Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

My New Tools

The tasks we have been set in our first few weeks at Rolleston College/Horoeaka Haemata have had the side effect of adding some new tools to my kit. Hopefully the learning at our school next year will provide the opportunities and time for this same growth for students, and for me!


While I was using MovieMaker (don't judge - it was what I had at my disposal) to create video records of our work, I needed ways to make static images. I also had some fun with the built-in features of MovieMaker to pan across, or zoom in/out of the static images. I also found the need to make composite images for my work in Canva.
I had forgotten that you can do your work in PowerPoint or Publisher (horses for courses, or personal preference), then save them as JPEGs or PNGs, which can be used in MovieMaker and any other apps/programmes that require images, such as Canva and ThingLink (I am still learning to play with ThingLink, but it looks useful).

I liked using PowerPoint better, because I could create a series of slides (a presentation, if you will), then turn all of these into separate images in a folder. That made inserting them into a movie project very easy.


We were trying to put together an AppSmash into a digital, interactive poster. Canva was a really useful tool for collating the work every team member did, and to present it in a visually-pleasing way.

We could embed links to slides, videos, audio files and images in our Google Drives, and to YouTube.

Since learning to use this, I have also used it to make a collage of ideas that were sparked in an activity earlier today.


I have never played with Sites, although we did need to upload work of ours, and links to some of our work (such as our blogs) into a shared Site. There was a need, so I learned...

Then, we were given time to create our own site, to get a feeling for the kinds of things we might be getting ākonga to do. Sites seem a bit clunky for now, but apparently there are some exciting ("pretty") changes ahead. It seems to be a good way to store an electronic portfolio. It was easy to get started, too...

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