Saturday, 26 February 2011

Earth Hour 2011

I find it awesome that at 8.30 PM on Saturday 26 March 2011, lights will be switched off around the globe for Earth Hour. The campaign is organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Just imagine all the lights as seen in this satellite image of Europe, Middle East and North Africa going out one by one until this part of the globe lies in the dark... Incredible!
I wish I could see it from space!

Apart from experiencing emotionally beautiful moment, we can use this action to teach the students some facts about this campaign or attract their attention to protecting and saving the planet which is our home.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating.
(Quoted from the Earth Hour website. Visit the site to read on.)

my lantern
Younger students can go to the Earth Hour website and create a virtual lantern which will float around the virtual globe and  serve as a symbol of their care and devotion.

Download an excellent resource pack for primary students here (pdf). 
Do an online exercise here.

Finally you can watch the official Earth Hour video and it will speak for itself.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Reading stuff on YUDU

I regularly frequent the YUDU site which boasts a huge variety of online magazines and other reading stuff.
I recently discovered the magazine BRITAIN which should be of interest to every English teacher because of its wonderful materials about Britain, its geography, history, culture and people.

To view the magazines you need Adobe Flash.

The latest issue of the magazine April/May 2011 contains articles about the Royal Wedding (about to take place), Wales, City of Bath, the War of Roses and a lot more. Colourful 100 pages with loads of information!

Click to launch the full edition in a new window
Publishing Software from YUDU

February/March issue
Click to view the full digital publication online
Read BRITAIN Magazine Feb/Mar
Digital Publishing with YUDU

Monday, 7 February 2011

Widgets with images

I tried out GoodWidgets to see how the images work if put in a widget.
There are 8 styles to choose from. This turned out to be my favourite because of the smooth and inconspicuous image transition.

There is only one drawback to the site - it is rather old and looks a little forgotten.

These are my students getting ready for a big school event.

EDIT:  Just noticed today (3rd April) that the widget with the pictures of my students has disappeared. Checked the home site - gone! No wonder the website looked a bit sad, no one cared about it until it vanished completely.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Instant web hosting

The web offers a wonderful opportunity for everyone to create a simple instant web page for temporary needs. They are extremely convenient for posting some information which will expire or is intended for a small audience. There is no registration, no password, no login, just a blank page and a web address.

What you have to remember is save the address in your bookmarks or you will never be able to see it again (unless you have a brilliant visual memory).

One of the simplest tools is which at the moment of its opening has already created a new unique site. That's why I have not linked the address to the actual page because then you would be taken to MY page.

QuietWrite is described as a peaceful place to write. Just click and write.

Entri is useful for writing rough drafts of articles, jotting down ideas and sharing them with a specific group of people. Direct access to Twitter. No signup required.

Stashsite is advertised as a site for making a downloadable page for an e-book or presenting schoolwork to the teacher in a nice fashion.
Update: Stashsite is gone!

Jottit works in a similar way - you can write or post a text and edit it. The site also lets you format the page - you can change the background colour and fonts.

ShortText is an extremely simple tool, it lets you type or paste any text. There is also a possibility of adding a link to a video or an image. You can allow comments on the page.

DinkyPage looks a little more complicated but it serves the same purpose as the sites mentioned above. There are more formatting options than with other sites and you can get a fairly nice web page with images and links if you spend some time on it.

There are a lot more sites which offer online writing possibility but either they are more complicated or require sign up, that's why I have not mentioned them in this post.