Classroom & School Based Tools

Your school computers should come with some of this software. Some of the others are available for your school to purchase. One thing you do need to be aware of when working on different computers within the school environment is that if you use a computer with a newer version of a programme on it you may not be able to open your work on a computer loaded with an older version. Some programmes e.g. the latest version of Word, give you the option to save your work so that it is in a format compatible with older models, but many don't. You can go from working on an older version to a newer version with relative ease.

Word, Publisher or Any Other Word Processing Tool

This is probably one of the most familiar tools used in the classroom. At its simplest it provides a tool for publishing students writing. With a bit of creative thinking there are a number of possibilities to consider.

Power Point/Key Note

These are slide show tools. They've received a bit of a bad rap from some quarters due to the over use of animations, sound effects and other whizz bang features as well as some terrible design crimes and poor presenter skills. All that aside, properly used these can prove to be quite useful tools within the classroom with a number of possibilities.


This is a tool for drawing your own pictures or modifying existing ones. My children are very familiar with Paint as a tool for creating their own artwork for use in webpages, slide shows, documents, etc. Children in my class are NOT allowed to use clipart, instead they are expected to create their own graphics.

Comic Life

Originally available only for Mac this is now available for PC use as well. Allows you to organise images in a comic book format. Comic Life projects can be saved as image files. Use them to recount events, story board, write procedural texts, goal setting, information report presentation...Whatever you can think of.
There are some great examples online, just enter comic life + school examples into Google. Click the images link and have fun exploring.


These tools are great for use with children when creating mindmaps, brainstorms and graphic organisers. Kidspiration is designed for use by younger children, while Inspiration is more suited to children from about Year 4 upwards.


This is another tool which can be used for creating your own graphics. It has the added features of being able to add video clips and you can create a slideshow within the programme.

Digital Camera

This is the tool that makes so much else possible. Use it to create 5 Frame stories, modify photos with Umajin, Paint, Kidpix.
Import images to Glogster, create stop motion films.
The list is endless.



One of the really neat things about Umajin is the ability to create "blue screen" or "green screen" images (technically known as chroma key - the latest version of iMovie has a built in chroma key feature).

Front Page/ iWeb & Other Web Design Tools

These tools are designed to help you create web pages that can be uploaded to the internet or even the school intranet. They are relatively easy to use in that they don't require you to have an understanding of html

Movie Maker/iMovie

These are both, as the name suggests, movie making tools. They allow you to edit video footage and combine music, stills and video in order to create movies. I have used Movie Maker to create Claymation short films (think Wallace and Gromet, Chicken Run, The Nightmare Before Christmas).