Saturday, 22 March 2014

Back when I was still in primary school we always had 10-15 new words each week to learn. These words was always written in a big piece of paper in our class room. Today the technology has improved and the big piece of paper has been replaced by a new web based program called spellic. 
About the website:  This is a web based program that can be used to practice your English language skills. You get access to it by creating an account. When the account is created you simply log in. And now you can start add words and other exercises that you as a teacher want your pupils to have. 
  The words can be practiced in many different ways. This picture will show some of them:

Here you see a section called "Vanligt förhör", this is simply a test where you can chose either to see the words in Swedish and then translate them into English or the other way around, which is English --> Swedish.

 The next section is "spela spel med övningen". Here you can chose from different mini games which will make the learning a bit more fun and also it will give your pupils some variety on their homework. I did take some print screens on one of the games and they will be shown under this section.
In this game you steer the car into the correct word. By tapping the up and down arrow you steer your car up and down. The left arrow is used to brake the speed of the car and right arrow is used to increase the speed. One thing about this game I like is that you as a teacher can use this to see how many words/10 min a pupil can read. The teacher can set a speed and then tell the pupil to just use the up and down arrow to maneuver the car. The game it self is quite easy: The road has three different lanes, which means that there will be three different words that the pupil will have to chose from. If the pupil picks the right word nothing happens, the car just keeps on driving towards the next word. If the pupil chooses the wrong word the car crashes and the game is over. 

You can also listen to the words and practice the pronunciation of them and also you can make listening exercises by listen to a word and then click the correct translation of it.

My first encounter with the website: The first time I saw this website was at my last teacher practice. I did immediately thought that this was a great way to practice words. I asked the pupils about the program and they all seemed to enjoy work with it. And since it's web based the pupils can access it from home as well and they do not need to keep track the paper with the words, which I always had when I was in school. I also did the words with the pupils one week and it was a very simple tool to use and all I had to do was to write the Swedish and the English words and then add them and I was done. Then the website do all the magic and creates all games and word tests.

Other considerations worth mentioning: Since the website can be accessed not only in school, the parents can be better involved in their kids learning and my opinion is that it's a lot more fun to do it this way that doing it the old-fashion style. And not to forget, it has been almost 20 years since I was in their age, and I would have been shocked if the teaching was the same!

Tobias Petersson

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


IPAD in school activities

What is the resource?

An IPAD is a tablet computer from the American consumer electronics company Apple. The tool was first published in 2010 by Apple founder Steve Jobs. The newer version of the IPAD which includes speed and a camera has become considerably improved. When the first IPAD was introduced, there was nothing like it. Today, millions of people use IPAD to do everything possible. There are more than 300,000 apps made just for IPAD, and there are almost no limits to what you can do. IPAD is a multi touch screen that reacts as soon as you touch it and it weighs very little and is easy to carry around. It is also very easy to add new programs in the IPAD so that they are suitable for your purposes. (

The use of technology in schools is not new. There has always been some kind of technology in the classroom. Some of these include the blackboard, video, movies and recorders. Today, technology has become increasingly important in school and in the near future, ICT will be normal in the classroom. That this development is partly due to children today are growing up with the new technology (Dudeny, Hockley, 2007).

How the resource can be used by teachers

IPAD can be used in many different ways in the classroom. As a teacher, you can use the IPAD in education in many different ways. It is very easy to search the answers on questions that pupils may have and through that retain pupil interest in different subjects. It is also very easy to write in different information or use the IPAD as a camera or magnifying glass and so much more.

The reason why teachers should make use of the iPad in their teaching depends on that the teaching become more efficient. It is, as I mentioned before easier to find information that students wonder if the lesson. In this way, the teacher can easily deepen students' knowledge of the subject, while students gain a greater interest in the subject.

How the resource can be used by pupils

As for how pupils can use the IPAD in school, there are an incredible number of opportunities. There are many apps that can be downloaded that can train pupils in mathematics or any other subject. It is also easy for pupils to find out information about a particular topic that they are interested in and things like that. Pupils can also different writing assignments on the IPAD that allows them to train their grammar and vocabulary.

The reason why students should have opportunities to use IPADS in the classroom depends on that the tool can help pupils to develop their knowledge. Many pupils believe that it is more fun to write on IPADS and many times it helps pupils to progress in their writing skills if they use it for that purpose. It is also very easy to use the tool to seek for information. It would be a fun way to learn new things.

Other considerations when using this resource

When the teacher use an IPAD in their teaching, it is important that you consider using apps and programs to encourage pupils' development. If you want the pupils to work by themselves with an IPAD, it is important that they only have access to the programs and apps that the teacher wants the pupils to use. It is also important that pupils may use the IPAD in a variety of situations so that they see it as a tool and not as something hard. It will be natural for them to work with the IPAD and they will use them to develop their own knowledge.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Website: Students of the world

What the resource is ... is a project which was started out in 1995 by a team in France. Their aim was, and still is "To open the doors of World's cultures - To further communication between young people all over the World". In French the association is called Etudiants du Monde and it is non-profit association. The idea is to reach their goal by providing schoolboys, schoolgirls and students with pen-friends in a suitable age. In this way pupils all over the world will have a chance to discover new cultures and improve their knowledge of foreign languages or learn a new one.  In 2012, they have had more than 200 million visitors, and their database includes near 1 million penpals + 12 000 blogs.

How it works ... 
It works in such that it is a webpage, open and free for anyone to explore and use. 
The website contains nine different subpages; 

  • About us. Where you can read about the idea of the website and the people responsible for it. 
  • Penpals of the world. (for kids, students and teachers only! Anyone over 25 not explaining in their add why they are there will automatically be deleted) Where you can create your own penpal area. The penpal area includes a profile, a friendlist, a mailbox, forums (of your chioce) an introduction of your country. You don't have to submit your email or any personal informartion in order to create this area. 
  • Countries of the world. Where you can read very detailed information about all countries of the world. For example it provides geopolitical, cultural and tourist  information.
  • Schools of the world. Where schools from all over the world can share their school webpage or create a blog. Here teachers are also able to create ads in order to search for or start penpal exchange programs or other school projects. 
  • Games. Where you can play educational games or puzzles concerning topics like; animals of the world, , products of the world, astronomy, dinosaurs and ancient egypt. 
  • Blogs. Where you can read all the different blogs provided by the website. The blogs are written by penpals who are active on the site. 
  • Chats, clubs and surveys. Where you can join a current group or club. Divided into age groups of 5-15 (primary and middle school) and 15-25 years old (high school or higher years). You can also take part in a survey/quiz or create your own. 
  • Forums. Where you can discuss and interact with others. The forums are divided into different categories; teacher ads, homework help, hobbies and debates. There are also "expert" forums where you can talk about your favorite sport, animal or your ideal job. 
  • Links. Where you can find useful links about; penpals, countries of the world, educational sites, games and greeting cards, directories and links to the website itself. 

What you need to make it work ...
In order to make it work you don't need many resources. Mainly a computer with internet connection, although it could be useful to have more than one computer. Nothing else is needed since everything is provided by the website. Although, other resources that can be useful would be a camera in order to take pictures and send to the penpals. A scanner in order to scan in documents or drawings you would like to share with your foreign friends. A printer is good to have if you have few computers and would like to print the letters and work with them in the classroom instead. Furthermore a projector and a screen could be useful because then the teacher can show the website to the pupils and use the projector while giving instructions regarding the website. 

How the resource can be used by teachers …
This resource is very useful to teachers, especially since it is developed for school work and teachers and students. As a teacher you can use it to get connected with other teachers and schools all over the world, which is good when you want to start an exchange project or other school project where you want to get in touch with other techers and schools in the world. I personally think that projects like these are very motivating and exiting for the pupils to be ivolved with. It is important to use these rescources because you connect your classroom with the real world, instead of just talking about other countries and read about them in books. This technology we are provided with today is a great opportunity that we should take advantege of. The teacher can initiate and develop an correspondance between their class and another class in a different country. The teacher can also let the pupils explore the website on their own and create different tasks for them to carry out while they interact with the website. The page countries of the world  contains a lot of information about all the countries in the world. A task would be for the pupils to read about a country of their choice and make a presentation, this task could be connected to both English and geography.  

How the resource can be used by pupils ...
Pupils can first and foremost use this resource in order to correspond with pupils from various countries all over the world. This correnspondence may be lead by the teacher, as mentioned above, or it can be entirely done by the pupil on its own. The site is created to be a safe environment for children and schoolstudents to interact with others in their own age with different nationalities. Moreover pupils can create their own penpal area, read other blogs or write in their own, read and take part in discussions on forums, take or create quizzes and surveys and play games. They can also read about different countries. Most important is that they get to interact with "real" English language, since almost the entire page is written in English. 

Other considerations when using this resource …
The website holds a warning text. where they describe different things to be avare of while using the site. Even though they work very hard to keep it a safe environment for children, it is easy for adults (who do not belong there) to take advantage of the system and initiate inapropriate contact with children. The creators of the site states very clear that they do not take responsibility neither for page contents, nor for the consequences of your publications. Authors have to take on their own responsibility. They strongly recommend not to include your personal address & phone number in your messages. If you choose to introduce your pupils to this website, I think it is also your responsibility to discuss these matters with your pupils and explain to them what might happen if they publish private information in the site. It is important to explain that the purpose of the site is to make new friends, not to get involved romantically in any way with anyone on the site. Remind the pupils that they are using the site in a school context and they are therefore representing your school and in a way they are also representing your country. I recommend you to openly discuss this with your pupils. What does this mean? How do we want our school to be projected? Remember, that this should be an open discussion. By this I mean do not make your mind up about these things in advance, then the pupils will have really no reason at all to discuss this with you. They will notice if you have already decided what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in these contexts which increases the risk that they will not listen to you. It is supposed to be a mutual agreement between you and your pupils. I think this is important to remember since the Swedish curricula emphazise democracy and pupils' power to influence their school situation and way of working. 

I hope you find this useful, I know I do! 

Ann-Sofie Brage

Monday, 20 May 2013



What the resource is, how it works and what you need to make it work

MightyBook is an American online publisher that was founded in 1999, with two of its founders being former educators with more than 20 years of classroom teaching experience. MightyBook is specialised in children’s animated eBooks and story songs for the ages 2-10. However, most children in Sweden are taught English in school between ages six and seven and therefor these eBooks and story songs are well suitable for pupils in primary school.

MightyBook offers limited numbers of free services, such as animated eBooks and story songs. However, if you want to access all services, they offer various types of memberships for a fee. As a member, you can access new additions of interactive activities every month.  You can sign up online or by mail and you will be offered the “MightyBook 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee”. In other words you can try Mightybook for 30 days, and if you are not satisfied they will give you a full refund.

Some services, such as the animated eBooks require Adobe Flash Player.

How the resource can be used by teachers

Teachers can use MightyBook in numerous ways. Just by skimming through the various links you will find inspiration of how to work with your pupils. Animated eBooks for one can help arouse the pupils’ interest in books. The animations are beautifully designed with a humorous approach. The eBooks are also a great way to introduce English literature. While watching the animated eBooks every word in the stories are highlighted as they are spoken, which gives the pupils’ a greater chance to keep up. The stories can be paused at any time you wish and if you missed something in the previous page/pages you can always jump back one or more pages.

In the main menu to the left there is a link called words and letters, which leads to a page where you can find useful animated books. Book of nouns for example offers multiple links to different slideshows that includes animals. These books could be very useful when the pupils’ are going to learn what different animals are called in English. When the picture of an animal is shown, the animal’s name in English is presented in both text and audio. This gives the pupils’ the chance to hear how the word is pronounced and how it is spelled.

Another usable link in the main menu is called parents and teachers. There you will find several topics that can be used for teaching. For example, there is a link called poems with activities. When entering that page you will find poems and activities that are arranged according to grade level.

At the bottom of the page there is a link called teachers, which will direct you to a page intended for teachers. On this page several usable links are given, such as animal ABC flash cards that teachers could put up on the classroom wall.

How the resource can be used by pupils

The website is well suited for pupils in primary school. If they would have trouble understanding the English words, the pictures will help them find their way. As a pupil you can find many educational activities that are made in very creative and amusing ways. To name a few, they could:

Watch an animated eBook of choice

Watch an animated classic song


Watch an animated story song

Other considerations when using this resource

MightyBook can be used in many ways when teaching. I strongly believe that it is important to incorporate the pupils’ interests in our teaching. Since most of today’s kids are well oriented in terms of computers and the Internet, and appreciate the time they get to work with the computer I believe computer based activities are a very good resource. Most of MightyBook’s activities can be used by pupils individually as well as in small groups. They work very well for whole class activities as well.

When reading what MightyBook’s users have to say about them it is clear that it is a very popular publisher. The users recommend it as a great resource for special education students as well as second language learners.

I will gladly recommend MightyBook as well! Enjoy!

/ Linnea Rannelid

Friday, 10 May 2013



What an iPad is and how it works
An iPad is a tablet computer and can be used for taking pictures, recording videos, playing music, surfing the internet, apps et cetera. It has a multi-touch screen as well as a virtual keyboard. It is easy to bring it with you because of its’ small size and it is therefore a very handy teaching tool to have in the classroom. 

How the resource can be used
Teachers can for example use the iPad to quickly access the internet and search for information on different subjects that students are wondering about. That way the teacher can capture the student’s interest instantly. There are many different game apps that could be useful for students. Some of the game apps are made with teaching in mind and they are learning oriented. There are English learning apps, math learning apps, Swedish learning apps et cetera. These apps are a way for students to both learn and have fun at the same time. They can also use the ipad for writing and searching the internet in an easy way. It can also be used for taking pictures and recording video. Teachers can for example use students’ recordings in their assessment of them.

Other considerations when using this resource
It is of importance to be involved when students are using a tool such as the iPad. For student to actually learn something when playing a learning app he or she has to play it the right way. Some students can tend to click on the screen until they get the right answer without really thinking about it. It is therefore important for the teacher to guide the student in how to use the iPad and its’ different apps. Since the iPad has an internet connection there is the possibility of students accessing the net for non-school related searches and web pages. Teachers need to be aware of this and as mentioned above be involved in the students’ use of the iPad so that it is used in the right way for the right things.

Sofia Wiberg

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Liber Espresso

What the resource is, how it works and what you need to make it work:
Liber Espresso is a multimedia archive with different pedagogical material like pictures, movies, interactive exercises and texts about all kind of topics. It is original from England so you can find material in English (on the English pages) that are all in English.
It is an Internet learning material and it covers all the subjects from preschool to school year 6 and the content of the resource is connected to the curriculum LGR 11.
The requirement to use the resource is that you have to have access to Internet. It does not matter if you have a PC or a Mac – computer because Liber espresso is built on flash.
It is not for free, the school can subscribe the resource Liber Espresso at a fee of 129kr/year/user. The users are the teachers and the students within the school.
Liber Espresso works splendid with a Smart Board for example, then you can watch the movies and do the interactive exercisers together as a group or the whole class. It is at the same time a recourse that one student can use by one computer. They can listen to facts, read and do the exercisers for themselves. It can be used as a starter of new topics or as a “on the side” material, with extras. If you are a teacher in a school that subscribe the resource you will get a password so you can make it work at home also. If you are interested to learn more about Liber Espresso it is possible to ask the staff from Liber to come to your school and give you a demonstration. The best way of learning to use the material is to book an education for the teachers when you decide to try this ICT –recourse.

How teachers can use the resource:
The teachers can use Liber Espresso to create whole lessons/themes using the films, exercisers, texts and so on. There is a special tool called the presentation creator to help you to do that. It is possible to just pick some of the numerous ideas from the material as a starter for a new topic. It can be provided for the pupils who need some individual practise/challenge. The resource can also be used to find new articles (the archive is being updated every week), find different topics that can be discussed. The teacher can also see the connection with the syllabus for each area.
To use the English pages are contributing to develop the language because you can find good materials for the actual group you are teaching in within all kind of school subjects.
How pupils can use the resource:
The pupils can use this in their own levels. If you have difficult with reading, you can easily get the text read to you with a simple button click. There are figures at the top of the exercisers that can give you as a student an explanation how to do. The pupils can use the presentation creator and make their own presentation to report what they have learnt or show a work that they are going to share with their classmates. It is an excellent “on the side” material also for extras if you are done with your exercise and want to know some more. They can work with it one by one or in pairs watching and reading and practising the topics we work with.

Other considerations when using this resource:
This ICT- recourse is very popular among the children and the teachers at the school I am working at. The material is easy to find and the site is friendly for both students and teachers (even if you are not so familiar with Internet learning materials). If you are going to use this it is saving a lot of time as a teacher. You do not have to look for all the material from so many places, it is all in one place. It cannot, in my opinion, be the only material to use in the education but it covers a lot if you use the English pages. The English site has more material than the Swedish and even if your student do not know the English language that much yet, the content in the site is useful.
If you or your pupils chose to make your own presentations with Espresso it is good to know that you cannot save it on the resource, you need to save it on a USB – stick or on your server. It could be some questions that you want to know more about, then you can visit There you can also find the contact to order the resource or to get someone out to your school to give you a demonstration of the product. Good luck! / Kristina William