Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Multiply your fun


Multiply your fun is the CLIL e-publication @elenabenitogonz has designed along her three-month Master's Degree Module on The Use of ICT and Web Resources for Bilingual Primary Education at URJC in Madrid.

This e-publication is aimed at CLIL 8-year old learners to focus on multiplication while applying it to a familiar situation such as a birthday party. When surfing this open educational resource, one can plan the event, calculate, cook, and craft various other missions which will help any kid turn these events into a very special day.

The tips and ideas to make a learning experience out of a birthday party are student-centred and promote challenge based investigation and collaborative team work, with engaging samples and learning missions which will for sure encourage students to keep it up.

Below there are a couple of samples of the author's proposals for planning and recording your party.

Create a Copy | View Larger

The author has also thought of teachers, and being a connected CLIL teacher herself, she has curated several resources for other CLIL educators to use, and shared a range of digital outcomes she has come up with in collaboration with international projects.

Do not miss her reflection on the learning trip she is sharing in the VoiceThread below, where she is describing all the landings along that trip as well as self-evaluating her progress at the Master's Degree:

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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

English speaking cities: London

London is the first Open Educational Resource of a series of  English Speaking Cities OERs by @leboixta, aimed at 15-year-old ESL learners, which has just been published as part of the #proyectoEDIA didactic sequences hosted by CeDeC.

With a PBL approach, London focuses on autonomous learning, investigation and the design and production of digital outcomes, achieved through the accomplishment of a challenge while crafting various tasks, at the same time as learners reflect on their own learning in a diary.

You are invited to check the resource, surf it online as well as in your ebook reader, and/or download it ready to be used in your lessons. If you are an ESL teacher at Secondary Education, stay tuned for upcoming OERs that land on famous English speaking landmarks.

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Monday, 29 June 2015

Timelines in class - Tips and tools


What is a timeline?

A timeline is basically a graph used to represent historical periods and happenings. It consists of four parts: the axis (usually the axis is a line or a rectangular bar) on which data are placed, the years that indicate the scale, the historical periods and the events pointed out with lines.
Timelines have been used in class for a long time, but the opportunity to include multimedia elements in a timeline have turned them trendy once again thanks to web tools to design them.
Timelines can be used to represent biographies, to investigate on the evolution of an invention, of a social or musical movement; to create a series of events in chronologial order, such as discoveries, class and learning diaries, or to create a news album, a collection of pictorial events in chronological order, summaries, and so forth.

Timelines in class. What for?

  • Primary Education: working with autobiographies, family, family trees, the history and evolution of the school, of the hometown; to narrate the events of a school trip or a school celebration, or an exchange, and so on.
  • Technology: showing the evolution of computers, mobile devices, video games, software, hardware, electrical appliances and so on.
  • Music: learning about a musician's biography, investigating about the history of instruments, knowing about the evolution of a musical movement, etc.
  • Languages: learning more about an author, narrating the plot of a novel, the stages of the evolution of a language, different accents, slangs, and so forth.
  • Science: put the phases of an investigation in chronological order, exploring Nobel Prizes and those scientists awarded with the prize and their biographies or theories, discoveries; the impact of those breakthroughs in society according to dates, etc.
  • Maths: investigating about the timing of the history of maths, placing problems around a time axis, ordering the stages overcome to solve a problem, and so forth.
  • Social Science: working with the chronological order of any process or content that matches the subject goals.

Online Tools to create Timelines

  • Dipity: timelines designed with this online tool are very attractive and it allows inserting texts, images, video clips, links for further information, audio tracks, Google maps, as well as social networks feeds, such as Twitter feeds, for instance.
  • Timetoast: every timeline created with this online tool can be embedded and linked in our own digital sites, blogs, webs, etc.
  • Timerime: it has a version in Spanish too. The outcomes can be embedded and linked in our own digital sites, blogs or webs, but they can also be printed if needed.
  • Rememble: it is a very useful online tool for timelined storytelling.
  • Tripline: it is a very interesting online too for creating timelines about trips, which join locations, or as a route planner. The outcomes are really engaging from a visual point of view.
Webgraphy (in Spanish)

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Using multimedia presentations in the classroom


Multimedia Presentations - What for?

They are support teaching materials which include multimedia or audiovisual elements that catch learners' attention, and that is one of the reasons why teachers are encouraged to use them in class, simply to engage.

Word cloud made with WordItOut

Why multimedia?

We are visual beings, and so the use of these teaching materials inside and outside the classroom are added value if our aim is:
catching learners' attention and motivating them.
making it easier for the learners to understand concepts, so their understanding is faster, more precise and solid.
helping learners memorise when needed and consolidate their learning.

Multimedia presentations foster visual communication and they are a friendly powerful tool. They are easy to use but allow incorporating multimedia resources. Most learners need to gain skills at designing good presentations, as it is a skill which will surely benefit them in the future, that is lifelong learning, of course.

When to use multimedia presentations in the classroom

Here you are some tips about when I regard it as useful:
  • When reference material is needed, multimedia presentations are neat enough if used with nesting, filtering and priorizing techniques.
  • When there is a wide range of material scattered around several channels, the presentation is the best bank ever. 
  • When the presentation is a functional tool to develop other learning activities.
When not to use multimedia presentations in the classroom

'I can't think of any better activity, so let's create a presentation'. Just for the sake of it, it is not a good idea.

The potential of using multimedia presentations in Education
  • Flipping the classroom and presenting contents beforehand so that in class, learners go on hands-on missions.
  • Allowing learners to be the main characters of their own learning, to design those presentations and to use them in front of an audience, that is, their peers.
  • Fostering team work.
  • Improving digital skills
  • Encouraging communication skills through support multimedia presentations.
  • Enhancing visual organised learning.
  • Using them as a friendly interactive board
Online Tools to design multimedia presentations
  • Wordle: It is a really useful online tool to create wordclouds, but it can used to present, too, as well as to visually trigger off key ideas and then discuss about them, write about them, or talk about them. It might be also used for summaries, drafts, concept maps and so forth. The advantage of this tool is that there is no need to sign up in order to create wordclouds and the outcomes are easely exported to our own digital sites, webs, blogs and so forth. The drawback is that the tools works with Java, which might be an issue to view the outcomes correctly.
  • Tagxedo: It is another online tool for wordcloud design. In my opinion, it has more potential than the one above, with more styles available, it is more engaging but a bit more difficult to use. The outcomes can be downloaded under an image format file to be then inserted elsewhere.
  • Google Slides: It is Google tool for slideshows and extremely easy to use, with the added value of being collaborative, if we invite others to edit. It includes various templates and styles and the outcomes can be linked or embedded in any digital publications.
  • Prezi It might be considered the most popular online tool for designing slideshows nowadays. It is visual and attractive, although in my opinion, the outcomes can turn visually overwhelming after viewing some if they are not very well planned and designed, as the zoom effect might become a distracting element from the central key ideas the slideshow is trying to convey.
  • Knovio: It is a free online service where one can upload PowerPoint slideshows and turn them into quite attractive video screencasting clips. It is also available to screencast straight from iPad. We can use it to explain concepts, brainstorm, storytell, flip lessons, rehearse a speech, document a project or a school trip, illustrate a process, and so forth.
  • Screencastomatic: It is a screencasting useful tool for designing video tutorials. It has a free downloadable version and a pro one, but the free version is quite full and the outomes can be published straight into a YouTube channel.
  • Genially: Nice online tool with Spanish version, lots of available templates to take advantage of and outcomes that can be linked or embedded into one's own digital sites. One may also import Powerpoint slideshows or Piktochart infographics.
  • Slidespeech: It is not a tool for designing presentations as such, but a tool to add voice to a presentation with speaker's notes. It automatically turns those notes into audio and allows a simple presentation to become a digital story.

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Monday, 22 June 2015

Mindmaps in class - Tips and Tools

What is a mindmap?
According to Wikipedia, a mindmap is 'a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank landscape page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mind maps can be drawn by hand, either as "rough notes" during a lecture, meeting or planning session, for example, or as higher quality pictures when more time is available.'

Using a mindmap in class. What for?

Mindmaps in lessons are useful for:

  • individual or group brainstorming,
  • summarising information and note taking,
  • consolidating information one gathers from various search sources,
  • thinking on complex issues, drafting and solving them in a creative way,
  • presenting information in such a way that provides the overview of a project,
  • studying and memorising.

In order to use a mindmap effectively, no matter with online tool we go for, we must make sure that we use different colours so that the mindmap looks visually engaging, as well as using good key words and inserting symbols and images that encourage creative thinking.

Online mindmapping tools

  • Text2Mindmap: it is very easy to use; the author only has to key in text and bleed it, while the tool does all the rest. The outcomes can be downloaded as image and printable files.
  • Coggle: signing in with one's Google account is available. The team advertise that it will be a free tool forever; let's wait and see!
  • Mindmeister: its interface is in Spanish. The free version only allows designing three mindmaps.
  • Mind42: the outcomes can be downloaded, and they are also provided as an image file.
  • SpiderScribe: the free version allows you to create three private maps and unlimited public ones. Mindmaps can be enriched with texts, images, locations, files, calendar events and so forth. Your outcomes can be embedded in your own blogs, webs, sites or portfolios.
  • it can be tried for free for 30 days. The mindmaps can be exported as an image and with a link to be used in your blog, web, and so forth.
  • Cacoo: the free version only allows downloading created mindmaps as if they were a .png image, but it is a collaborative tool and up to 15 users can work on the same diagram.
  • Creately: the free version allows designing five public mindmaps and one project. 

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Friday, 19 June 2015

Minecraft Planet


Would you like to create your own planet and use Minecraft for that purpose in your CLIL Primary lessons?
Then, check MineCraft Planet, the e-publication that Marta Gómez that has designed along her Master's Degree Module on The Use of ICT and Web Resources for Primary Bilingual Education at University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.

If you are a 9 or 10-year old kid and would like to investigate on planets in English, you are bound to find engaging learning missions that you are bound to enjoy, such as video and audio challenges, Minecraft games, collaborative presentations and so forth.

But of course, and as the e-publication infographic advertises, you are not alone. You are guided by the curated tools that Marta Gómez has gathered for you in the list below:

And, if you are a Science CLIL Primary teacher, you have your section too at this e-publication, outlined in a CLIL template as well as a mindmap, so that you can have a quick look about what goals can be achieved by surfing Marta's digital artifacts, what skills and competencies can be accomplished and what learning outcomes are to be produced.

Stay tuned for news about this project based learning oriented CLIL e-publication and find it all about how Marta has also become a connected teacher while turning her ideas into a real digital resource for CLIL learners.

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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Little Geniuses Of The Renaissance

Silvia Plana is kindly sharing her brand new e-publication for CLIL Primary learners: Little Geniuses of The Renaissance.

The site is intended to be used in Arts and Crafts lessons with 11-year olds and it has taken Silvia three months to turn the skeleton and mindmap of her first draft into a real digital publication. She has risen up to the challenge while completing her Master's Degree Mondule on The Use of ICT and Web Resources for Primary Bilingual Education at University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.

The best way to find out what this artistic e-publication has to offer both CLIL teachers and students is to take a glimpse at the infographic below, which Silvia designed as her personal contribution to the collaborative @infoEDUgrafias educational project.

The adventure through the lives of child geniuses starts with Leonardo, portrayed as a kid in neat storyboard, which later in the e-publication becomes a video challenge.

Once the main character of the e-publication is introduced, Silvia leaves it to the learners to investigate and autonomously learn more about Da Vinci, thanks to an animated clip:
MichaelAngelo is also a character in this CLIL resource, introduced as a friend of Da Vinci's and as means to challenge learners to become sculptors for a day.

You are all invited to surf this CLIL e-publication and let Silvia know what you think, after listening to her own reflections after having had completed her learning journey:

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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Let's talk


Let's talk is an e-publication with the aim of fostering speaking skills among third graders. It has been created by Ana Bercovitz, who is now sharing with us all her final outcome after a three-month Master's Degree Module on The Use of ICT and Web Resources for Primary Bilingual Education at University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.

First things first, the e-publication, showcased at Wix, presents its target audience with a mindmap and an infographic that allows them to have an overview of what they are about to find if they decide to click on the various sections available from the different unfolding menus at the top of the site.

When you unfold the top menus and click on the activities the author has envisaged for her potential learners, you will rise up to creating avatars that promote digital literacy and citizenship, a podcast encouraging learners to speak and discover, as well as other proposals to brainstorm and provide feedback.

And if you would like to surf through it all just sliding forward and backwards, check the slideshow below which depicts what to be expected from this e-publication:
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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Let's make learning fun!


Here you are the e-publication Jimena Acevedo has recently released for Primary CLIL learners after having completed her Master's Degree Module on  The Use of ICT and Web Resources for Primary Bilingual Education at University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid: Let's make learning fun!

The overview of this digital resource is clarifyingly mindmapped, so you can check to view the goals, key competencies, scaffolding and much more the author has envisaged from the very beginning.

The author has first thought of visual elements and principles, and in order to be able to think about that and put it into practice in her own e-publication, she has previously searched for inspiration in other ebooks, which she has evaluated:

After this prior step, and after curating and gathering some CLIL resources, tools and apps, to be included in her outcome, Jimena has dived into the difficult adventure of creating learning missions for her learners and any other kids interested in learning about landscapes and living things in English. She has eventually come up with audio and video challenges, storyboards and some other artifacts that you are all invited to surf now.

Finally, and after three months of solid work with ICT and web resources, Jimena has disseminated her work on a worldwide live session at WizIQ, co-presenting for Moodle MOOC 6, and has reflected about her own learning journey when creating her first e-publication ever.

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Landscapes around the world


Cristina Fradejas is a CLIL Primary Education teacher who has just finished her Master's Degree Module on The Use of ICT and Web Resources for Primary Bilingual Education at University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.

All along the aforesaid module, she has been working on crafting a CLIL e-publication for Primary CLIL learners, which she is sharing now with all of us: Landscapes around the world. This open educational resource is aimed at ten-year-old students to learn Science through projects. Its main objective is to allow students to master information related to landscapes and their main characteristics, and in order for them to be able to accomplish that, Cristina has created a whole area for students to go on learning missions with which they work various skills and compentencies.

Check the e-publication infographic and/or its mindmap for an overview:

Some of the most engaging proposals in this e-publication are her challenge storyboard to foster students' competence on investigation and autonomous learning,

her video clip posing a problem for learners to help solve,

her cooperative slideshow with her peer Aser Santos,

or her playlist to encourage speaking skills.

Cristina is aware of the importance of being a connected teacher so that to spread connections among her students too, and that is the reason why she has contributed to collaborative projects, events and educational initiatives which have allowed her to be aware of innovative trends, establish relationships with other educators worldwide and open her teaching to a community of professional lifelong peers.

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