Author: DiScoro

Spin the wheel

Wheel of Names and Spin the Wheel – are two similar programs that enable you to make your own wheel of fortune. When students get the task to make their own wheel within certain boundaries, they can explore what type of words should be used to generate in a specific context.

This can vary from extending vocabulary (adjectives, adverbs, interjections …) that can thereafter be applied in text writing, a rap, a poem etc., to creating several wheels with a group of students, whereby the words on the wheels should result in phrases that make sense or are (grammatically) correct. It can be an interesting inquiry and discussion what words make correct sentences and what does ‘correct’ mean to different students?

The programs could also be used as a pilot test before students create physical cardboard wheels.


  Purchase  Gratis
 Requirements Wheel Decide – PC and browser

Spin the Wheel- iPhone, iPad, Google Play/Android

iOS 9.0 or later, Android ?


Make paper boxes using Origami

Right now many people spend much more time at home. A good time to sit and make some nice boxes for gifts, small items such as jewelry, or for cookies you have made.

There are many examples on YouTube of slightly different techniques and results. Here just one example.


Link to a little more complicated closed box.

You do not have to think about school work when making such boxes, but for those who wish to see the mathematics there are many concepts that are being used and applied (division, fractions, angles, proportions, measurement, square etc.)

If you wish to make it a real challenge. Try to make a box out of one piece of paper where three ping-pong balls, or three golf balls, fit snugly. (It does not have to be a rectangular shape).



Filming Movement – Hudl Technique

Hudl technique iconFilm and analyze your technique and movement in sports with the App Hudl Technique. This App is a low level, user friendly application that can be used by students themselves on their smart phone or tablet. The idea is that you make a video of someone performing an exercise or movement and Improve in Slow Motion. Of  course you can also film animals and their movements. For analyzing movement from a physics perspective you will need a different App.

The App has several functionalities of which the most useful is possibly to play the video in slow motion at different speeds: 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8. In addition, you can add comments, draw or highlight something in the video, invite team members, share, compare techniques on two videos, and trim the video.

Great App to involve students in analyzing, comparing and reflecting on their performance in physical education or to give them visual feedback as a teacher.

 Purchase  Free (basic version on IOS devices)
 Hardware  iPhone, iPad (PC)
 Requirements  IOS 10

Springs simulation

DiScoro writes about inquiry-based learning, digital resources, and ways to encourage higher-order thinking. We focus on STEM education and the use of technology.

PHET has an interesting new simulation for primary school Masses and Springs. An easy to use simulation where pupils can investigate weights (mass) using springs. The program has three levels: Stretch, Bounce and Lab.

The first challenge is to find out what ‘Spring strength’ actually means. The next task is to use it to find out the mass of the unknown weights. Pay attention to the availability of a ruler.
Instruct pupils check out all the options/buttons that are available on the screen. Many oversee some of them that come in handy in the next level.

Some additional tools have been added. Lines for ‘resting position’ and ‘movable line’ and a stopwatch (chronometer). Estimate the mass of the three unknown weights again. How can you find this out using the chronometer? How does mass influence the bouncing of a spring? How does the spring strenghts influence the bouncing of the spring?

The last level is more suitable for secondary school students. Terms like ‘velocity’, ‘acceleration’ and ‘period trace’ are quite complex.  To explain how different values are related and to describe cause and effect using these concepts is quite a challenge.

More PHET simulations. See also Chemistry: pH scales and acidity Balancing Act, The moving man, Energy skate park, and Density and Buoyancy.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  PC; iPad
 Requirements  browser (HTML5 is used)


Padlet an App for collaboration. I am going to try this out in class. The most interesting feature for me as a teacher is most likely the KWL chart. The KWL chart represents three columns
(1) What we Want to Know
(2) What I Wonder
(3) What I Learned.
You can add more columns if needed. You can enter text and pictures.

Will we get really interesting questions that probe for inquiry, investigation, exploration and creativity? The example given on ‘giraffes’ is very much oriented on facts, yet what interesting and creative questions could come up?  For example:
How do giraffes give birth so that their offspring does not die immediately when falling from such a height?
How and why did giraffes get their long necks?

My first KWL Padlet is a discussion on Inquiry-based learning aimed at first years teacher training students.

Padlet can be used as an App or in your browser. The latter gives you a much better overview. You can join this KWL and contribute.

 Purchase  Free for the first three padlets.
PRO version US$ 12.99
 Hardware  iPhone, iPad, Google Play/Android, PC
 Requirements  iOS 9.0 or later, Android 5.0 or higher, browser




LearnLab is an online presentation platform that enables teachers and lecturers to combine PowerPoint presentations with interactive questions. You can easily upload your PowerPoint slides, and organise them. You can add slides with interactive questions that you would otherwise  have created with a Student Response System such as; Socrative, Mentimeter, Smart Notebook Response System, or Kahoot.

The advantage of LearnLab is that you do not have to switch between programs for content and interactive questions while presenting.

LearnLab offers nine types of content. The basic content is uploaded from PowerPoint presentations, the other eight are shown below.

Advantages of LearnLab over Socrative and Mentimeter

  • Combines PowerPoint (1) content, and (2) interaction, through questions and responses in one program.
  • LearnLab combines the variety of questions, and visualisations of the responses that can be found in Socrative and Mentimeter.
  • LearnLab offers the possibility to work with a two-step interaction, namely first the question and thereafter participants can cast their votes or ‘like’.
  • Some new multi-media features are available, such as upload of a picture by the participants which can thereafter be rated.

Disadvantages of LearnLab

  • Editing of content, such as font and layout, is limited.
  • You cannot present a picture with the question.
  • The videos in your uploaded PowerPoint presentation do not work any longer, so you have to create new slides for them in LearnLab.
  • You lose all animations, hyperlinks, actions that were built in the PowerPoint.
  • You have no control over how to stop and close a LearnLab session. You can activate a new lab session, but it remains unclear which lab session you have activated and how to deactivate it.
  • Participants cannot delete sessions themselves. They remain visible.
  • Participants have to open a browser, there is no App available for answering the questions like with Socrative.
  • LearnLab does not provide the option to let participants work through questions at their own pace.


LearnLab is a nice and useful tool for presenters and lecturers, because it can enhance interaction and participation. For use in a classroom it is important to realize that the tool supports teacher-centered learning, not student-centered learning.