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Cool Tools for Schools

This is a really good website which gives you tons of web 2.0 tools for use in the classroom. They are organised into categories such as creativity, writing and presentations. Thanks to Andy Bowles for the link to this website. Click below to see the website.

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Maths Maps


This is a brilliant idea for incorporating Maths and Google Maps. Click on the tags for a maths problem associated with the street view. For example one map asks how many parked cars there are. The author has posted ways that you can help generate more maths problems.

How can you contribute?

  1. Explore the maps below for the ideas already added, follow the links to open them in a new window.
  2. Send me details of which map you want to edit and your Google email address and I will add you as an editor, follow the link from the email invite.
  3. Click on EDIT in the left panel.
  4. Zoom close to the city and it’s surroundings. (Don’t forget Streetview)
  5. Find some TOPIC ideas you can see.
  6. Add a placemark (use the right colour for the age group it is best for – see purple pin)
  7. Explain the activity in the description.
  8. Change the title to show how many ideas there are.
  9. Send out a Tweet or write a blog post to highlight this resource and encourage others to contribute.

The link is:


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 Enquiring Minds, developed by Futurelab and funded by Microsoft, explores how students’ ideas, interests and experiences can inform the teaching and learning in schools. A guide which provides detailed information about the Enquiring Minds philosophy and practical advice about how to use the approach in the classroom, is available at the link below:


A new report from the Enquiring Minds project ‘Innovative approaches to curriculum reform’, is now available. With a series of case studies from schools that have been involved in attempts to change their curriculum, it synthesises some of the main research findings emerging from the project. To download a copy, click on the link below:


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The storybird website http://storybird.com/ is another creative way of using images. The ‘books’ produced are mainly for private use. You can use the lovely images and artwork produced on the site to create simple picture books or more complex stories. The site is currently free, and there are lots of very attractive images from a wide variety of artists available.

MFL teachers are of course becoming big fans because we can write simple stories that use/recycle language that children are familiar with but in a creative way.

A wiki which shares some of these is available at:


I’d love to see some more…. any volunteers?

Thanks to Barbara Harper for submitting this excellent post.

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Liven up fairy tales with the creative use of ICT

Making multimedia texts can be a very exciting and rewarding activity. All children enjoy fairy tales, be it classic or modern. Using Microsoft Powerpoint, an art program, a sound recorder and a scanner, children can collaborate to design and make their own alternative fairy tales, which can then be presented to the whole class or school.

To extend the fairy tales use action buttons to jump from one section to another in order to create an decision. For example the children can create a slide where you have the option to go to the Dragon’s Lair or to the Haunted Cottage, making for a more interactive experience.

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Stop-Frame Animation

Creating short films using stop-frame animation is a fantastic learning experience for children both at primary and secondary. The method is very simple:

1. Create storyboard, scenes and plastercine models
2. Take photo
3. Move the models very slightly
4. Take another photo
5. Repeat until finished!

The next stage is to put them into a movie application such as iMovie on a mac or Windows Movie Maker on a PC to make the individual pictures into a movie! Click on the following link for an easy tutorial on using Windows Movie Maker:


If you would like to see some examples from the Downs School in Kent, please click on the link below:


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