Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How to add a YouTube video to your blog

I was very pleased to find out today, through one of my social networking links, that Blogger has its own YouTube Help Channel. It's called BloggerHelp and you can find it here. When I took a look I saw they had one on one of this week's topics - How to add a YouTube video to your blog. So I thought I would add it here. For those of you that are still unsure on how to do this here are some screen shots.

1. Find the video you want to download

2. Click on Share to first get the Internet address and embed button

3. Click on embed to get the HTML code

4. Paste the code into the HTML part of your blog

5. Your video will now appear miraculously on the Compose side of your blog

If you are reading this post, why not give it a go right now! 

Report back on the Elkanah House TeachMeet and IpadMeet

Submitted by Fiona Beal

Saturday 26 November 2011

This morning I woke up feeling excited. It was TeachMeet day at Elkanah house! Two 'meets' to look forward to at the same venue - one to do with general technology (TeachMeet) and one to do with using Ipads in the classroom (Ipadmeet).  I have written about TeachMeets before on this blog. They are a very exciting form of professional development. I have been to two in South Africa, and both times I have come away with new technology friends, new ideas and new enthusiasm. I normally go home and start trying out everything I learned about!

Highlights from the Teachmeet

Unfortunately there weren't too many 'Keen Beans' that were willing to share something today. Only five of us! But there were quite a number of 'Enthusiastic Lurkers' who will hopefully think about giving a presentation at the next Teachmeet in February. I was thrilled to see that there were four principals at the 'meets'. Lucky schools! If the Head shows an interest there is no telling what can be achieved. There was a Twitter stream going on in the background. You can view it at #elkteachmeet.

1. Use Diigo for bookmarking
Linda Foulkes showed us all the uses of bookmarking using Diigo. I am an avid user of Diigo but there was a lot I didn't know. I must explore more!

Maryne from Elkanah House and Alan from Digicape

2. Use a free video programme called VLC
Jonathon Manley showed us a programme called VLC and highlighted VLC's extra features where you can take snapshots of DVDs played. You can also add Audacity and create your own soundclips. I don't know this programme at all but am certainly going to try it. VLC can be found at

3. Combine creative writing with stop animation movies
Micahel Botha, a Grade 7 teacher showed how her class recreated a Greek myth by using digital cameras and stop animation. They used digital cameras and then MovieMaker to pull it all together. They included voice over and music. Each movie was unique. I can imagine that this makes writing come alive for even the most relectant writer. 

Di and Esther from Someset College

4. How to use your blog as a teaching tool
This was my presentation.  I am currently presenting an online blogging course for teachers around South Africa using a blog as a teaching tool. I have found that the following five programmes come in very handy -,,, Slideshare and Screencast-o-matic.  You can view my presentation here since I also presented it from a blog!

5. Use to find information on your topic
Karen Stadler gave this presentation. You join Scoopit and tell it what topic you want it to investigate. It finds relevant website links and brings them to you. You choose what you want, and hey presto you have a lovely magazine to share with others. I loved this idea. So I come! Incidentally at the Teachmeet two people belonged to Scoopit and you might want to take a look at their magazines. Karen -, and Arthur

Arthur and Karen from Elkanah House in foreground

Highlights from the Ipadmeet

After a break and lots of chatting, eating and interacting it was time for the IpadMeet. Some new teachers arrived. Linda Foulkes write a blogpost previous to this giving ideas on what we should do at this first Ipadmeet. You can read about it here.

1. A marvellous app called Book Creator
Alan Goldberg (Head of Education Development, Digicape) was at the IpadMeet.  He did a workshop at Elkanah House last Saturday where he demonstrated  a wonderful app called Book Creator.    Karen Stadler started off showing the book she created at that workshop. Then Alan showed his book called 'Ethan and Alan in Italy'. It was a recap of a holiday with his teen son.  He showed us how you can embed videos, add hyperlinks and other media into your book and make it come alive. Links at the bottom of the page allow you to email links to your students and colleagues. Any epub reader will open the book.  As a keen writer myself I was completely taken with this app. and its potential. 

Carolynn from Springfield College

2. Read tweets on the Ipad using Flipboard
Karen Stadler showed us this application. This is a great way to read tweets on the Ipad. It gives you your tweets like a newspaper.

Two thoughts struck me at the Ipadmeet.
*Tablets are definitely the way forward.
*I didn't realise the potential in this little device that I am so privileged to own. 

Nicki from Bishops College

It really was worth giving up a Saturday to attend these meets at Elkanah House. The next dual session is to take place on 25 February 2012. 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Webinar recording: Get the hang of a Google hangout (27/11/2013)

What is a Google hangout?
Google+ is Google's new social networking tool. I have only just discovered its amazing potential since attending the Google Teacher Academy in New York in October. Google has put a lot of funding into developing Google+ and they are committed to making it work well for education, so it will just get better and better I am sure. Once you have created a circle of friends in Google+ you can choose to hang out with them on Google+. This allows you to video chat, IM chat, watch YouTube videos together, and more.

Summary of benefits
Google Hangouts are part of Google+, Google's new free social networking tool. On a Hangout 10 people (possible 15 on Google Apps) can:
*video chat
*IM (instant message) chat
*watch YouTube videos together
*collaborate on a Google Doc
*use a whiteboard collaboratively
*add effects for fun
*record the Hangout directly on YouTube
*live stream for more viewers
*A minimum of two people
*and more…

A Slideshare showing the steps
This slideshare was used in the SchoolNet webinar of the same name and shows the steps in creating a hangout.

Webinar recording:
Last week SchoolNet had a webinar whih was presented by me (Fiona Beal) on 'Get the hang of a Google Hangout'. Here is the recording (22 mins)

Ideas for using a hangout in the the classroom
• Read a story
• Bring in an expert/guest speaker/author|
• Share from a Slideshare
• Homework tutoring
• Professional Development meeting
• Work on a project together
• Virtual penpals
• Global classroom discussions
• Career Day wit panelists
• Attend other hangouts (Google has a whole library of hangouts)
• Extended discussion on a class topic
• Subject-related hangouts
• Conduct workshops and seminars

Additional reading and viewing
a) A tutorial 
Please note that Google updates its products continually so some features in this video might look different.

b) Further Reading
*How to use Google Hangouts 
*How to Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching
*How to create a Google event

Saturday, 26 November 2011

A blog can be a fantastic teaching tool in a technology integrated classroom

There are five Web2.0 applications that I think make a blog a really worthwhile teaching tool in a technology integrated classroom. They are:
1) where you can store documents that you have created and link to them.
2) which allows you to embed anything on your blog.
3) Slideshare which maakes an e-book from a PowerPoint or PDF. This is so useful for instructions.
4) Screencast-o-matic where you can explain and show at the same time.
5) where you can give verbal instructions to the class.

Best of all - they are all free!

This slideshare shows you how to use each one of these applications.

Your blog can be a fantastic teaching tool in a technology integrated classroom

Recently I have been running a free online blogging course for teachers around South Africa, and I decided to do all the teaching from a blog to model blogging. I suddenly realised what a fantastic teaching tool a blog can be in a technology integrated classroom. I’d like to share a few of the Web 2.0 applications that can really aid a teacher in a classroom.

1. Use to link to documents you have created

For example


1.1 Join and upload your document. You get 5GB of free space.


1.2 Once your document is uploaded and appears in your list, click on Share. A web address link will appear for you to copy.

1.3 Copy this web address to the spot where you want it in your blog and click on the word link at the top of your blog post to make it an active link.


The result:

"How to add pages to your blog
Take a look at the Tipsheet for a step-by-step guide for adding pages to your blog."

2. Use to link to documents you have created is a fantastic application that allows you to embed all sorts of different documents on your blog by creating an embed code.

For example


2.1 Go to


2.2 Go to My embeds and sign in using one of your accounts – I use my Google account


2.3 Go to Select Files and find the file you want on your computer.


2.4 Copy the embed code into the HTML part of your blog post.


This is the result

Read these instructions:

3. Use for more detailed instructions

Slideshare is a fantastic way to present a book-like instruction to a class. You create each page in PowerPoint.

For example


3.1 Go to, join and click on Upload to find the Powerpoint or PDF you want to use.


3.2 When you document appears click on embed to get the code.


3.3 This is what the code looks like


Result on the blog
4. Use Screencasts to explain something more complicated

4.1 Join and log in. Start recording by following the instructions.


4.2 This is what it looks like when you are finished. You can embed it, upload it to YouTube, or download it as a movie file.

5. Use verbal instructions on your blog using is so easy to use. You can download the result as a .wav file, or you can simply embed it in your blog.

5.1 Join, click to record, record and start speaking when prompted.


5.2 You will be asked to allow your microphone to be used.


*Paste the embed code into your blog


Here is the result

These are just a few of the ways you can make your blog a great teaching tool. Perhaps you have tried out others that you would like to share?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Elkanah House runs with the TeachMeet idea in the Western Cape

This is a guest post by Linda Foulkes ot Elkanah House in Table View. Linda is responsible for the training and testing of Grade 8 to 10 students on the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification. She is a Microsoft Office Expert and ICDL Advanced Trainer. In addition to her role as Staff Trainer and High School ICT Integration support (ICT Department), she also belongs to the Academic Department as Grade 8 Tutor Teacher. Linda absolutely loves spending her time researching social media and relevant technologies with connections on Twitter (@folklind) and Facebook, as well as her blog at, and enjoys imparting this knowledge as professional development, enhancing teaching experience for teachers/students or simply just to boost efficiency in the workplace. Apart from that Linda is the Person who is running with the TeachMeet idea at Elkanah House.
Second TeachMeet this Saturday 26 November 2011

This Saturday Elkanah House will be running its second TeachMeet and introducing its first IpadMeet.



Read about the proposed IPADMeet here:

Report back on first  TeachMeet on 29 October

Elkanah House held its very first TeachMeet on Saturday, 29th October. The meet was held in the Library Resource Centre from 12h00 till 14h00 at our High School.

You might be thinking “What is a TeachMeet?” TeachMeets are a very popular form of professional development for teachers. Teachers’ sign up to either participate as a Keen Bean by presenting a successful lesson, resource, or idea [the list is endless] that they have experienced using ICT in the classroom or as an Enthusiastic Lurker (for those who wish to “check out” the situation and participate in discussions or simply learn from others).

Presenters are encouraged to prepare a 3 minute presentation or idea to share at the TeachMeet. These are collected via a Dropbox shared folder the week before the meet. All the resources are shared with attendees after the TeachMeet. The organisers of the TeachMeet will keep to the time limits!
Twenty two teachers from different schools, within the Cape Town area, attended the TeachMeet @ Elkanah. The meet opened with attendees spending some time mingling at the SchoolYard Market Tea Venue. This was a great way to relax and get to know each other before moving to the Library Resource Centre. Everyone then moved to the TeachMeet venue where the meet was officially opened by Linda Foulkes (@folklind). Karen Stadler (@ICT_Integrator) very professionally handled the Twitter backchannel for the meet. Our twitter hashtag is #elkteachmeet.

Visit the following link for more information or to sign up for the next TeachMeet [February 2012] or email
Third Term and Four Term 2011 volumes of the Business of Teaching (South African Education Quarterly Magazine) was donated to all participants of TeachMeet by the editor, Gareth Davies. If you are not already following @teachingbiz on Twitter, don’t delay…do it today!


Presenters shared the... Use of wiki’s in a girls’ junior school: Club activity; Screencasting using Screenr and Jing; Book Reports with SpeakingImage, Popplet and Prezi; Global Classroom Project; Using Flipsnack; Amelia the Pigeon with Google Earth, Paint Powerpoint, Word [Google Docs], and Myth Animations.
The day ended with very positive discussions around wifi, ipads, tools and more. It was suggested that we also host an IPADMeet. A very successful day!

An occasion that benefitted all

Since the meet on Saturday I have had contact from teachers who are accessing the resources from the Saturday TeachMeet and preparing to apply these to meet the needs in the classroom. Do our children know what special dedicated teachers we have out there? Visit the following blog post of Lisa Gair (@ICT_Educator) who is so inspired by the meet and shares her resource on how to use Flipsnack to make beautiful flipping books. 

Watch the links above and follow #elkteachmeet for the next TeachMeet @ Elkanah and as Fiona Beal (@fibeal) said….


Photos of the day

Microsoft introduces TeachMeets into South Africa

Microsoft South Africa recently combined with SchoolNetSA to introduce the first TeachMeet into South Africa. It was great to be part of this historic occasion. These gatherings of teachers are fast becoming a very popular form of professional development in the USA and in many European countries, in the field of technology integration in education. In European countries they are called ‘Teachmeets’ while in the USA they are named ‘Ed Camps’.

Microsoft's advertisement of the TeachMeet
Teachers sharing with teachers

Essentially Teachmeets are 'teachers teaching teachers' in a prescribed amount of time, usually 3 minutes, using the provided laptop and a data projector. It’s really a great way to meet teachers from other schools, and there is usually a tea slot provided for interaction and sharing to take place.  A Teachmeet definitely produces a sense of community and inspiration. One leaves with many new ideas, and feels a sense of making a contribution to education when presenting an idea. I have written two posts about Teachmeets in this blog in the past:

Our Teachmeet wiki

Angela Schaerer, the Academic Programmes Manager at Microsoft South Africa, was the instigator of the first Teachmeet in South Africa, and two of us from SchoolNet assisted her in putting together a remarkable and very enjoyable occasion.

Angela 2
Angela explaining how a TeachMeet works

To encourage a sense of community in this endeavour we created a TeachMeet wiki which we hope teachers around South Africa will make use of should they wish to hold a Teachmeet in their area.  This wiki answers all the questions one might have about TeachMeets.

Our teachmeet-southafrica wiki home page
Programme on the day

The TeachMeet was held at the Microsoft Offices in Johannesburg on 13th October 2011. Angela planned a very stimulating programme in addition to the TeachMeet, and everyone left with a copy of the incredible Learning Suite DVD (one of my favourite DVDs).

Microsoft's learning Suite DVD
When Angela advertised the occasion she wrote, “Come and enjoy a TeachMeet…TeachLearn…TeachNetwork and TeachEat with us…” That is a pretty good sumary of what a TeachMeet is all about!  Over 100 educators responded to the open invitation.  Teachers could choose to respond as 'Keen Beans' and bring along a presentation to share or 'Enthusiastic Lurkers’ and come along to learn and just enjoy the gettogether.

Social media

Maggie Verster, our social networking champion in South Africa, managed the Twitter backchannel, and gave a humorous presentation urging teachers to join Twitter. Twitter is a marvelous platform for teachers to quickly and easily follow one another online to share useful resources.

Maggie Verster (centre) with Angela Schaerer (left) and Megan Rademeyer (right)

Teachmeet presentations

Altogether there were twelve presentations.  We were each given three minutes to present and were timed with a stop watch.


Here are the presenters with links to their presentations and videos of them sharing their presentations:

1. Shireen Peters from Parkview Junior spoke on designing a 'Shopping and Money using Word' theme for Grade 2 using Microsoft Word.

Shireen Petersen
Shireen's Slideshare presentation can be found here
Shireen's video can be viewed here

Fiona Beal from Fish Hoek spoke on “Making a collaborative e-book” using the free applications,, along with any illustrative programme and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Fiona Beal
Fiona's Slideshare presentation can be found here 
Fiona's video can be viewed here

3.Daniel Maedi  from GW e-Learning spoke on using a 'Spreadsheet Solution' -  a drill and practice activity to assist the learners in Mathematics. 

Daniel Maedi
Daniel's Slideshare  presentation can be found here
Daniel's video can be viewed here

4. Jeneanne Hultzer fromBrescia House School spoke out about using 'Excel in Maths Literacy'.

Jeneanne Hultzer
Jeneanne's Slideshare presentation can be found here:
Jeneanne's video can be viewed here

5. Helen Robertson from Cornwall Hill College spoke about using 'Boogie Board RIP, e-Reader and cellphone as m-Learning tools'.

Helen Robertson
Helen's Slideshare presentation can be found here.
Helen's video can be viewed here.

6. Natalie Meerholtz from Holy Rosary called her presentation 'Challenge your students to crack the code – QR codes'.

Natalie Meerholtz
Natalie's video can be viewed here.

7. Maggie Verster from Pretoria spoke about 'Organising your life in one click' using Diigo for bookmarking.
Maggie Verster
Maggie's Slideshare presentation can be found here:
Maggie's video can be viewed here.

8. Paul Wilton from the Oprah Winfrey Girls' Academy in Gauteng called his presentation 'Life Sciences Grade 12 on Moodle'. He generously offered to share his multitude of ‘Moodling Life Science' resources with others.
Paul Wilton
Paul's Slideshare presentation can be found here:
Paul's video can be seen here.

9. Aurelliah Rosenberg, Head of Educator Empowerment at ORT SA named her presentation ‘Camera, action, lights – teaching with movies.”
Aurelliah Rosenberg
Aurelliah's Slideshare can be found here
Aurelliah's video can be viewed here. 

10. Linda Bradfield from St John's Prep spoke on Collaboration versus Cooperation versus Coaching.
Linda Bradfield
Linda's Slideshare presentationcan be found here.
Linda's video can be viewed here.

11. Lyneth Crighton from Brescia College had some great ideas for 'Recording with cell phones' in schools.
Lyneth Crighton

Lyneth's Slideshare presentation can be found here.
Lyneth's video can be viewed here.

12. Charmaine Hart from Bryandale Primary School Grade 5 showed how she integrates the curriculum in her advertising unit in English First Language She called it 'Advertising in English'.
Charmaine Hart
Charmaine's Slideshare presentation can be found here.
Charmaine's video can be found here.

The audience was enthusiastic and they listened with rapt attention.


After the Teachmeet Megan Rademeyer from SchoolNet urged teachers to consider entering the Microsoft Innovative teacher competition next year, and to start planning their projects soon.

Megan Rademeyer
After that Fiona Beal spoke on Microsoft's free toolsMicrosoft's Free Tools
View more presentations from fionabeal

Others involved in organising the TeachMeet

Thabile from Microsoft was the contact person for the TeachMeet
The spirit of a TeachMeet is sharing and the beauty of a TeachMeet is that all the participants  can access all the presentations. Microsoft has a great website which teachers around the word can join and use to create groups and upload information. This is known as the Partners in Learning Network. I would encourage all teachers to join. It’s free. Microsoft created a TeachMeet group on this Network so that everybody could access all the presentations of the day.

Partners in Learning Network

A report was written about the TeachMeet by ITWeb in October. They called it "Teachmeets - 'Speed dating' for teachers". Read it here.

Photos of the day


The videos in this blogpost are hosted in SchoolNetSA's YouTube channel  and the Slideshare presentations are mainly hosted in SchoolNetSA's Slideshare channel

More Microsoft TeachMeets coming up in 2012

The good news is that Microsoft is planning more of these around the country in 2012. I would encourage all teachers to keep their ears open for an announcement of a TeachMeet near you.  It is a great way to share and hear about the ways technology can enhance learning.