The afternoon session began with a presentation from Sarah Holmes, (left), Head of English at PBD Training who demonstrated some of the resources that she had created using two e learning tools that she had discovered at the last Network meeting. One was Canva which is a website that enables you to quickly create digital posters, infographics, etc that you can then share and use online or download as digital images. Since the last Network meeting Sarah has been enjoying using the Canva website to create some colourful teaching resources that she felt were so much more engaging than traditional worksheets. At the same time that Sarah was learning to use the various tools and features of the Canva website, she also began to explore Thinglink which enables you to upload an image and then insert hyperlinks as hotspots on the image. This gives teachers the opportunity to create some rich and engaging multimedia resources as the learners can then click on the links to access videos, audio files, websites and further reading materials that the teacher has suggested. Sarah showed us some of the resources she has created. Click on the image on the right to view one of the Thinglink resources about topic sentences which contains an embedded hotspot link (a video camera icon) to a screencast that Sarah recorded.
Sarah also used a Thinglink resource (click the image below) as a way to present the key features of the Thinglink website. Again, Sarah created the original graphic in Canva.
And finally Sarah discussed the different kinds of media files that she was able to embed into an image to create a blended learning resources for a GCSE English course which focussed on the Miss Havisham character in David Copperfield. The image contains numerous links that Sarah colour coded to grade the different types of information that students might like to access: ‘basic’, ‘intermediate’ to ‘advanced’
At the end of the presentation, for those who wanted to explore the more advanced features of the Thinglink website Sarah also mentioned that you can also upload and embed files into video clips. Click here to view an example of a screencast that Sarah has uploaded and tagged as a Thinglink resource.
After Sarah’s presentation members had an opportunity to quickly explore the basic features of both of the websites that she had mentioned. One member even managed to combine the use of both tools to create a colourful and media rich teaching resource about writing in different genres that he felt he could use in his next session!
The final part of the day included an excellent presentation about Office 365 by Delon Commosioung from Easton and Otley College. Delon has been working with colleagues to explore ways in which Office 365 can be used to promote a greater level of engagement and interaction with students and to facilitate more collaborative working amongst staff. You will notice that Delon’s presentation was itself created using Sway, the new MS presentation software and contains some interesting embedded videos and exemplar resources created using different tools and features of Office 365.