Live spreadheets

In classrooms where the collection of data can be the basis of authentic learning experiences, Google Spreadsheets offers a variety of useful survey and live data collection tools.

This Google Map collates the favourite suburbs of the anyone in Australia – please add your data to the form below and then click refresh. This sort of real world data could be used by a town planner to gather evidence of preference amongst a demographic. This document is published on the web. The document is viewable here. Please add your data to the form below then click refresh to see you data mashed into the spreadsheet above.

This is an example of surveying participants using a Google Docs Spreadsheet to generate a form that gathers and displays GeoData in a spreadsheet live.

Earth Clock

The free Earth clock provided by Again another embeddable flash object.

Great for generating class discussion, analysis and collating all students responses.  Most useful is that this constructivist meaning generation in accessible in one easily managed archive with it’s own URL that can be transferred into a students own PLE.

Free Edublog usage analysis with Google Analytics

At the bottom right of the sidebar you can see a ClustrMap – kids love to know who is viewing their hard work and endless discussions could arise from math, patterns, geography to time and space. Edublogs integrates the free website analysis tool called Google Analytics.

Below is a screenshot made with the fantabulos Skitch of just some of the graphical feedback the service provides:


Embed presentations

Oh oh! We’re embedding the web again! Teachers can use SlideShare to upload their PowerPoint, Keynote or PDF slideshows. You can do so with ease using the kml insert shown in the tutorial that will soon appear here……. SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing slideshows on the web and allows for greater collaboration around these works-of-art <sic> after they have been presented. Sound recordings in mp3 can be attached to the presentations for greater immersion. When I get a moment I would like to do that for this one here too.

[kml_flashembed movie=”″ width=”425″ height=”348″ wmode=”transparent” /]

This was presented at ECAWA 2007. The blurb:

Empowering Inquiry Based Learning with Web2.0 Mash-Ups
‘Web 2.0’ and the new models of communication and research that it enables means teachers and students can embed and automate the inquiry based learning process. Instant messaging, blogging, podcasting, Skype, wikis, RSS are but some tools available in the ‘participatory social web’ that allow students to become knowledge creators and teachers to become facilitators. And the impact that this has on education could be enormous.

Video Chat for your classroom

TokBox is a flash and browser based video chat tool that can be embedded in your website for free. To get started, the teacher needs to register, although users you want to video chat with don’t have to be registered. No other downloading is necessary. As more notebooks come with inbuilt webcams these flash based video chat engines will be come more commonly used. I highly recommend these amazing notebooks that have had in-built webcams for a couple of years 😉


Wouldn’t this be great for students in different schools talking to each other about an open-ended learning task posted in the blog? Or for inviting an ‘expert’ to talk about the textual content of a post. I like how this tool promises to facilitate live communication but in the context of the content of a blog post. If you see me online, want to discuss this tool’s possibilities – feel free to initiate a video chat.

Embedding web video

Adding video from flash based websites can be a useful way for teachers of keeping the content and focus on the page in which it is embedded. Edublogs supports many URLs that can quickly added to provide interesting starting points for discussion in the blogs comments.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="510" height="325" wmode="transparent" /]

Via this wiki:

The video above was designed to show teachers how to connect their classrooms to the world of information. Visit to participate in the conversation or add your ideas.

The director of Edublogs James Farmer details the process behind adding a web video to a post in the 3rd minute of this screencast.

Text editor

EditorUsing the Edublogs text editor in simple text colouring mode I’ve highlighted the text below and changed it’s colour. It takes a little while to get used to the functionality of this editor but once set-up it is easy to use. There are lots of videos here and here on how to use it to it’s full capacity. If you can’t see the ‘visual text editor’ go to Users > Profile > and select “Use visual editor”.

For the “Protected:” post below :please note the:

φ password= frogs

Try it out!

Classroom as chatroom?

Using Meebo I’m experimenting with the possibility of deploying a chat room within a blog post. I’ve set one up on a separate page here as an anywhere/anytime access tool. The permalink is at the top of the banner menu.

The pedagogical uses of this tool is immediately apparent. I’ve used them in workshops for teachers to brainstorm and share ideas quickly. These work well when used together with a strategic open-ended question and added to a mindmap via Inspiration rapid-fire for example.

Example chat

I’ve used them in workshops for teachers to brainstorm and share ideas quickly. These work well when used together with a strategic open-ended question and added to a mindmap via Inspiration rapid-fire for example.