Category Archives: Uncategorized

Xtranormal for digital storytelling

Xtranormal is a website that hosts text-to-speech based computer animated videoclips, featuring animated three-dimensional characters speaking in monotone computer voices. Users who log into the site may create videos by scripting the dialog and choosing from a menu of camera angles and predesigned characters and scenes. It is free to join but you will have limited access to the variety of characters and scenes available to use. Give it a shot it is worth a try



What are Tags?

Tags are a way to organise lots of information. They are simply short descriptions for a subject. They are like keywords, or a label for a category. Tagging is known by a few different names, such as content tagging, collaborative tagging, social tagging and even the scientific-sounding “folksonomy.” In general tagging can be defined as the practice of creating and managing labels (or “tags”) that categorize content using simple keywords.

The video below explains tags in terms of the social bookmarking tool – “delicious” – personally I prefer using Diigo but the video gets the point across

How Google search works

The mechanics behind the search engine explained in a clear and concise manner, very interesting viewing

Assessing documents from students and providing feedback through technology

Deutsch: Logo des Adobe Portable Document Format

There are several posts (linked below) providing information on how to manage your assessments through technology. This post deals specifically with receiving a document from your students e.g. a lab report or an essay and providing feedback on that asssignment.

The YouTube video below shows you how to set up an assignment to receive documents from your students. It will take a bit of time to set up (roughly 5 minutes) but it will save you an incredible amount of administration time connected to the assignment and from a quality assurance point of view will provide a potentially better experience for both the student and teacher.

The challenge that you will face is being able to read the documents that they have submitted. Every student may not have MS office and even if they do, it might not be the same version as yours. This will result in potentially a lot of extra contact with your students asking for appropriate versions of their documents. one way around this is to ask them to submit PDF versions of their submission. There are numerous versions of “PDF creators” allowing anybody to convert a file into PDF format for free. The one I use is CutePDF.

From a lecturers point of view it is now possible to annotate  a pdf enabling you to provide individual feedback for your students by using adobe reader

A few tips for Creating a video resource for your classroom

I recently had the pleasure of working with Catherine Cronin (@catherinecronin) on an education project – an experience that I would highly recommend. This project involved creating a video  promoting the use of ICT in the classroom by highlighting examples provided by a range of teachers across the country. The video below is the final product with the various stages and tips available below the video

Read the rest of this entry

Comparing Articulate Storyline vs Studio

Storyline vs Studio.


Over the past few years I have become an active user of Articulate studio. Recently they have launched a new product “Storyline” and the link above illustrates the distinct differences between the two

Free Maths Resources:, giving the teacher computer games to teach maths

One of the many excellent sessions at the ICT Edu conference in LIT over the weekend introduced me to Manga-High. With student difficulties in Maths being well publicized in the media in addition press promoting the power of computer games for education purposes, MangaHigh represents the perfect marriage of these two factors. Personally I would love for MangaHigh to be linked via LTI to Moodle providing the perfect solution for any teacher who wants to take advantage of computer gaming in their maths classroom but has little or no technical ICT skills. But well done on all involved to date on creating a superb resource

Relevant links:

Imogen Bertin: Confused of Cork: Great videos for social media and communications teaching

Moodle Moot 2012

Where do I start? As one of the organisers of the conference and it being my first moodle moot, I must admit I was a little nervous, wondering would everything go well.
• Is three days too long?
• Will people be able to take that long out of their busy schedules?
• Is the fee too much?
• Is Dublin the right venue?
• What is the right format?
• Will we break even or will this end costing me (and if so where will I get this money from)?

I have organised several conferences before and these concerns although perfectly normal were only the tip of the iceberg relevant to the thoughts rushing my head leading up to the conference. Well it is reaching 48 hours since we officially closed the conference and I can confidently say the conference was a great success. Roll on 2013.

I went into the conference as passionate advocate for moodle, however I quickly realised that I was only an amateur when compared to the passion exhibited by other participants. The passion and enthusiasm emerging from each of the conference strands was overwhelming, matched only by the willingness of everybody to help their fellow participants achieve everybody’s ultimate goal – improve the learning experience for students.

My head is buzzing with ideas following the conference. If you follow the twitter hastag #mootieuk12 you will realise that it I am not alone. Over the next few days I will add posts on some of the amazing presentations that I was privileged to see. Hopefully these posts will give you a glimpse of what I experienced and encourage you to take time out of your schedule next year to attend Moodlemoot 2013!

TVs did not destroy Cinemas, e-books will not destroy paper based books

When TV’s were first introduced, people speculated that this will be the end of cinema. In actual fact there are more cinemas now in Dublin than ever before. A fact that will more than likely apply to most capital cities in Europe . So why do people think e-books will remove the need for paper versions of books. While I’m disappointed by Apples recent announcement on e-books – I’m not surprised. But e-books are the way of the future for education. We just need to find the best way to get them into our classroom to enhance the learning experience of our students. The challenge that I would put to teachers is e-publishing has became so much easier in recent times – so create your own book. The benefits will be immense – once you get see your first book finished you will get the bug and want to produce more and more.