Thursday, December 20, 2007


A little more on MindMeister which I mentioned yesterday. I've used it this last couple of days for assignment planning with a student who has used both Inspiration and We have used it in three ways, us both sitting at a single computer, us both sitting at adjacent computers and both updating different sections, such as me correcting spelling, and from home with her updating and me changing layout after she has finished editing. The finished maps look great. They can be printed very easily to pdf, which may leave quite small print on a large map. The rtf print option is useful too for making notes for putting things in order if your plan is leading to an essay or assignment. You can compare the output with one I produced with, and posted here. You can centre the embedded map below with your mouse. The one drawback I have seen is that you can only have six maps with the free version.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Newly Discovered Elearning Sites

These are three sites I have come across recently which could be interesting in very different ways.

First off is Inspiration Lane, a magazine cum blog for ESOL from America, run by Susan Alyn. It is really a compendium of teaching ideas; in part it makes use of daily links so that you can always have something fresh to use, such as caption writing or recipe reading, just as useful for literacy teaching as for ESOL.

Second is Rash Kath's set of blogs from India. Although they relate to her primary maths teaching it is a really inspiring way of using elearning. I started from Planet Infinity, her class blog, but look through all her blogs for the nuggets useful for numeracy. There are some useful videos for techniques - I like the one for multiplying by 11. I also like the teaching idea for adding time. There ought to be a repository of ideas like this. Her videos are short and simple as they should be.

Finally there is MindMeister which has knocked off the number one slot for online mindmapping. It's not quite as easy to get going, but it is more aligned to commercial software and has good printing controls. The free version is fine - just sign up and get started.

Busy, Support Materials

I seem to have been busy this term, but it has surprised me to find it is almost 3 months since anything has been added here or since a proper update of the website. I have added one or two links and today's update is only because there are a couple of outstanding sites I have come across in the past couple of days. See next post.

My online energies have been taken up with learning materials for additional learning support. Anyone who has looked will have realised that there is nothing out there. I have therefore been trying to write some, designed to run in Moodle when tutors are teaching alongside curriculum teachers. The key word is differentiation. I'm trying to use video with quizzes at different levels.

In the meantime I keep searching for something useful for the site. The only link I know of value is inevitably Maggie Harnew, who has a page of contextualised resources on her wonderful site.