Education Tools

A page for online tools that are going to be useful – or new ways of looking at teaching strategies . . .

Poll everywhere

Now I don’t know what your school’s policy on mobile phones is. Ours seems to be in flux. Anyway, at times I have been able to use Poll Everywhere as a way for pupils to give instant, anonymous feedback. I will set up a poll that asks ‘How do you feel you could have challenged yourself more in today’s lesson?’ and pupils text their answer which then appears magically on the Smartboard. They love it.


Famous inboxes

If all those historical figures had received emails, what would their inboxes have looked like . . .



The spectre of Ofsted demanding ever deeper embedding of AfL has prompted me to seek out online form creators.

Jotform is great. It does have a limit to the number of forms and submissions you can have on it’s free plan, but they are pretty generous. I am using them to create evaluation forms and quick online knowledge tests that I can embed directly into my website. The best thing about the process – other than the ease of form creation – is that all submissions can be viewed and downloaded as a spreadsheet – perfect!



So, just when I discover that has given us the ability to embed boards into our sites, along comes Scrumblr to give it a run for it’s money. Scrumblr’s great plus point is that there’s no registration required, simply name your note board and off you go, sticking notes to it like there’s no tomorrow. It generates a unique url which you can then link to. Marvellous.



In case you haven’t found your own solution to this problem, I’m posting my latest one! PDFescape is still in beta, but is a brilliant free online pdf editor. I am forever finding worksheets in pdf format that need a little tweaking, and this does it all very painlessly.



This is a brilliant tool. It’s a sort of interactive thinking tool which gives you different problem solving methods to choose from, gets you to enter your problem, then helps solve it with a series of direct questions. Forget the kids, this’ll help me get over those brain-freeze moments!!

I feel it’s time to start revising ‘no mobile phone’ policies in the classroom. Not only are text polling apps great for generating instant feedback, but sites like this open up a new world of possibilities that we would be terribly shortsighted to ignore. lets you create what is essentially a webpage – or online document which can contain an image – and then generates a QR code to link to it. How brilliant for setting homework tasks.

Ooooh – lots of uses for this one. allows you to ‘snip’ bits out of webpages – you highlight passages of text and it stores it as a quote, giving it it’s own url. It also links back to the original webpage so that the text can be seen back in context.

Just another online sticky note site perhaps, but gives you the option of adding images and video, of posting photos from an iphone . . . in other words, it’s quite full featured really and looks nice too.



When it comes to using technology to collect brainstorming ideas, or pooling a class’s response to a question, answergarden is the way forward. It’s simple interface gives focus to the task in hand, and it allows you to password the page in order to monitor and edit responses.

Awesome Highlighter

What a useful tool! This little online app allows you to highlight portions of text on a webpage and then gives you a url to the hightlighted page – so easy, so straightforward.


Zunal Webquest maker

I’m very impressed with this one. A webquest, for the uninitiated, is an extended project based around internet research and tools. Zunal Webquest maker organizes this process very neatly. It gives you a ready made format to tinker with and place the nuts and bolts of your webquest into. There aren’t many webtools that I bother paying to upgrade, but with a lot of additional features and an up to 50 (rather than just one) webquest limit, $20 for three years seems reasonable – oh, and for that, you can modify anyone else’s published webquest to suit yourself too!




Online game making without so much as a sniff of coding – marvellous. I’m sure ICT colleagues will like this one, as pupils can collaborate on game creation, using their problem-solving skills, but I really need to find a sneaky way of working these games into my lessons too . . . . wonder how they’d work on a smartboard . . . .




This is one to watch. A new educational quiz creating site with a nice clean interface. Lots of good game templates that I think will work very well on a smartboard – good starter activites. However, a word of warning – it’s a spanish site and you do need to negotiate some of the sign up procedure flipping into spanish!



Studyblue is perfect for the exam season – a good-looking app that makes sets of online flashcards or notes, and lets you test yourself in a variety of ways. It’s simple to set up, keeps track of your learning progress and functions very well on mobiles, enabling you to take your revision out for the day, should you so choose!



Now I know that not every pupil has a smartphone. However, as the technology becomes more prevalent, so I think we should move towards integrating it slowly to maximize any benefit it can have. Hence I’m beginning to use QR codes alongside traditional links to worksheets, videos, websites etc. Sharesquare allows you to develop a little multimedia app in seconds – and with no coding – and generates a QR code that points to it. Brilliant.

Another in the rash of QR related sites appearing at the moment – however, this one has something in particular to offer. It will generate a QR code for you, and then it is up to you to link it to whatever you choose. So once you have your unique code, you could publish it to a blog or website and simply change the link it points to when it suits, rather than going through the whole process again.

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I love this. Thinglink lets you embed as many hotspots as you like into an image on your blog or website. Link to images, videos, websites – a brilliant way to collect information together (and fun too!!)


Aris games

This will be brilliant. First off, you need to know it’s still in alpha – so things might not run smoothly quite yet. However, I still think it’s a fantastic tool already. You can make GPS based games (treasure hunts, mysteries etc.) that pupils can play using a free app on a smartphone. Google Earth zooms in close enough on most schools that it is possible to pinpoint places actually around your school site for pupils to find, rather than letting them loose in the real world.



My goodness – this site is amazing! I have no idea how I’ve missed this up to now. Once registered with Socrative, you are directed to a teacher’s screen and a private room is created. Pupils log in to the pupil version of the site, and enter your room number.
You are then able to ask questions in a variety of forms for pupils to respond to. Their answers appear real-time on your screen. You control how questions are delivered – ask verbally, or type a question – you control when an activity is over. It’s brilliant for checking knowledge and understanding.
Pupils can log in using a laptop, ipod or smartphone – great versatility for classrooms, and there are even built in options which allow for pupils sharing equipment to answer individually.



Hmmm – interesting. I haven’t played with this one yet, but just a heads-up – SlideBlender takes your boring old powerpoint presentations and turns them into snazzy flash efforts. Lots of potential for importing weblinks, additional content and the whole thing ends up with a unique url which you can change privacy settings on. Could be handy, eh?


It’s a new animation tool with some really useful features. First, it’s really simple to use – no faffing around labelling objects etc. Sharing is straightforward, but best of all, it’s HTML5 based, so your creations (sorry, the pupils’ creations!) will work everywhere. Do watch the ‘how to’ video first . . .



Stands for Yet Another Meeting. This is brilliant. A really fully featured meeting and collaboration tool. Clean, simple interface, plenty of room for agenda, notes, actions, attachments . . it may make me have more meetings!!




This is going to be handy. Just stumbled on this site – it searches for pdfs for you. I thought I’d give it a proper test and typed in ‘film music worksheet’ and it returned loads! So it’s potential for finding more obvious subject matter is huge. Give it a go!



Word generation

Now I find form time activities some of the hardest to come up with, so I’m delighted to find Word generation. The site has a series of lesson plans based on discussion topics. Not everything is available without being registered but there’s enough there to get me up and running!




How about linking up with a class from another part of the world to collaborate on a project? This site facilitates doing just that!



I like these ‘instant website’ creators. There are times when I find it really useful to have resources for a particular project stored altogether on a standalone site. Orbs has a nice, clean interface, allows for lots of different pages and comes with a whole load of themes which are customisable. Possibly a class project site?

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Tutor Hub

An interesting concept. Tutorhub styles itself as a question and answer hub, where students can ask, and answer each others’ questions. What the take up will be, and how carefully it is moderated are still questions that hang in the air for me – we’ll see. Looks nice though.

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Content Generator

Lots of customisable online games. A good selection are free and just require sign up.



I really see the possibilities for this one! Infostripe lets you make a multimedia webpage in about two seconds flat – easy and effective. The real winner about this one, however, is it’s format. The long, thin stripe of information transfers perfectly to smartphones and the like.


Print What You Like

Great little app. You input the url of the webpage that contains information you want to print, then it allows you to choose the parts of the page that are relevant to you – creating a pdf or html version for you to download.



Make revision games that look marvellous – go on, give it a try! Pupils will be far more likely to engage with revision that look like this!



An online flashcard creator – but this one has a much nicer interface than most. I think it’s probably the first of the bunch to have made it onto this site, as by and large, they tend to look a bit second rate, in my opinion. Brainscape will be useful for revision or starters, and I can imagine pupils actually using it themselves . .



Like Poll Everywhere, Textthemob is a text poll maker which will give instant on-screen feedback. In addition, it allows you to ask more detailed questions. The free version gives enough space to use it for a class, although it limits you to asking three questions.




Jux is a great new website creator. It works through a drag-and-drop interface that will let you organise information, multimedia, pages etc. in a multitude of different ways! (However, I do hope they add an interface for uploading and playing mp3s soon though!)



This site checks for plagiarism. You upload a document, it checks it. Simple.



Make multiple choice quizzes that pupils can take online. Really easy to do and embeddable.



Got to love this. Butns lets you add a whole bunch of different sites to each hyperlink on your site. So if you want to steer pupils’ research in particular directions, or give them safe options to investigate, this is a great way of doing so.



A random question prompt, daily. You can answer with text, images, a playlist – and can link your answers to a blog account, so it could prove useful.


Victim selector

A random name generator – with added stopwatch! Woohoo!

So very useful. Take pretty much any file and feed it to this site and it will give you an embed code!

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Educational Origami

This site really pulls all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together for me. Andrew Churches’ wiki manages to classify many web 2.0 tech tools in relation to Bloom’s Taxonomy, which helps me crystallize my thinking as to how and why I’m using them in my lessons.


Bloomin’ Google

Take Bloom’s Taxonomy and make it relevant for the 21st century teaching and learning environment – that’s what this amazing interactive manages! Please spend some time investigating Kathy Schrock’s blog (from which this comes), it’s full of brilliant stuff!


Make a thumbnail.

Perfect. You feed it any image you like, it magics it into a lovely square thumbnail that you can download, copy the embed code for, or link to. Oh so helpful for tinkering with the design aspects of my teaching site!



Quietube very nearly does the job I need it to – I live in hope! It will broadcast Youtube videos on a clean white screen without the distraction (and potential for inappropriateness) of the adverts and comments on Youtube itself. If it would just find a way of getting rid of those on-video Google ads, I’d be truly delighted.

Resources by Subject


Sheppard Software have a large number of educational quizzes and games on their site which caters for all levels of pupils. They are categorized by subject type too – very helpful!

Noozyou turns current news events into games – but not in a frivolous way! It encourages pupils to watch, listen and comprehend the information contained in video reports, rather than letting it wash over them. For encouraging active listening, this could be really beneficial.


12 Events that will change everything could be used in a variety of contexts. It is a thought provoking interactive which lists some concepts or possibilities that would have a marked impact on life on earth. Quite worrying in some respects!

Food Technology

Collect all your recipes together online with Recipefy


I don’t see why Food Tech should languish in the dark ages when a site such as Plummelo will let you register online recipes and create a shopping list to go with it! Great idea.


LiveMocha is an online language training course which I admit to knowing little about – except that importantly it’s free! I will have a play, but any thoughts on the usefulness of this one would be most welcome!

Now this is clever! Youspeakit is a site offering videos with transcripts in two languages and lots of interactivity. Very cool.


Presentation Tools

Speaking Image

Like, like, like. Speaking Image will be a cracking tool for annotating images or pages of music etc. You can add all manner of information in an interactive layer above the image you’re using. Obviously good for maps – but many wider applications too, methinks . .



Not new, just new to me. I’m on the hunt for an ‘instant website’-type vehicle that pupils can use to create their own sites easily, and moonfruit is a definite possibility. Pain-free sign-up, straightforward interface, and enough space for free that they would be able to make something worthwhile. Nice clean, modern templates too!



What a great new app! Webdoc lets you create sort-of online multimedia documents that are searchable, comment-on-able and visually stunning. There are a million good uses for this – I’m going to use it as a homework link to introduce a new topic, I think . . .

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I do like this! While faffing around with screencasts today, I came across – a great site that lets you upload a powerpoint presentation and then record a narration using webcam and microphone or just microphone. It creates a presentation that then splits the screen with the ppt on the left half and the commentary on the right. Great for pupil presentations!

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Periodic Table of Visualization Methods


Well, if you’ve ever been stuck for a different way to present the same old information, or to ask pupils to demonstrate a concept, this infographic of graphic organiser ideas is for you!


Sites that might just help rid me of the paper mountains. . .


Whilst it may not rock the education world, this is what I will be using on this site from now on. You input a url, it generates a screenshot that you can format to suit yourself and then it hands you the embed code which embeds it as a link in your page – you can even attach a sticky note – woohoo!!



This could be useful as a home revision tool. gives you a word processor to take notes or type up an essay etc. on and then, if you highlight text in your document, it turns it into instant flashcards to test your understanding. What a good idea.

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Online embeddable polls. Marvellous.



I’m deviating slightly from my T&L direction here, but with good reason. To my mind, meetings are a necessary evil but this little app might make me a slightly more willing chair or participant. It’s still in invite-only beta, but well worth signing up to for early access. lets you concoct and publish an agenda online, schedule your meeting ahead, lets you add notes – or minutes – to the page, upload documents as part of the agenda and create collaborative documents that can be worked on by meeting participants. Well, how pleasing! And it looks nice too . . .

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This would be a great way of organizing websites, images, videos, quotes for project work. Bundlr collects your resources together and creates a well structured page under the title of your choice. I think it would have definite benefits when it comes to exam revision too – looks a lot more appealing than a long list of links!



Jog the Web is a fantastic idea for grouping different bits of the web together for simple, page-by-page access. Create your ‘jog’ and then link urls to create individual resource pages. Project work has never been so easy to manage – and research tasks become so much more manageable this way!



Amazon might seem an unlikely place to store documents, but their new cloud drive allows you to do just that – and images and music too! They give you a 5GB free limit, which while it won’t house all my mp3s, will do very nicely for this year’s worksheets and handouts.




I like graphic organisers a lot. I use them in many different ways, from planning practical music work with groups, to helping GCSE pupils with revision. I think this collection could prove very useful . .




A site that lets you create ‘learning packets’, Sophia is a potentially cracking idea. Basically, it provides you with a format for uploading a complete lesson plan/scheme of work package, complete with all manner of uploaded, embedded or linked resources. Ooooh cover lessons!!



Mmmm – and a tasty one it is too. For fuss-free blogging – say to upload resources for a particular topic all to one place, Soup is a great site. It lets you upload audio and video quickly and easily and also copes with embedding items too. I am definitely a fan of its low maintenance approach!


Lovely! A nice, simple organisational tool, thoughtbox lets you run three ‘trains of thought’ for free, and with minimal sign-up requirements. Each train of thought can contain loads of boxes, so I’m going to try using it to evaluate lessons.



Squareleaf is an online sticky notes site that prides itself on allowing you to keep your information any way you want – it’s not there to tidy up for you!


I may quite love Browserling. It’s a free, online, cross-browser testing site. So now, once you’ve created an online masterpiece in Safari (as I do) you don’t need to face disaster when you try to run it on IE (grrr!) Check it beforehand – oh, there’s a 3 minute time limit for free testing, but that should be enough to see what’s what.

This idea might seem a little off-beam, but anyway . . . . I’m thinking how much easier it would be for those of us who run a lot of extra-curricular events, teams, clubs to be able to ping off an email newsletter to inform parents of all upcoming stuff rather than crossing our fingers and hoping that pupils take letters home . . . so Mailchimp might be the way forward as for free you can store up to 2000 subscribers and send up to 12000 emails a month! It’s a little fiddly to set up initially, but once you’ve created a template you’re off and running.


Schoology is another Learning Management Site that could become popular. It leans towards the design and interface of a social network, but retains the distinct teacher/ pupil access areas of other LMS’s.


WebAsyst is a sort of organisational portal. The free hosted version gives you access to your own online desk, basically, where you can access files you’ve uploaded, manage projects, track issues etc. – if a number of staff were linked using this tool, it could become a really effective team administration hub.


Livebinders is used by many as an organisational tool. It can house schemes of work, or research in an online version of a three ringed binder apparently. I would love someone to send me a link of this being used effectively, because I just don’t seem to get it, and I’d like to.

Learnboost is an online class management system. It allows you to arrange your timetable, enter class lists, take registers, set assignments, plan lessons, keep grades . . . . phew. It really is an amazing free tool. I use it to keep track of my extra-curricular groups and KS4 pupils during longterm controlled assessments.

Thoughtbox -A nice, simple organisational tool, it lets you run three ‘trains of thought’ for free, and with minimal sign-up requirements. Each train of thought can contain loads of boxes, so I’m going to try using it to evaluate lessons, but there are loads of possibilities for using it. Could even work on the Smartboard as a target setting tool for group work! Hmmm . . .


Soup – Mmmm — and a tasty one it is too. For fuss-free blogging — say to upload resources for a particular topic all to one place, Soup is a great site. It lets you upload audio and video quickly and easily and also copes with embedding items too. I am definitely a fan of its low maintenance approach!

Music Specific

Those links that most people won’t be interested in . . .


Loop Labs


A fantastic music sample laboratory that will enable pupils to quickly and simply create music that they will love. A variety of music styles are catered for – house to dubstep – and you can record your finished masterpieces. See you in a week!



Beatlab is not the most compositionally exciting tool, but it is good fun to use, and I can see myself using it to teach ostinati and loops in modern music. I can also see myself messing around on it for far too long.



Sometimes I need to play a musical example to demonstrate a teaching point, but don’t have the mp3 handy. Youtube is all well and good, but obviously any videos you are using need checking in advance . . . Tunefort is going to help me fill the gap. For those example ‘on the fly’ moments, it’s fast, streaming interface will work very well indeed, delivering me audio without the hassle of avoiding suspect video content.



Lesson Room looks to have a really good mix of different links and resources, especially for instrumental tuition.


For those times when you’re up against it and need an activity or worksheet in a hurry, Music Tech Teacher is a godsend. Lots of basic music theory bits and pieces, nicely formatted and clearly indexed.


Here’s what’s going to be a fascinating resource – as much for me as for the pupils, I reckon. The New York Philharmonic are welcoming us into their digital archives and they have all manner of wonderful resources. At the moment the archive consists of documents, with a plan to add audio recordings soon, but I’m happy enough thumbing through a digitized score of Mahler 9 that’s been marked up by Bernstein! Happy trawling!



Lightening fast! Instalyrics does what is says on the tin – searches lyrics, song title, artist and delivers the results by the time you’ve finished typing, with an accompanying video. Just great.


Weezic is new, and still in beta, but it could be an absolutely amazing resource. It allows you to search an archive of classical pieces, choose your instrument, print the score and then play along with an mp3 of a whole orchestra – how brilliant! I really hope this expands to become the resource it has the potential to be – I’ll be directing my instrumentalists straight to this site!

Jamstudio is, I reckon, more educationally useful than it first appears. It allows you to construct a chord sequence, which it will then play back to you in the style of your choosing. It does have a large variety of instrumental patterns to choose from and allows you to drop in additional instruments during playback. I’ve tried using this with KS4 pupils who are struggling with composition at GCSE and for some, it has really eased the process of understanding how their ideas will sound when combined.

Audiotool is a marvellous toy. Not quite sure, at the moment, how it would be used to enhance learning – although looped tracks could be a way to start exploring ostinati, I guess. Good fun though.


Music theory isn’t what it used to be – such a relief! This site makes it almost painless!

Diagrams etc.

It may be time for Wordle to raise it’s game! Wordlings has popped up to build their own breed of word cloud, allowing the user to upload custom images to create the word cloud shape, and giving a large number of customisation options . . . interesting!

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It’s a site filled with infographics and great visual representations of information which will really serve to stimulate pupil discussion.


Popplet is trying to take the whole sticky notes concept to a new level with it’s combining of interactivity and mindmapping tools! Sounds like fun to me!



Critical thinking, English, History . . . look, an argument creator!! In other words, Amap is a great site that helps to structure and formulate a strong argument, step by step. Really easy to use – lots of potential.



Oooh, new mindmapping site! Looks to have lots of good multimedia features and is free in beta at the moment, going to try it out later . .


Strip Generator

Strip generator is basic, simple to use and therefore a good tool for constructing a quick resource to use as a starter, plenary . . . It would also be an interesting homework task!


Here’s my effort


Graphs made easy

If it’s visually appealing graphs you’re after, this could be the place – they do look good. However, unlike most of the sites listed on here, this one does involve a download – oh, and at time of writing only works with Windows, hope that changes soon as I want to try them on Safari!


Lovely charts

Lovely charts are lovely! Lots of drag and drop functionality allowing you to create really good-looking diagrams and charts. The web-based version is free – with minimal sign up required – so get creating!


Oooh TikiToki is another visual treat! It’s a new interactive timeline creator, it’s free and it will really engage pupils – I’ll be finding a way of using it in tomorrow’s lessons, for sure!

Tag Galaxy

Tag Galaxy is so beautiful. It really is visually spectacular. You input a tag and it generates a solar system of planets grouping Flickr tags on that subject. Then, once you’ve chosen your tag area of interest, it creates a globe of related Flickr images which you can then spin and click on any that appeal. It warrants three screen shots!



Capzles is a self-styled multimedia time capsule creator. Upload pictures, add text, add audio and string it all on a timeline to create a little window into a particular time or event. There are some good WW2 ones on the site – but it’s pretty intuitive when it comes to making your own. I use it to start topics mainly.


Exploratree gives you a large collection of ‘thinking guides’ which you can customise, use, print . . . I find them very useful for revision tasks and for planning projects/essays etc.


Mindomo has been around for a while, and produces mindmaps that you can embed pretty much anything you like into (within reason!). It is easy to use, can be customised to suit your topic and is accessible enough to use as a homework project for pupils.

Vionto (Eyeplorer)

Vionto asks you to input a term or concept, then it produces a map of facts, links, names – search results in general – connected to it. Think search engine in the round, with an info bar on the side for good measure. It’s one of those resources that needs testing with a term before you’d let pupils loose on it, but it can produce great results.


When it comes to mindmapping, spicynodes is a really pleasing site to use. It lets you create elaborate and collapsible mindmaps which have a high degree of interactivity and can be moved around and repositioned on the screen. I love using it at the start of practical projects to allow pupils to find their own path into learning. makes a great diagram, that’s for sure. You can use clipart and text in your creations and generate a great looking chart.


I know it isn’t new, but this site is and I wanted to get dipity on here quick.

Dipity is a great site for making interactive timelines. Not only do they scroll along in a very pleasing way, but you can embed images, video, links – pretty much anything you like into them!


Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning is essentially a brilliant concept. I am moving towards using it ever more to extend learning and open more channels for independent learning. However, you need to know your pupils well in order to use this type of tool.

If a site allows for an admin role to be set up, use that to monitor posting and interactions.



The world’s gone teacher/pupil site crazy at the mo – here’s the latest one, and it looks to be pretty useful. Piazzza is all about realtime questioning by pupils outside of the classroom and their ability to get answers from staff as and when they need it. Now, this doesn’t need to be quite as high maintenance as it might sound, as you can choose to be alerted to their questions in a daily digest email (limiting the attacks on your time!). All in all, I’m signing up!



The latest platform for collaborative learning – and it boasts a fresh, customisable interface and the ability to upload many types of file with your posts. It allows you to create a number of different group spaces, allowing for different classes to work together. Pupils can maintain their own blog on the site, you can set them projects, there’s a questions page – it’s all there – the one issue that stops me jumping in with both feet is the fact that rooms are publicly viewable. They’re one privacy setting away from a brilliant resource, in my book!


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This new site is going to be very helpful. Ideapi is in essence a site that allows collaborative work on documents, showing each revision distinctly, which could be useful for project work. However, the feature that I particularly like is that it gives you the ability to create templates for documents and save these. Really handy to use as writing frames and easy to mark and for pupils to re-draft their work. Great.




A good one this for communication with a number of different groups/classes. Once you’ve signed up, you can create lots of different private groups, changing your identity and profile to suit each. Uploading files and photos is straightforward, as is creating events – a nice-looking usable tool.


For creating simple, private groups for collaborative work, this new app is a winner. Clean, fuss-free interface, easy to navigate, minimal sign-up requirements and lots of features. You can create a number of room and invite members to each, so one per class, perhaps? You can chat, upload images and files, create quick polls and calendar events. Great. Just deciding which class to try it with first!




Wiggio is a site built to help groups work collaboratively – and it does that very well. I have been running a scheme of work with Year 9s that has involved them organising a full school concert – a bit of event management.

Wiggio has allowed them to communicate and organise their ideas outside of curriculum time. It has a message board, email, text messaging features. Polling, To do list creator, interactive meeting room, sticky notes – you name it, it’s there – FOR FREE!!! I can’t tell you how brilliant it is! As the group admin, I can set access levels as I see fit (no conference calls!) and it will give me post-by-post updates of site traffic so that I have full control and can stop anything untoward being posted!

Pupils need an email address to sign up and then they’re off. Teams, productions, projects, the applications for this are endless – with Smartboards, two classes could have an online discussion of a page of text in real time, without moving from their seats – hurrah!

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Primary Pad

It doesn’t get more straightforward than this. Aimed at primary school, but useful across the board, Primary Pad is a collaborative, online word processor. A superb tool for creating basic documents in an interface that looks familiar, with nice touches such as colour coding for each person’s work.


What are we scared of? It feels like the mere mention of using Twitter-esqe technologies to enhance the education process is enough to send too many leadership teams into meltdown. Twiducate is a great resource. We should all be using it, if you ask me . . .


The latest to chuck it’s hat into the collaborative learning ring is Webplanner. A very well laid out task manager with a lot of project-centred features, I could see it supporting older pupils – possibly drama productions etc. could benefit . . .


This could have some uses – it’s an online multi-user whiteboard which allows for realtime collaboration, and you can embed it directly into your site. Handy. It does have it’s limitations in the free version – only 5 users at a time – but if it were classes collaborating, that should still work fine, shouldn’t it. Also, nothing is saved on it, but for discussion and problem solving it should be a good tool.


Kohives looks really interesting, and give a bit of a different slant to the usual collaboration sites. You can create a number of ‘hives’ – screens for different groups – and invite people into each. So each ‘hive’ can have a different set of people allowed in, and you can also have a separate profile for each – so I could be ‘Kate’ in a staff-related hive, and ‘Miss’ for a pupil group. Sounds like it has a lot of potential . . . Within these groups you can upload documents, images, embed video, leave sticky notes, create tasks and update status’s. All these tasks can be opened on screen like mini desktop apps, it’s a really nice interface to work with.


Stixy is a very nice, straightforward collaboration site that would probably work well for pupils to combine their ideas and research at the beginning of a project.


Knowcase is a really simple site. No techy bells or whistles, it just gives you a screen to create a topic title and then have an online discussion about it. I can see getting pupils to contribute to a list of ideas on the Smartboard working quite well, or creating a review of knowledge and vocabulary.


Vyew was my first experience of playing with an real-time virtual meeting environment, and I was hooked! It is a great free site – however, last time I looked it was still struggling with being able to upload mp3s. However, for Youtube videos or uploaded documents it’s marvellous!

Learn Central

Learn Central has two definite positives to it. Firstly, you have the virtual meeting rooms which I think could work well in collaborations between classes or even schools, but also, the site has potential for professional development for us too with its regular hosting of webinars . . . really interesting.


Freedcamp has the potential to be useful. It’s a free project management site. With a teacher as admin, I think it could help pupils to organise a project or event quite effectively – although I might still veer towards Wiggio . . .


TodaysMeet is a fuss-free instant chatroom/meeting space that has a unique url and can be deleted after anything between 2 hours and a week. It limits comments to 140 characters, but could be a good AfL tool for reviewing learning points . . .

And in a similar vein . . .


MisterThread will do the same as TodaysMeet, but allows you to password protect your discussion area – nifty!


Oh yes – not the first of the on-screen sticky note brigade of course, but simple and really good looking. is just so easy to use – although be aware that IE finds it a struggle to run it effectively.



Teamdoer is the latest in the collection of collaboration sites. I am a huge advocate of shifting the learning focus away from being purely classroom centred and sites like these that allow pupils to organise themselves can be hugely beneficial (when moderated in the right way, of course!)

Audio Visual

Creaza is a fantastic suite of online multimedia tools. Audio editor, video editor, comic strip generator – they’re all really fully functioned, with options to upload your own files as a starting point or record direct into the audio editor, and then download your creations once you’ve finished playing with them!



Again, it’s a news aggregator of sorts, but Mashpedia generates a mixture of realtime info with background educational content. I think it really presents topical issues in a way that pupils can access.




Lots of resources here! A particularly interesting set of videos on how new technologies are generating new careers . .



Lots of lesson plans and resources here, particularly good for expanding pupils’ world view. I will use these as tutor time activities, to elicit discussion and questioning.



This is going to be very useful. Blipsnips lets you take any Youtube video, and cut straight to the good bits! You can specify the part of the video that interests you, or that you need and Blipsnips will give you that chunk – complete with code to embed it where you like. You can even put notes on the video clip.



I haven’t had a chance to work this out properly yet – but I think it’s going to be great. You can make your own interactives using it’s very simple online interface.

Here’s a nice app showing newspapers from all around the world, which I’m sure will be very useful for quickly pulling up information on current events from different viewpoints.




This is a new idea to me. Outloud lets you create a chatroom and then upload music, creating a playlist that the people you invite into your room can listen to and comment on collaboratively. Hurrah! (from a music teacher’s viewpoint!)

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A really useful tool – Xenra converts Youtube videos to mp3s.



Hmmm – interesting. I haven’t played with this one yet, but just a heads-up – SlideBlender takes your boring old powerpoint presentations and turns them into snazzy flash efforts. Lots of potential for importing weblinks, additional content and the whole thing ends up with a unique url which you can change privacy settings on. Could be handy, eh?





Well this is too brilliant for words. All the videos I need, all in one place, all embedded directly into my site. Genius.



Ooh, reading the news has never been so much fun! This is a great concept. Open the Doodlebuzz window, type a search word into the middle and then doodle the shape of your responses (you’ll see what I mean!). Top tip – draw your lines from the article you are interested in away from the map to read them clearly.


Curriculum bits

This site has loads of interactives and videos for a wide range of subjects – there are even some PE ones!


This is an interesting one. Kinkast lets you upload video – either from your pc or direct from the camera – nifty! The real selling point -teaching-wise though, is that these posted videos are only available to view by the people you choose. The free plan only hosts those videos for 30 days, but that should give enough time to be a useful tool. Well, I can imagine that for documenting projects, pupils creating short demo videos in an AfL-friendly manner, this could be really useful.



Maybe it’s just me, but there are lots of occasions when I wish I could click to the perfect movie trailer to illustrate a point I’m making. Musically, they are pretty useful, but for use of language, precis, design etc they have their place too. So traileraddict is the site to head for. A huge variety of movie trailers, music, interviews.


Windows users – here’s a great new open source program for you. Lightworks gives you professional standard video editing FOR FREE! It’s open source – it does need downloading, but given it’s specs I’d say it was a no-brainer, frankly.



The pupils love this one. Myfakewall lets you create a fake Facebook page. Think historical figures here – you can give them ‘friends’, and fill their wall with status updates – dates included – to describe their life! Brilliant, and totally engaging for pupils.


uWall works like a Youtube aggregator – you feed an artist or composer into it’s search engine and it gives you a continuous playlist of Youtube videos by them. Saves a lot of time!

Snag Films

Snag films is an eclectic mix of high quality, full length documentaries that you are able to ‘snag’ and put anywhere you fancy. With over 2000 films to date, there’s got to be something for everyone, hasn’t there!


University of California TV has some brilliant videos and podcasts, all indexed by subject and embeddable – woo!

World Digital Library

World Digital Library is a resource that is so rich in interesting articles, images and videos as to be a little mindblowing. You just have to visit the site to see what I mean, really.

Documentary Heaven

There are a huge number of documentaries on offer on Documentary Heaven – great to have them all in one place and listed by subject. However, be aware that firstly, not all are playable in all countries (I came across one that could only be played in China) and as this site is not built solely with education in mind, you need to be watchful of content. One tip – most videos have a link through to Googlevideo which will allow you to then embed the videos in your own site. I see myself using this site frequently, but more as an easy way to find videos rather than a playback mechanism.


Hello all you Maths and Science bods out there – this one’s for you. Brightstorm is an American site containing an enormous list of free videos relating to elements of these subjects – looks like good stuff to me.

Academic Earth

Ok, now a lot of this site is pretty highbrow and aimed squarely at university level study, but I don’t believe in dumbing education down, and there are pupils in every secondary school who would benefit from being directed to think that little bit harder! So for them, I’m adding Academic Earth, a collection of online talks and courses on a huge variety of themes – have a trawl, it’s fascinating stuff!

Big Think

Big Think is a collection of talks on all manner of subjects. It really is thought-provoking stuff (in a similar way to TED) and well worth having a root through whilst planning a lesson.


Now the ability to combine photos, music with a slideshow-based quiz sounds like a great thing to me, and Photopeach can handle all of it without a fuss. Bargain!


Masher is a one stop shop for combining video clips, music and photos before embedding or emailing your creations. I’m not sure how refined it is, but I’ll look into how it could be used possibly for a homework project.


I do think that Glogster is quite a useful tool. It allows you to create ‘glogs’ – sort of online, multimedia posters which you can then embed into your site.


You won’t believe how easy Xtranormal is to use until you try it yourself. Give it ten minutes and you’ll have created a short animation with characters who move, talk to each other, gesture . . . it makes a brilliant lesson starter – especially if you can personalise the dialogue with the name of the class!


Got to love Youtube spin-offs! Youcube is an entertaining little program – it allows you to import a different Youtube video to every side of the cube. It’s really good fun on a Smartboard – especially if you have filmed pupils’ presentations and can load these on!


Brand new, eLive is a video site that rather than persuading you to upload your own creations, would have you commentate on someone else’s. I’m sure language teachers will see the benefit – and why not use it for something like sports technique?

I’m using vimeo to find short films and interesting, good quality animations to use with my year 7s. They’re writing a soundtrack for the above film!

This is an interesting one. Kinkast lets you upload video – either from your pc or direct from the camera – nifty! However, the free plan only hosts those videos for 30 days. Well, I can imagine that for documenting projects, pupils creating short demo videos in an AfL-friendly manner, this could still be pretty useful.

Science Apps for iPad

3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool – free

Learn about the cell and all its structures using our new 3D Cell tool. Enjoy the ability to rotate the cell 360 degrees and zoom in on any cell structure. Choose from our list of cell structures to learn more about how each structure functions and relates to the other components of the cell. Dive even deeper and create your own stained cell image

EMD Periodic Table – free

EMD’s periodic table of the elements now with even more features:
Classroom presentation mode via TV-out support

VideoScience – free

A growing library of over 80 hands-on Science lessons that are great for home and the classroom. These short videos demonstrate inexpensive and easy to recreate experiments that are designed to inspire and excite kids of all ages.

Molecules – free

Molecules is an application for viewing three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulating them using your fingers.

Building Parallel Circuits Lite – free

Using 3D graphics and 2D electronic symbols, you will build simple parallel circuits by using wires, batteries, switches, and light bulbs. By constructing their own closed circuit with two light bulbs, you will develop a deeper understanding of series and parallel circuits and discover that electricity follows the path of least resistance.

Math Apps for iPad

Basic Math – free

This is an application based on the drill-and-practice instructional strategy. Similar to memorization, such a strategy presents the tasks to be completed repetitively to build up the foundation skills for more meaningful learning in the future.

Math Bingo – paid

The object of Math BINGO is to get a pattern of five BINGO Bugs in a row by correctly answering math problems.

PCalc Lite calculator – free

PCalc Lite is a fully functional and free taste of our popular scientific calculator. It includes an optional RPN mode, multiple undo and redo, unit conversions and constants, as well as two stylish themes and our highly praised design.

Math Pro – paid

“Math Pro” will take you through high-school Math and beyond. It is a powerful tool that contains the solvers, examples, and tutorials from the following applications in one comprehensive, searchable program:

FlowMath – paid

FlowMath will test your skills to build a math problem that matches the answer. You see FlowMath provides the answer and wants you to make the equation. Choose the numbers and the operator and see how fast you can make your way through this twist on arithmetic tables.