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Thursday, April 14, 2016


Plickers - Clickers without the need for clickers!  This is a great app for taking polls, voting and giving your opinion with the added bonus that students don't need a mobile device. The teacher simply prints out the 'Plicker' cards and students hold them up in one of four positions in order to cast their vote. The letter of their vote needs to be at the top. There are 4 choices, A, B, C or D. The only device needed is one for the teacher in order to scan the cards and collect the data.  The Plicker cards are quickly scanned and the results can be seen on line in seconds.  This is particularly handy as many schools still don't agree with the BYOD idea and in many schools, mobiles and tablets in the classroom are still not allowed.  Plickers is being used for pre-assessment and assessment but you can also use them to GAMIFY your classroom.  How you use them is up to you and your own imagination!

See the following video which sums up the app in a nutshell.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016



Mystery Skype and other educational Skype activities are taking off in a big way in schools all over the world.  It's a great way to open up the walls of your classroom by taking your students to other classrooms around the world, virtually of course!  It's also a great way to bring interesting people into your own classroom.

There are three activities offered on the new Microsoft for Education platform:

1. Mystery Skype
2. Guest Speaker
3. Virtual Field trip

In all three activities, students are able to virtually go out into the world and see other places or meet interesting people thanks to video-conferencing tools such as Skype.
I have personally been trying out the Mystery Skype activity with teachers who are learning this new methodology and it has been a great success.  There are so many skills being worked on during a short 20 minute Mystery Skype game:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Mapping skills
  • Language skills
  • Collaborative team-working skills
No matter what the age, the activity is fun and engaging.  I have seen teachers turn into children in minutes! I would highly recommend introducing Mystery Skype into your classroom.  It is such a rich activity in all senses and takes very little organisation if you allow the students to manage the activity using all the
 JOB TASKS that you give them. The big job for the teacher is finding a class to play with but nowadays with Twitter, Google Hangouts and the Microsoft Education platform, it's easy to make professional connections in order to organise the dates and time of the activity.

To play Mystery Skype, I signed up here and found a class almost immediately.
Here is an example of the activity, done by teachers from Catalonia and 5th graders from Canada.