Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Internet Safety Training

Read on for information relating to Safer Internet Day 2009, New Thinkuknow Training Dates, Feedback Numbers of Children Trained In November!

1.) Safer Internet Day 2009 CEOP's Thinkuknow programme will be producing a pack of resources available for download.

Please register if you're interested in receiving information, guidance and the pack.
Mission: To get your school involved! This is the perfect opportunity to introduce internet safety to students or to consolidate the teaching you have already implemented.
Method: To mark European Safer Internet Day, your school can download a pack of resources including new KS2 and 3 assemblies. CEOP will be creating and signposting you to all the resources you need for SID 2009. We would also like to hear your plans for the week.
Get it in your school diary NOW! February 2009 How do I get access to the Safer Internet Day Assemblies? Go to http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers/sid09.aspx, register and we will keep you up-to-date with developments. You will be able to download the resource pack early February 2009.
If you are a registered user of the Thinkuknow website, please login before registering your interest for the Safer Internet Day Assemblies. This will preclude you from having to fill out more registration forms!
The downloads will be available from our "Resource Area" early February 2009 but only to those who have registered and been verified.
2.) New Thinkuknow Training Dates Dates - We have just announced our next training dates for the first half of 2009. Demand has been very high recently so register early to avoid disappointment!
You can apply for 2 types of training: Ambassador Training - (Full Day - £125)The CEOP Ambassador Training will give you an in depth look at not only young people use of the internet and mobile technology, but also examine how offenders use the online environment to groom young people. The training will give both a law enforcement and education perspective broadening your understanding of this emerging arena. The training will run through CEOP’s secondary school education programme Thinkuknow and other stand alone resources. Once you have completed the training you will be able to train your colleagues in the 11 -16 year old Thinkuknow education resource. You will also receive a certificate. The training will dedicate time for general discussion and allow you to ask any questions that may effect your individual profession.
These courses will take place at:
London 16/12/2008
London 22/01/2008
Preston 29/01/2008
Belfast 19/02/2009
Bristol 05/03/2009
Glasgow 19/03/2009
South Wales 09/04/2009
Newcastle 30/04/2009
London 14/05/2009
Derry 11/06/2009
Cambridge 25/06/2009
CEOP Thinkuknow Training (2.5 Hours - Free)This training allows you to directly deliver CEOP’s 11-16 year olds Thinkuknow programme to young people however you can not cascade train other colleagues unless you complete the CEOP ambassador full day training. The training will not only teach you how to deliver the product to young people but will also take you through many of the most popular applications young peoples are using in the online and mobile environment.
The courses will be taking place at:
London 21/01/2009
Preston 28/01/2009
Belfast 18/02/2009
Bristol 04/03/2009
Glasgow 18/03/2009
South Wales 08/04/2009
Newcastle 29/04/2009
London 13/05/2009
Derry 10/06/2009
Cambridge 24/06/2009
Please visit file://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers/training to register for a course. 3.) Feedback the Number of Children You Trained in November 2008
Please feedback how many children have received Thinkuknow training during November 2008 and ensure you have updated any outstanding training figures for the 2007/2008 Academic Year!
It is imperative that we obtain this information from you as we need to report to strict Home Office targets so this service can continue in the future.
Step 1: Login to your Thinkuknow account, enter your details in the black area at the top of file://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers.
Step 2: On the left had side of the screen, at the bottom of the tab bar on the left below the Thinkuknow logo click on 'Numbers Trained'
Step 3: From the drop-down menu, select the month in which you trained children with Thinkuknow resources Step 4: Enter the number of children that you have trained with Thinkuknow Step 5: Repeat this for all months necessary. If you have trained young people prior to the months listed in the drop-down menu, please enter the figures in the July 2007 field.
Many Thanks Have a great Christmas Holiday! TUK Team

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Adding the 'Read more' link to your Blogger posts

I have included the steps necessary to create the 'Read more ...' or 'expandable post summaries' as they are also known. Using this method, the 'read more...' section will automatically be the text occurring immediately after the first paragraph; i.e. if you press the 'Enter' key at the end of the first sentence(s), the rest will be viewed when the read more link is selected.

After you log into your blogger account, go to the 'Layout' link and select the 'Edit HTML' link on the top bar. Click on the 'Expand Widget Templates' check box.

To finish, click on the 'Save Template' button.

That should be that!

Click here to get the text version so that you can copy and paste the required code.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Education and Training Inspectorate reports on learning environments

The Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) has carried out a comprehensive evaluation on the use of learning environments in schools and the wider education service.

The evaluation included Learning NI (LNI), which is the virtual on-line learning environment of the Classroom 2000 ICT service C2k. LNI was used by 81% of schools surveyed by the ETI and feedback from stakeholders identified dissatisfaction with the service.
Chief Inspector Stanley Goudie said: “Uptake and use of the C2k managed service as a whole has largely been successful, but the evidence is clear that the LNI environment works less well than it should.
“LNI has some functional and performance inadequacies, which is discouraging users. Feedback from the majority of stakeholders interviewed is that LNI is not currently fit for their purposes and does not meet their needs well.
“Following this evaluation, ETI recommends that a higher priority should be given to the provision of a co-ordinated programme of training and support for teachers, including stronger strategic management of those agencies which have responsibility for working together in support of teachers and schools. In the short term, aspects of LNI need to improve; in the longer term, there is a need to develop a new set of online services for schools which take advantage of recent improvements in the technology and support the development and evaluation of new models of online learning."

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Cayra for Mind Maps

Cayra is a program that lets you represent tasks, ideas, concepts, and other items in a graphic, well-structured way. Cayra is based on such mental techniques, as Mind Maps and Concept Maps and helps you create colorful and informative maps.

You can use Cayra for: Studies, Brainstorming, Project and people management, Planning and organizing, Creativity, Decision making, Problem solving, and Time management.

Download it for free here.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Is Linux about to take over the Board??

As you may be aware, we are always interested in anything that would be valuable in the teaching and learning process particularly if costs absolutely nothing; hence Moodle, Joomla, Yacapaca, Audacity, PBWiki, 21Classes, - the list goes on. Our latest venture is into the world of Linux.

If you have read some of the previous posts in this blog, we have already reviewed the Asus Laptop and the Elonex Laptop. We have now turned our attention to the old E500 laptops that are laying around many a school's store.

When I say 'we', I really mean Ciaran, who has been endeavouring to get a mini network setup with E500 laptops and a shuttle server.

Watch this space for more details on our success.

ePortfolios for the 5E's

We have developed a sample ePortfolio using Yacapaca. The ePortfolio would be used by the students in Key Stage 3 to demonstrate their achievements in the 5E's (Explore, Express, Exchange, Exhibit and Evaluate - as if you didn't know at this stage).

The students are provided with a writing framework to indicate how they achieved their competency and the opportunity to upload the various files to illustrate their progression within the task.

If you click here, you will be directed to the yacapaca site and then to the actual ePortfolio.

Remember that you will need to log in to yacapaca in order to see the ePortfolio.

If you need any help in setting this, or any other yacapaca course, up don't hesitate to contact the ICT team at Clounagh.

Friday, 12 September 2008


A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or phone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.

Some examples include providing a mathematical problem and getting the students to explain how they would solve it; building a Wii wand, students' poems and many, many more. Students can 'doodle' or write on the slide in order to aid their audio comment.

You can sign up for free with limited access - click here for a detailed solution for secondary pupils. So for $60 (£34) a teacher can:
• Create and manage groups and classes
• Create an unlimited number of VoiceThreads
• Maintain a media library up to 10 GB
• Unlimited commentary - voice / text / webcam
• Upload archival MP3 files as commentary
• Quickly access all their students' VoiceThreads
• Collaborate unrestricted, on or off the network

Certainly worth a look!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

School Websites

Some of our Post Primary and Primary schools have brilliant websites which they use as a portal into their school's life for all the stakeholders involved in the school community.

There are other schools, however, who either don't have a presence on the web or their websites are outdated. Websites can be vital in providing relevant and up-to-date information on the school and allow students to have a means to showcase their work.

We provide advice and support in this area. We ran a web design course last year using Joomla, an open source (free) piece of software and over 15 schools now have a fully operational website.

If you are interested in creating, developing or redesigning your school's website, please contact the ICT team at Clounagh:

Averil Morrow, ICT Adviser, averil.morrow@selb.org
Ciaran McCrumlish, AAO for ICT, ciaran.mccrumlish@selb.org
Aidan McCanny, AAO for ICT, aidan.mccanny@selb.org

Yacapaca Developments

The people at Yacapaca have been working hard at improving the process of creating new questions.

The new look includes the ability to drag and drop images and sound - yes, sound - files. This now means that you can have audio/music for the question e.g. narrate the question/scenario for the less_able student or in another language.

You can also include sound in the possible answers.

You can also preview the question in action before committing to it. Yacapaca has become even more slicker.

In the diagram below you can see that the question has an image and sound file added and that option 2 also has a sound file added. This was simply a matter of dragging the file from the list on the left to the appropriate place in the question.

Do remember that once the questions/quizzes have been created, you have a student assessment which is automatically marked accompanied with an extremely detailed analysis.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Term 1 2008/2009

Welcome back! There have been a number of exciting developments since the last post. I will be talking about these over the next week or so. The developments (in no particular order) include:

Updates to Yacapaca
Linux on the E500 (v old) laptops
Voice Threads
Comic Life for PC
Podcasting and Photostory
Google sites
ePortfolios for Using ICT and the 5e's with Yacapaca
The ICT Roadshow
SETT 2008

Other issues include:

GCE Applied ICT - OCR or what?
The Self Review Framework
Disseminating Good Practices
Scratch (revisited) and the 5e's
Ning (revisited) and the 5e's
Virtual Learning Environments in your school
Your School's Website

Remember, This BLog is Only As Good As you Want It To be, So Let Us Hear From You!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Empey Backs 'Open Source' Software Drive

Public and private sector organisations could save millions of pounds if they used free ‘Open Source’ computer software instead of expensive proprietary products, it was revealed today.The cost savings would result from not having to pay expensive licensing fees to software developers – and from reduced costs.

The benefits of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) were outlined as Employment and Learning Minister Sir Reg Empey MLA today launched 'OPEN-NI', an important new private and public sector network established by the University of Ulster and the Southern Regional College under his Department’s Higher and Further Education Collaboration Fund - “Connected”.
The aim of the OPEN-NI network is to support the private and public sector organisations within Northern Ireland that acquire and use FOSS – software which, unlike more expensive propriety software packages, can be built on or developed by users to suit individual companies' specific requirements. Speaking at the inaugural 'Open-Island' conference, Sir Reg said: “I believe the timeliness of this initiative is critical given the strategic importance of “Open Source Software” to the longer term sustainability of our software sector.“Embracing ‘Open Source’ will become fundamental to building and maintaining market share in the future; providing start-ups with a simple, fast and efficient way to build a client base and so gain market share.”

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne is on record as indicating that over £600m per year could be saved through the adoption of ‘Open Source’ software by Government agencies alone – a saving of 5% on their IT expenditure.It is estimated that free and ‘Open Source’ software represented 13% of the global software market in 2006, and is set to grow to 27% of the market by 2011. Conference Chairman Jonathan Wallace of the University of Ulster, said: “Increasingly, Universities and other bodies are seeing ‘Open Source’ software as a low risk method for exploiting their existing work, sharing good practice and improving their national and international reputation without the need for a large marketing and distribution infrastructure. “Indeed, University of Ulster-created open source software has received national endorsement and international interest.” Last March Ulster released two free ‘Open Source’ software tools. One of them, OPUS, a tool for managing all aspects of work based learning on-line, has elicited 20 expressions of interest from universities in the UK and abroad. A number of universities have already installed the software and others are planning to do so soon.

FOSS methodologies confer many competitive advantages to business, including:Cost Savings - A government report in 2005 said the use of open source software could produce savings of 44% per computer in primary schools and 24% per computer in secondary schools compared to the cost of standard commercial software. Compatibility and Competition - because the way in which data is handled is clear for everyone to see, FOSS helps interoperability between products. This makes it easy for products from different vendors to use the same data.

Governments are increasingly adopting open source and open standards to promote interoperability.Brian Doran, Head of the Southern Regional College, said: “This important development for the software sector also presents an opportunity for the College to further enhance its reputation as an organisation that supports local business through research and development activities. The Southern Regional College is committed to embedding the use of ‘Open Source’ software within our day-to-day business process operations and to ensure that all students across the College are exposed to the benefits of the wide range of ‘Open Source’ products available.” Mel McIntyre of OpenIreland, the sister organisation in the Republic of Ireland, said:“When we consider public bodies, who are responsible to the taxpayer for obtaining value-for-money and who often deal with public information, these issues are increasingly important. Significant cost savings can be made by opting for FOSS products that are as capable as their proprietary counterparts, that are free-of-charge, and use open, interoperable document formats that ensure freedom from vendor lock-in.”

Friday, 30 May 2008

The £99 Elonex laptop: how can it be so cheap?

A new budget computer aimed at schoolchildren is about to be launched. One A new laptop computer for just £99 sounds like the kind of offer found in a spam e-mail or on a dodgy auction website. But the British company Elonex is launching the country’s first sub £100 computer later this month and hopes to be making 200,000 of them by the summer. It will be aimed at schoolchildren and teenagers, and looks set to throw the market for budget laptops wide open.
Called the One, it can be used as a traditional notebook computer or, with the screen detached from the keyboard, as a portable “tablet” – albeit without the planned touchscreen that Elonex had to abandon to hit its £99 price tag. Wi-fi technology lets users access the internet or swap music (and homework) files between computers wirelessly.

Personal files can be stored on the laptop’s 1GB of built-in memory or on a tough digital wristband (1-8GB, from £10) that children can plug into the USB socket of whichever computer they happen to be using, be it the One, a PC at school or their parents’ laptop.
So how can Elonex make a computer for so little? After all, UK consumers paid an average of £477 for a new laptop in 2007, according to the retail analyst GfK.

The secret is simple: open-source software. The One runs on Linux, which is a rival to Windows but completely free to use. Open-source software can be freely swapped or modified by anyone who wants it. In the past such operating systems (there are several of them) have been outgunned by the more sophisticated Windows programs. However, an open-source operating system is ideal for low-cost devices as it performs well on less powerful, cheaper hardware.
Naturally, the One is more basic than all-singing, all-dancing notebooks. Nonetheless, it includes a free word processor and spreadsheet, a free web browser and free e-mail software. It has a 7in screen, a rubbery little keyboard and no CD drive. And it all runs on an ageing chip that was designed before its target audience of seven-year-olds were even born.

InGear had an exclusive hands-on look at a preproduction One. The keyboard was slow and spongy and the built-in speakers could be louder but the screen was bright and the software package impressively varied (if rather sluggish) on this prototype.

Preloaded programs ranged from instant messaging software and a photo editor to games and an MP3 player. Moving files to and from the USB wristband was easy enough – and there’s a Bluetooth version with 2GB of memory (£120) that lets you swap files with mobile phones too.
Elonex will be launching the computer at the Education Show at the NEC in Birmingham at the end of this month, and is targeting schools as potential buyers.

The Elonex One isn’t the only low-cost educational laptop out there, however. Asus launched an open-source laptop in the run-up to Christmas last year. The Eee PC (about £200) has proved popular with adults as well as children, with its first shipment selling out nationwide within hours of its November release.

The One Laptop per Child initiative, which began in America, hopes to offer a “Give one, get one” event this year in Britain, where consumers can buy two computers – one for themselves and one for a child abroad – for about £200.

But open-source software has its problems. If no one owns it, there’s no one to complain to when things go wrong – and the One has no antivirus or firewall software built in. The old-fashioned feel of the One’s programs could also flummox modern cyber-kids used to the slick menus, wizards and plug-and-play simplicity of Windows.

Of course, in the context of laptops costing more than £1,000 – and even copies of Microsoft Office software retailing at as much as £120 – paying £99 for a fully functional, internet-ready laptop packed with software isn’t a huge risk to take.

And it’s this magic price that is the One’s biggest asset. The more that parents choose to buy Ones, the more music and games their kids will share, and the more sought after it will become. A laptop as the coolest thing in the playground? Stranger things have happened.

Article Source: The Sunday Times.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Mobile phones - the future

Whilst educationalists discuss the value of and the issues associated with young people using mobile phones to learn, a recent conference in America has agreed that mobile technology is the next stage in the development of the internet.

"The breadth of the new ideas floating around and the different ways that people are thinking about information and using the web further away from browsing into more personalised information is exciting," said Ms Baker, speaking to the BBC News website at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco.

She is convinced that mobile phones will be one of the forces that will help people make better use of information pertinent to them

"Information that matters to me is what the future is about," she said.

Read more about what the future offers in mobile technology at BBC News Technology.

Staying safe and taking risks

Jonathon Zittrain, author of "The future of the Internet - and how to stop it", has recently suggested that we need two types of digital devices. The "green" device is a locked down computer that has tight security with restricted and protected access to the internet. The "red" device is totally open with unlimited capability to download but no security settings. You take the risk that you may download a virus and can completely wipe the hard drive to restore your settings. Both red and green could be on the same computer.
Do you think that this is a good idea to give users both the protection and yet the freedom that they need? Read more in Bill Thompson's article and see what you think.
BBC News Technology

Sunday, 20 April 2008


To quote: "Animoto is a web application that automatically generates professionally produced videos using patent-pending Cinematic Artificial Intelligence technology and high-end motion design. Each video is a fully customized orchestration of user-selected images and music. Produced in widescreen format, Animoto videos have the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer."

"The heart of Animoto is its newly developed Cinematic A.I. technology that thinks like an actual director and editor. It analyzes and combines user-selected images and music with the same sophisticated post-production skills and techniques that are used in television and film. The technology takes into account every nuance of a song: the genre, song structure, energy, rhythm, instrumentation, and vocals. Whether it's punk, pop, hip-hop or a classical Stravinsky piece, every Animoto video is totally customized. Even videos generated with an identical set of images and music will each have a completely distinct set of motion design. No two videos are the same. Videos can be emailed, embedded on websites including blogs and social network sites like Facebook and MySpace, and downloaded onto your computer."

The first step in producing the video is to select your images. You will need at least 10 images. Step two is where you select your background music. Music has 7 categories with 10 selected album snippets (30 secs) within each category. You can also upload your own music.

Finally, you create your video. You have two options:
i) Animoto Shorts which are 30-seconds in length and free for everyone. You can produce, remix, and share as many as you'd like.
ii) Full-length videos which are extended in length. A video's length is determined by the number of images and the music it uses. This will cost $3.

The process of creating the video can take several minutes. The end product is excellent. There is the facility to copy an embedded link which can be placed in a web page. Click here to go to their website.

Podcast Autocue

This free piece of software creates an autocue so that you can easily follow the pre-prepared text for your podcast. All you have to do is type your script out in a text editor like Notepad or Word, copy and paste it into the software and you're ready to start. It's really easy to use. In school, students can plan their script prior to the podcast to help ensure a successful outcome. Click here to get the download details from ZDNet.

Friday, 7 March 2008

RM Asus Eee PC

We recently acquired the RM Asus EEE miniBook for £199.00 (+VAT). The miniBook weighs less than a kilogram, starts up from cold in about 12 seconds and shuts down in five. It uses solid state technology and so doesn't come with an internal hard disk or CD drive though the three USB ports enable you to add an external disk drive, if required.

It offers 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a seven-inch display; wireless, dial-out modem and ethernet adaptors are available for networking and internet connections, mini-jack sockets for headphones and microphone, a VGA out, an SD card slot and a built-in webcam.

It comes preloaded with OpenOffice, iGoogle and Skype to name but a few. The speakers produce good quality sound and, together with the built-in mic, make it very easy to converse with your friends/colleagues through Skype.

The miniBook is easily connected to the data projector producing a very clear image. Combine the Asus with the eBeam and you have a very cheap interactive whiteboard.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Blogging - the latest news

Some of you may have been having difficulty accessing our blog from the C2k network in school. Due to some changes in security settings blogs will only now be available if you contact the C2k helpdesk and ask for a particular blog to be released. Both this blog and its sister blog for technology teachers at http://selbtanddnews.blogspot.com are now available on C2k.

Remember if you are considering using blogs in school you might find the blogging tool, 21 classes, the most suitable. You can find out more about how it works at www.clounagh.org in the ICT section

You might also want to investigate moblogging - using a camera phone to take pictures and videos and create a blog. Find out more at http://moblog.co.uk/

Monday, 11 February 2008

Thinking Worlds

Have you seen this? It's called Thinking Worlds from Caspian Learning. It is a free piece of software which you can download from this link. Once this has been completed, you can then download Addons (or educational games) from the list, for example; Electricity, French Revolution, Volcanoes, Problem Solving, etc.

When you enter this 3D World, you are given instructions on how to proceed. You can move your avatar around using the arrow keys.

To get started with the game, you move to the 'Beam me up Scotty' area, choose the subject area you want to work on and away you go. As you move around your new world, you will meet other avatars who will give you specific information or ask you questions on your selected topic. If you get these right, you can collect points which you can spend later on.

For the more adventurous of you, you can log in as an author and make editions to the games, change the questions and so on.

Definitely worth a look.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

In class, I have to power down

At a recent digital education conference in San Francisco, one of the more memorable remarks quoted came from a child: "Whenever I go into class, I have to power down." That roughly translates as: "What I do with digital technology outside school - at home, in my own free time - is on a completely different level to what I'm able to do at school. Outside school, I'm using much more advanced skills, doing many more interesting things, operating in a far more sophisticated way. School takes little notice of this and seems not to care."

This is a direct quote from an article written by David Puttnam. Children have been quick to grasp the joys of new technology so why are schools lagging so far behind?

He considers the difference between the children's experiences in school compared to those outside of school. We should be looking at ways to harness their skills, knowledge, engagement, in a way that can feed into, complement, or act as a catalyst for formal learning.

Click here to read the complete article.

The document produced by Demos, entitled "Their Space", is available for download in Clounagh's VLE. The accompanying podcast is also available. Click here to access these resources.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

From Youtube to Googlepages

This tutorial explains how to take educational videos from YouTube, upload them to your very own personal media channel and then display the channel on a webpage (eg Googlepages).

Stage 1 – Capturing videos from YouTube

The first step is to find the video in YouTube.
• Go to www.youtube.com.
• In the search box type in a suitable word or phrase.
• View/Check out the subsequent videos. You may need to refine your search.
• When the video is found, highlight the URL Address, Right click and select Copy.

Stage 2 – Downloading the video from YouTube

There are a number of methods for capturing the YouTube videos using online websites.

The two websites I commonly use are Techcrunch and Zamzar.
Techcrunch can work well though at times has terminated prematurely. The videos are downloaded in their original format – flv.

Zamzar works really well. This site can also be used to convert file formats. This is the method I will focus on in this tutorial.

When you locate the Zamzar website you will have a number of steps to go through.

Step 1: Click on the URL link and then paste the YouTube link.
(You will need to delete the initial http:// in the browse box.)

Step 2: Select the appropriate file format – normally this would be avi or mpg.

Step 3: Enter your email address.
(Note: When the video has been downloaded to the Zamzar server, an email will be sent to you. You have 24 hours to click on the link to download the video from there to your computer.)

Step 4: Click the Convert button.

Depending on the file size, this will take quite a few minutes.
(Time for a tea break!)

Step 5: Check your email for a message sent by Zamzar – this email may also take a while to be delivered so don’t be expecting an immediate response!

Click on the emailed link and follow the instructions.


Having downloaded a copy of the video, we now want access to this on the web.

Splashcast allows you to create your own media channel(s). So in the school environment, once you have created your Splashcast account, you can create a channel for those interested subjects – History, English and so on. Within each channel, you can create a number of shows. A show can contain 1 or more videos. For simplicity, I would recommend one video, one show!

Step 1: Go to www.splashcast.net and register/login.

If this is the first time visiting the site you will need to register. Click on the register button and fill in the form.

You will then be able to login using your email address and password.

Use the splashcast icons to move between the channels, shows and videos.

Create a new Channel
Step 2: Create a new channel. Click on the Channels icon and click on the ‘create a new channel’ button.

Fill in the form details and then select ‘Save’.

Create a new Player
Step 3: You will then be taken to the ‘Players’ screen. You can return back to this screen at anytime by clicking on the Players icon.

When creating a new player, you can determine the size of the display screen, which video you want to be played first and whether you want the video to automatically start when opened.

Technical part!!

The Player’s HTML Code

To display the channel on a web page, you will need to embed the code in the page. This will be discussed later on. For now, you need to know that the ‘Player HTML’ code is the required code for this. You can see this code at anytime by clicking on the Players icon.

Click on ‘Save’ to continue.

Create a new Show
Step 4: Create a New Show.

To create a new show, you will need to click ‘create a new show’ button.

You will then be asked to add an item to the show. Our item is the video we have saved. Select VIDEO then UPLOAD.

HTML Upload tool
You will be taken to the Upload Video window. Initially a new window will popup for you to browse for your video file. I have found that this isn’t the best way to upload the file. It is better to simply close this window and then use the ‘HTML upload tool’. This has proven to be more robust.

You simply browse for the file, select it and then upload it.

Depending on the file size, this may take quite a long time (10 minutes!)
(Time for yet another tea break!)

When finished, a popup window will indicate your successful upload.

Click on 'Done' and you should see your ‘item’ – your uploaded film.

Completing the process
Click on the ‘i’ icon to change the information, e.g. title, if required.

Clicking on ‘Save’ will bring you to the SHOW section. Give the show a suitable name- normally this will be the same as the video if you are using the 1 video, 1 show approach.

Click Save and then Publish.

You can then upload an image for the show. If you don’t, the splashcast logo will be displayed for the show.

When finished, click on the publish button.

Click ‘Done’ (twice) to complete the process.

What’s next?

Now we have created our own media channel. We have uploaded a video to a show. The next step is to embed the code into a web page.

We are going to use Google Pages to view our channel.

** N.B. You need to go back to the Player and copy the HTML code as explained previously **
Click on the player icon, then on the ‘i’ (information) icon beside the appropriate player.


To use Googlepages, you will need to have a Google account. If you do not have an account, you can create one for free. Go to http://pages.google.com/-/about.html for more information about Googlepages.

You will now have a website with your username as part of the URL so you might want to consider the username you choose.

Your web address will be something like:


When you have established an account, go to http://pages.google.com/.

The next step is to design the first (Home) page. Type in a suitable page title.

Click in the main content section. This is where we are going to embed the Splashcast channel HTML code.

Click on the ‘edit html’ link. Paste the code into this window. Now click on the ‘Update’ button.

When finished, click the publish button.

You can preview your channel by typing in your URL:


NOTE: Because the embedded code points to the channel, any other videos uploaded to the channel will be automatically available.

This process of embedding code into a webpage works for any web based environment, such as a VLE or a Blog.

Learning NI (LNI)
In LNI, open the appropriate course.

Step 1: Click on the Edit button

Step 2: Now click on the Add button. A popup window will appear.

Step 3: Click on the Web Page

Step 4: After adding the Title, click on the ‘Edit Page’ tab.

Step 5: Click on the Source icon at the top left of the icon panel

Step 6: Now simply paste in the embedded code:

Click on the Save button to finish.

A link will have been created in your course. To see the embedded video, simply click on this link.

When you click on the link you might get this ‘Security Information’ window, just click on the ‘Yes’ button.

In Moodle, open up the appropriate course.

From the ‘Add a resource..’ menu, select ‘Compose a web page’

In the next window, toggle to the HTML source by clicking on the ‘<>’ button.

Now paste the Player HTML code.

When you click on the link, you will see your channel appearing in a new window.

And that’s it!!

To see the illustrated version of this, go to our VLE here.

Friday, 18 January 2008

eBeam Projection

The eBeam has all the functionality of a traditional fixed size interactive whiteboard. It transforms any flat surface into an interactive 'white' board. This surface could be a normal whiteboard or an emulsioned wall in the classroom.

The eBeam connects to your PC/laptop which needs to be connected to a dataprojector. The eBeam is placed at any corner of the surface and, after it has been easily calibrated, you have a fully functional interactive surface. Any notes and diagrams you make on the whiteboard can be captured by eBeam and saved onto your PC for emailing or printing out.

Priced at £375, it certainly has great potential.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Software of 2007

2007 brought a variety of excellent software designed to enhance the learning and teaching in our classrooms. Most of the software we looked at is open source(free). We tested all the packages to ensure that they worked on the C2k machines. Here is my top ten list:

1. Yacapaca - a brilliant assessment tool;
2. Splashcast - create your own media channel;
3. Audacity - Audio editing and podcasting made easy;
4. 21Classes - blogging geared specifically for the classroom;
5. PBWiki - easy to use wiki for your students;
6. GIMP - an open source piece of software similar to Photoshop;
7. Scratch - imagine, program and share;
8. Ning - create your own social network for your class;
9. eXe - create a scorm project or webquest;
10.EduSim - create your own 3D interactive virtual educational environment.

For more information, take a look at our previous blogs.

The top two management systems would have to be:
Moodle - a course management system - see clounagh.org as an example;
Joomla - a content management system - check out clounagh.org/joomla.

Have you any other suggestions?