I am no longer, as of October 2008 working as a class teacher at Sandaig, so have moved this blog to another server. If you want to comment on this post, pleas search for it there.

05 07 08 Flowgram


Flowgram is a new web-based tool for giving online tours of sets of webpages or photos. I have hasd a quick play (click the widget to see my creation) and it looks like it could be a very useful tool in the classroom.

Once you have signed up and been accepted for the beta flowgram program you can create your own pretty easily. I just watched one of the flowgrams about flogram and tested it without really reading the manual. It is pretty simple to use although I could not get the create tool to load in Safari.

You add pages to a flowgram by adding a url or uploading a photo. Or you could import a flickr set or RSS feed to create a set of pages. Once you have collected your set of pages you can add audio recorded via your browser (flash based) notes and highlight text. I managed to do all without too much bother although it took me a while to get the highlight work. If you scroll a page during recording and then highlight something it will scroll to show the highlight in sync with the audio when playing back. I found that quite tricky to do and if you watch my flowgram above you will notice a few pauses while I scroll and highlight.

The most amazing thing about flowgram is that the pages viewed in flowgram are live the links etc work for the audience. I am not sure how flowgram deals with changes in the webpage perhaps they store local copies.

I think it might be a bit difficult for primary children to use for creating a tour of websites but they could certainly make a slideshow of photos or pictures without too much trouble. For teachers it could be used to give children instructions on using online tools (or for a set of screenshots) or for blogging sites to other teachers for professional development.

Flowgram could be used as an alternate presentation tool, and feels a little like voicethread, although users cannot audio comment. You can make your flowgrams private but I can't see a way to turn off comments which would sometimes be handy for school use. another one t otest on the nexwork next term.

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Hi John this looks great. Have you worked with Espresso? They use a tool called a learning path, that allows users to link together their content to form guided/structured learning activities, using content inside the environment. It seems this tool could be useful to do something similar with web based and personally developed content and using voice to support inclusion. Would be interesting to see how this might work with VLEs and learning platforms, what do you think? Thanks
Simon Mills (Email) (URL) - 05 07 08 - 09:43

Hi Simon,
I’ve not used Espresso but from your description it sounds like you could do a similar sort of thing with flowgram. I’ve no experience with VLEs or learning platforms. It might be useful for a guided webquest.
John (Email) (URL) - 05 07 08 - 10:27

What a great tool, thanks for finding it. And auto viewer.
Mike Ball (Email) (URL) - 05 07 08 - 11:38

That was interesting, but that it took a while for some of the flickr pages to load, so I thought you were finished before you actually were.
By the way, you have beautiful countryside – and I want to see a picture of your tidy cupboard – it might motivate me to get going with my own :-)
Dorothy (Email) - 05 07 08 - 12:44

Another great pointer, John. Thanks. This looks like it has great potential for teachers and pupils but it seems I’ll have to wait a while for my registration code!!

Looks like half your CPD commitment for next term’s done already!!
Alan Stewart (Email) (URL) - 06 07 08 - 10:52

Dorothy, the cupboard id get tidied after a fashion.
Alan, I try not to count cpd hours, would mean I’d have to reflect on work/life balance;-) I’ve sent you a flowgram invite I’ve a few more left if anyone else wants one.
John (Email) (URL) - 09 07 08 - 10:42

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I am no longer, as of October 2008 working as a class teacher at Sandaig, so have moved this blog to another server. If you want to comment on this post, pleas search for it at: http://www.johnjohnston.info/blog.