23 November 2015

The Learning Management System

keys via photopin (license)

As many may perhaps know, I am an active user of Edmodo,  as well as a support
Ambassador for Edmodo. I find it so practical for students, that I also use quite often when training teachers as well. Here below are some reasons why:

However, there are other learning systems to use with students and when teaching online. Love them or hate them, often a LMS does offer some sense of tidiness in a course, in particular when other digital spaces are also being used for learning purposes. Despite not being a complete fan of a LMS which keeps student's work locked up and then later, not freely available to them, there are times when using a LMS comes in handy.

Here are some suggestions:

Haiku Learning

Modo Labs

Matrix LMS







Open Class


What other systems do you recommend?

For educators and students who wish to take more control over their learning, then Reclaim Hosting
is definitely worth exploring.

Further Suggestions:

10 alternatives to Moodle for e-Learning software, LMS Platform using open source/GPL



Moodle - a collection of references and videos

Edmodo - videos, slideshows and suggestions of how to use Edmodo

Teaching Check List

101 E-Learning Tips from the Experts

21 November 2015

Reading Resource for Young Learners


November is a month dedicated to writing, but I have always questioned writing skills if students don't have reading habits as well. With all the digital temptations, how does one encourage reading?

BiblioNasium  is a reading space for young learners, a space where both parents and educators may find resources for fostering reading among a younger audience. 

Once you sign up, you will be presented with options, as you can see below:

A rich resource for both educators and students, making
reading in class different,  more contemporary and more engaging. 

Another approach to making reading more meaningful, is for learners to use Skitch (also available for Android). 

After reading a short story or chapter, learners take a photo, write something related to the image and what they read, then share their Skitch to their class blog or LMS (or even to a Padlet). 


Take a break. 

Read a book. 

Create digital art reading reminders. 

Further Suggestions:



I'd like to thank Enzo Pesce for the image above which I mashed up. Enzo Pesce shares beautiful, thought-provoking images on a daily basis.  An artistic mind to connect with and follow! 

19 November 2015

Diffuse with a Quote

Mid November pushes the semester onwards. Halloween has gone by, and other celebrations take shape with  plans and events to come.

Mid November and students become restless, wishing for the end which still seems so far away. 

Whether as a way to let off steam, or possibly even to summarise the essence of an essay or project, why not have learners create a simple poster with a quotation?

ReciteThis is simple and free to use - write your quote/words, choose the background, create and share!

When everyone has created their quote, have students share them in a wall (Padlet) , so creating a further sense of community among them. 

Teachers can use it as reminders to share with students or even to boost daily morale (when those waves of endless marking come along as they tend to do).

How do you diffuse bottled up energy from hours of sitting at desks? 

DIFFUSION from Kouhei Nakama on Vimeo.

Further Suggestions:

Soundbites for the Classroom

Posters, Images and Metaphors

14 November 2015

A Tile Board for MAC Users

Every journey of discovery needs a place where one can  register, reflect and save moments. Learning is no different. 

A great app for students and educators alike is PopBoardz, which can be used as student portfolio, a collection of references for teachers or even as a presentation tool for students. 

Whether organising ideas, presenting, sharing ideas, PopBoardz keeps images, links, videos, notes together and can be integrated in the iCloudDrive. Presented in tile form, one accesses what one needs to easily. 

What other boards have you found useful?

Further Suggestion:

Time, Priorities and Boards for Collaboration

13 November 2015

The Leap to Change

From connecting the classroom to life outside the school grounds, from giving voice to learners,  (and getting them published) to making mistakes, but learning from them, from seeking new approaches in lessons that engage learners, to web tools and apps - often it has seemed to me, that as educators we dance through a myriad of options for the sake of more engagement in learning. Yes, there may be elements of doubt, of fear even, when one goes ahead and introduces the new. Will the app work without glitches? Will the internet connection stall or will students actually be able to get on with their task? 

Change. Often a leap of faith. 

Selecting the right tool - moments when certainty is there, moments when one wishes an achievement but not always achieves the initial goal. Moments too, when learners adapt the task to how they want it to be. 

How does one choose what really works well in classrooms? Teachers Know Best offers these suggestions:

George Siemens has touched upon the feature of how being digitally literate also includes the element of playfulness, of how one should not be afraid of making a mistake while learning.

Sometimes too, choosing the right app or digital tool becomes close to speed dating - with so many options, how does one know which one is the best for one's student? By test and trial. That is part of learning for both educators and students. 

Change is a dance between faith and fearlessness of risking mistakes. 

Change is learning too. 

Speed Dating from Meghann Artes on Vimeo.

Further Suggestion:

Reaching out for Innnovation

Moments when one feels so close to innovation and change.

Moments when one is on the threshold and yet.

Moments when it is time to pull down locked grids, open windows of thought, let the light of change shine in.

Innovation, creativity, moving forwards. 

A question of doing. 

A question of will,  determination and


Le mouvement de l'air / The movement of air from Adrien M / Claire B on Vimeo.

Further Suggestions:

5 Things You Need to Know About 21st Century Learning

Many Colleges Now See Centers for Teaching With Technology as Part of ‘Innovation Infrastructure’

11 November 2015

Pathways of Learning

In between words and courses I teach, courses I learn and participate on, Downes' words echo in my mind:

"Learning is not a possession of a collection of facts; it's the expression of a capacity." 

Further on in his presentation, Downes points out how,

"Learning is not an acquisition, it is growth. "

This growth includes not only the personal development of a person, but also their "sense of value and place in society."

How exactly are educators achieving this?

How are educators given the space and time in classrooms to achieve this?

And does educational leadership really care in practice?

So I continue wondering about personalized learning and personal learning in my own context and how much it is worth - against the need to formulas for exams. I question too a lot what is considered educational leadership for there are lacks of vision and action, despite the discourse which is socially accepted. 

There is a lot individual teachers can do.

Learn, practice, share, collaborate, develop. Question.

Most of all, believe in change, in fostering creativity, in breaking walls and stepping outside the pre-established lines of "not possible".

Because change is happening all around us.

Time for change in classrooms.

Time for change in education.

Time for initiative and multi-disciplinary thinking. Time for empathy and belief.

References and Suggestions:

Makerbook - A hand-picked directory of the best free resources for creatives.

21st Century Schools or 21st Century Learning?

5 Ways to Lay the Foundation for Innovation #InnovatorsMindset