Interactive Whiteboards in Australia

News, ideas and discussion about interactive whiteboards in education

Posts Tagged ‘sose’

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.



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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.

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Recording your work on the IWB with Jing

Posted by rosiemacalpine on February 11, 2009

Jing is a free piece of screen casting software. A screencast is a video which records everything you do on your computer + your voice. The embedded video below is an example of a screencast which I made showing how to make a jigsaw in Activsoftware.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If you use Promethean Activsoftware or SMART notebook, you might have used the recording tools in the software to make your own screencasts. Jing has a similar function. The big advantage of Jing is that your screencast is automatically uploaded to the internet (at a site called and the link of the video copied on to your clipboard. You can make a screencast, paste the link into an email to students or add to the school’s portal, and students can watch your video at home.

You can also use Jing for student assessment. Students can record their work at the interactive whiteboard and narrate their activities, then upload them to the website where you can review them later (HINT: get each student to start their assessment by speaking or writing their name on the board!) This can provide really valuable feedback about their understanding of a concept. Here are five ideas of how to use recording in different subject areas:

1. Science. Draw 3 containers and label them solids, liquids and gases. Students fill the containers with dots to show the difference in distribution and how the particles can move.

image 2. SOSE (social studies, geography). Provide a page with oceans and clouds. Ask students to add arrows and pictures if necessary to show the five things that a hurricane needs.

3. Primary numeracy. Provide pictures for students to tell a number story to illustrate a concept. This can be used for addition, division, fractions, negative numbers etc.


4. Secondary maths. Students record how they can rearrange an equation or complete a maths problem, explaining their reasoning of each step (e.g. ‘when I put the five on the other side of the equals sign, it becomes a negative number’).

5. ICT / computing. Jing will record any thing that happens on your computer. Students can demonstrate how they would complete a task in any piece of software or within the OS.

This is a really valuable assessment tool. If necessary, you can watch these videos back with the student to explain any errors. You can pause the video at the right spot (‘you see where you took the five to the other side of the equation? What did you need to change there?’) These videos can be watched by anyone with an internet connection, so the web link of the video can also be sent to parents for review.

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360Cities – fly inside the glass dome in Google Earth

Posted by rosiemacalpine on January 8, 2009

360Cities is a website (and now also a Google layer) which features VR panoramas from all over the world. For the uninitiated, VR panoramas are images that surround the viewer, as if you were inside the image and able to look around, up and down. The viewer feels as if they are within the environment and not  just looking at a static image. It’s an excellent way to get a sense of place when exploring different countries and cultures with your students.

EDIT: I would strongly recommend exploring panoramas using Google Earth, rather than the website which has a confusing and incomplete search function.

If you haven’t updated your Google Earth for a while, you’ll need to do this first. Go to the Help menu and choose “Look for updates online”. If you’ve got the latest version, you’ll be able to see 360Cities. In the example below, I’m looking at a panorama of the Kings Park walkway, which is in my beautiful home city of Perth, Western Australia.

Go to Places> Gallery> 360Cities. Then zoom into the map. At a certain zoom level, you will start to see red dots labelled 360.


Zoom in further to see all the panoramas in the area. Hover your mouse/ pen over the panorama to see a description.


Then double click on the red ball to fly into the panorama.You will zoom in, and then pause briefly before a 3D glass bauble of the panorama.


Then you will arrive inside the panorama. Use your mouse or pen to move around the environment. Don’t forget to look up and down, as well as to the side!


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Getting more out of Google Earth

Posted by rosiemacalpine on December 3, 2008

Admit it. When you first got your new IWB, was Google Earth one of the things you explored?

There’s nothing quite like spinning a massive globe on your whiteboard. I used Google Earth to look at satellite images of my city, explore maps, and take my class on a 3D tour of the Grand Canyon. But after that, I wasn’t sure what else I could do with Google Earth and eventually forgot about it.

My interest in using it in the classroom has been re-ignited by the following blogs: Google Earth Blog (not surprisingly, Digital Geography, and Ollie Bray, a Scottish geography teacher.

Google Earth has some amazing functions to explore on your IWB. To be honest, some of the content on these blogs is over my head (due to my lack of geography knowledge). But I’ve been picking up on interesting ideas which I’ll share here.

Firstly, it’s worth updating your copy of Google Earth as there have been lots of improvements. To do this, go to the Help menu> Check for updates online.


Here’s three quick easy things to do with the top menu bar of Google Earth in your classroom:


1. Sunlight view. Click this button to see what part of the world is in darkness at the moment. Then spin the globe or drag the time bar in the right hand corner to watch it change.


2. Sky mode. Click on this button to see constellations in Google.


3. Google Ruler. Find the part of the world you want to measure then click on the ruler. Choose the path option. Click on the start of your path, then click the globe every time you want to change direction. Google ruler displays the length of your path on the screen. Ideas for measuring in the primary classroom include:

  • My walk to school
  • Driving into the city
  • Popular local walks
  • Perimeter of the school

I would always use prediction first if doing these as a whole class activity. Children could write their predictions, or put their hand up to separate the class into groups [“Who thinks the perimeter of the football field is less than 400m? More than 400m?”]


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