Why not give some of these tools a try?

Over the past couple of weeks I have come across lots of different tools that would be fantastic to try within your organisation. Many of these suggestions come courtesy of Twitter whilst others arrive via corridor/staff room chats!

Snapguide is a fantastic free IOS app that allows users to create simple step by step guides. Not only can the Teacher produce instructions for activities or experiments but learners could create their own. This has fantastic potential especially as they can import pictures in to their guides. Here is an example of a Snapguide for you to check out.

Watch2gether is a great website that allows you to watch a YouTube video with others. On loading the page watch2gether.com a private room is created and a unique URL assigned. You simply then share the link via email or using Facebook/Twitter. The private room requires you to enter a display name, and informs you when your friends have joined. The pane on the right allows you to discuss the video you are watching which is great for analysis or reflection.

Dispatch is a project management tool that allows you to add multiple files to a single ‘Dispatch’ including Messages, Notes, Files, Google Drive, Drop Box etc. Once you have added your files simply add Team Members (by adding their email addresses). All activity is time stamped to support project management.




A great way to develop online learning materials for free using an ipad.

360 Panorama Occipital

I used the 360 app for the IPAD to capture a 360 panoramic image of the Leeds University Gryphon sports centre prior to a practical sports lesson.

This is great for planning for, or reflecting on, the use of a given learning space or environment. One example could be considering risk assessment considerations. Another could be looking at the positions of athletes or performers in a given sport.



Explain Everything

Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. You can create dynamic interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials using Explain Everything’s flexible and integrated design. Use Explain Everything as an interactive whiteboard using the iPad2 video display. Explain Everything records on-screen drawing, annotation, object movement and captures audio via the iPad microphone. Import Photos, PDF, PPT, and Keynote from Dropbox, Evernote, Email, iPad photo roll and iPad2 camera. Export MP4 movie files, PNG image files, and share the .XPL project file with others for collaboration.”

Learners have used Explain Everything during a practical sports session. They were able to video record skills, activities or games using a mobile device (such as an IPAD) before importing the video to EE. Once imported they were able to position the video on a slide before analysing in real time. This included annotating and comment on the athletes performance on to the slide. EE allows several videos and images to be imported on the each slide. This allows for comparison between different performances or performers.

Finally, students were able to record their finished presentation (multiple videos and slides) using EE including any verbal feedback to the participant/s before exporting the final product as a MP4 movie file straight to Google Drive.


I have been using a product call VideoScribe that allows you to “create amazing marketing videos, instructional talks, add a visual to your talk or story, bring illustrations to life, show text, logos or photos and keep any audience captivated.” You can subscribe to the desktop version however I have bought the IPAD app and paid the extra £1.49 to publish videos without branding. Below are some examples of how I have used it in an educational context…

  • Taking notes: During a first aid course I was able to quickly and effectively make notes throughout including taking pictures where appropriate. (Video Here)
  • Assignment support: Produced a support video to help learners understand the assessment method, structure, and criteria. I used Aurasma (Augmented Reality) to link the video I created to the appropriate assignment brief. Students were then able to access support anytime/anywhere using a mobile device such as an IPAD. (Video Here)
  • Formal Presentations: I produced an introductory video for a recent presentation I had to make which summarised the key Political, Economical, Sociological and Technological (PEST) considerations within the Further Education sector. (Video Here)


Similar to VideoScribe is PowToon. The main benefit of this product is that the desktop version is free. “PowToon is the best free animated presentation online software tool and PowerPoint alternative that supercharges your business presentations and animated video marketing!” Other benefits include the animations which allow you to create a storyboard / comic strip production which is useful.

Again you can subscribe to this product to produce videos without branding and of higher quality if required.

I have used this product to create introductory videos for particular topics/themes for lessons which can be then embedded within your VLE.  


Enhanced Assignment Support using Aurasma

I first started to explore the use of augmented reality within education some time ago. More recently i combined it with short assignment support video i created using VideoScribe. In short, I produced a short video that helped students to ensure they fully understand the assessment method, criteria and structure of their assignment. Using Aurasma I linked an image of the assignment brief to the short video clip. Student were impressed with the results especially when using an IPAD in class.


Class Wars: Initial steps in to the fray

A colleague of mine recently shared a paper he had published that looks at behaviour management, teacher training, and outlines some challenges the modern day teacher may face. It proposes some different strategies available to teachers in addressing some of these issues from the perspective of a mentor. I felt the paper was a very interesting read, however the author did acknowledge my feedback that further research in to a whole organisational approach towards behaviour management would influence the behaviour of individuals, as often problems are systemic and not isolated to one teacher. The paper can be found here.

Teacher Training and Technologies Conference 2013

I was delighted to be asked to present at a recent Teacher Training and Technologies conference at the University of Huddersfield. There were some excellent sessions delivered throughout the day including a WebCast and an iPAD workshop. The session I was asked to deliver built on a previous workshop i delivered back in November. The focus was around Technology for Sustainable Learning. I attempted to outline a range of approaches that I had tried an tested over recent months with the hope that everyone took away at least one thing they could try in their home institution. Please find a link to the resources available from the day here.


It seems travel agents are leading the way or maybe following the Apple store design when it comes to there interactive self service areas. They had mounted some tablets on a large desk so customers could search for deals in store…