Sitech IWB Conference Workshops

While attending the Breathe Technology Sitech IWB Conference I was able to attend a couple of workshops that I want to share with staff at my school next term. What better way to share than through the blog.

First up, ‘What’s new in the Lab? Cool stuff from Google’ with Chris Betcher and a bit of my stuff mashed in as well.

Google searching– there is more to it than typing in the box and pushing search.

  • Click the little circle next to pages from New Zealand to refine the search.
  • Put speech marks around a couple of words to get an exact match to the words other than a combination of either. eg “Allanah King” will get better results than Allanah King.
  • If you go to Advanced Search you can look for just pdfs or powerpoints. I have found this search to be quite useful when I want to make a slideshow for the kids. I can use someone else’s that is close to what I want and just tweak it a bit rather than starting the whole thing from scratch.
  • After you have made a general search you can click on Show Options- Chris pointed us to the Wonderwheel option which lets you see your search in a mindmapping sort of view.
  • The Time Line view puts your search on a timeline of when it was mentioned.
  • Also look at images, news, blogs to further refine and pinpoint your search,


Firefoxbecause Chris was using my computer and it wasn’t synching suitably with the data projector you couldn’t see the URL he was able to move the size of the address box by dragging the little space between it and the Google search box. It was only an incidental new learning but it will overcome an annoyance when synching with an un-cooperative data projector.

A tour of some of the tools from Google Labs

  • How to embed a Google map– save it, put your markers or whatever in and click the little chain next to the word Link to get the embed code.


  • Google Translate– in the past I have used external sites to write in other languages but would definitely use Google Translate next time as they have more options and a cleaner interface. I wonder if I can use this to translate National Standards information into Thai for one of our school families?
  • Google Account Settings- Log in to Google and go to Settings- Account Settings and see the Pandora’s box of Google things to play with- like web history.
  • Use 1 Click for Firefox one click downloading of YouTube Videos.

I was then able to attend couple of IWB specific workshops.

I managed to get to Simon Evans’ workshop IWB and the Internet. Handily Simon provided us with a pdf handout of notes from the session that he was OK for me to share. Thanks Simon- you rock.

Writing a single sentence and expand it- we have been doing this in class using our own data projector but it would be more effective moving the phrases around on an IWB. Wanted to share but there wasn’t a right moment.

Put a Google Map of your school on the big screen and have children write instructions of how to get from home to school.

Inferring- reading a photograph- put a news photo on the big screen- children record their inferences, could be done with text as well. To get this screen shot I grabbed a photo from a news web site, dropped it into Pages, captured it with Skitch and used my Wacom tablet to write. Easier on an IWB but achievable with ordinary data projector. My screen in my classroom is just the ordinary whiteboard- in the classroom I would just write on the whiteboard- you couldn’t capture it but at least you could share it in real time with the whole class.


Thank you to Jason Neidermeyer, Simon Evans and the team at Sitech- you guys are great. It was a great learning opportunity.

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