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This year at Language World I was invited to present some ideas for using technology for collaboration in language learning. I teach primary so the focus was on that age group but there are many ideas and tools that are equally applicable for young and old! In spite of some technical hitches and running out of time as there was so much to share, the ideas were well received and I hope that this will serve as a reminder/update for those who attended, and a snapshot for those who didn’t.

Below is my presentation. Whilst all the links work, the videos don’t I’m afraid but you’ll find some below to give you a taster.

Link to BetsyBelle’s webinar Out of this World on using apps in the Primary Language Classroom. Highly recommended viewing especially if you’re interested in the how as much as the why.

Yesterday, as the European eTwinning Ambassadors PDW at National college of School Leadership in Nottingham drew to a close, I took part in what Drew Buddie aka @digitalmaverick entitled ‘a Teachmeet style-y thingy’.

Drew introduced the idea of an ‘unconference’ explaining both TedX and Teachmeet before opening the floor to others to share their 7 minute micro or 2 minute nano presentations.

I was first up – see the next post for my presentation – and later for a video of it (if it’s not too hideous!)

Other presenters were-

Lieven from Flanders who shared his magnificent projects, all documented on his blog. These included repurposing old computer mice, decorating them and then using TuxPaint to animate them (MouseArt), using Pivot to make animations of bubbles (B@llobees) and also to make animated characters @ni & M@te who travelled to other schools and found out about them.

Two things that particularly struck me were firstly when Lieven said he liked ‘making the unexpected valuable’ which struck a chord, and also the use of technology to back up and enhance more traditional methods eg the Kindergarten pupils made bubble pictures with paint and straws, and those pieces of art were used as the background for the Bubble animations.

Next up was Paddy who talked about his eTwinning project Wii will rock you which used the Nintendo Wii as a stimulus.  I enjoyed this presentation as Paddy underlined that it was not all about playing games, but that the games were the starting point for other activities – writing letters, designing CD covers, planning tours with travel plans and money considerations, cooperation with other children, publicity and negotiation.  They also worked on a joint sports day with a school in ireland with some ‘traditional’ sports day activities as well as Wii based ones.

Then Susi Arnott shared about using comic strips and Comic Life, and how the process of looking at comics enhanced the understanding of texts and enhanced literacy skills.  She mentioned Bitstrips which I will be investigating!

Drew used Twitter to ask why people went to Teachmeets- responses included:

‘the range of ideas’

‘a cross subject sharing of ideas’

‘non threatening’ collaborative spirit’

‘celebrating work done in my classroom’

‘meeting like minded colleagues leads to great PLNs’

‘at least 20 ideas for use tomorrow’

‘widens my ideas’

Nick Falk finished up the meet with a nano-presentation on the use of QR codes and QR readers in mobile phones.  Very interesting, and something I need to investigate!

No camel, no fruit machine and no alcohol; but otherwise pretty like a normal TeachMeet! Oh, and no cupcakes.  Sorry @niiloa

On Tuesday I was in sunny (yes, it was sunny!) Manchester, delivering my AQA course.

Apart from the problems with the internet, I believe a good day was had by all – lunch was once more a highlight!

Rather than repeat all the links, can I refer you to my last post where you will find all the ‘new’ links about PLL, and also some recommendations from other delegates of sites and learning materials that they’ve found useful.

I forgot last week to put a link to a resource listing many many games and quick activities for the PLL classroom, so here it is.

Very challenging video that I’ve seen all over, but originally on JessMcCulloch’s blog.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VSymMbMYHA&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]


On Monday, Comenius West Midlands held its Primary Languages Conference at the Novotel in Wolverhampton. Sandwiched between keynotes by Joe Brown from CILT that involved song rhyme and lots of action, and Steven Fawkes from ALL who thrilled us with his ‘Banane‘, delegates had to choose sessions from a range including :

  • It’s magic!
  • International Perspective
  • Let’s play – Language games and activities for the playground.
  • Numeracy through Languages
  • Animation
  • Italian for the Primary classroom – a cross curricular approach.
  • Music and songs in the Primary classroom
  • Animation in the languages classroom (double session)
  • Creative use of ICT

A tricky choice for many, judging from the feedback at the end of the day! I for one will be emailing presenters for notes from their sessions as I was presenting and missed out on all of the sessions!

Actually, I didn’t completely miss out as I was able to attend the plenaries and also began the day by acting as ‘roadie’ for Oscar Stringer as he presented a whistle stop double session on animation from idea through planning, modelling, filming, adding finishing touches and publishing. Phew! In a very short time (less that two hours), the participants made short films in French and Spanish which can be viewed below and on his NING network. Just shows what you can do in a short time with good instruction, imagination and a bit of plasticine. ;o)

Find more videos like this on Animation For Education

Definitely inspired me! So much so that, after a quick chat with Oscar, I decided to have a go with my Year 4 class this week. More of that in a later post!

My session was entitled Creative use of ICT and centred on the use of some tools that i thnk are useful to enhance and enable PLL.

The idea had been to introduce delegates to Voki, Voicethread, Audacity and Photostory, explain how I’ve used them in my classroom, and then let delegates have a go at using one of the tools. I’d prepared notes for people that went into everyone’s pack so those who couldn’t attend were able to benefit too, and these pointed to online tutorials for the tools as well as examples from my experience and research. I’d also requested a laptop between two to be provided with a microphone and Internet access, and Audacity and Photostory3 uploaded ready. I’d prepared a Voicethread and Voki account for the day so all outcomes could be saved together for future reference, and I’d also added some examples to get people started.

Best laid plans and all! There were three laptops provided, the speakers didn’t work, and Internet access was at best infuriatingly slow and at worst non-existent (at 20€ per laptop, I hope the orgnisers got a refund!) Anyhow, it left me rather embarrassed as my examples took an age to load (Voki) or didn’t play sound (Voicethread AND Voki at times) – next tie I’ll save them for offline access using Camtasia or similar – and I’ve found that there is a facility on Voicethread now to save for offline access.

However, I did manage to highlight the use of del.icio.us which i hadn’t intended to mention but proved to be one of the most popular ideas with delegates. My account of how I use Audacity led to lots of smiles and there was a general hum of interest as I made a Photostory in three minutes.

I must say was a little disheartened by the first session, especially as I had to repeat it after lunch, but several people came up to me and seemed to be buzzing about something I’d shared, so I went into the repeat feeling a little more confident, especially as I was prepared for the problems this time! The make up of the group was different this time and they asked lots of questions – I think they were the G&T group ;o)

At the end of the afternoon when the evaluations were returned, I was rather surprised, and very pleased as well!- to read several who said things like

“The ICT session was the best bit!’
“Brilliant session on ICT – can you do a whole session on Voicethread and podcasting next time please?”
“the notes were so useful – I’m going to check them out on del.icio.us – and I’m going to tell my staff about it too”

If you want to have the notes, see below. and all the sites / references can be found on my del.icio.us account – http:del.icio.us/lisibo/june22

Creative uses of ICT in the PLL classroom – Get more College Essays

How many of you knew that today is El Día Internacional de Internet / the International Day of the Internet? Or that this week is Semana de Internet / Internet Week? I certainly didn’t until this morning when I checked BBC Mundo in my Google Reader.

In the article Día mundial de internet, (looking at the day from the point of view of Latin America) it reports that

‘En el día mundial de internet diversos países discuten este sábado el avance de las nuevas tecnologías, y algunos expertos consideran que la clave del futuro de internet en Latinoamérica puede estar en la “creatividad” de su gente.’

(For those who don’t speak Spanish – today different countries will be discussing the advance of technology and some experts will consider the key to the future of the Internet in LatinAmerica as being in the ‘creativity’ of the people.)

The article goes on to say that whilst technology in places like Chile is more advanced than in some European countries, many users don’t fully appreciate the benefits of being online.

“Tenemos el mismo nivel que Europa”, explica Menchaca (el director de Comunicación Digital de la Universidad UNIACC de Chile, quién durante una década lideró proyectos interactivos en España) “pero hay más necesidad de ser creativos”.
“El problema en América Latina es que internet es aún una plataforma para estar y no es visto como una herramienta de servicios, pero creo que los latinoamericanos podrían convertirse en desarrolladores de contenidos para todo el mundo.”

(i.e. the Internet is seen as a platform for ‘being’ rather than as a tool that can be used creatively.)
Universidad UNIACC de Chile has begun a new course linking design, marketing, technology etc together in a more ‘joined up’ way than previously to prepare people to change this view.

I’d encourage you to read the whole article – even if you can’t speak Spanish -for an online translator, Google Translate isn’t too bad you know ;o)

One thing I loved about this article was the news that, in celebration of the day, there is a ‘Torta Virtual‘. Anything to do with cake interests me, so I followed the link and claimed my slice! Very easy to do –

  • Follow the link in the article or this one.
  • Click on the piece of cake you’d like.
  • Upload a picture of yourself.
  • Leave your name, country, town and a message.

You will be emailed your slice of cake and your picture will appe

ar on your part of the main cake.

Why not join in? There were 746 pieces left when I wrote this.

Shame it’s not real though … ;oD


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