Summarising tool

If you have Word 2007, there is a really neat tool that will enable you to automatically summarise a lengthy document.  I used it for my previous post: Are Underprivileged Students Better Off Without Computers?

You simply need to add the icon to your tool bar.  The How-To Geek will show you how to do this.  Then whenever you want to summarise a document, click on the summarise icon and you have a choice of options. For example, you can replace the article with a summary, place an executive summary before the article or highlight main points in the article.  Besides being a great time saver for writing summaries, I find it useful when I have to read lengthy reports. If they are web based, I select the article, right click and select ‘text only’  paste them into Word and summarise.

Thanks to Paul Hamilton and  Free Digital Tools for a UDL approach for leading me to this great find.

Create a comic/cartoon book

toondoo-logo.jpg There are several  comic creators available and they are a great tool in the classroom for communication exercises, story writing, reporting factual information and so on.  For some students, this is definitely a more appealing option than writing an essay or story on paper.  My personal favourite is Toondoo as it is facilitiates one step further than a comic strip, that is, the making of a (toon) book.  When you create your comic strips, you need to save your pages in a ‘toonbag’.    Open an account (free), enter your username and password to begin creating.  The speed of loading pages can be a little slow depending on your connection, so be patient (it is worth the effort).  Go to ‘create’ on the startup page and you will see this screen:

Making a book is relatively easy process. When you create your comic strip, you need to save your pages in a ‘toonbag’.  At the ‘start here’ option above,  save your work (click on the disk icon and make sure you check the box ‘save to toonbag’. There are also options to keep your work private or public. Publish your work to save it.

When you have finished collecting pages for your book, go back to the starting page, click on ‘Books’ and dropdown menu will include  ‘my toonbag’.

From your toonbag, you can rearrange your pages and tick the pages you want included in your book.  Click on ‘make a book’ and your book is ready.

Here’s an example of what can be done using Toondoo, a book created by Toondoo user, hainesk, a student, on cyber bullying.   A great classroom tool to bookmark. 

Anyone have any other favourite comic/cartoon resources?