Interactive Whiteboards in Australia

News, ideas and discussion about interactive whiteboards in education

IWB Maths, English, Science, SOSE and IT for K-3

Posted by rosiemacalpine on March 2, 2010

Until recently, iboard software produced high quality, engaging software for any brand of interactive whiteboard for paid subscribers. Now TES (Times Educational Supplement, an UK education newspaper and website) have bought the activities and made them available FREE, without signup, for anyone!

These are really lovely activities which are well organised and cover a wide range of topics. For example there are 93 numeracy activities for Year 1 alone with titles such as ‘Adding Two Dice’, ‘Comparing Jungle Animals (Height)’, and ‘Months of the Year’.

The activities are split into Reception, Year One and Year Two so you should find suitable activities for K-3 in Australian schools.

Click here to visit the iboard site. Thanks to The Whiteboard Blog.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Adding effects to your flipchart pictures using Microsoft Word 2007

Posted by rosiemacalpine on February 23, 2010

When I’m adding images to an IWB lesson, sometimes I want something to ‘pop’ or look a bit more interesting. This is when I use the picture effects from Microsoft Word to help my images stand out.

Here’s a simple example of the first page of my flipchart. I typed the text, found a picture of Maxwell Smart on the internet and copied and pasted that image into my flipchart.


Not too interesting so far. I want to keep this page simple, but just add a bit of interest.

So in ActivInspire, I right-click on the image of Maxwell and choose ‘Copy’ from the menu. Then I start up Microsoft Word (must be 2007 or later), paste the image, and then click on the image (this is important). As soon I do this, my Microsoft ribbon menu changes.


When I click on the new menu tab (Picture Tools) I can see lots of different effects that I can apply to my picture. Click on any of these to see a preview.


When you are happy with the look of your new picture, right-click on the picture and choose Copy. Then paste it back into your ActivInspire flipchart. This is useful for scenary shots, head shots and pictures of children (such as ‘Star of the Week’).


Technorati Tags: ,

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Flame – fun drawing tool

Posted by rosiemacalpine on February 19, 2010

Drawing and painting websites are particularly well suited to the IWB, as you can use a pen instead of the cluminess of a mouse to draw. Flame is great fun, as you don’t need artistic talent to produce something that looks beautiful.


You use your pen to draw beautiful coloured frames on the board. I found the controls interesting but a little frustrating as I didn’t understand all the options. A hint: if you just want to get started, this is the only control you need to change the colour.


When you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can try changing the other effects. Refreshing the page will reset your setting back to the original. Have fun! This would make a great before school activity for a middle/ upper primary class as it involves lots of problem solving and experimenting to learn how to manipulate the controls.


Found on MakeUseOf blog:

Technorati Tags: ,

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

YouTube now has a Safety Mode

Posted by rosiemacalpine on February 11, 2010

Yesterday, YouTube announced a new safety mode which restricts search results, disables comments and hides inappropriate related videos.

The video below gives you some more information.


If your school currently bans staff access to YouTube, let them know about these new safety features as there is so much great content that you can show on your board. Inappropriate comments are my biggest bugbear on YouTube, so being able to hide them will be a big advantage.

Found on Free Technology for Teachers blog.

Technorati Tags: ,

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

IWB presentations at Observation City Perth

Posted by rosiemacalpine on February 1, 2010

Here are the documents with all the links from my presentations on Thursday 28th January 2010.

Google Earth on the IWB

Primary Maths on the IWB

Bringing Literacy to Life on the IWB

Please email me @ if you have any questions.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

5 interesting things that you can with Shapes in ActivInspire

Posted by rosiemacalpine on November 19, 2009

The new version of ActivInspire offers lots more choices for using shapes and lines in your teaching. Here are five ways that you may not have thought of before (n.b. some of these tools are available with other IWB software, some are unique to ActivInspire).

1. Making irregular shapes with the Line-Chain shape 


When you use the Line-Chain shape, each click of the pen adds another angle to the shape. Ask students to draw an irregular pentagon, octagon etc, or set challenges ‘Draw an irregular pentagon with one angle of 45 degrees’.


2. Use the rectangle tool to create a Mondrian style painting


The rectangle tool can be dragged to any size or shape. Either change the fill of each shape to red,yellow or blue before you draw, or draw all the shapes in white. Then use the paint bucket to fill in different colours.


3. Matching shapes and outlines

image When you choose a fill for your shape, try using the ‘no fill’ option. This allows you to draw a shape without any fill colour. Then, use the paint bucket tool to fill your shape. When you move the shape, you will find that the outline and the fill move separately. You can then drag the fills and outlines to different areas of the page and ask students to match them.


4. Colour blending using transparent shapes

image Draw any shape and fill a primary colour. You may prefer to delete the border (see previous example) or use a very thin one.

Click on the centre of the shape. On the Object Edit toolbar that appears above the shape, click on the sun icon. Drag it to the left until the shape is semi-transparent. Now duplicate the shape and make them several different colours. Overlap the shapes to see the new colours that appear.


5. Sticky shapes for brainstorming and charts

image Draw three shapes at the bottom of your page. Select them and add ‘Drag a copy’. While the shapes are still selected, go to the Properties Browser and open the Container section. Change the first drop down menu to Can Contain: Anything.

Now you can drag infinite number of shapes onto your page and write on them. The writing will stick to the shape so you can move it around without losing the writing.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Ultra high resolution art work on Google Earth

Posted by rosiemacalpine on September 30, 2009

This one has been available for a while, but it is well worth a look.

Open up Google Earth. In the ‘Fly To’ box, type ‘Museo del Prado’ and click on the magnifying glass.


You will now fly off to the ‘Museo Nacional de Prado’ in Spain.


Zoom in until you can click on the ‘Masterpieces’ link at the front door of the museum. Click on this button.



Click on a picture to see it in high resolution. I’ve chosen ‘Emperor Carlos V on horseback’. Click on the picture to fly inside the museum.

image                          image

Then zoom in on the picture to see incredible detail. Below is a close up of the Emperor’s face. Notice the cracks in the canvas – amazing!


Remember that if you have an ActivBoard by Promethean, you can use the right click button on your pen to zoom in and out in Google Earth.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Crayola brings art to life on the IWB

Posted by rosiemacalpine on September 11, 2009

I was very excited to discover this beautiful online drawing and painting site from Crayola. Unlike a lot of online drawing sites, the tools look realistic. Crayons make a waxy line on the page, and paint strokes can be built up to create a darker line.


The Crayola wheel lets you choose from nine different drawing tools. Each tool has colour and line thickness options.

I also loved this site because it reinforces, rather than tries to replace, traditional art tools. After a few minutes on the site, I was itching to buy some glitter crayons and nice white paper to recreate childhood memories!

You can print your artwork – I would also suggest teaching your students to use the camera/ capture tool that comes with your IWB software to take a screenshot of their work. Then you can create a gallery of student’s art work in your class.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Invite a whale to your whiteboard

Posted by rosiemacalpine on August 13, 2009


This is a simple but gorgeous site which allows your class to view a full sized whale on your interactive whiteboard! The site will slowly pan over the surface of a whale, or you can move a viewer to see a particular part of the whale.

If you do want to move around with the viewer, just be aware that it takes a while for all the parts of the image to load.

Found this on iLearn Technology’s blog

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Explore a sailing ship

Posted by rosiemacalpine on August 5, 2009

ABC Australia’s The Navigators website offers high quality educational material for teachers and students.


The site includes biographies of the captains, games, maps, diaries and diagrams. There is also an excellent interactive tour (Go to Ships> Interactive Tour) of an 18th century sailing ship which works particularly well on the IWB. Roll your pen over the picture to see pop up information, and jump to different parts of the ship. The online version didn’t work for me (perhaps because it uses an older version of Flash) but the download works beautifully.

This site offers an interesting way to explore this part of Australia’s history with your board. Don’t forget to use your camera in the software to snapshot interesting parts of the website to use in a flipchart.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »