Monday, 15 April 2013


Cloud tools AnswerGarden is a feedback tool, I use in my classroom. You can use it as an educational tool or as a creative brainstorming tool, or you can embed it on your website or blog to use it as a poll or guestbook. I often starts my lessons with a question. You create an AnswerGarden by entering a topic on the “Create New AnswerGarden-page”. Then you'll be redirected to your newly created AnswerGarden. Since no-one has posted an answer yet, your AnswerGarden will still be empty. The next step is to share your AnswerGarden. Use it live in the classroom,or place embed your AnswerGarden on your blog, site or social network page, using the provided embed code or post a direct link to your AnswerGarden on email it to friends. As your AnswerGarden draws attention people will start posting their answers to your question, either by entering their own answers or by clicking on and submitting existing answers. These are then represented in your AnswerGarden in the form of a growing “word cloud”. AnswerGarden is for anyone interested in using an easy and powerful way to get feedback from a group. AnswerGarden is used by teachers to establish the knowledge level of a class on a certain topic. It is used at to break the ice with the audience in a fun and interactive fashion. AnswerGarden is used by teachers for digital brainstorming sessions. Teachers who maintain websites and blogs use it to poll their visitors in a brief and to-the-point matter. You can also import your AnswerGarden into a beautiful wordcloud in WORDLE. The pupils are anonymous and that’s the best part in communication. SOCRATIVE is a smart student response system that empowers teachers by engaging their classrooms with a series of educational exercises and games. The apps are super simple and take seconds to login. Socrative runs on tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Teachers login through their device and select an activity which controls the flow of questions and games. Students simply login with their device and interact real time with the content. It is very engaging. You assessment with: Student responses are visually represented for multiple choice, true/false and Short Answer questions. For pre-planned activities a teacher can view reports online as a google spreadsheet or as an emailed Excel file. Present students with a Multiple question and see the results populate the bar chart as students select their answer. Ask a True/False question, see the results, and discuss the choices as they come to life on the screen. Gather open ended responses to any question you ask, called Short answers. Instantly project the student responses and then let students vote on the content. Storybird is a visual storytelling tool. Used by writers, of all ages. It is easy to sign up for a free account. Story Bird provides an opportunity to create the most imaginative written stories alone or jointly with others on a number of images. These stories are a kind of virtual books which can then be shared with family, friends or the whole world if you want it. You can also choose not to share it with anyone at all. It is currently only enjoy books on Story Bird through a web browser, but soon will be able to print the books, or read them in a smooth way of their mobile phone. As a teacher you can create an account for that your pupils can use altogether, and you can work with their stories written to pictures along the process. Teachers find Storybird inspirational. The fine illustrations inspire students to write. The more they write, the more they read. It is simple and easy, making Storybirds. Students focus on writing as a result and teachers, in turn, can focus on teaching. The social point of view, students can share and comment on each other's work, bolstering confidence and skill, within a private and safe environment. And it is shareable, stories can be embedded on blogs, shared via email, downloaded, printed. Storybird just works for teachers and pupils, from the art to the written text. Everything works so easy because your work is so fun. Quizlet is a learning, memorization tool for language. It is easy to create an account as a teacher and share it on your blog with your pupils. In the mode Speller, he pupils can type what they hear from an automated text-to-speech voice. The pupil types the answer and if it is correct they move to the next answer. If the answer is wrong the program spells it for you and tells you to type again in the correct spelling. You must type the word two times before you learned it. Flashcards, this mode is shown automatically on the main page and it is a simple flash card study method. One side of the card is shown, and clicking on the “flipbutton” which shows the other side of the card. You can show both sides at the same time in two divided screens. If you want to shuffle the order of the flash cards, you can too. In the Learn-mode the definitions are shown on the same page. You can see the flash cards feature in full screen define the other. Pupils are tested to find one with the other. Incorrect answers are recycled until the user gets it right. The Test-mode lets the pupils create randomly generated tests through selecting options to customize a test so that the pupils learn. The Scatter is a matching game where terms and definitions are randomly scattered around the screen. The Spaece-race is a mode that allows players to test their typing skills while memorizing. The object of this mode is to kill the matching word before the scrolling word leaves the screen. The teacher embed the Quizlet on for example a school-blog and the pupils can practice language learning from any computer at any time because they only need a browser for the rest is in the cloud. I use quizlet and recommend it to other teachers in language learning. Pupils enjoy quizlet and these kind of exercises because they can practice in many different ways at any time they want.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

My portfolio tasks Ingela Johansson


A projector connected with a computer is a good ICT resource today and should be up in the ceiling of every classroom. This can be used by a teacher in every subject. I have used the projector several times during my English teaching since I started this course. I have shown the pupils movies on the big screen but also when I discovered  we all looked at how to use it. The pupils can use the projector to show their work in the end of a subject area.

Photo story

Photo story is a program from Microsoft that helps you animate pictures and create a digital story in the format WMV (Windows Media Video). At first you have to import pictures to the program and then start to organize them. When the pictures are in the right order you can add text, voice and music. This is something that I have used a couple of times with my pupils. We have both used pictures that the pupils had drawn and pictures from clipart. During an open house at school we have shown the movies in our classroom. In my English teaching I have also used the digital story that I made during this course but also some of the other students stories. This is a really good ICT resource!

Eclipse crossword
Many years ago I found this free program, eclipse crossword. With this program it is easy to create your own crossword. You start by creating a wordlist with as many words as you like and clues for the words. Then you tell the program to create a crossword. When the crossword is created you can choose to print the crossword, the clues and the solution. I have used eclipse in grades 1-3 in different subjects and with different goals. I have used for fun, as a get to know each other tool but also as a test after finishing a subject area. A couple of times I have let the pupils create their own crossword though it is not easy for the pupils to come up with clues for the words. In English teaching this can be used to learn new words.

You tube

My last ICT resource would be you tube. You tube is a video-sharing web site. Most of the videos on you tube is uploaded by individuals. On you tube it is possible to find material to use in English teaching. It can be films or songs in many different ways. The videos that are found can be used as listening exercises and also for learning words. If there is a song on you tube it often can be published together with lyrics which make it easier to focus on the words. As a teacher this is where a lot of stuff can be found. The pupils on the other hand would probably not have the same possibilities to visit you tube at school because many schools have blocked the access. After we had uploaded our digital stories on you tube I have discovered you tube as an ICT resource for education. There are a lot of videos that is excellent for teaching. But as a teacher you need to be critical to both the content of a video and of the language to detect mistakes and errors in the material. I have found some videos and songs that I have used in my classroom but there is much more to find. Ingela Johansson

In my class 3, I am using It was one of my pupils that told me about this site and when we looked at it during a class they all got excited. Some of the pupils used the games the first week and came back very eager to show me the words they learned.

This is a website for learning words in different ways. The site can be used for learning several languages but also for mathematics. To be able to use this website you need to become a member of the site and create a user. The site is free to use but if you want to be able to listen to the words, you need to buy Premium. It can be bought private on a monthly basis or on a school or municipal level.

When you are creating a user you are able to choose to log in as a teacher or as a pupil. As a teacher you can start a group for your pupils and create wordlists and exercises for them. The pupils can join your group and easily use the wordlists and exercises. There are 10 different games that can be played using the wordlist. The games have a wide range, for example driving a car, sorting letters, playing a quiz and playing memory.  It is also possible for the pupils to take an ordinary word test. When creating a wordlist or an exercise it is possible to insert pictures connected to the words and the games.

I think this is a good way for me as a teacher to distribute the weekly English words to my pupils. It is also a great and fun way for them to learn the words. During these months when we have used this site the pupils also have been sending me messages through the site. Usually they are writing to me in Swedish but I am mostly answering them in English. I am going to try to expand the work with messages and use it more deliberate in my English teaching.

It is possible for the teacher to go to each exercise and see if it has been used which is good but I am missing a function where the teacher can see how each pupil is working with the wordlists.  

Ingela Johansson

Portfolio tasks

Four portfolio tasks for the children in my class (grade 2-3)

1. Learning the first phrases in English using a movie

Connections to Lgr-11: In English the children should develop their ability to:
• understand and interpret the content of spoken English
• express themselves and communicate in speech
• adapt language for different purposes, recipients and contexts
Core content in years 1–3
Listening and reading – reception
• Clearly spoken English and texts from various media.
* Different types of simple conversations and dialogues.
• Films and dramatised narratives for children.
• Songs, rhymes, poems and sagas.
• Words and phrases in their local surroundings, Speaking, writing and discussing – production and interaction
• Songs, rhymes and dramatizations

When I start teaching English to a new group of children in grade 2 I often begin with watching the first movie in the series Kids English Zone: Hello. What's your name?

It is easy to stream this and other movies from Beta.Sli nowadays. You just have to have an account as a teacher at Beta.Sli, log in and stream the movie. The time when I had to order a movie from AV-media two weeks ahead of the lesson is gone. Wonderful!

In this particular movie the phrases of presenting oneself is introduced. At first we just watch the movie once and then we watch it again. Then I encourage the children to talk and sing along as we listen to the movie. After the movie has ended I summarize and repeat the phrases. Hi, Hello, What´s your name? My name is…Good bye! And so on. When we have watched the movie we have heard vocabulary and phrases presented in clearly spoken English. We can now say our first phrases and we use them to do our first little communication activity. We wander around in the classroom and when we bump in to each other we simply uses the phrases/words Hello! Hi! What´s your name? and Good bye! The children likes the movie and to wander around and introduce themselves. They interact and communicate from start…


2. Using Photo Story to make a presentation of a girl and her animals in English as a part of an interdisciplinary theme
Connections to Lgr-11: In English the children should develop their ability to
• understand and interpret the content of spoken English
• express themselves and communicate in speech and writing,
• adapt language for different purposes, recipients and contexts, and
Core content In years 1–3
Content of communication
• Subject areas that are familiar to the pupils.
• Interests, people and places.
Listening and reading – reception
• Clearly spoken English and texts from various media.
• Simple instructions and descriptions.
• Films and dramatised narratives for children.
Speaking, writing and discussing – production and interaction
• Simple presentations.

This year I have had a book that I have been reading loud in Swedish to my class. The book is called Hedvig! and is written by Frida Nilsson.  The book is the basis of the class year long theme “Undersöka med Hedvig” and we try to integrate all the school subjects (Swedish, English, math, art, science and so on) as we read the book discover Hedvigs world. As teachers in the class we use drama to act out different parts of the book to the children.

As we read the first chapter of the book we discovered that the Hedvig had a lot of animals. I wanted to integrate English and saw an opportunity to work with animals. I introduced all Hedvigs animals in English. I then asked the children if they would like to make a presentation in Photo story of Hedvig and her animals, and they did. We drew most of the pictures of her animals our self and then the children learned to present them in English. After that we made the Photo Story movie “Hedvig and her animals” and did put it on You Tube. The children had now learned animals, plural –s, and to say sentences about the animals in a context using ICT as a tool. They were very proud to have an English movie on You Tube (for their parents and friends to watch). This kind of presentation in Photo Story can be done with other subjects and topics too. During the past two week we have been working on new Photo Story movies about Hedvig: Hedvig and her body parts and Hedvig and her clothes.
If you are curious of how I look when I dress up like Hedvig and how the result of the movie was watch this:

 3. Using Skype to communicate
Connections to Lgr-11: In English the children should develop their ability to:
• understand and interpret the content of spoken English and in different types of texts,
• express themselves and communicate in speech and writing,
• use language strategies to understand and make themselves understood,
• adapt language for different purposes, recipients and contexts, and
• reflect over living conditions, social and cultural phenomena in different contexts and parts of the world where English is used.
Core content in year 1-3
Content of communication
• Subject areas that are familiar to the pupils.
• Interests, people and places.
• Daily life and ways of living in different contexts and areas where English is used.
Listening and reading – reception
• Clearly spoken English and texts from various media.
• Simple instructions and descriptions.
* Different types of simple conversations and dialogues.
Speaking, writing and discussing – production and interaction
• Simple presentations.
• Simple descriptions and messages.

 Skype is an audio voice chat that you can use for communication on a computer. With Skype you can make video calls to any one that has an account, a computer/Ipad/smartphone, an Internet connection and a web camera of course.

My sister lives in Australia south of Brisbane. She and I stay in contact via Skype. She rents out one of the rooms in her house to a man and his 9 year old daughter. Since our children according to Lgr-11 and the English syllabus should learn about countries were English is used I thought about getting my pupils connected with the girl via Skype and ask her questions about her life in Australia. I contacted my sister in Australia and she did set the arrangements for the Skype meeting with the father and daughter. I prepared the children in school that we would connect with an Australian girl on Skype and that we had to prepare questions to ask about her life in Australia and so we did. We e-mailed the questions to the girl and her father before the meeting on Skype so that they should get a chance to be prepared. When we had the actual meeting on Skype I did not expect that my pupils would dear to ask questions about her life in English, but most of them did! They thought this was really exciting and they learned how a girl in their age in Australia lives.

4. The British council Learn English kids
Connections to Lgr-11: In English the children should develop their ability to
• understand and interpret the content of spoken English and in different types of texts,
• adapt language for different purposes, recipients and contexts, and
Core content in years 1–3
Content of communication
• Subject areas that are familiar to the pupils.
Listening and reading – reception
• Clearly spoken English and texts from various media.
• Simple instructions and descriptions.

Last autumn when I had worked with the topics colours and wild animals I found a very nice activity on the British Council homepage that the children could do to repeat their knowledge of animals and colours. It is a game where the children listens to and read an instruction before the act (by painting an animal in a suggested colour). I like this game. It is easy to understand and the child gets an immediate response “good” or “try again” and it is clear in the design.
The advantage of computer games is the immediate response to the child´s performance and that the children often are highly motivated when it comes to computer games. The disadvantages, I think, are that there are not that much communication going on playing videogames. No talking and interaction…
And as we can se above, this kind of activities does not connect to the syllabus that very much.

Camilla Nilvius


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Susanne Edvards four smaller tasks

My Portfolio Tasks 

1. For three years ago I started a tutor blog in order to inform parents a little bit more about what we were doing in school and to tip the families of all the various things you could do in Stockholm. We have over 60 museums, several nature reserves, you can actually fish salmon in the central of our capital, and how many cities in the world are you able to do that? And of course the local attractions such as Sky view, Globen, city hall and the castle. This is the blog My thought was also to let the children write there and use it instead of the traditional letter that I wrote every week. I liked to write on the blog but it took a lot of time, and it was not supported by my boss to do this in my work time. The problem then was also that I didn’t have access to a computer of my own in school so I had to bring my own with me from home to do this.   I hope that I someday will have the time to make a running blog since I see a lot of purposes with it. Dudeney, G and Hockly, N ( 2007) states that there are some obvious advantages to using blogs in the classroom since it is a real chance for the children to practice on their written English.

 2. Skype is quite a new tool for me. I met the tool during this course and when my daughter got sick in December it became a fantastic way for her to keep in touch with the school topics and her fellow students. Since she was to sick to go to school and to sick to have home teaching  she came up with the idea by her self that maybe a teacher could use Skype to teach her 1 hour a day. And sometimes she can participate in group activities in the school with her friends this way. So I take this with me as a teacher and will keep it in mind if a pupil of my own should get really sick.

 3. Dudeney, G and Hockly, N (2007 page 62) states that Email is one of the most used and useful ICT today. As a teacher I get a huge amount of emails every day, most of them sadly is just junk mails and sometimes I find it difficult to pick over my inbox what to read and not. I know that reading, sending and deleting emails take a lot of time for me as a teacher it takes about 3 hours a week actually. But then I think of what the option is, to write a letter, find an envelope, the address, a stamp and go to the letterbox. Now you can write and send a letter in a very short time. Using email I can send information to all my class parents by just one click.

 4. Smart board is a tool that I hope to get into my classroom in a close future. There is so much you can do if you have access to this tool. If you are talking about a flower that the children doesn’t know you can find a picture of it and show it to all the children at the same time, today I have to use my own smart phone or computer , find the picture and then show each and everyone of the children  two at the time. Smart board is an ICT tool that would really save me lot of time.

Susanne Edvards Blog post about Stop motion movie

Stop motion movies

Stop motion is a technique to fool the eye that dead items actually are moving. To do this you need a film or video camera that can take one picture one at a time.

The animator takes a lot of photos of items with very little variation in position, and then shows the photos quickly. To do this you need a computer and an animation or video editing software an illusion of movement is created. If you have access to an I phone or an I pad you can down load this program in the Appstore.
The Lgr 11 states in the first chapter that pupils shall be able to try out different expressions such as drama, rhythmic, dance, musicianship and creativity in art. As I see it when the pupils are making movies like this they are able to make a dram of their own, they can make music to the movie and creativity in art, well it’s moving art. Also in the written purpose for the topic art in Lgr 11 it is written that the pupils should get experience of visual culture like film. Also in the main content for art in the Lgr 11 photography and program transfer is something that the pupils should try during their early ages in school.

As a teacher I see one opportunity most of all, the pupils are interacting with each other, talking and doing things together and if I have learnt something as a teacher it is just that fact that when children are doing things together they are learning to collaborate. This is a fantastic tool for pupils to work in smaller groups and besides the fact that they are getting to know each other they develop their language, learning from each other. This is a sovereign program to work in topic integrated subjects. In my school we don’t have access to Iphones nor Ipads but together with a personal from Medioteket we came up with four Ipads. We had been working a lot with dinosaurs and the human development. So the pupils choose in their groups different sequences in the history of life. At first we went through what the order of the sequences should be and what would happen there. Then they started to work, they used play dough, paper, cloths, wires and cardboard. For two whole weeks they didn’t do anything but manufacturing subjects for their movie. In my class some of the pupils were really experts on this program and they helped the others to getting to know the program and how to take pictures with the Ipad and edit them. When the groups were done with the real work they started to make other movies. If I had access to Ipads I would really use them a lot in all my topics. I think it would be usefully as a portfolio of a pupils development, if they are working with something you can take a picture when they start, some pictures when they are working with it an the final product. I do so privately with my family car projects they comes home like stiff and rolls out like majestic then it is really fun to see all those 200 hours of work in 25 seconds. 

Since you need a huge amount of pictures to make a movie for just 1 minute I don’t think it’s the best program to set up a movie with a lot of information to the pupils. To do that there is a lot of other programs like Photo story or Moviemaker that is more suitable.




Photo Story 3

Microsoft Photo Story 3

I have used the program Photo story a lot in my teaching the latest years. The program is free to down load and very easy to work with. The program is a slideshow software and it provides opportunities to do photo presentations. Photo Story lets you drag photos onto a window, arrange them as needed, then provide custom narration, transitions, zooms, pans, audio soundtracks and/or custom auto-generated music. Then you can export the final result as a WMV file. Applying such features, as mentioned, can be tricky in some programs but I find it very easy in Photo Story. The result is a “slideshow-movie” that you can share at blogs, the schools homepage, e-mail or put on You Tube for others to watch.
My experience is that the pupils are very proud over the Photo story movies they have produced. To the children the final movies looks really professional. They love to share them with their families, relatives and friends.

To get started you need a computer, a digital camera to take pictures with and/or a scanner (if you prefer to let the children draw handmade pictures and then scan them into the computer). If you want to record sound you also need a headset. If you use pictures on the internet in Photo Story- consider the rules of copyright. Then of course, you have to down load the program which can be done at the following link:  The program is developed for Windows XP.
The program is really easy to understand and use, but if you need further explanations or instructions have a look at:

As a teacher Photo Story offers a tool for presentations. You can use Photo Story as a teacher to present a story or fairy tail to the children, maybe as an introduction to a topic. In that case you make the story on your own before introducing it to the children.
You can also choose to make the Photo Story together with the children. That is what I have been doing a lot and that I really recommend. My purpose has then been to teach English using ICT- Photo Story as a tool. The aim was to let the children learn specific topics in English, learn to use IT, show others what has been learned and keep the children motivated.
How you chose to work with Photo Story as a teacher all depends on what purpose you have and what learning outcome you are aiming at. But you do it either as an introduction that you make as a teacher or as a tool for the children to work with for presenting or describing.

I have noticed that using Photo Story as a ICT-tool together with the children makes them really motivated. Motivation is very important in learning. The children can tell a story in the program. They can also present what they have learned in a topic and the Photo story movie will then be a final product. Photo Story gives opportunities to develop the children’s communicating skills as they listen, talk and they might also write and read when they create a story in the program. It documents what the children have learnt and can be a product for assessment and/or kept in a portfolio to asses the children’s learning over time. The whole process in having children creating a Photo story is also a very good opportunity for formative assessment for the teacher.

Considerations… If you are using Mac you will not be able to use this program. You also have to consider that the output movies from the software are not as sharp as they would be in VCD or DVD format. You can not mix still photos and movies in Photo Story (as you might be able to do in for example Movie Maker). Photo Story can only handle still pictures. The children can not start making movies on their on immediately- they will need education.

But in the end I do not think there is much that can match Photo Story in terms of its ease of use and automated features.

Camilla Nilvius



Photo Story from Microsoft is a program or tool that they provide. Microsoft says that the tool should be used to organize photos easy and fun. In which I can agree with Microsoft, it will be more fun and easier. Although I have found other programs/tools I think is simple and good.

It is simple in that way the program helps you through the process of creating animated albums, stories, histories, fairy tales, to name a few. It’s you, the user who sets the limits.

I learned this program a few years ago when the School Board put out a course called PIM. Since then there has happened a lot with the programs and the computers that are used today. In that time there was only one computer in every classroom and one digital camera on the entire school. It took an awful lot of time to carry out a photo story with each student. It usually led to a group assignment and that led to that just only a few students learned how to handle the programs.

Today the situation is completely different. Each student has their own laptop to work in. This means that all students will be more or less experts to handle computers and programs available today. In the case of the world of education, free is a good word, and photo story is a free program. Just go to the Microsoft website and start downloading. Once you have downloaded it, you just have to start working.

You can use photo story in all your subjects but I use it mostly in my Swedish-and English-teaching. Recently we made a job in Swedish where the children were reading different stories. They chose a story and picture set it using the photos they have taken. After that they got to make their own story in the photo story program. They took photos and animated, changing color on them and recorded their reading or wrote a text to the image.
In parallel, we worked with a similar task in English. The difference between the English and the Swedish task was that in the English task they were only allowed to do oral storytelling to the pictures. It's a funny way to practice pronunciation in and they can hear themselves how they pronounce the words. Sometimes they can’t get the image they want without the need to search the internet for one. Since I think it's important that they know the rules for downloading images on the internet I automatically get a lesson in copyright.

Lars Lind

Wednesday, 10 April 2013



Photo story!! What a great tool it is. All you need is a computer and the software. It is free, and you can download it from Microsoft’s homepage.  

Then it is all up to you and your imagination….
Photostory is a program where you use pictures to tell a story or to present a subject or a theme. The pictures you use can be taken by the pupils with a digital camera or you can use online photos.You can  put sound, music and text to the story. You can also make animations to each picture. It is fun, it is easy to learn, it is easy to edit and it makes the pupils proud of their work, because it looks so professional and nice.
I first came across this tool when I did the course PIM, “Skolverkets” own ICT education for teachers. Back then I didn’t know how to or what to use it for so I forgot about it until recently when got introduced to it once again. Now I use it as often as I can.

You can use Photostory in all subjects and in many different ways. As a teacher you can use Photostory to present a new theme. You can use it as a teaser to a new book to read out loud in the class or to make stories. It has a countless number of uses.
I have been using it recently in a theme about tales and legends. I told the pupils an old legend from outside our village. Then they were given the task to retell it with Photostory.The same story was made in many different ways. The pupils really enjoyed it.
But remember….
Some children don’t like to record and listen to their own voices. You can then make the presentations in smaller groups until they get used to it. It is not even necessary to record their voices the first time but it is a great tool to use when you want them to discover their own voices and pronunciations. 
Always talk about copyright before they start searching for pictures online.




Sunday, 7 April 2013

4 portfoliotasks

My tasks connect to a theme we are going to introduce to the children “Bondgården” in year 1.

Task 1

We will sing “Old MacDonald” first in Swedish then in English. To help with music we will use you tube: in English

Task 2

The children get a papper with different pictures of farmanimal from and the English names of the different animals. They are supposed to draw lines between the right picture and name.

Task 3

I read a story about a kitten living in the coutryside from youtube which I made in the springterm at our course with Mr Satel.

After watching this film we talk about what it meant so that all of the children understand more, I think we will have to use Swedish for this part (in spite of the fact that I like Stephen Krashens theories), since the children are so young and do not have the vocabulary to talk in English yet.

Task 4

The children get to tell about their favourite animal with some prepared sentences. We decide what to say together an write it down so that each child only have to add what animal they like and what the animal eats. I will record them with my mobilephone to save in the fronter-program as their first spoken English.


Using a projector and word

My ICT-use in the classroom has increased a lot this last year. The most important factor is the projector that helps me to show i e pictures, text and films on the whiteboard for all the class to see at the same time. We listen to and watch songs from you tube and spotify. We watch instructional films from via I scan storybooks, save them as a power point-presentation and show the children the book at the same time as I read. This allow us to have discussions afterwards about the story, we talk about the pictures and the text and go back and forth in the presentation.

But the use I want to tell you all about is writing. I will not tell you about the use of the program since I believe you all know it, in stead I will tell you a bit about how I use it. From the beginning of this year (I teach a year 1-class with 26 pupils) I have written things in word whilst showing it to the children on the whiteboard. Earlier I would have written on the whiteboard directly and then copied it to paper to save it or to make copies to all children. Now I write on the computer and the children are used to see the markings the computer make – they are quick to tell me if I spell something wrong (which I do frequently :)) or if there is a grammatical problem. Then we can talk about it and change it together easily. I always start by writing down what the children suggests as they say it, then we talk about formulations and spelling and we change the text and print it out.

We started by writing something about what we have done during the week and I let them glue it into their logbook for the parents to see. Now that the children have started to write by hand we start the week by writing what I have planned for the week. I show the planning with the projector and the children write down single words in the logbook.

For example:

Sv Practice writing the letter Pp

Tell a story to some classmates

Ma Practice double and half

Practice the clock

SO Story from the Bible

Safe in traffic

NO Trees, animals and birds in the spring

On Friday they go back to check if we have done it all. And the children marks how they like it by using smileys. Inspired by Lina Rask I have started a class-blog for our class. I will let a couple of children write something about what we have done each day so that the parents can read it. I believe that will inspire the children to write quite a lot.

In Linköping we also use a program called fronter where we, the children and the parents can communicate both plans for the education and the class as well as send-ins in class work and the pupils results. On this site I´ll put a link to the blog and during these next weeks I will introduce both fronter and the blog to the parents as we meet to talk about the progresses made by each child.

We have also talk about mind maps and then I used to show them how to think when you prepare to tell or write something. As you can see the computer is a very good tool for me as a teacher – I just wish we had more of them.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Short movies a tool for the youngest learners in school

Short movies a tool for the youngest learners in school

Kids Zone free ICT resoures

I think it is important that the young children who is learning in a new language should have fun and that they are on the right level. There are a lot of games for the younger learners to play of their own. But I think it is important that they all are together in a group and are looking at the same things and afterwards try to make a dialogue or discussion.
I do not think that it is so much films for young learners. Often it is because the learners have not learned sufficiently large vocabulary to understand the content of a film.
But in Av-media you can find short movies that you easily can stream to a projector or a smartbord, so everybody can see it together. The chosen section are only two or three minutes long and after that it repeat further ten minutes from similar themes.
The films are called Kids Zone.I recomend the films to children between 6-9 years old. They are very good to use for students in grades one and two as a presentation of a theme.
There are twenty six small video clips. There, you will learn the first colors, fruits,clothes, count in English and more. The names of the films are common phrases that are most common used. Some of the titles are "Hello, what's your name?", "I'am seven years old," "This is my family" and "I live in a town '."
The movies contains songs, rhymes, skits and short dialogues from children and adults. These songs and chants are repeated and become easily recognizable.
Worth watching and have a nice time.

Link to Av-media:

Veronica johansson

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Photo Story 3
Microsoft Photo Story 3 is a free Windows application that allows you to create audio-visual presentations of your photos and images. Photo Story 3 is a computer program that gives you a lot of resources to use in teaching. Photo Story 3 is a tool for digital storytelling. Equipment needed is a digital camera or camera phone, computer and storytelling. It's quick and easy to charge with Photo Story 3 and you can start your creation. What is needed are images taken with a camera or images downloaded from the Internet. These save on your computer. Then you import the images you choose to use in your digital story and you can tell, add music or talk to each image.
You can quickly crop, rotate and edit your pictures, are provided with captions and titles, and add sound effects, narration and background music for example. from Spotify .. Photo Story saves your presentations as a project that can be edited and saved as a finished project. Finished files can be sent via email as well. You can easily upload your Photo Story on It's easy to share stories. The digital camera images has become a moving film.

This educational approach is motivating for students who can create their story from concept, storyboard to finished film. Images help students to put into words their thoughts. For the teacher is Photo Story 3 to steer the students focused and help support and structure. In English, students choose pictures that show what the story is about and that fits the written text and the context. When students speak in English speech to pictures show the ability to communicate with words and pictures. Several curriculums achieved. Students can view their saved Photostorys later and see how they evolved, direct feedback. The teacher can also provide feedback to the student during the work. But above all, this lustful way of working gives students a chance to share their lessons and Photostorys to each other.

Digital Storytelling is a way to use computer-based tools to tell stories. As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic and contain a particular point of view. But as the name implies, digital stories usually contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips and / or music. Digital stories can vary in length, but most of the stories used in education typically last between two and ten minutes. The substances used in Digital Storytelling range from personal stories to restate historical events, from exploring life in one's own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally, everything in between. It is a good way to start learning through ICT. Communication though pictures that becomes a little film gives another dimension for the storyteller and the audience. I think Photostory3 can be useful for teachers, pupils and others in educational and learning point of view!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Sock puppets

Sock puppets is an app for iPad. You make a puppet show and record the dolls talk. There are six different sock puppets to choose from. You can use four of them simultaneously. You also choose backgrounds. There are eleven to choose from and you can have five pieces in a performance. There are some props too, such as microphone, trees and a stone. There are a total of 16 different properties to choose from and you can have four in a scene. Some of the props you can move while you are recording while some are stuck where you placed them. Students think of course it's fun to get to choose. At the same time the number of choices are limited, which means that you get started with the recording quickly.

When you've chosen puppets and backgrounds, it is time to record the voices. The doll that you click on gets a red marker above it because you will see which one is active. The microphone records when you start talking, and then the active doll moves it´s mouth. You can always switch to another doll while recording. Then click on it and the cursor moves. That way, it looks as if the puppets talk to each other. You can move the puppets across the stage and resize them while recording.

The best thing about the program is that the voices are distorted. You can change settings so that the voices are made lighter or darker if you are not satisfied with how it sounds. You can do this even when you are finished recording. The kids think this is great fun! It also means that they do not think it is such a bad thing to hear themselves. It sounds so totally different!

The version I use is free. It works just fine! The only negative is that the recording time is limited to 30 seconds. Want to make a longer movie, you record several sequences and cut them together in an editing program. If you buy the paid version for 28 SEK you get 90 seconds of recording.

The finished clips can be sent directly to Facebook or YouTube. You need to have paid version in order to save for your album

Lena Söderlund


Scanner mouse

Scanner mouse

I work with 27 pupils in grade 4-6 in a rural school and we have a small access to ICT tools. A couple of months ago me and my colleagues visited an educational fair and there we were introduced to a scanner mouse. We thought it seemed to be a useful tool, both for teachers and students, and also a little funny so we decided to buy one to our school to try. 

A scanner mouse is a mouse and a scanner in one. The scanner mouse works by using an underside with 5 LEDs which reflect the image the user is scanning into the mouse.  By pressing a button on the mouse and then swipe the bottom of the mouse over a document or a picture it gets digitized and sent to your computer. You can swipe the bottom of the mouse in any direction over the document and you can do it rather fast. It is possible to scan any size up to A3 but you can also scan a select area on a large sheet of paper.
Thanks to the OCR functionality (Optical Character Reader), the text can be scanned and edited directly in the computer. Scanned material can be exported, edited and saved in many different formats, such as doc, pdf, jpeg and tiff. It can also be transferred to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr (by shortcut links) or as an attachment in a new e-mail message. The price for a scanner mouse is about 600 – 1000 Swedish crowns.

 Since we have only had the scanner mouse for a short period, we haven’t got much time to explore it enough yet, but there are many different ways that one can use it.
So far, the pupils have scanned their painted images which they then saved in a word document. Then they have written their own texts about the picture. They have also written texts by hand, scanned the text into the computer and finally use word processing programs to improve their texts. Sometimes they have used ViTal ( which is a “talsyntes”) to get their texts read aloud. They have both been working on their own but also in pairs or smaller groups and I can say they really enjoy using the scanner mouse. The scanner mouse is simple to use and I think it can be a useful resource in English teaching.

Why not give it a try – good luck!

Rosita Glimnér Strömberg