2007

Exploiting two computer-based RPGs

Nik Peachey

In this article I’d like to look at how we could use two computer based RPGs (Role playing games) as the basis for language development. The two RPGs that I’m suggesting you use are both very similar and very different.

Make you own animated movies

Nik Peachey

D- film is a really useful website that has been around for a few years now. The site makes it very easy to create short animated movies with colourful characters and cartoon style dialogue in bubbles. (Be

Looking at There.com

Nik Peachey

For a while now I’ve been a fan of the virtual 3D world There.com.

Interactive multiple choice activities

Nik Peachey

This is the third part in a series that I’m writing on how to use word processors to create computer-based materials. This one looks at how we can create interactive multiple choice activities using 'dropdown' menus. Multiple choice must be one of the most common question types in the history of education. I’m sure we all answered them when we were at school and we have all given these question types to our students.

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

Interactive presentations

Nik Peachey

I’ve just been looking at a really interesting on line tool called Voicethread. What's Voicethread? Voice thread enables users to create online presentations using their own images. It also allows the creator to add audio or written text to the images and give access to other people to leave audio or text comments on the presentation. This is a really nice way of creating presentations that can interact and create dialogue with an online audience. Here’s a couple that I’ve created.

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Phonology can be fun and free

Nik Peachey

Phonetics Focus is a really wonderful new free resource produced by Cambridge English Online Ltd. Basically it is a collection of interactive multimedia Flash based games and resources that can be accessed through the CEO website at [link] What is it? In all there are almost 20 different interactive tools all accessible through the one page.

3B Village 3D browser

Nik Peachey

I spotted 3B Village about a year ago and initially I was impressed, but some recent developments have, I feel, put this on the map as a really useful educational tool. What is 3B Village? 3B Village is an amazing cross between a 3D virtual chat room and a web browser. Using the free software you can visit or create your own 3D rooms which have walls lined with webpages that you can click on to visit.

Create your own game

Nik Peachey

This is something that caught my eye last week. I just couldn't resist adding a feature about it here, though I think this does come with some warnings and reservations. Pictogame.com is a website which enables you to create your own games very easily with just a few easy steps. All you need to do is: upload a picture, select the part of it you want to show choose a game type add in a title and description. Then you simply click to see the completed game.

Making quizzes for i-pod

Nik Peachey

With the growth in interest in mobile learning and the ubiquitous nature of the i-pod among our younger (and increasingly older) students this piece of software looks like a really useful tool we can use to extend learning beyond the classroom. The software I’m referring to is I-Quiz Maker. You can download I-Quiz Maker for free at: [link] Once you’ve installed it you can make quizzes using either True / False question types or Multiple Choice questions.

Custom eLearning: What to Consider as an L&D Manager

A custom eLearning project is an exciting opportunity, but any L&D Manager will also tell you it can be challenging. Inno-versity shares 5 points to consider before kicking off your project. These concepts are critical to addressing the most common pain points which, IF addressed, will ensure success.

Machinima with Moviestorm

Nik Peachey

I recently came across a very impressive piece of software for making Machinima. It’s still in Beta at the moment, and it’s free, so I’ve spent a bit of time looking at it and seeing how it works. For those of you who don’t know, machinima is a form of animated cinema, which is produced in computer games or virtual worlds. In some case the animated characters are ‘played’ by avatars and in others the characters are figures within a virtual world which are controlled by a ‘producer’.

Creating an Online Classroom

Nik Peachey

The Nicenet Classroom Assistant is a really useful tool which enables teachers to very quickly and simply create their own virtual learning environment. I’ve been using this with various classes and groups of teachers for the last 7 or 8 years and it has remained reliable, stable, safe and free. Features The VLE it creates has a number of useful features.

Teacher Training Videos

Nik Peachey

Over the last few weeks I’ve been exploring some of the content on Russell Stannard’s [link] website. The videos aren’t pedagogical type classroom videos of teachers working with students, as you might at first assume from the title, but are video tutorials which show how to use various software and websites to develop your teaching. What’s on the site The site is aimed at ELT teachers who are interested in developing their technology skills for teaching purposes.

Creating an interactive cloze text

Nik Peachey

This is the second part in a series of tutorials based around using word processors to create interactive and multimedia materials. This tutorial looks at how you can use a word processor to create a close text - also known as a 'gap fill'- that users can interact with on their computer. This is quite a common type of activity that we use in the classroom. The students usually do it in a book and then the teacher tells them the answers.

Teachers’ Guide to Plagiarism

This article provides teachers with a step-by-step guide on how to handle plagiarism in the classroom: it examines the definition of the term "plagiarism" and its types with examples, describes common reasons students plagiarize, and provides tips for teachers to detect and prevent plagiarism among students.

Creating a mobile phone website

Nik Peachey

With the growth in interest in mobile and handheld learning, I thought I’d investigate one of the many new Web 2.0 type start ups that are offering free (at the moment at least) services for setting up websites and web based communities to be accessed on mobile phones and other mobile devices. The one I’ve started with is a service called Winksite.

UNICEF: Top 10 Cartoons for Children’s Rights

Nik Peachey

This is a site I spotted a while back and was really impressed by. UNICEF are creating lots of rich media to get their message across and the whole of the site is worth exploring if you are looking for materials to help you tackle some more controversial issues. What's on the site? This is one page I found really useful. On this page you can find 10 really useful short video cartoons which depict the various rights of children.

MS Word tutorial 1: Adding ‘comments’

Nik Peachey

This is the first in what I hope will become a series of tutorials on exploiting the teaching / learning potential of some of the more common desktop applications like MS Word. Like many people I’m a regular user of this application and it’s probably the one I use most, with the exception of my web browser. Despite the amount of time I have spent using it, I’m often surprised to discover another useful toolbar or technique that I can use to make life easier or my teaching more effective.

Tools 40

Sitemap

Nik Peachey

Archive. 3 Tools for Exploiting the Wifi During Presentations 3D Computer Games with Young Learners: Spore Creating Social Polls and Questionnaires Using Urtak A Tick List of 21st Century Digital Skills for Teachers Cropping YouTube Videos to Create Activities 10 Teacher Development Task for Web 2.0

Wiki 40

Key Elements for Successful eLearning Projects

Discover how this rapid development process creates engaging, custom learning solutions on a timeline that works for you, why a strong learning culture is important, and how to showcase your Return on Learning (ROL) using data to tell the story.

Subtitling your video clips

Nik Peachey

I’ve just been looking at a really excellent Beta site called Dot Sub The site is an interesting adaptation of the Youtube model. People can upload videos (up to 300Mb) and share them among limited groups or with everyone. What’s really interesting though about Dot Sub is that it is aimed at subtitling and translation for people with hearing problems. The video tool allows you to input subtitles beneath the clip. These can either be translations or transcriptions.

Video 40

Teaching English in Second Life

Nik Peachey

Over the past few weeks I've been pretty busy teaching my first English students on a Business English course I have been developing for Second Life. The experience has been pretty daunting with myself and the students having to come to terms with the complexities of the user interface and I have felt at times that my fifteen years of 'real world' classroom experience and the subconscious habits and reflexes that I developed over that period have totally deserted me.

Voice in Second Life

Nik Peachey

Over the last couple of weeks I've been trying out the new voice client for Second Life and despite a few remaining bugs with voice groupings it seems to work pretty well. It is sensitive to distance and location! If you turn around while someone is speaking to you, it really does sound like they are behind you etc.

Materials design for Virtual Worlds

Nik Peachey

I was recently lucky enough to be invited to give a presentation on course and materials design for Second Life at the SLanguages 2007 virtual conference (June 23rd 2007) which took place on the Edunation Island in Second life. The conference itself was a fascinating event and the experience of presenting a conference paper within a virtual world to an audience of avatars was certainly a new and novel one for me.

EdTech at School

This E-book is designed to support educators with case studies of education technology use at school.

Developing screencast tutorials

Nik Peachey

There's a very handy web based tool called Screencast-o-matic that I've just spotted. If you go to the website and simply click on 'Create' you should be able to record and make movies of your on screen activity. This isn't anything new as there are quite a few software tools that you can either buy or download to do this, but what's good about this tool as that it all works through the web page and also allows you to create an account and save your screencasts online.

Exam Practice

Nik Peachey

I’ve just been doing some writing work for a really useful site called Exam English. The site specialises in providing information and free practice materials for a variety of English language exams including IELTS, TOEFL and the range of Cambridge exams. The practice materials are mostly Flash based and are interactive. They test a range of skills and grammar, and you get the results at the end as well as the chance to review your answers.

Pronunciation videos

Nik Peachey

This is a useful site if you are teaching pronunciation. Though it could take some time to load the first time you use it. There is a phonemic chart which has small audio clips of the phonemes along with video clips that show the mouth movements as the sounds are made. (Be Be warned, this is quite a big file) Open pronunciation chart You simply click on the mouth and then watch and listen.

Video 40

BBC online media training

Nik Peachey

I’ ve just seen that the BBC has released a lot of its own internal staff training courses and made them available free online at: [link] What's on the site? I’ ve had a look through the courses and they really are good, especially if you want to work with audio for podcasts or video for projects. Some of them are very short, so even if you only have 10 – 15 mins to spare you can still get some development from them.

6 eLearning Trends in Custom eLearning Solutions

Most digital learning trends focus too much on the "digital" and not enough on the "learning". It is not enough that content builders master available tools. We need a return to core learning fundamentals. Get Inno-Versity's eBook for 6 of the most important trends coming to digital learning.

TeacherTube

Nik Peachey

I've just been having a look at TeacherTube , the new video sharing website designed specifically for teachers. I think this is a potentially really useful resource. It enables teachers to upload and share videos, either publicly, with anyone who visits the site or privately in 'groups'. The groups feature enables you to limit who can see your videos and could be really useful if you only wanted to share specific videos with your students.