Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Photoface from Oddcast

I've been looking for interesting ways to add audiocasts to ePortfolios. I found this cool tool, and have been having fun with it for the last hour or so! It's called Photoface and it's by Oddcast. You can upload a photo or use one of their's and make it younger or older, fatter or thinner, add backgrounds, face art and all sorts of fun elements. You can add audio recordings, or just type in text and use one of the pre-recorded voices in different accents. I chose Tessa with her South African accent!

You can get an embed code, but for some reason I can't get it to work, so here's a link. You can also download or email the image. Fun, isn't it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Teacher eTalk Wiki

It's not very flash yet, but at last the Teacher eTalk wiki has enough content to let everyone in!

You can access it by clicking on the link in the sidebar. Mostly the wiki is for teaching resources that I need in my Year 5 class. Please feel free to join the wiki, or to add to it if you are already a wikispaces member!

If you have a cool wiki to add, please do so on the Teacher's Wiki page!

My next task will be to add the bling! I have to figure out how, first, so if you have any ideas, please let me know!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Prior Knowledge leads to Making Connections

My classes' recent AsTTle results once more showed that my students' comprehension skills are greatly lacking. Two of the areas which they need to focus on are Finding and Processing Information, and also Making connections.

I found this excellent thought provoking video, in which Professor Daniel Willingham describes why content knowledge is so essential when learning to reading with comprehension, and why teaching reading strategies alone is not sufficient. He makes the point that the more a student knows about the subject content, the better he will score in a reading comprehension test.

As one of the commentors said, 'student's actually have to learn stuff' and not just rely on Google to get their instant knowledge! I think in our quest to move towards 21st Century Learning, we tend to forget that our students still need to know 'stuff' to have better understanding of the world around them! What do other educators think?