• Welcome to this NZACT 'New Horizons' Conference workshop. This page is designed to provide you with some ideas for using IT in your classrooms and for your professional development.

      The ideas listed below are all tools that I have found useful in different ways. Use the menu on the right hand side of the page to access different sections of the page.

      Hopefully you find something here that is useful that you can take away and try. Feel free to contact me if you need technical help, or you have some ideas that have worked for you (wa@burnside.school.nz)

      Cheers, Chris

  • Topic 1

    Search Tools

    • Spezify is a visual search engine, which brings in a variety of search term results from different corners of the web and presents them in a visually-stimulating fashion. Like this (click image for a larger version):
    • Qwiki

      Qwiki is another very visually appealing search engine. It provides a potted summary of whatever subject you are looking at, with links to relevant images and documents appearing whilst the summary scrolls through. I'm not explaining it very well, so it's probably best to have a look for yourself:

  • Topic 2

    Presentation Tools

    • Chogger

      Chogger is an online comic-creator. You can choose your layout, use images from image searches and add your own custom text. The completed cartoon has it's own web address/URL which you can link to your website. The only problem is the lack of option to save your work mid-comic!

    • Glogster Edu

      Glogster is an online poster-making site, where your poster presentations can be media-rich: ie, they can include text, images, weblinks and videos. It is set up as a kind of social networking site, but there is an 'edu' version, catering for teachers and students.

      Click here to see an example from History, focusing on Tsar Nicholas II.

    • Xtranormal

      Xtranormal is a really fun tool that allows students to turn text into animated movies. This can be a useful tool for review of content and for introducing some entertainment into the classroom.

      Here's a promo video I made for my class a couple of years ago. Since then the graphics have got better, but the site has introduced a points system designed to make money. The way to get around this is to get your students to invite each other to become members of the site, thus gaining themselves points to publish their movies.


    • Prezi

      Prezi is an online presentation tool for those who are keen to do something a bit different from PowerPoint. The Prezi page is a canvas on which you put all your slides, then select a path to zoom through the info. It's a bit of a learning curve, but worth the effort and there's lots of online help available. My Art Topics Workshop is embedded below - it's an early attempt and I'm still getting used to the zooming function, so I hope it doesn't make you motion sick!

    • Zoom.it

      Zoom.it is an online image tool that allows you to use your mouse (click or scroll wheel) to zoom in on any image. Very handy for showing detail in Art Topics. Zooms can be linked or embedded into your website (see Ara Pacis relief example below).

  • Topic 3

    Quiz Games

    • Classtools Games

      Classtools.net is actually a super-useful site for a host of online tools, including their newest addition Fakebook, which provides a Facebook template for historical figures' Facebook pages to be imagined. But the most popular tool on the site is the Arcade Game Generator, which takes a set of terms and definitions that you input and converts it to 5 different revision activities.

      Try out a Roman Art set by clicking on 'Play!':

      Click here for larger version

    • Quizlet

      Quizlet allows you to turn a set of terms and definitions into a number of revision activities, including flashcards, online tests and revision games. These can then be linked or embedded into your website. The example below is of a 'Scatter' game.

      Click here for a link to all the Quizlet sets I have created. You can also search by topic, which might save you having to create your own sets.

    • Quia

      Quia is like Quizlet, except with a greater variety of activities, a student gradebook system and a few other bells and whistles. However, unlike everything else on this page, it costs money to join and create you own activities (US$50 a year). Nevertheless, you can still freely use the revision games others have created. Click on the example below to see the list used by Sharne Roberts of Papatoetoe HS - thanks Sharne!

  • Topic 4

    Social Networking

    • Ning (The NZACT Classics Network)

      The Classics Network is a networking site set up for teachers to connect and share resources online. Social Networking for professionals, if you like. Sign up, be part of the discussions and take advantage of the free resources.

    • Twitter

      Twitter is another Social Networking site that can be used for professional development and/or communication with students. You can choose who you want to follow - I have a network of educators whose ideas have come in very handy over the years. If you want to follow my posts, search for 'chriswalkernz'.

    • Facebook

      Facebook's quite a popular website nowadays. I've created a Teacher Page to attempt to utilise this for educational purposes. It doesn't involve being 'friends' with my students. Here's what it looks like:

    • Edmodo

      Edmodo is a social networking site designed specifically for the classroom. You can create class groups and groups within classes. You can post messages, links and assignments to students. They can comment and post their own materials. It's a bit like having a localised Facebook.

  • Topic 5

    Classroom/Staffroom Collaboration

    • Google Docs

      Google docs is a fantastic tool for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations or forms (very handy for surveys) that are created online. A big part of their usefulness is that staff or students can work collaboratively on these documents, at the same time. This feature makes Google Docs the best tool I've found for working in groups. My documents list is shown below. At Burnside, we have Google Apps, of which Docs is one part. If your school hasn't got this yet, agitate for it. It's very cheap and super useful.

    • Wikis

      Wikis are editable web pages that are very easy to set up and use. You can set up your wiki so that students can contribute their work and edit the content. Wikispaces is a common provider of free wikis. An alternative which does very similar things is Google Sites, which also comes with the Google Apps package.

      The Wiki was built almost entirely from student work in Year 13 Classics (click to visit):

  • Topic 6

    Multiple Uses

    Tools that do a variety of things...

    • Wallwisher

      Wallwisher is a online collaboration tool to share ideas, resources, and thoughts on a particular topic. When a wallwisher 'wall' is created it is blank, but the link to the wall can be shared with students for them to contribute ideas. Students then post ideas that are labelled with their names. Excellent for group research work, brainstorming, or even a whole class revision exercise, like this one (click for a larger version):

  • Topic 7

    Review and Revision (see also Quiz Games)

    • Timerime

      Timerime is a user-friendly timeline generator. Once a timeline is created, it can be saved and/or embedded into your website, like the one below. I have mine set up so that login details can be shared with students, who can then collaborate together on the timelines. Here's an example: