ACAL ACTA Conference 2016

E-xchanging ways of being through connections with the world out there!

This post contains examples and links for the tools/strategies used in the above session at the 2016 ACAL/ACTA Conference in Perth.

Slideshare of the presentation – updated to include participant input.

The shortened customised link that you typed to reach this page was created with Bitly – a free tool for shortening and customising links.

The polling tool used for the Facebook Poll was “Poll Everywhere

Strategies for engagement

Social media interaction

To access and/or join the FS Teach Facebook group you can use the link below:

You can find and follow me on Twitter through my Twitter account  or if you just Tweet using #FSTeach I will follow you first and then you can just follow back.

If you are not already in Facebook and/or Twitter these two posts may help you get started:

Blogging to reach the wider world

Blogging is a great way to encourage students to write effectively for a wider audience. They can also be used to provide an additional way for students to access course resources and additional materials outside face-to-face classes.

I use Edublogs because it:

  • has an educator/student focus
  • allows me to create and manage student blogs
  • has good personalisation options
  • is mobile friendly
  • has excellent privacy/security options
  • has outstanding support/help

For more about blogging and getting started for yourself and/or your students you might find the links below useful:

Tools and apps – easy to learn and use

tools and apps list

Visit the Lino below – and post your own sticky to let us know which (if any) of these you or your students already use.

Trying out the tools

Below are some short description and links to tools so that you can spend time now exploring one or more of them.

Online “sticky notes”

These have many uses including: brainstorming, responding to stimulus words/questions, short written texts, feedback and reflection.

Padlet (there are iPad and Android apps for this)

Linoit (there are iPad and Android apps for this)

Bookmarking and link/content sharing tools

Very useful for embedding in blogs and using in other online repositories . Enable sharing of links and or content in a more visual way that just providing a list. You and/or your students can “hotspot” on an image and add text/images/links eg describing and giving directions for a route.


You and/or your students can “hotspot” on an image and add text/images/links eg describing and giving directions for a route.

This is one of the “Thinglinks” I have used in PD for colleagues.


Digital bookmarking tool. Very visual – uses coloured tiles in a matrix enabling grouping of topics within a category. Staying Safe Online is one I use with CGEA students as part of a digital literacy project on online safety.


This is the bookmarking app I use personally it enables me to keep track of links across multiple devices and browsers both at work and at home. Much better than using “Favourites” and then finding that when you want to revisit something it is on “the other” computer.

Visual texts/presentations


One of my all time favourites for students to use. Great for creating texts that can be used for learning and/or providing evidence. Unfortunately this doesn’t work on tablets, however there are cartoon makers that do such as Make Beliefs. ToonDoos are best created and then saved as images – that way they can be easily incorporated in presentations, blogs and documents.


One of the many tools that has a free option for education. Not a great favourite of mine but students find it fun and engaging to use because of the zooming options. I also think that this is a bit more difficult to learns than some tools.


My students in the past have used this often because it allows them to embed a Powerpoint in their blogs. I also use it often because it allows me to share presentations easily to a global audience. Slideshare now belongs to LinkedIn so if you use Slideshare and also have a LinkedIn profile you can share to your LinkedIn network easily.


A great tool – it has the potential for educators to set up classes or for students to just join and use independently. There is a large collection of artwork that can be used as the basis for online stories. Only a few of my students have chosen to use it – usually those with strong artistic and creative leanings. I love having it as an option for students because it is “different” and provides opportunities for dreams! This link is to an example by one of my former students “There’s a leopard in my garden!


For creating multi-media posters – like Storybird this only appeals to some students. It is a bit harder to learn the basics than many of the other tools.


Useful for several different purposes eg analysing text (word frequency); summarising content; checking ability to pick out key words/phrases/concepts; improving spelling; providing feedback. I have used these a lot in CGEA and find that students really like them because they add a visual aspect to the words.

Wordle and Tagxedo are both easy to use but don’t work on tablets. There are apps for wordclouds available for iPad eg Wordsalad although this doesn’t allow much flexibility in the free version



Vokis are “talking” avatars. They can be given their “voices” either by using the student’s own voice or by typing in text for a synthesised voice. I have found them very useful with students who are shy or lacking in confidence/self-esteem

Mangatar – FaceYourManga

I prefer that students, especially minors, don’t use their own photographs as avatars, and this Avatar creator is one of the best I have found. It is easy to use and the resulting image can be easily downloaded and used anywhere that avatar is needed



I would love some feedback!

Please visit this Padlet – Exploring Tools and add your comments!

  1. Which tool(s) you explored
  2. Your thoughts on the tool(s) you tried
  3. If and how you could use it/them with your students

Feedback on the session – please add your comments to this page to let me know how you felt the session went. Anything you particularly liked or disliked and anything I could improve.

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