Category Archives: Novels

Is Modern Surveillance Really ‘Orwellian’?

Is Modern Surveillance Really ‘Orwellian’? –


Another new tool for creating a learning channel

Image representing Thinglink as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

I’m grateful to my colleague, Teresa, for introducing me to the tool ‘Thinglink’ ( recently. Simply, it allows you to upload an image and place links to online resources – video, audio, text, etc. – on the image in places that resonate with that resource. So, for example, a map could have video links pinned to cities marked on them; a picture of the human body could have links to explanatory notes; an image of punctuation marks could be linked to audio explanations of each, etc.

I think I’ll use this tool to encourage my students to make connections themselves – a creative way to collect research links on a particular theme or topic.

Diigo as a classroom collaboration tool

I’ve just started using Diigo with my Year 12 English students. They’re doing some background research into the novel 1984 and I wanted them:

  • to keep track of web pages that were relevant
  • to record the bits of those pages that were particularly relevant
  • to share what they find and
  • to be able to search through their collaborative efforts to pinpoint particular ideas – ‘totalitarianism’, or ‘propaganda’, for example.

So we all created Diigo accounts and I created a group to which they were all added. I then reminded them of effective web searching strategies (using the resources that Google provide – useful!) Before they set off on their individual contributions to the collective list.

With only a simple demonstration, they were highlighting, adding sticky notes, tagging pages, and sharing with the group. Easy! To go a step further, we have added the RSS feed to the year group’s Moodle course so that our updated resource can be shared with their wider cohort.