delicious – ¡Vámonos!

Category: delicious

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 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 – 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 account –

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

I thought I’d share this with you because it amused me! Courtesy of Lucy Gray’s (@elemenous) links, here’s how to make a teddy bear that speaks your friends’ tweets.

I don’t think I’ll be making one – seems rather too complicated for me – but it would be rather amusing to have. Anyone up for making me one?

[vimeo w=300&h=169]
How 2.0: How to Make a Twittering Teddy Bear from My Home 2.0 DIY on Vimeo.


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You may have noticed that I’m a fan of ‘pretty things’ – avatars, Flickr photos, widgits etc – and also of words (current favourites include kerpoof as said by Drew Buddie) so when Wordle was recommended in last night’s EdTechRoundup Flashmeeting, and I then saw a post by Langwitches in my Google Reader telling me that ‘Wordle produces ‘beautiful word clouds”, my interest was piqued.
clipped from

Wordle is a toy for generating
“word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds
give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently
in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different
fonts, layouts, and color schemes.
The images you create with Wordle are yours
to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them
to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

blog it

I had a little go at making some. You can use your own – or someone else’s username to create a cloud – here’s one for

and another for (my school account)

I love these visual representations of my bookmarks as they highlight the most popular tags so clearly(the text size for each word is related to the number of times it appears) and it’s pleasing to see that the focus of my tagging is where I thought it was ;o)

You can also input random words to create a cloud. So I tried pasting my last blog post into the text box and came out with this –

There are some other great examples in the Wordle gallery including:
How to survive a Zombie attack

Here’s a French one – very topical too –
Le Coupe d’Europe

and a Spanish one –
Inteligencia emocional

I think these are great fun and could be used in the classroom as a way of presenting information e.g. new vocabulary such as food and drink, things based on popularity when doing likes and dislikes as well as creating visual poems and stories. And how about inputting some text that children have written and graphically showing them how many times the word ‘said’ or ‘went’ appear – that should bring the point home ;o)

So let’s get Wordle-ing!

I was just catching up on my tags (you can see them on the right) – haven’t checked out the sites tagged by my network in the last few days. I usually do this daily to check what other people that I have added to my network are tagging (bookmarking). It’s a good way of sharing ideas as the sites are marked by one person but many others can potentially benefit from that research. Whilst checking out ‘what’s new’ I came across something in podfather‘s tags called Spell with Flickr. I checked it out and found podfather’s blog name – Ddraig Goch spelt out in funky letters!

So I had a go – and the result is above.

If you don’t like the randomly selected image for any of the letters of your chosen word(s), all you have to do is click on it and another image will appear. Here’s another version –

Then you just grab the code and put it on your site – I had to choose ‘square’ to make it fit my page.
Possibly not going to revolutionise anyone’s teaching, but it’s fun!

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