Episode 27 – Genius Hour

TOOL of the WEEK – Genius Hour

This week we investigate the Genius Hour movement – where students get the chance to “make their passions come alive”. We talk with Fiona Tonissen, year 4 teacher, eLearning Leader and inspirational teacher about how she uses Genius Hour in her classroom.

Check out Fiona’s class blog for more links and information about how she introduced Genius Hour to her class and some posts from her students.

Learn more about Genius Hour at geniushour.com or at the genius hour wiki.


Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 8.53.21 PMThinglink

Fiona’s great suggestion to make images “come alive” with links to text, music, YouTube clips or videos. This sensational way to make your images interactive is available as an app or Web Tool.

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 9.17.11 PMMake Dice (2.99) and Make Dice Lite

There are almost no limits to the possibilities to use these dice in any subject area. You can have any number of dice and add numbers, images of just about anything, words, questions….just use your imagination and sense of fun.


Episode 26

TOOL of the WEEK

Games for fun and LEARNING.

In this episode we focus on using games to engage and inspire learning…here are some games you might not necessarily think of first.


Fogger Pad Free, PAC Man Lite, Pacific Wings (1942)

Space Cadet Defender (Space Invaders), Pong, Star Galactic Quest (asteroids)

Galaga 30th Collection, Temple Run, Bike Baron

Red Bull Cart Fighter – World Tour



Communicate your ideas in an instant with Skitch. Annotate images, photos, maps and more to add shapes, text, and highlights. Let your creative
juices free in this great app that is linked to Evernote.


Create your own timelines or explore some of the 100’s waiting for you at Xtimeline.

Episode 25

TOOL of the WEEK

This week we focus on “Positive Schools” and how they support the well-being and learning of students and teachers  Craig shares some apps we can use to encourage a positive approach to life and learning

365Project 365 (.99)

Never forget a day. Take a photo everyday of the year to remember something you enjoyed or made you think. Add a comment to trigger the memory and capture the moment.


With a built in sensor, check your calmness at any moment. Tune into the moment and take appropriate action with this app to create a better understanding of yourself. With tutorials to take action, this app tunes into you at regular intervals during the day.

gratGratitude Journal ($1.99)

List those moments you are grateful for in this app. Create alerts to establish habits around gratefulness and all things that are going right – right now!


A great app for creating those moments where you live and enjoy the moment. Work through at your own pace and make meditation and mindfulness a regular practice.



More free sounds from movies, TV and odd bits and pieces to create some novelty.

qrVisualead.com & Fancy QR

QR Codes are a powerful way to link the real and virtual worlds but they don’t have to be boring. Make your QR Codes inspirational and easy to distinguish using Visualead.com on line or the simple app Fancy QR

Episode 24

TOOL of the WEEK – Comics

cartoonsCartoons inspire writing and reading, build vocabulary and are sensational ways to process and share learning. Create them quickly on your laptop with Web 2 tools like Comic Master and Toondoo or on your iPad with apps  Strip Designer and Comic Touch Lite or Comic Touch at $2.99

SlideShare “20 Effective Ways  to Use Digital Comics in the Classroom.”



Turn any photo into a talking and dancing 3D clip. Feeling creative? Unleash your innovative juices and bring any object to life. Some great classroom applications too!

30Hands30 Hands

Create brilliant digital stories with images and words…..a narrated slideshow! So many possibilities for teachers and students. You can even use it to “flip” your classroom.

Episode 23

TOOL of the WEEK


If you are getting a little tired of boring hyperlinks in your blog or just want to make the links more appealing and easier to identify for younger students then  SQWORL is perfect. It is a very quick way to create graphic bookmarks for web sites. We used it to share some of our links for today….just click click on the image below.


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“Make the Web tell a story” with Storify. Collect images, Tweets and links and let this elegant tool and app turn them into a narrative.

The Newspaper Clipping Generator

A great way to inspire writing – create your own newspaper

dramatic musicDramatic Music

Add some drama and whimsy to your classroom with this app. Free…or Craig liked it enough to pay .99 for the full version

Episode 22 – VITTA 2013

This episode we chat about the things that inspired us at the Victorian Information Technology Teachers 2013 Conference and interview two inspiring teacher participants – Georgie Barrow and Heather Francis for their biggest “take aways”. And pose the question – how was the VITTA Conference like Google Glass?


Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 2.47.48 PM Wonderopolos

“Where the wonders of learning never cease!”. This inspirational site and app gives a new “wonder” every day to inspire learning, language, thinking, questioning and so much more


Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 3.02.55 PMDrawing Pad ($1.99)

An art studio for artists of all ages, from stick figures to the subtlety of chiaroscuro this app enables you to  create photo-realistic art in a huge range of styles and effects…….so many possibilities.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 3.04.53 PMStory Buddy 2 Lite & Story Buddy ($4.99)

“Every child has a story”  and this app makes it easy to tell the story as a stunning online book. The lite version is all you will need for to create books from the youngest to most sophisticated writer. But if you want to add voice and a few other touches you can always purchase the full pack.

Episode 21

In this episode we focus on thinking, sharing some of our inspirational learning from Professor Reuven Feuerstein’s  model of Instrumental Enrichment and discuss how this model can be applied to support student learning with some of these simple apps and web sites.feuerstein

Read more about the Feuerstein Institute here.

TOOLS of the WEEK:

Apps like these can be great for fun, relaxation and challenge but in the hands of great teachers they can also be powerful tools to develop problem solving, strategy skills and so much more…….pic 1

Flow Free & Flow Free Bridges                     Unblock Me & Rush Hour

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 MindFeud                       One Touch Drawing                  MathLands

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   Think -Your Brain Trainer                                    Luminosity



A great website full of free thinking tools that you can print out or customise

puffinPuffin Browser

Want to access Exploratree or other Flash based sites or games on your iPad? Easy…just download this free app and use it as your search engine.