I may have mentioned Classtools.net before, but I’ve been using it a lot recently so it’s worth another mention. There are lots of handy flash tools on this site, but these two are my favourites.

Countdown Timer

This is a cute little tool that allows you to set the class a time limit for a given task, and then count down the time left with some fun background music. There are 10 tunes included, ranging from a 30 second Countdown theme tune, 57 seconds Hawaii Five-0 or a 7 minute piece of Mozart. If you want you can even upload your own mp3 file to use instead.

This was a fun alternative to the built-in Promethean and Smart timers, and would also be very useful for users of other whiteboards who don’t have access to a timer in their own software.

classtools countdown

Name Picker

There are several different ways you can use the name picker, and they don’t all involve names!

This tool lets you input a list of names/text and then go to either a fruit machine or typewriter view. Names are then picked at random.

I’ve used it when getting students up to speak for a presentation – giving me a random way of choosing the order. I’ve seen this used by Ewan McIntosh at TeachMeet in the same way. Clicking the “remove” button will take the chosen name out of the list so they do not appear twice.

It could be also used with keywords or a topic heading. In typewriter mode one word at a time will appear letter by letter (and they dont get to see the other words). Students could then have to give a definition of the word, or one student with their back to the board has to guess the word from the descriptions given by other students. There’s many ways this tool could be used.

This can be run in full screen mode or embedded into your blog, and you can even save this to your computer to run offline.

classtools jackpot

There are many other tools on the classtools website -including Timelines, Venn Diagrams and Fishbone diagrams. It’s well worth taking some time to look at them all and see which ones could be used well in your subject/year group.