Reflecting on ...

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Tools for Reflection - online and other tools to help reflection

Activities available for download

Generic visualisation activity - download
You can use:
Flip charts and pens
Old fashioned Over Head Transaparancies (OHTs) - use up the ones you still have laying around!
Magazine pictures, glue and scissors
Microsoft moviemaker
Microsoft photostory

DATA_Tools activity. - download
An activity using the DATA questions to reflect more visually

Using Twitter for reflection activity - download

(Listed A - Z)


An online tool with a good deal of potential for a number of things, which describes itself as follows:
'Fotobabble lets you create talking photos in two clicks. Simply upload a photo and then record your voice directly through your computer to create a talking photo. You can easily share it by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or embed it into a blog or website. It’s free and all completely web-based. No software to download, just register and get started in seconds.'
Having just one photo is a bit of a limitation, but the fotobable below was completed in about 5 minutes including signing up for the service.
You can upload photos as a stimulus for reflection, then ask for reflections in a number of ways .. the activity does not have to take place in a classroom. Fotobable is avaiable at

Article from an enthusiast at: Another item with some cautions about the openness of the sharing of images

Mind Mapping

One of a number of ways of representing your thoughts or ideas or plans (or anything else) visually. Tony Buzan is the best known user, and recognised as the creator of mind mapping. A supporting set of information on how they can work is at:
A BBC news story about how Mind Mapping can help dyslexics at
A more sceptical story from Education Guardian at:
Education related examples of mind maps to give you soome ideas from one of the many sites selling software at

Creating a mindmap - simple tutorial at - just using pens and paper! Free mindmapping software for download at: How to use Freemind tutorial at: Videos by Dennis A few videos on the web showing how FreeMind can be used A webslinks page with many links / resources for mindmapping and other tools / visualisations at:


You may have heard of Twitter (this is an example of Jim Crawley's Twitter home page), or you may not have. It is very easy to sign up for and use, and despite the fact that it works in 140 character bites at a time. There are many ways in which it can be used in education, and many of them are suggested in an excellent online article called 50 Terrific Twitter Tutorials for Teachers which is at:

Steve Wheeler's 'Learning with e's blog' has an excellent page on'Teaching with Twitter' at:
His Top Ten Twitter uses in the classroom are so good I'm including 9 of them here, slightly adapted for CPD / Teacher education:
1. ‘Twit Board’ Notify students of changes to course content, schedules, venues or other important information.
2. ‘Summing Up’ Ask students to read an article or chapter and then post their brief summary or précis of the key point(s). A limit of 140 characters demands a lot of academic discipline.
3. ‘Twit Links’ Share a hyperlink – a directed task for students – each is required to regularly share one new hyperlink to a useful site they have found.
4. ‘Twitter Stalking’ Follow a famous person and document their progress. Better still if this can be linked to an event (During the recent U.S. Presidential elections, many people followed @BarackObama and kept up to date with his speeches, etc).
5. ‘Time Tweet’ Choose a famous person from the past and create a twitter account for them – choose an image which represents the historical figure and over a period of time write regular tweets in the role of that character, in a style and using the vocabulary you think they would have used (e.g. William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar).
6. ‘Micro Meet’ Hold discussions involving all the subscribing students. As long as everyone is following the whole group, no-one should miss out on the Twitter stream. All students participate because a sequence of contributors is agreed beforehand.
7. ‘Micro Write’ Progressive collaborative writing on Twitter. Students agree to take it in turns to contribute to an account or ‘story’ over a period of time.
8. ‘Lingua Tweeta’ Good for modern language learning. Send tweets in foreign languages and ask students to respond in the same language or to translate the tweet into their native language.
10. ‘Twitter Pals’ Encourage students to find a Twitter ‘penpal’ and regularly converse with them over a period of time to find out about their culture, hobbies, friends, family etc. Ideal for learning about people from other cultures.


An online tool for creating ideas maps; charts; flowcharts - free and has a lot of features.
The site describes itself as below: Think Visually. Work Collaboratively. Online. Anytime. external image ProjectPlan%282%29.png

Webspiration™ combines the power of visual thinking and outlining to enhance thinking, learning and collaboration. Use Webspiration to map out ideas, organize with outlines, and collaborate online with teams or colleagues. Create concept maps, mind maps, idea webs and other powerful visual thinking models in Webspiration's Diagram View. Build organized outlines, plans and reports with Webspiration's Outline View. Webspiration unleashes your creativity, strengthens organizational skills, and transforms your ideas and information into knowledge.

The diagram below of 'Reflection and Learning' was created in 10 minutes after signing up.

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