Monthly Archives: October 2009

Asking the right questions

Learning objectives – trigger verbs.doc
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Doug Belshaw writes:

It’s important to use these ‘trigger verbs’ – words that relate specifically to actions – when framing learning objectives for (or indeed, with) students. Sometimes, however, it’s difficult to know which trigger verbs to use. Is, for example, interpreting a high-order skill than categorizing?

The document …[above].. is based on an original by Ron Rooney of the Education Development Service and provides some clarification. Let me say in advance that I’m aware that some people believe that Synthesis and Evaluation should switch positions from that given in Bloom’s original taxonomy. I’m just providing the document largely as it was given to me.

This fits in very well with the sort of prompts I have been trying to develop in relation to questioning techniques in the classroom with a view towards differentiation and catering for th eneeds of the most able in particular. Here, Doug Belshaw is commenting on them as a useful tool for framing lesson objectives/ learning outcomes.

Perhaps I need this kind of reminder on the back wall of my classroom. The other thing I’ve been playing around with is in creating different ‘order’ questions to go with topics such as ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ so that I can target them to specific students. I suppose, eventually, it will become second nature but for the moment I feel I need the props to support me.




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The EtherPad Blog

Embedding How-To

There are two main ways to embed pads.

• Embedding an Editable Pad

The first option is to embed an entire editable pad. All your visitors will
have full access to the pad, and can modify it, save revisions, and view its

To embed a pad in your web page, point an iframe‘s src to
an EtherPad URL. For example:

<iframe width=630 height=400
src=”; />

This works for Professional Edition pads too. (If the pad isn’t public, your
visitors will be prompted to log in.)

• Embedding a Read-Only Pad (Broadcasting)

The second option is to embed a read-only view of a pad that updates live. We
refer to this live updating as “broadcasting”. It is useful for, among other
things, live-blogging to a wide audience.

To embed the live-upating view, point an iframe‘s src to
the time-slider view of your pad. For example:

Note that the above iframe code gives away the URL of the pad, so anyone can
go and change the pad’s text! To get around this, go to the time-slider page and
click “Link to read-only page.” You’ll be taken to a page whose URL you can
safely give out and embed without allowing others to edit your pad.

Okay – now this looks particularly interesting for the VLE. Their website suggests that Etherpad already achieves what Wave intends to include thus validating the quality of their idea. Wave will have lots more, of course, but for now our students may find this more manageable.

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EtherPad: Realtime Collaborative Text Editing


EtherPad is the only web-based word processor that allows people to work together in really real-time.

When multiple people edit the same document simultaneously, any changes are instantly reflected on everyone’s screen. The result is a new and productive way to collaborate on text documents, useful for meeting notes, drafting sessions, education, team programming, and more.

First saw this at Studyguru’s site. Reminded me of what is promised in Google Wave. May be worth checking it out – or suggesting some group tries it and reports back?

It gets round ‘the elephant in the room’ with Wikis – which can be summed up as: ‘first to save wins’.  This is an issue on Kaleidos as on many Wikis. I had to demonstrate it to the guy who last came in from RM as he didn’t believe me – but if two people work at the same time, whoever saves second loses all their changes. Now that’s hardly in the spirit of collaboration, is it? So groups need a way to signal when it is being edited  or better still, the software should warn that it is being edited.

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2.2.2 Curley’s Wife – Outside The Box

Really good to see this application from studyguru. I played around with Voicethread for a while then got distracted by something else but this has so much potential I must find the time to go back to it.

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4Learning – Fairground Spells – Introduction

More from the 4Learning site. Looking forward to seeing what some of our younger students make of this.

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C4 – BookBox – Home Page

Most attractive looking site with a range of interactive resources. Informative section on writers, writing tips, games.

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Converse – the Literature site for GCSE and A-level English and beyond


This looks really good. There are particularly interesting looking sections on Chaucer, Shakespeare and World War 1. I could imagine some of our students really enjoying the opportunity to explore beyond what we are doing in the classroom.

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