Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Subscribing and reading RSS feeds

Those of us who use RSS feeds sometimes take it for granted that students or teachers know how to subscribe to feeds and read them. I recently had a request to create a handout on how to do this for the textwall but the instructions will work for any RSS feed so here is the handout.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Creating a Google Presentation

This is pretty straightforward to set up, like Google Forms. A Google Presentation with the right settings allows learners to type into the slides at the same time as other learners.
One idea for this technique is to ask learners to type a question they may have on the topic. You can then run through the questions as a slideshow and answer each one in turn. I've used this with groups where each person has added a reflection to one slide. Although you can ask people to do this in various other ways, there is something about showing everyone their responses one at a time in large text that engages the audience.
Download a simple handout on how to set up a Google Presentation here: pdf handout
For more ideas on how to use Google Presentation see my previous blog post on the subject:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

RSS, podcasts and Joe Bloggs

If you don't currently subscribe to James Clay's elearning stuff podcasts, why not? Latest episode here starring myself and Dave Sugden: podcast #080

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Spinvox Goddess

Sometimes Spinvox gets it spectacularly wrong!
This is an old post that I never got round to publishing so here it is:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Google forms has a new feature (new to me anyway!)

Oh wow! On Google Forms, using Multiple choice, you can now go to a specified page depending on the answer.
This is the pop up information when you select 'go to page based on answer'.

"Note: "go to page" questions work only on forms with multiple pages. Choose "page break" from the Add Item menu to add additional pages."

Would love to see examples of how you have used this feature in replies to this posting.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


picture of lams screen

Many years ago, I was enamoured with LAMS. It had an intuitive interface and was the best mirror for how we might want to plan a lesson for an individual (or a class but having differentiated routes available)
I wonder if it's worth revisiting it? It can now integrate with Moodle!
I think the trigger for this was a discussion with Jacqui Smith of Selby College about ways to encourage her learners to be more analytical in their answers. She teachers Psychology. LAMS would provide a stepped approach that could coach a learner to adopt a deeper analysis and provide more sophisticated answers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wii puzzle for education

Below is a video that shows how you can use the Doodle and Puzzle function of a Wii for educational purposes.

Download the PowerPoint template by clicking on this link: grid.ppt
To download the slides used, right-clicking on one of the pictures below and choose save as:

I will be working on the 12 piece puzzle next!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wii interactivity templates

I've been teaching the People In Action team in Leeds how to use the Wii for curriculum purposes for the JISC RSC YH Pathfinder project.

Apart from the games that you buy and creating Miis on the Wii, the team the Puzzle feature of the Photo Channel on the Wii to be useful. One idea is to ask learners to take pictures that are suitable to turn into puzzles for the Wii - eg signage, equipment, clockfaces. This can be used to stimulate recognition of key information.

We created some pictures using PowerPoint to use in lessons and I thought it might be useful to create some templates to ensure we were creating images that were making best use of the screen space. You can download the PowerPoint by clicking on this link: Wii_template.ppt or click on each slide below and then save the picture. These slides that can be used with the Doodle function on the Wii:

All my previous Wii posts can be found with this link: We had the Wii connected to the Internet using the USB wifi connector and software on one of their laptops. The Internet Channel was easy downloaded and we started storing some websites as favourites on the Wii.

Here are some of the good games from the sites that work well on the Wii:
Paint. As the name suggests, a good simple paint program for creations using the Wii remote
Stringem Up. A simple word search game
Hangman. Allows one or two player game play
Zoo keeper and games like this can be used to stimulate communication skills. Form two teams and take it in turns to tell the teacher which animal to switch by using words only (not pointing!)
Paint Blocs can be used in a similar way to Zoo Keeper, but is also good for pattern and colour recognition.
Pointer is a great game for hand - eye coordination using the Wii remote.
Scribbl e - another great game for hand - eye coordination
Japanese Food - a memory game that can encourage teamwork
Guess 5 - a word game where you have to guess the 5-letter word
Fridge magnets - One team can drag some letters on to the board for the other team to turn into words

It's worth looking through the various categories on and to find the games that can be used for curriculum purposes or that stimulate communication and teamwork. Once you have found one, add it to the Favourites on your Wii for easy access.

Have a look through the BBC Skillswise games and quizzes too. I looked at two that could be useful: and

You can do your research on a PC before adding the sites to the Wii. You may find it useful to use a URL shortening service like or so that you don't have to enter long URLs on the Wii.