YouTube for Kids launches to make the net a little more family friendly

Today YouTube launched YouTube for kids.  In the United States anyway, but we are assured the rest of the world will come on board soon.

As a teacher and a parent this is a real win for kids aged under twelve who Google have targeted this new app at on iOS and Android.

It contains a mixture of syndicated material such as sesame street and select user generated content.  Furthermore, it has features designed to make parents feel comfortable about leaving their children to use YouTube such as the ability to turn off the ability to search and specifically play educational material only.

This may be useful for teachers who wish to allow their students to view content as part of a study of digital literacies as they can really filter the content and options through the settings on the app.

From a business perspective this definitely allows Google to zoom in on a specific audience but we all know that there is no such thing as a free feed, especially on the internet.

This video below from Tanya Awith demonstrates some practical ideas oh how you can use this new app in your classroom.

Teach your students about stereotypes

Here is this weeks digital literacy activity.  This 2 hour lesson focuses on stereotypes.  What are they?  How do we use them to engage our audience?  And what happens when we challenge the stereotypes of characters? there is an interactive activity for students to create an advertising campaign and a task to identify famous characters that challenge and support our stereotypes.  The original presentation is available hereor you can simply view it as a slideshare below.  Hope you enjoy and look forward to your feedback.

View more presentations from Kevin Cummins.

Digital Literacy lesson: Explanation Texts

here is another digital literacies task for you based around Explanation Texts, reading and creating them.  There is a slidehare below or you can download the original file here.  Enjoy

Inferential Reading and Writing Lesson for your students

Here is a little lesson I put together for my kids to better understand inferential reading.  It has both reading and writing tasks associated to it.  You can directly download it here or just view the slideshare below.  Enjoy.

View more presentations from Kevin Cummins.

The 7 Elements of digital Storytelling every teacher and student should know

The university of Houston have put together what is possibly the most comprehensive collection of tools, resources and media to assist teachers and students in better understanding the Educational uses of digital Storytelling.

My school is a big believer in digital storytelling through podcasting, film, green-screening and digital portfolios.  And this is reflected in the level of enthusiasm the students have towards turning their ideas into a piece of rich media they can share with the world as opposed to simply writing it in a book.

I might get shot for saying it by many teachers around me but I really enjoy a good film or doco than reading a book as I am obviously a visual learner.  This may have always been the case for many others but the only difference is today it is possible to create a visual literacy on a shoe string budget that I can share with the world overnight.

Be sure to check it out here and I have also included a video below that highlights how important visual texts have been within our lives and how this should impact upon our teaching.  I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with visual texts.

Digital Literacy lesson - Create your own movie Trailers

This lesson examines how Hollywood film studios use a range of persuasive strategies when creating a movie trailer to try and entice the audience to cinemas to see their latest blockbuster or in some cases raspberry.  Students will explore these elements in detail and then create a film trailer of their own that includes them.  You can either download the lesson as a PowerPoint here or simply use the slideshare below.  Enjoy.

Digital Literacies Task - Descriptive Writing

here is a lesson on descriptive writing.  It is aimed at students from years 3 up and would take around 2 hours to complete.  All information in included in the planner which can be downloaded here or there is a slideshare below.  Enjoy.





Digital Literacies Task - Unpacking a Seed

Thanks to Mark Muldoon and Cindy Armstrong for their assistance in putting this together this is a great 90 minute lesson about unpacking a seed.  Unpacking a seed essentially means using an image or an object to inspire your students to delve really deep into the concepts related to that as a group and produce a great piece of writing based on the ideas which come from that.  You can  directly download the full PowerPoint lesson plan here or simply use the slideshare below.  Enjoy


  • Introduce to the children that you are taking writing in a new direction and that you are going to allow them to choose what they are going to write.
  • Explain to them that there will be some guidelines (up to you to create) and set accordingly.
  • Explain that they will be undergoing a process called ‘Unpacking a Seed’ and hand out an enlarged copy of the Unpacking a Seed Template (Below). Also use Butcher’s paper to model if this is your first time doing this.


  • Pull up an image onto your IWB (interactive whiteboard) / show it to the children if you do not have one. (Current issues really resonate with the children, such as flooding, animal cruelty, fires, bank fees, etc).
  • Discuss the image and see if any children have anything that they can add.
  • Now refer children to template and ask them to write down everything that they can see (Absolutely EVERYTHING).
  • Then ask them to write down what they think about the photo.
  • Now ask them how they feel about the photo and to record all the emotions that this picture stirs up inside them.
  • Next, ask them to write down anything that they are currently wondering about the photo.
  • Now ask the children to write down big questions that relate to the issue (big questions are those that sit outside the box and don’t have a clear answer. It would need to be researched).
  • Finally, ask the children to write down text types (persuasive, letter, poster, narrative, etc) that they could use as a writer to make a difference and tell people about this issue.


  • In the very first session, I would model each stage with the children and discuss after they had filled in their own template. Once the children get quite good at this process, I would only stop at the end of filling in boxes 1-4 and then discuss big questions and what we could do a writers (as a whole group).

Digital Literacies unpacking a seed

View more



Kevin Cummins