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,
Ciaran McCrumlish, AAO for ICT,
Aidan McCanny, AAO for ICT,

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!