September 30, 2009

Sharing interesting stuff from Edutopia

Found a link from Edutopia via Facebook and decided to have a look. Have to say that I'm still on their page. Have already read articles and watched interesting videos. So much interesting stuff for teachers.

First, let me share a video I've just watched:

Now, some interesting articles:

September 25, 2009


This semester, for the period of 3 months, I've been facilitating an online course for EFL teachers where participants learn how to share material in blogs and have the chance to explore several WEB TOOLS.

Each week, participants carry out tasks and publish their work in their posterous blogs (their course portfolios)

I'd like to share the work being developed by these hardworking teachers. I'm so proud of them!

September 24, 2009

Tagul - great tag clouds

Just discovered Tagul via Thoughts from a tech specialist . It's similar to WORDLE for making tag clouds but goes beyond. It cannot be used to filter texts like wordle does but if you want a tag cloud for your blog, it's a perfect choice. You choose the shape of your cloud, choose colours for the tags and each word in your cloud is linked to a URL and is clickable. This is the tag cloud I created with my blog tags.

September 22, 2009

Sharing a reading activity

This is a lesson activity that could be used with Upper Intermediate students dealing with biographies. The tools used are and the site

1. Before reading: show the first image (word cloud) to class on IWB and ask sts to discuss in pairs what they think the text will be about.

2. Ask the whole class ideas about the text.3. Then ask them the most important words in the text are. Ask them if there are any words in the word clouds that they don't know and click on the words. Below they will be able to see images and a word web in the visual thesaurus. (example with the word ILL in the second image). Teacher avoids giving definitions but can use the tools below to help students grasp the meaning.

4. Teacher tells students the text is about a famous person who has already died.

5. Teacher asks students what they know about Mother Teresa. Use the word cloud to predict information about her.

6. Reading: Students read a biography about Mother Teresa. Then without looking at the text , only looking at the word cloud , pairs try to see how much they can remember about the text.

7. Post reading: For Homework , students have to go to , choose a famous person they admire, read their biography.

8. The following class, students in groups of 3 tell each other about the person they read about.

September 21, 2009

Interview with Ozge Karaoglu

I've just had a wonderful time interviewing Ozge Karaoglu, an EFL teacher in Turkey. She talks about her experience telling stories and producing videos with her young learners.

She writes a great blog and also has a wiki with resources for teachers.

I decided to interview her so that she could share with us how she deals with storytelling with her students and how other teachers can also benefit from her ideas. Thanks Ozge for taking the time to share your experience with us!

Read about Ozge's book "Daisy and Drago" .

Her second book

The animated version of the same book with her students' voices.

Daisy & Drago and the Magic Wand from ozge karaoglu on Vimeo.

September 20, 2009

Music + Images - Moodstream

This is a wonderful site to enjoy by yourself or even use with your students. I came across the site this morning while browsing the wonderful "Whiteboard Blog" . In this post "11 Ideas for Music lessons on your IWB" dannynic suggests various sites we can use for class activities.

Below I'd like to share a short screencast of my first exploration with Moodstream.

How can we use this with students?

  • Use moodstream in class while you organize the classroom and while sts get settled in class. If you have an IWB in class, the images will really attract their attention.
  • Select a mood, play the selection for some minutes and ask sts to write freely what they think or feel at that moment. Sts then could share what they've written and see if they felt the same way.
  • Divide class into Students A and B. Students A face the board (or TV), Sts B face sts A but have their backs to the board. Sts A describe the images they can see while sts B only listen. Then, swap pairs.
Experience MOODSTREAM yourself and enjoy.

September 18, 2009

Photo505 - more photo effects

More photo effects you can use to colour your blogs.

I used Picture Trail to show the images I created. Pass the mouse over the images and you'll see what happens.

Departures - beautiful film

Last night, I brought some DVDs to watch over the weekend and our first choice was "Departures" , a Japanese film which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. I had to share the trailer here. Watching good films is good for the soul, and this one is undoubtedly a very good one.

September 17, 2009

Phreetings - Photo + Greeting

With Phreetings you create greeting postcards with images or videos + a sentence. It's quick and easy.

You type in a word in the search box to look for an image or a video, then you choose the one you want, add your text and you can send it to someone by e-mail or grab the URL to share it.

I've taken a screenshot to show you my postcard + greeting.

How can we use it with students?

  • students can create greeting messages for special occasions and send it to each other.
  • sts can create haikus (short poems) and use the text box to type in the poem after selecting an image that could go with the poem.
  • sts can create short texts about themselves and choose an image to go with it.
  • sts can choose a video and write a short text saying why they recommend it. MY EXAMPLE (unfortunately the link doesn't seem to work :( )

La PhotoCabine

Do you know those photo booths where you sit down and can take a series of picture shots with a coin? You can do that virtually.

I don't know how this could be used in a classroom but it's sure FUN.

This was my trial with La PhotoCabine.

After you take the pictures, you can save it, print it or get the URL to share it. You'll notice the site is in French but it's not a problem. :)

Discovered site via Dkapuler @ Technology Tidbits

September 11, 2009

September 10, 2009

Song Activity - Please don´t leave me

This is a song activity created by a colleague of mine, Michelle Lemos, for teenager students.

The first activity is a lottery game where sts choose a word for each number and write them down on a piece of paper, then they listen to the song to see if they have chosen the right word. the next slide brings the right answers for the students to check how many points they have scored in the song lottery. The winner can get a prize.

The next activity is where students are asked to order the events in a logical sequence (they guess the order the events happen in the video clip), then they can watch the video clip from Youtube (link in the last slide) to correct the sequence.

With her permission, here it is:

Digital Storytelling by Ozge's students

I'd like to share a wonderful blog I found this morning written by Ozge Karaoglu , a teacher in Turkey.

The video I'm sharing below was made with her 6-year-old students and is a wonderful example of what can be done to maximize the storytelling experience. You can read her post explaining how it was done here.

Little Elephant from ozge karaoglu on Vimeo.

September 4, 2009

Screenshots and twitter threads in Twitoaster

I was looking for an online tool whick would capture screenshots without having to download any program, like kwout for example. I love kwout but I wanted sthg that would allow me to make annotations and then publish the image. I am tried of the print screen + paint + save old pattern. I tweeted the question and got two replies so far. I decided to give Clip2Net a try, although I had to download the program. :(

This is the screenshot with annotations. It wasn't so difficult, but I'm still looking for something in the net which does that with no downloads.

The other tool is TwitToaster, a tool where you can follow the threaded discussions you have in Twitter. This time I used Kwout for the screenshot. The advantage with Kwout is that the screenshot keeps the hyperlinks.

Then, thanks to Alex's comment to this post, I decided to try and was happy to find THE TOOL I was imagining: no program to download, free, grabs your screenshot, lets you add annotations, resize it , save it to your desktop or grab the URL and embed code to publish it in the web. Everything in one tool. Thanks , Alex. One more time you've suggested a great tool.

doodle.png  on Aviarydoodle.png on Aviary.

The screenshot below was done with by writing before the URL of the page I wanted to take the screenshot of. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who answered my question in Twitter: Kalinagoenglish, Thieddu, Carla Arena and Alex.

doodle.png  on Aviarydoodle.png on Aviary.

There are two ways to use AVIARY,
  • one is to type before the URL
  • the other is downloading the aviary firefox add-on.
If you want to take a screenshot of a page you have logged in, the first way doesn't work properly as aviary takes you to the front page instead of the logged in page. The most efficient way then , assuming you use a firefox browser is to get the add-on.

This is a screencast showing my test of both Clip2Net and Aviary add-on.

The same video from YOUTUBE.

Lingt - online class assignments

José Picardo in his great blog BOX OF TRICKS, has written a post about Lingt - Webtools for teachers.

This ia a description of what teachers can do with LINGT

This is how you do it:
  • you (teacher) create an account, and create a class.
  • Create an assignment where you can add text, images, audio and youtube videos. Students can respond via audio and written form. Therefore you can assign written and speaking homework.
  • Assign the HW to a class.
  • Give the link to your sts and they will be able to hand in the assignments individually.
  • You (teacher) can assess the turned in assignments and mark them.

As a test I've created a kind of dictation (just a trial) and a Read and Practice Pronunciation assignment.

What I liked: the possibility of adding recordings to ask for sts to repeat and record, how easy it is to create the assignment, how you can assess the assignments and the fact sts don't have to create an account to do the assignment.

What I didn't like: if you create a listening dictation for assignment , there's a problem: no pause button on the recordings. With the first click you PLAY, with the second you STOP, so you can't pause to have time to write down sentences.

Jose Picardo's assignment
is a very good example of what you can create with LINGT.

September 2, 2009

Revisiting WORDLE

This is a wordle cloud from my blog URL today Sept 02. Hey, Nik (Peachey) you are in my cloud!

I'd like to share this wonderful slidefrom IDEAS TO INSPIRE about fun ways to use Wordle in class.

September 1, 2009

MASHER - creating online video

A masher trial. Something simple I made while playing at masher studio. I just added a picture at the beginning then added some videos they had available, chose a skin (a plasma Tv), selected a song (provided at masher) and finally added some text.

I liked: the player (looks modern), the archive of videos, skins and music available.
I didn't like: it autoplays ( couldn't find a way to change it), found it a bit complicated to edit things after mashing video, didn't like the effects so much (thought I'd have transition effects).

Picjoke - various effects for photos

There are various effects you can create with Picjoke. Check some of them.
(via Nik Peachey)