Category: 2) Useful n Interesting

Non Linear delights ~ Twine

| August 28, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Over the last few events, we have been investigating LOTS of creative ways of developing non-linear experiences.

Twine is another way to create branching texts. It is slightly less graphic than some, and perhaps more suited to older students, but well worth exploring as it can motivate and inspire some, often reluctant, writers to explore the power of words, and be in charge of an adventure, yet know that readers will also feel in control, to some extent.

We used this with some lads, as a way of taking the focus off the spelling worries they had, and placing emphasis on them using their imaginative talents to create engaging, intriguing narrative. Continue Reading

SurveyMonkey ~ a classic goes on

| August 27, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Screenshot 072“Intelligent survey software for primates of all species”.

SurveyMonkey has a single purpose: to enable anyone to create professional online surveys quickly and easily.

Using just your web browser, create your survey with the “intuitive survey editor”. Select from over a dozen types of questions (multiple choice, rating scales, drop-down menus, and more…). Powerful options allow you to require answers to any question, control the flow with custom skip logic, and even randomize answer choices to eliminate bias.

View your results as they are collected in real-time. Watch live graphs and charts, and then dig down to get individual responses. Securely share your survey results with others. Powerful filtering and cross tabulation allows you to display only the responses you’re interested in.

Citrify ~ Online photo editor

| August 25, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Citrify is a browser-based photo editor, that lets you pretty up your headshot by removing blemishes, erasing wrinkles and whitening teeth.

ObamafyIt also lets you add effects to pictures — for example, you can Obamify your picture based on Shepard Fairey’s widespread red and blue image.

(Flash, so doesn’t work on everything.) Simple, but useful, perhaps because of its simplicity.

Wordnik ~ 1.7 million words & counting

| August 24, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Wordnik is “a dictionary aiming to collect all the words in the English language: 1.7 million so far! Examples, pronunciations, user notes, and more”.

Wordnik is a place for all the words, and everything known about them”.

Wordnik‘s goal is “to show you as much information as possible, as fast as we can find it, for every word in English, and to give you a place where you can make your own opinions about words known”. Continue Reading

GeoPlanet Explorer

| August 22, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Here is a powerful tool, when carrying out a geography project of any kind: GeoPlanet Explorer. Here you can explore the geographical information provided by Yahoo in the GeoPlanet API and data set.

Simply enter a location in the form and submit it to get detailed information about the place you are looking for – including its “ancestors”, “siblings”, “children” (smaller regions of the area) and other relationships.

For example, when you look up Bristol (you can drill down much deeper and in more detail than that) it shows the ancestors as England and The United Kingdom. It “belongs to” category includes area codes, counties (both existing and historical) and much more.

This could be useful information when investigating a local area, or contrasting region somewhere else in the country, or indeed, the world.

DrumBot ~ Some fascinating tools with a beat

| August 21, 2015 | 0 Comments 

There are lots of useful tools for the budding musician at The best little app is the DrumBot itself: An online drum machine for those who can’t find a real drummer to jam with! It has different loop sets, that can get you started with your sequencing of drum sounds, at great pace, with realistic loops to choose from.

As the pro drummer joke shows, there is no replacement for a REAL musician with sticks: “What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine? About four bars by the end of the piece!”

There are some other useful utilities at Drumbot too:

For example, with TapBPM, find the beat of a song by tapping your keyboard.

Guitar Tuner is exactly that: an online tuner to help you tune a guitar by ear.

The metronome is a free online metronome buddy, to keep you in time as you practice.

The Drumbot Sequencer enables some simple collation of beats and sounds.

With DroneFX you can create drones, ambient music and unique soundscapes with ease.

Fuzzmail ~ replay your creations

| August 20, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Fuzzmail is not designed to be used in education, yet has a lot of potential to add some dynamism when showing the development of a piece of text. We’ve had fun using this IN CLASS.

Fuzzmail records the act of writing and lets you send it as an email. Dynamic changes, typos, pauses and write-overs are captured and communicated.

Fuzzmail is free. Just start typing a message and Fuzzmail will record what you type.

When you’re done, click “send” to stop recording and send your message. The recipient will get a private web link to read the message replayed in the way that you typed it.

A copy of the Fuzzmail you wrote will be sent to you at your email address.

Display it on a whiteboard to children of all ages: I can see this as useful at KS1, and up, showing how a sentence has been built up and modified, all the way up to higher ed, showing the dynamic creation of a section of a thesis. Here is a little example created by Fuzzmail.

Have fun, and perhaps email any examples you are pleased with.

Forvo ~ “All the words in the world, pronounced”

| August 19, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Find out how to say a word you’re unfamiliar with, at the web site Forvo.

Forvo describes itself as: “the largest word pronunciation dictionary in the world, now with translations. All the words in all the languages pronounced by native speakers”.

For example, if you want to hear the words “Web2.0″ are pronounced in many different languages and dialects, you can, HERE.

Aiming to one day have “all the words in the world pronounced”—including words in 23 languages—Forvo relies on users to generate both words in demand and the proper pronunciations of those words. How about getting students to contribute their own pronunciations.

So you could, for example, check out the pronunciation of major cities, and if you can’t find the city,  just head to the add a word page and put in a request for the word you want. Alternately, you can head to the pronounce page to record pronunciations of words you know.

Forvo has a simple aim, to harness a bit of social web power and create a valuable resource.

The Beatles Year 3000 ~ History: Myth, fact or confusion?

| August 18, 2015 | 0 Comments 

Here’s a fascinating film that gets you questioning what our impressions of history are based upon.
We find an artifact and put our impressions upon it. What is fact? What is fiction? What is confusion of the two? What is based on flimsy, half forgotten evidence?

Useful in history lessons in the build up to research on a topic. Useful when discussing how to trust a single source or recording of an event. (A Youtube film, so possibly blocked at school, but well worth a watch & finding a way to show) ~ mind mapping

| August 17, 2015 | 0 Comments 

In our sessions on mind mapping, we often share how some of the many ideas might be applied back in the classroom, have a quick discussion on the power of recording ideas visually, and a discussion of how it can confuse some students who DON’T think or work in a visual way. We find it useful and it reminds us of the “old style topic webs” we started using to plan at the beginning of our careers. lets you create thought bubbles and connect them together.

The free version allows up to 3 mind maps, ing to images or HTML, sharing mind maps and email support

You also can easily move the bubbles around or change the links connecting them to each other.

Being an online application it is a shame there are no collaboration features in it, but if you can fit your thoughts into little connected bubbles, try it.

It prints, which can strangely still be a rarity for some Web 2.0 apps.

You can:

• Brainstorm online
• Create colourful mind
• Share work with others
• Embed your map in
your blog or website
• Email and print map
• Save map as an image is free to try and it’s fun. It might help you see connections in your own thoughts.


| August 16, 2015 | 0 Comments 
cnfMusic composition software is, sometimes, not cheap. Noteflight is a free online music composer and note editor. With the simple and easy to use interface, which you can create, edit, display and playback music notations online.

See how easy it is to use Noteflight, by watching the Noteflight Demo.

musicgaloreThere is a premium format, but, with the free version, you can create up to 10 Scores, with any number of staves plus guitar & bass tabs, have 15 Basic Instruments, for composition and audio playback of your scores,link, embed and share scores online, have high-quality score printing, Go Mobile ~& Play and edit on iPads, iPhones and other devices. Worth an explore.