Sunday, 31 March 2013


AV-media, AV-central; they have different names depended on which part of Sweden you work in. Probably every school have access to a centre on the Internet connected to the "kommun" or “län” where you are able to find films to borrow or to stream. These AV-media centres are different from each other with varied offers and services. I have only access to, and experience from the one in Kalmar län, called AV-media Kalmar. Therefore I only can write based on this source.

AV-media´s mission is to inspire teachers and educationalists how digital tools and the use of film can create more instructive teaching.

What can AV-media offer?
  • Pedagogical and educational films - You can stream a film to your classroom. To do this it requires a computer projector and connection with the Internet. If you do not have that, you can get a DVD-disc by mail to watch through a DVD player or on a computer. A tip is to watch the film before your students do; all films are not so instructive and useful as they claim to be. You can also find great instructive films for teachers. For example, there are films how to get your English lessons more successful.
  • Technical articles - iPads, speakers, film cameras, microphones, data projectors and voice recorders etc. that you can borrow for a period of time.
  • Read a film” - You borrow a class set of books and tutoring, inspiration booklet and the film. It can be very instructive to read and discuss the book with the classmates and watch the film based on the book to compare them.
  • Muzzy Online - Here you can watch the Muzzy Story and play interactive language learning games and do vocabulary lessons in many different languages. This program you can have for free in 3 months if your AV-media do not has it online.
  •  Skolplus  - This is a website with a lot of educational programs in different topics, especially math, but also some English.
  • WebMath - The website is intended as a support for teachers, student teachers, parents and students. With the help of animations, you can better understand mathematical concepts and calculations.
  • Educations to inspire and develop the educators. If the school can afford, you can order an education in a subject you decide and they can come to your school in person. You can also see recorded educations (learning cafés) about different subjects, for example making a film and geo caching.

AV- media can make the education more fun in some cases and make it easier for me to achieve some of the goals in the syllabus, especially since I work in a small school with limited financial resources. Thanks to AV-media my students can create their own music on iPads (as the school has few musical instruments for them to be able to play live), borrow a film camera to make a film or borrow the speakers and microphones to our musical. The list can be longer. Unfortunately, all technology usually takes time to learn and time to fix when it do not work… But we need to try to use the new technology around us to make the learning more fun and varied. And not least to keep up with our students! And when we have learned the technology it will become fun and stimulating even to us! And when we have learn the technology it will became fun and developing even to us!

Malin Svensson

Friday, 29 March 2013

Some tasks to do with your pupils!

4 Portfolio tasks  
At my school we have computers for a whole class and we also have smart boards in every classroom. You can do all these task without smart boards but I think that you should have at least one computer for every two pupils. I usually show the videos/pages on the smart board but if you have a projector for your computer that has the same effect.
Task 1
Skills: “reading” (say the letters) and speaking (singing)
Goals: to learn the alphabet in English
Age of the pupils: 7-9 years
Preparations: It is good if the pupils know the Swedish alphabet. Point out the “difficult” letters like G, H, I, J,Q, R, U, W, Y and Z.
Instructions: Listen to the song one or two times. Then try to sing along.
My opinion about the site:
The sound is good and the pitch is right for young children. You can choose to do this together in the class or if you have computer and headset for each kid they can do it on their own.
Bad: There are some commercial and links that can disturb a bite. It is a little bite childish.
Task 2
Skills: Listening and spelling
Goals: to learn words about Easter in English
Age of the pupils: 7-9 years
Preparations:  I write the Easter words in English (that are in the link) on the smart board and ask if the pupils know what they mean and what they connect the words with. Hopefully they say Easter…. I let the pupils write the Swedish words next to the English words.
Instructions: Listen to the Easter words they say on the link 1 and repeat them until you know them. When you know the Easter words go to link 2 and do the test. The test is like “Hänga Gubben” and that is good for the pupils to know before they start.
My opinion about the site:
The sound is good. The pictures are brightly and nice. The site is free from commercial. There are many things to do and to practice on. There are work sheets to print out. There are more ways to practice different things.
Bad:  The page is a little bit “messy”.
Task 3
Skills: reading and writing (and spelling)
Goals: To learn how to spell and say different way of plural
Age of the pupils: 10-12 years
Preparations: I start with asking the pupils to say different kinds of nouns. The pupils write them on the smart board (or a whiteboard) in singular, then, I ask the pupils if they know how to say the things in plural. I sort the word in five groups. The –s-group, the –es-group, the –ies-group, the –oes-group and at last the group with word that ends with –f.
I choose not to take the irregular and special plurals words that changed a lot, like foot – feet. If you have an older/smarter (?) group you might include the group with the irregular words to because there are some in the link.
If you have a smart board you can easily move the words like you wish but you can just as easily write the words on different big papers.
We practice to say the word both in singular and in plural.
Instructions: Go to the link and try the test
My opinion about the site:
Good: It is easy to learn and there are fun and nice pictures. There are other links to try. There is no violence and no inappropriate games on the site
Bad: There are many different things to try and that can be disturbing if you have pupils that are sensitive for “messy pictures” and the pupils might have trouble to “stay on” the task. It is a little bite like “workbook”. If you want to do all things on the page you have to “sign in”.

Task 4
Skills: Listen and write
Goals: To understand “normal” spoken English
Age of the pupils: 12 years
Preparations: Read the questions together and make sure that the pupils know what they mean. These are the questions:
How are the boys related?
Where are they from?
What are their names?
What handicap has the younger boy?
Tell the pupils that they are going to see the video at least twice.
Instructions: Listen to the video and try to answer the questions.
My opinion about the site:
This is a story that the pupils can relate to. There are many other things/stories on the page that children can read about and listen to.
Bad: The sound is not perfect. There are some commercial.
Hope you can try some of these!
/ Carolina Filipsson

A nice site


I work at a school in Norrköping with children that are 7 to 12 years. I mostly teach music but I also help my colleagues, which do not work full time, with class teaching. Since the English lessons are not so frequently in the earlier years I often get the assignment to teach English.
To make the lesson fun and interesting for the pupils I often include things from the internet. We have “smartboards” in every classroom at my school so it is easy to show the pupils sites that I find on the net.
Since I have started this course I have been more effective in my search for new things at the internet.

I found this site a few weeks ago. I think it is a site from Poland but I am not sure about that. is a nice site and I like it a lot. You do not have to be a member and it is free to use. It is easy to navigate thru all the different kind of things to do. You can “work” with the site with the whole class if you have a “smartboard” or a projector for your computer. The pupils can also easily work by themselves since the site is very easy to manage. You can try the tasks as many times as you wish. The sound is good and the pictures are nice. You are free to download all the print outs on the site if you are just going to use them for your class or for personal use.
I first found the songs and they are magnificent. The songs are traditional English songs and they are just perfect for young children to sing even if their English is not so good yet. The sound is great and the kids and the adults that are singing sounds very good. You can print out the lyrics if you want and the pictures are nice and the text is very clear. There is also a little bit of information about every song. There are also a lot of suggestions of other web pages for other songs. They are added by Google.

When you start at the homepage there are a lot of different things to do. The vocabulary page has many different topics where the pupils can learn many different words. There are some tasks where the pupils can practice to imitate the words. The voice pronounces the words clear and it is easy to hear what she says.
There are a few different kinds of practice tasks, like; memory, hangman game and try to spell the words. They are easy to follow.
There are also two testing tasks. The first one is to mark the right word that fits to the picture. You have one chance to pick the right word and you will found out immediately is you have made the right choice. Then you proceed with the next word. The other test is a vocabulary quiz where you have to read a sentence to make the right guess.
A last you can print out working sheets that are connected to the topic. The working sheets are a little bit like “workbook” but some are fun and challenging and the pictures are very nice.
All the different topics contain all the tasks so there is no chance that the pupils or you will be out of lessons.

There are more things to do, like the grammar lessons. These lessons are for a little bit older children since they practice just grammar, you must know how to read, you have to make many “clicks” to get to the different tasks and you also have “to drag” the words to the right places.  There are many different grammar tasks here and that can be a bit confusing but if the children are about ten years or older I do not think that there will be any problems. The sound is slightly annoying but the printout sheets are very easy to understand and have nice pictures.

You can also find facts about 26 different animals, one animal to each letter in the alphabet. The facts are for children that has been learning English for a few years and not for our youngest, in school. There are printable worksheets to each animal. They contain information but also quizes, crossword and other fun stuff.

I think that this is a site that I will use with my pupils. I have already tried the songs with my youngest pupils (age 7) and they appreciated that very much. If I should say something negative about it, it must be the different suggestion of other websites. The pupils will probably be tantalised to start other pages that are appealing for them. Some of the work sheets are also a bit boring and resemble a lot of “workbook” tasks but I don’t think that they are bad.

I now hope that you will enjoy this site as much as I do! Good luck!

Carolina Filipsson

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Myths and legends, E2BN by Jessica Dickson Gänger

 This is an interactive story sight with myths and legends.

On this site you can listen to over 65 myths and legends from all over the world. The myths and legends are for older pupils. But there is a section with ”Story Creator Stories” which is stories sent in by children in primary school, and some of them are quite easy to read.
You can listen or read the stories and watch the animated pictures. If you want you can print out a copy of the text. There is always a glossary to the story and if you want you can read how the story come about in ”Origins”.

I have used this sight to engage my third graders to write short English stories or just to write sentences to pictures.
You have a story board with 9 frames per chapter and each scene has an area for imagies and text. There is a lof of categories and characters like buildings, inside, landscape, children, creatures, men, mythical to choose from. You can rezice and move the objects around in the scene. There is a section with call outs lik biff, pow, boom. You can also upload images from your computer and add soud effects. When your image is finished,  type your text and move on to the next chapter and so on until your story is finished. You can also record your own voice to the images.
If you want to you can submit your story so that others can read and comment your story.

There is a ”How to” section where proffessionals like authors, actors, sound engineers and more, offers advice on topics such as: reading aloud, using sounds and storyboarding and writing.

You can try out this site with a ”trial version” but if you want to save or upload your work you have to register.

My experience is that children love the background images and the characters so much that the text almost comes by itself. The children can read a friend´s story and comment on, peer-assessment. And finally when they present their story/sentences on the smartboard infront of the class, they are so proud.

About E2BN, the Organisation:
”The East of England Broadband Network (E2BN) is one of 10 Regional Broadband Consortia (RBCs) set up by the Government to help raise standards in teaching and learning by the use of broadband technology” says EB2N

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

English teaching with digital stories

Learning a new language can be amazing and difficult at the same time. It´s important to make the language learners to be satisfied with their language learning. If they´re able to present something they´re fond of or interested in, you are on the way to success.

By using digital stories your pupils are able to paint pictures, or take photographs of something they´re familiar with. They are not forced to write, but they have to try to speak about their interests. This can be a much easier way for children that are shy, and not comfortable to speak in front of the class. They can hide a little behind the computer, but they are really involved with the presentation, and it looks very professional in the parents eyes.

By using digital stories you can mix many parts of school subjects. Your pupils can describe a certain subject in English. They can be able to use their art lessons or other subjects.
You can use digital stories to pupils in any age. It´s easy to make it possible for small children at preschool and you can make advanced digital stories with older students to make more advanced presentations.

Digital stories can be useful to teach how be safe in a presentation situation, as well as it can be useful for the other classmates to listen to their friends!

Sunday, 24 March 2013


I work with pupils in the 5th grade. Right now we use ”iMovie” when we have English lessons. In my School we have an iPad in each class and I have installed the iMovie app on it. Hopefully the pupils will have their own iPads when they are starting the 6th grade this autumn. Then it will be much more easier to use iMovie, because now we can’t use it at the same time. However, sometimes we can borrow iPads from other classes, which solves our problems.

It works to install iMovie both on a Mac computer and on an iPad. The advantage of having iMovie on an iPad, you can create movies and picture stories directly into the iPad. You do not need a camera, cables or other equipment. There are two choices when you are creating a movie, either a "new project", or a "new trailer".

In ”trailer mode” you can choose from twelve trailer templates for example Horror, Romantic, Pirates, and Adventure. The screen is divided into three fields when you are working in a trailer. In one field you will find videos, images and a camera. Above this field there is a preview window where you can watch your videos and test new effects. In the left field there is a storyboard, where you can write headlines.

In ”project mode” you will create a movie on your own, with your own imagination and ideas. Across the screen there is a toolbar where you can select various functions, for example videos, images, sounds and sound effects. You can also choose to film directly into the iPad. When you have filmed, all clips lies along a timeline and you can move them around until you are satisfied.

The app has pre-recorded music in various themes. These can be played in loops and works well to create the right mood in the movie. There are also a number of sound effects that can reinforce the plot of the movie You have the opportunity to record a narration in the film and you can also create your own music. But then you must have the app ”GarageBand” installed.

When the movie is finished, you can save it either on the camera roll or share it on different social websites like; YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo or CNNiReport.
The pupils in my class have used both trailer-mode and project-mode. They have added photos and written their own texts and they have filmed different performances. IMovie is an easy programme and the pupils will learn very fast how to work with it.







Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Being able to communicate in English outside the classroom is a wish I believe every English teacher has. Most often however, I guess dialogues and other communication is something that has been taken care of by the teacher and students in class.

Having collaboration with another school somewhere else in the world is nothing new, but with today´s digital technique something much easier to handle and manage.

For students having an e-pal, motivation for studying the language might increase. In the long run a project like this could help the student developing not only linguistically but also socially and may help providing an increased self-confidence as well.

The benefits from being able to communicate with children from other parts of the world are many. Students will have the opportunity to get an insight into another person´s life and culture. They will also have to look at their own daily life and describe their own culture, activities and so on in English. Pictures and short videos can be sent which gives more to the conversation. E-mailing gives the flexibility to have pals all over the world and there are no concerns about time differences.

It could be helpful to establish a contact with the other class´ teacher. It is important to agree upon the forms for the project. To get good quality students should not get confused about what is expected from them. It is all about being well prepared before starting up something like this. In the beginning it might be necessary to help students with subjects to write and ask about. Later, when they feel more confident, they will be able to work more and more independently.

There are different ways of finding schools and e-pals to cooperate with. At my school we found very useful.



Sunday, 17 March 2013


I have chosen Photostory because it is a resource available for me and for the pupils in my class. Photostory is a program where you can make stories with pictures and add text and sound. You can put a different amount of pictures in series. To each picture you can write text and record sound so you can tell a story. In Photostory it is easy to put in new pictures, change order and to remove pictures and sounds. It is also easy to use your own voice and record sound to each picture. You can record sound to one picture at a time and you can record as many times you need. To make it work you need the program on your computer, if you want to record sound it helps to have a headset and if you want to take and use own photos you need a digital camera or an Ipad. With Photostory the pupils can develop different skills because it can be used for listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Teachers can use Photostory for making stories in English the pupils can see and listen to. The pupils get opportunity to listen to English and at the same time see pictures as a help to understand the story. The teacher can make stories with topics and words suitable for the pupils in the class. Of course it takes some time to make your own story but you get a story wich is adjusted to the pupil in the class. A Photostory is one way to document the pupils work and also a help when assessing the pupils.  

The pupils can use Photostory to make their own stories or presentations. They can use photos they have taken themselves in the surroundings and make a story out of them. They can paint own pictures, scan or take photos of them and use them in the Photostory. Photostory can be used to make stories, descriptions and presentations and it can include all the skills; listening, reading, writing and speaking but it is not necessary. If a pupil has difficulties reading English when recording it is easy to record a small part at a time and the others can help reading it first and then the pupil can repeat it. They can practice and prepare things they will say and they can record it several times until they get the result they are satisfied with.
The pupils can see and listen to all stories the groups in the class have done. If the class has a blog the stories can be published there or if the school has a newspaper on the webb. The pupils can feel that the work they do will be read by someone else and perhaps it can get them to make a little extra work.
When using Photostory in a class it may be necessary to teach them how to use Photostory before they get a task to make a story in English. Otherwise I think the teacher has to spend a lot of time only to explain how the program works and the English learning is not in focus.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

My four portfolio tasks

Portfolio task 1
Digital pen and whiteboard
We have a digital whiteboard called ebeam in every classroom in our school. It is a regular whiteboard (that you can use old school) and it gets interactive when you connect your computer to it and you can use a digital pen to write on the board. One benefit of using a digital pen is that you can save everything that you as a teacher or your pupils write and use them again later.  Benefit of using the digital whiteboard is that you can have your computer cloned to the whiteboard. This makes it easier for your pupils to take part of things you do, for example showing the news, a picture of something the pupils wonder about, showing the pupils how to use your blog etc.

Portfolio task 2
Easiteach is a programme developed for digital whiteboards. You must buy a school license to use it. It has pre-planned lessons that you can search for. It also has tools to help you make your own lessons. It includes different widgets such as a thermometer, a clock, a timer, random number generator using different counting in math etc. You can also share your lessons with others using easiteach. When you have finished your lesson you use the digital pen to show it to your pupils. They can interact if you have made assignments in your lessons when they are supposed to use the pen.

Portfolio task 3
This tool, witch I bring with me everywhere, helps me to document everything that my pupils do and learn. I can photograph them while they work and learn, I can have them photograph what they have learned. I can make videos and have the pupils make videos. If anyone has a question that we can’t answer we just Google it together, even if we are outside in the woods! We can upload the photographs and use other ICT-tools to make digital stories etc.

Portfolio task 4
Skype is a sort of phone programme that you can download to your smartphone, computer or Ipad. In my class we have one pupil witch lives abroad for a year, and one pupil that is very sick and infection sensitive and can’t come to school. Then we use Skype. With Skype you can make video calls to any one that has an account, a computer/Ipad/smartphone, and an Internet connection.  Using this the pupils that are away for a long period still feels connected to the class and a part of the thing the group does and learns. For me as a teacher I can maintain the relation and see what the pupils learn when she/he is away.

Using a blog.

My college and me just started a blog using and the blog-tool word-press. Our first thought was that parents could use it to get information such as weekly letters, letters from our principal and letters from the pupils.

Then we came across a competition (I read about it on twitter) from Webbstjärnan offers school-people to get a .se address for a year and then the school is going to maintain it due to different criteria. The criteria that are for everyone is:
- There is a teacher connected to the website
- The main page has webbstjärnas logo on it
- The page has a “about” page that presents the entries

We got the address and told our group of year 1 pupils about it. They got very interested. Our thought with the old page is the same but for the new page we have a new idea. It is all about showing what the pupils learn in school. The blog posts are written mostly by pupils but now and then my college and I write as well.

We have divided our group in writing-teams of 2 or 3 pupils. We use these teams a lot in different group activities. Every week one of the teams writes a blog post about what they have learned during the week. They also chose a picture from our weekly photo-bank. This way the pupils get to reflect and think back to what they have learned. They also get a chance to discuss it with their teammate and argue for their case.

Another benefit with using a blog is that the pupils can spread the page-address to their family, relatives and friends. I work in a multi-cultured area and most of my pupils have relatives and friends that live abroad. They don’t get a chance to see or speak to each other but thanks to our blog they can still be a part of the pupils life. They can also leave a comment about our work. Due to the debate and the problem with Internet bullying we have locked the commentary field so that a teacher must approve the comment before it gets published.

I can really recommend you to use a blog. It is fun! It makes the pupils more involved with their learning. If you think that you aren’t good at using computers don’t worry. There are instruction videos and information texts available in each blog-tool. And you can always ask your colleges or your pupils for help.