Wordwall – create interactive activities for the classroom

WordwallWordwall makes interactive activities and I like the look of this new tool for creating engaging content for the IWB. I particularly like the idea of the simplicity with which it seems resources can be created which would appeal to a wider number of staff who are sometimes put off by having to learn difficult new software. The promotional information says that teachers can choose from a variety of templates and with just a few words and a couple of clicks create something that wouldn’t have been possible traditional presentation software. There is a free personal licence for teachers to use on their personal computers and a variety of licensing options beyond that.

There is also an additional option for buying Wordpads to enable students to directly interact with the activities.

There is a software demonstration video here:

Using your iPad as a Digital Visualiser / Document Camera

Picture1Stage: Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera is a fantastic app from Belkin International Education with great potential for extending the way you present and prepare material in the classroom, enhancing teaching and learning. You can sketch over live videos, students work, photographs etc. in realtime and record or take snapshots. You can also wirelessly stream content (using Airplay / Airserver) to the whiteboard – so combines the benefits of a document camera with the flexibility and interactivity of an IWB. A more detailed summary is available here and the tutorial video below shows you the potential of the Belkin Stage app – it certainly gets you thinking of lots of different ways it could be put to use in the classroom.

The interface is very simple to use with two menus – one either side (these are fully explained in the video above). It is possible to write on a whiteboard or blackboard background, annotate live video or annotate a photograph. At any time screenshots of your annotations can be taken and it is also possible to record all the actions.

The app is currently free with just a £1.40 in-app purchase if you want to activate the ‘record’ function (which is really useful)

I have only just started playing with the Belkin Stage app but can already see the potential is fantastic and can’t wait to discuss ideas with colleagues in school from across curriculum areas. It is also a fantastic tool for maximising benefits to teaching and learning in a 1 iPad classroom.

Some possible ideas which I hope to add to are…
1. AFL – take a picture of student work – and using AirServer project to board – annotate and assess as a class to identify aspects of good work / how could improve.

2. Science lab – recording a demonstration live, used in conjunction with AirServer so that the video is projected on to the board so that all students can see – the teacher can be discussing what is going on and even annotating / highlighting aspects of what is on screen to help focus students. The whole thing can be recorded and then uploaded to the school’s VLE or wikispaces etc. for students to access later for revision or homework.

3. create little ‘mini-tutorials’ e.g. for science / maths / geography etc.. during (or even before) the lesson to be uploaded to the VLE / blogs or even to be used as part of a lesson.

4. creating screencast type resources for use in the ‘flipped classroom’

This youtube video (Why use Belkin’s Stage app to create lessons?) also starts to explore the potential of Stage by looking at how it makes the most of the camera function of the iPad to bring learning to life in a visual way.

Interactive Maths (1) – SMART Notebook™Maths Tools

The forthcoming Teaching and Learning session is focused on the use of ICT in maths and as part of this I will be adding a number of “Interactive Maths” posts to provide follow up information looking at the use of the following interactive technologies and the Maths curriculum:

1. SMART Maths Tools
2. SMART Response kits
3. SMART Document cameras in maths
4. Interactive Games – Content Generator and Tarsia.


This video clip from Smart Training and Professional Development provides a useful overview of how the SMART Notebook™ Maths toolkit works.

The SMART Notebook™ Maths toolkit includes the following tools:


– Handwriting Recognition for mathematical symbols
– Equation solving
– Equation editing

Advanced shape Creation and Manipulation ToolsRegular – – –

– Polygon Tool
- Irregular Polygon Tool
- Advanced Shape Manipulation

- Dynamic Graphing
- Custom Graph Builder

Texas Instruments™ Emulators
(launch TI-Nspire™, TI-SmartView™ 84 and TI-SmartView 73 software in notebook (note the TI Emulator software has to brought separately).

This video clip provides a useful look at the maths toolkit in action to support secondary maths:
A 30 day trial of the SMART Notebook Maths toolkit can be downloaded here. If you decide to purchase the add on, a number of licenses are available from one-computer to multiple computers from a range of suppliers of educational software.
Remember, there are measurement tools, including a ruler, protractor and compass which are now a standard part of SMART Notebook™ 10 and don’t require SMART Notebook™ Maths Tools as a separte add on.

Using ICT To Support Revision

 The IWB revision quiz templates are just four examples of those available on the Lesson Activity Toolkit 2.0. To access the ones I have shown as examples, either search for them under Lesson Activity Toolkit (using the bold key term I have called them) or if you have access to the projects folder – they are saved under Staff_IWB Resources.

The Content Generator games below are all made using the generator ‘wizards’ we have in school (email me if you would like details of where these can be found on the network). A summary of these games and examples for your subject areas produced by other school can be found on the Content Generator website.


The resources mentioned in the slide below can be found at classtools.net and on the Hot Potatoes website

Finding Resources for the IWB

This google search engine is specifically for locating useful SMART notebook files and could be very useful for identifying resources (they are however not limited to the British curriculum and will include resources from other countries curriculums).

Remember for a specific search or resources linked to the English curriculum subject areas that there is alse the SMART exchange which provides support for searching for subject specific topic areas across different key stages. There are also some great quizzes on here which can be adapted. You can find out more about the SMART exchange including a video tour of what is on offer and how to search in this previous post.

Lesson Activity Toolkit Tip of the week – 1. Using the Random Group, Random Name & Spinner! (all subjects!)

Some great little tools from the SMART Lesson Activity Toolkit (2.0) to use in your lessons – suitable for all curriculum areas! To find them simply click on the gallery tab in SMART notebook, select Lesson Activity Toolkit and then in the search box type what you are looking for i.e. “Random Word Chooser”; “Random Group Chooser” or “Spinner”. Let me know if you have any problems. Please also let me knows of any particular ways these have been useful in the classroom so we can share the ideas with others.


A great little tool – simply type in a set of words and click select, the tool will flick through the words and randomly select one:

Ideas for use:
I’m sure you can all think of lots of uses for this little tool, but a few ideas to get you started……. let me know of any other ways you think of and we can share them on here.

  • AFL tool for identifying students during questioning – input class set names and randomly select a student for answering a question
  • Key word terminology – Revision activity – input a set of key terms related to a particular area – randomly select one and ask students to define the key term.
  • Maths starter – you can type in numbers (thus equations or sums) and not just words – could get computer to select 5 at random as a little starter?
  • MFL – key words in the target language for a particular topic area – randomly selected and students have to give the translation.

Random Word Chooser


A great little tool for any activity in any subject involving group work and for which you want to randomly mix students.

(i) Simply insert the names of the students in your class and select the number of groups you want to split them into


(ii) Click generate…. and hey presto…!

Group Generator


A simple spinning tool – you can add text or simply have colour coded segments. To edit click on the arrows on the right of the spinner and you will get the selection box below. To type a word into each segment, make sure you keep clicking on the relevant segment or it will simply save over the one you have just named.


Ideas for use:
Again I’m sure you can come up with lots of ideas for use – just drop me an email so I can add to the list!

1. Name selector (again add names and then set the spinner) – would work ok for smaller groups like VI form
2. Revision – topic areas on spinner – ‘hot-seating’ – students have to select a topic area and then answer a question from it
3. Revision – simillar to above but student selects a key term / case study using topic and then has to tell the rest of the class as much as they know about it, or describe the key term etc.
4. Again numbers can be inputed as well as text – enabling maths equation style questions.


Topic areas / Revision use:


Name selector:

Spinner 2

SMART Notebook Tip – Setting a default font.

Got a favourite font and size that you like to use in your presentations? Fed up with having to keep change the font and size to your favourite every time? I know that a number of people would like to be able to set a default text style and font in notebook so that you don’t have to keep reformatting every time you type and if that is you, here is the answer!

Instructions for setting a default font and size in SMART notebook.

1. Open up notebook and select the text button (shown in diagram below)


2. Click on the first ‘Aa’ button that appears

SMARTPic_23. Now click on the format tab (last tab down on left hand side – shown in diagram below) and click on Text style from the list of options that appear


4. Make your selection from the options given for the text and size that you want to appear as default and then click save properties in the bottom left hand corner.


It is possible to repeat this to set the style and text for the other buttons on the Text selection bar (below) so that you can quickly select the text / sizes you use (e.g. for different size headings etc.)



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