Two Great Sites to Convert any File Format from your Browser.

With the increasing number of software packages and apps available to teachers and students, it can be very frustrating and downright anti-productive when you are handed a document or file that you cannot open because you don't have the correct software on your laptop.

What to do?  Trawl the web and download the program you need?? No!!  Luckily there are a couple of great web sites that will convert your files from the browser and let you get on with the task at hand.

ZamZar - Will convert a multitude of document files from Mac and Windows applications as well as even download YouTube videos.  The process is very simple - Upload - give them your email address and within a few moments you will receive the file in your preferred format emailed back to you.

Media Converter - Is another great free service but they are more targeted at converting audio and video files.  They also allow YouTube conversions for schools with blocked access to it.

Please let us know of any other great conversion sites you might use regularly.


15 Great Video Sites for Educators

YouTube:  The undisputed king of all video sites. Whilst all the others are great and offer you a little more safety in regards to content, pretty much all  the great content from those sites can also be found here in most cases.

TED-Ed: From a site that’s long been known for big ideas, you’ll find TED-Ed, videos specifically designed to act as highly engaging and fun lessons.

TeacherTube: This YouTube for teachers is an amazing resource for finding educationally-focused videos to share with your classroom. You can find videos uploaded by other teachers or share your own.

Edutopia: An awesome place to find learning ideas and resources, Edutopia has videos, blogs, and more, all sorted into grade levels.

YouTube EDU: A YouTube channel just for education, you can find primary and secondary education, university-level videos, and even lifelong learning.

Classroom Clips: Classroom Clips offers media for educators and students alike, including video and audio in a browseable format.

neoK12: Find science videos and more for school kids in K-12 on neoK12.

OV Guide: Find education videos on this site, featuring author readings and instructional videos.

CosmoLearning: This free educational website has videos in 36 different academic subjects.

Google Educational Videos: Cool Cat Teacher offers this excellent tutorial for finding the best of Google’s educational videos.

Brightstorm: On Brightstorm, students can find homework help in math and science, even test prep, too. shares live animal cams, films, educational channels, and more for your classroom to explore.

UWTV: Offered by the University of Washington, UWTV has videos in the arts, K-12, social sciences, health, and more. With, you’ll get access to browseable lectures designed for the exchange of ideas and knowledge, offering videos in architecture, business, technology, and many more categories.

Zane Education: Zane Education offers resources for visual learning, including the very popular on demand subtitled videos.

Backpack TV: In this educational video library, you’ll find a special interest in math, science, and other academic subjects.

MentorMob: Featuring learning playlists, MentorMob is a great place to find lessons you want to teach.

Disney Educational Productions: This resource from Disney is a great place to find videos for students at the K-12 level.


Jenny Eather has been a long time contributor to the world of online teaching resources and unfortunately most of them have now gone to the commercial world. This year she has released a great animated maths dictionary which we can only hope will remain free for a little while longer yet.

It has hundreds of animated examples of key mathematical concepts that will look great on your interactive whiteboard.  Be sure to check it outheretoday.

A Great Online Dictionary and Thesaurus for Students

Wordsmyth and Lexipedia are a couple of great dictionary and thesaurus tools for students.  Wordsmyth offers a picture dictionary for younger students along with a full dictionary that will meet the needs of high school and tertiary students, Lexipedia makes using a thesaurus fun by providing a visual network of words, their base words, prefixes and suffixes.

Kidipede - Simple information for students

Kidipede is a kids' encyclopedia, online since 1996. A lot of kids use Kidipede for school reports or for homeschooling. You can find out about Ancient Greece or Ancient Egypt, or how to make yogurt, or about why fires need air to burn. Kidipede will tell you who invented algebra, and what happens in the Iliad, and what Confucius said. Click here to access it.

Algebra Equation Solving Tool

This is a great little tool that may save hours of homework for your students for no real gain except their free time but more importantly it is an excellent resource for teachers who want to explain step by step how to solve a difficult algebra equation but don't really know where to start.

Simply plug in an algebra equation and then by the magic of the interweb the answer is generated with a pretty detailed explanation of how it occurred.

There are also some excellent interactive lessons on algebra here.

Give the solver a go here.

2 Online Cloze Generators Worth Trying

We all know that cloze activities can be a little boring at times.  But just like learning the alphabet and times tables they are a useful learning process that can be of great use at times.

I found a couple of good cloze generators online that you might like to incorporate into your next lesson and tailor the content exactly to your needs.

Cloze Test is exactly what it states and allows you to make simple cloze tests online in minutes.  Very easy to work out but a little limited on features.

The Oxford University Press Cloze maker is a little bit heavier on the features and has templates to suit specific age groups and purposes.

Take a look at both of these and let me know if you use any other useful cloze generators.

Great Collection of Interactive Reading Activities

I came across E-reading worksheets today and will definitely be using it with my own class as it has a huge collection of reading activities for all major text types.

What are ereading worksheets?

ereading worksheets are Flash based online quizzes about reading skills. These quizzes give students practice with a variety with reading skills such as identifying figurative language, determining the narrator’s view point, recognizing the author’s purpose, understanding text structure and more.

How can I use ereading worksheets?

Students can print the results of their ereading worksheets. Because of this, teachers can assign students to complete ereading worksheets as extra credit, class assignments, or even homework depending on computer access within the community and school. The best part is that ereading worksheets are graded for you.

But, can’t a student just print 10 copies of their results?

Not that easily. Before taking the quiz, the student is prompted to enter their name. The name they enter will then be printed on their results page. If a student wants to change the name on the results page, they will have to retake the quiz. Because the answers shuffle each time the quiz is taken, completing the quiz for other people requires work.   Students will always be able to devise methods to game the system, but ereading worksheets will make them work for it.

Cool, anything else?

Yes. At the bottom of each ereading worksheet is a text field containing code. If you click on the text box and cut and paste the code into an html field on your blog or web page, the ereading worksheet should display on your page without ads. This is a great way to enhance your classroom blog or website. What, you don’t have a classroom blog? Get one free.  And don’t forget to check out the ereading worksheets.