Sunday, 5 May 2013

Interactive whiteboard

I'm one of the lucky ones who have an interactive whiteboard in my classroom and it is a very useful tool teaching. It is a data projector connected to a computer, and when you are for example streaming films it is shown onto a whiteboard. To control the computer you are not using the computer mouse, there is a special pen to use. When the pen is activated it is possible to draw on the board in the program you are working with. This program could be a web page, power point, different documents. When you have finished your work it is possible to save the work. You can also use the pen with different colors to highlight things on the board and even move items on the screen. There is a keyboard that can be accessed when you need to type, and then you use the pen on the letters.

On the net you have a lot of interactive programs that can be used on the interactive board. Mostly I have been using my IWB to stream films, but I have made mind-maps on together with my pupils. They liked it but they thought I was to slow when using the pen to type on the board. So I have to do more practice the pen.

In the start, there is plenty of time to learn about this tool but when you have done this you have a fantastic tool in the classroom.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Storybird- Artful storytelling

Storybird provides an opportunity to create the most imaginative stories from a number of picture, or rather the illustrations of a particular artist. Storybirds are short, art inspired stories that are fun ti make, share and read. These stories become virtual books which can be shared with classmates, teachers or the whole world if you so wish. Storybird is an excellent tool for the teacher to help the pupils to read and write better, in a joyful way.

Currently you only  can enjoy the books on Storybird through a browser but hopefully it will also be possible to print their stories.

Storybird is free and you can use Storybird without getting an account, but I  still recommend that you to get one. If you have an account you can, as a teacher,  create different accounts for your class and add new assignments. Their output is pooled together in a library of stories. The pupils and the teacher can add comments to each story and “heart this” if you like a story.

To get started you need to press the heading “Teachers” on the first page and then sign up for free. After you have signed up you just create an account of your own and then create the class or classes and add the pupils.

To make a storybird you press the heading “Create” and then you choose which pictures you would like for your story. You can choose pictures according to artist and according to given themes. When you have chosen a theme or an artist you just begin to create your story.

I have used Storybird in two of my current classes and my pupils really like creating new stories in this new way.

If you are interested please visit and sign in.

Anna Jigström