Wordle Ways #2

Wordle Walk – the students produce a Wordle of terms which would be encountered within a certain area of their potential (or actual) workplaces and the rest of the group have to try to work out what this might be.

Pumping station safety sign

Pumping station safety sign

Construction Site Safety Sign

Construction Site Safety Sign

A variation on this is for students to use their mobiles to photograph signs within their work environment and transfer these onto a Wordle.

The Wordle produced is as follows:

Health and Safety Wordle

Health and Safety Wordle

This could also be used as a start point for discussions on Health and Safety.

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Jigsaw Planet

I like things to be ‘visual’, so i find using images for learning a very useful technique and one programme that I’ve found is fun and easy to use is ‘Jigsaw Planet’


You can upload your own photos to your own personal ‘gallery’.

Jigsaw planet GalleryYou can also have a private Gallery space as well.

The example below is for the circulatory system:





You can change the number of pieces, which would then allow you to vary the time it takes for students to complete the image.

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Capturing the screen on an iPad

Taking a screenshot from my iPad is one of the easiest  tricks to do but can be very useful – I have the Guardian image app on my ipad and there are some really stunning images on it which, every now and again, I want to store directly on my Ipad itself.  I then use them as a background image which I can change on a regular basis.  Its also useful if you want to provide a tutorial for using the iPad itself.

To create a screen shot –

1. Go to the screen you would like to create a screen shot from

2. Once there, click on the [Home] button (centre bottom of the iPad), and while pressing that button, press and release the [On/Off/Sleep/Wake] button (at the top of the iPad).

iPad screen captureWhen you press these buttons at the same time, you will see a brief white flash and hear a sound like a camera click.

The screen shots that you took is now stored on the iPad and can then be seen using the Photo app.  Its a simple as that!

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Android App – Picsay

I have been writing a few reviews for items based on the iPhone recently so I thought I’d redress the balance a bit and include some Android apps which might be of use with learners.

Picsay is a free photo editing app for the Android platform it allows you to customise your images.  I think it has a lot of potential for getting to the learner to think about their subject area through manipulating images.
Once the App is loaded, take a new picture or pull one in from your photo album.
Next, you can put a whole series of effects onto a picture.
Tap the screen to bring up the menu. You can add:

– word balloons
– titles
– ‘stickers’
– shapes

There is a wide range of options to choose from and you can do alterations such as turning a photo black and white then colouring in one section of it.

Once finished, students can save it to their phone and share it via email or post it to other apps.

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Google Goodies #2 – Google Docs as a Questionnaire System

I had a go with using the ‘Forms’ function on Google Documents a few weeks ago and so I thought that I’d share it with you as I think it could be a very useful way to set up a simple questionnaire system.

I’ve tried it on an iPhone and on a HTC Hero ‘Android’ phone and it works well with both.

The first thing you need is a Google account, you then need to log in to Google Documents and select the ‘Form’ option from the create new drop-down option.



Create your form following the various options offered (I can provide more detailed instructions if you are struggling in this area – please let me know if you need them.)


Next select ’email this form’ from the options above the form and list all the students that you want to send the questionnaire to.

The student then opens the form, which is an attachment to their email and fills it in.

When they submit the form, their answer is added to a Google spreadsheet which records all their replies.

A useful way to quickly collect a series of replies – and reasonably independent of the type of Mobile Device being used!

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Joint stoytelling using the Nintendo DS/i

Nintendo DSI saw Nintendo DS being used in an interesting way a couple of weeks ago. The tutor was using the pictochat facility to get the learners to produce a joint outline of what they had just learnt in the class.

Each learner logs in to a different room on the Pictochat and was asked to describe a different aspect of the topic they had just studied. This was done verbally but could also be allocated by means of pre-prepared cards given to each student.

nintendo chat screen

The learners were given 5 minutes to write their description and then the responses could be reviewed by moving between each room. The class was then asked to make any relevant comments to the entries and to add anything that they thought had been left out.

It seemed a very good way to review a topic and to get the learners to reflect on what they had learnt.

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WiFi Down the Electric Line

I recently tried out an alternative to wireless via my house electrical system.
I don’t get a very good wireless reception in some parts of my house so I wanted a reliable alternative.

I decided to try a ‘homeplug’ adaptor which you plug into a socket and link via an ethernet cable to your router. You also have one (or more) extra plugs which you then plug into a socket anywhere else in the house – so long as its on the house ring main then you should be able to link, again via an ethernet cable, to your network and onto the web.
homeplug and ethernet cable

Its very simple to use :

1. Connect the first homeplug adaptor to your Broadband modem or a spare ethernt port on your router.

2. Plug it into the nearest socket.

3. Plug the second homeplug to your laptop or PC using a second ethernet cable.

4. Plug this into the next nearest socket and turn both sockets on – the system should now be set up! Yes, it is as easy as that – they even supply the ethernet cables!

5. You can now move the second homeplug around the building, plug it in, and away it goes!

You can buy Homeplugs to transfer at either 85Mbps or (different plugs) at 200Mbps. The system is encrypted against interception and it will work with PCs or Macs.

homeplug in use

It works well for me whilst inside the house but doesn’t work from my garden power supply (yet) so no sitting in the sunshine at the bottom of my garden while I work!

It seems very reliable and I could see circumstances where it might be a useful alternative to wireless in some parts of an institution.

The one I bought is from Devolo – http://www.devolo.co.uk

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