellierylands
When they #ffired me as a milkman they did it by letter. They would have told me to my face but they just didn’t have the bottle. @stuartridout
I wanted to and break into high-security data processing centers, but I couldn’t hack it.
I used to be a Matt Lucas impressionist but they #ffired me for getting my characters mixed up. Am I bovvered? @stuartridout
I used to be a mountaineer but it was an uphill struggle. @RowenaSunshine
I was a proctologist but I left as it was a bum deal @stuartridout
I used to be a cheese maker, but I didn’t do it Caerphilly. @stevebunce
I used to be a journalist till they wrote me off. @janwebb21
I used to be a shoemaker, but I was cobblers. @Ideas_Factory
I used to be a cartographer but lost my way. @thewhiteant
I got #ffired from a bakers when I asked for a raise. @Ideas_Factory
I used to be a Matt Lucas impressionist but they #ffired me for being a big baby. @stevebunce
I used to make chocolates until they found out I was into black magic @NeilAdam
I used to be called the human calculator but it just didn’t work out for me. @Ideas_Factory
I used to be a computer programmer but I was too basic. @kvnmcl
I was a distress flare on a life boat but I was let off. @Helikon
I used to be a contortionist but I wasn’t flexible enough… @Ideas_Factory
I used to play the piano, but it wasn’t my forte @ellierylands
I used to be a hairdresser till I was cut off @janwebb21
I used to work in a pillow factory but I fluffed it. @stuartridout
I used to chop firewood, i quit when my dreams went up in smoke. @ianaddison
I used to be a ballistics expert till I got #ffired @janwebb21
I used to be a gentlemen’s outfitter but the hours didn’t suit me. @RowenaSunshine
I worked for Ribena’s creativity dept until all my ideas were squash-ed @ianaddison
I used to be a violinist but it was a bit too fiddly. @RowenaSunshine
I used to be a mountaineer, but I peeked too soon. @ellierylands
I used to be a karate instructor till I got the chop @janwebb21
I used to be a margarine taster, but I can’t believe it’s not butter @stevebunce
I used to be a photographer but just couldn’t focus. @RowenaSunshine (Snappy!)
I used to be creative joke writer till I started looking at twitter and realised I was rubbish. @andyjb
I used to be a petrol pump attendant but I ran out of gas. @Ideas_Factory
I used to make calendars but my days were numbered. @stuartridout
I wanted to play my guitar in a pub but I couldn’t pluck up the courage. @novens
I used to work for Twitter but I had too much character. @stuartridout
I used to work in a vineyard but they #ffired me as I whined too much. @stuartridout
My job as a taxi – driver just wasn’t going in the right direction. @ellierylands
I used to work as a policeman in a tiny village but it was a dead beat job. @stuartridout
I used to be a butcher but there’s no bread in that @helikon
I used to be a window cleaner but they saw through me. @janwebb21
I worked in a fishmongers. I knew my plaice. What a load of cod-swallop! @icttalk
I used to work at a model village but I was too big for them. @Ideas_Factory (They scaled down).
I once worked for Google but it wasn’t what I was looking for. @RowenaSunshine
I used sell beds but I grew tired of it. I was laid off. @Ideas_Factory

I used to do something with education & tech but then this bl**dy #ffired thing turned up & my life ebbed away 140chrs at a time @iusher

FlockDraw ~ together

| March 23, 2016 | 0 Comments 

taketourWe often talk about collaborative drawing packages. Here is another one.

Flock Draw gives you the opportunity to draw, mindmap and collaborate on line

Paint a simple masterpiece. Make a point visually. Do whatever you want. Do it together. Grab a tool. Pick a color. Draw something. Show a friend. Show the world. Share your vision.

If you ever wanted to quickly share or collaborate on a simple sketch online, here is a fun tool to try.

With Flock Draw, you can draw simple sketches collaboratively in your browser in real-time. Up to 50 people can draw simultaneously on a single whiteboard. (Flock Draw doesn’t limit the number of people who can watch). FlockDraw isn’t anywhere close to being a replacement for a full-blown design app or a browser-based image editing suite like Aviary. The service, however, makes it very easy and fun to create simple drawings and sketches “in real-time”.

Flock Draw doesn’t have many advanced features – but THAT is the idea

Flock Draw offers a simple set of basic tools: freehand drawing, lines, eraser and text. You can also change the color and size of your font or pencil. There are no fancy tools here, but what is there is more than enough to draw a quick sketch. It’s important to note that these FlockDraw rooms are meant to be disposable — once the last person leaves the room, the image disappears.

Noisli and more…

| March 17, 2016 | 0 Comments 


Noisli is another simple, but really effective, ambient soundtrack creator. Use the basic graphic interface to manipulate the range of sounds, building an atmosphere for use in descriptive narrative, or setting an atmosphere in a room.

Try the Ambient Mixer for a more complex version of a similar concept.

You might also experiment with Go Mix It or listen to some real, and ready made, natural sound streams with the Nature Sound Map.