November 24, 2010

Comic Strips with

This is the easieast tool I've seen to create comic strips. I've been planning to create a comic strip with my students in class and then ask them to create mini dialogues with language learned that day for their own comic strips.

You don't even need an account. First you click on the characters, then the backgroun, choose a speech bubble, type in the text (click SUBMIT WORD) and when you've finished click FINISHED and you've provided with a link. It's that easy.

:( It's a pity they don't offer us an embed but you can always grab a screenshot and publish it.

These are some comic strips created by a colleague of mine, Angela Gonçalves, to present modals of deduction.
 To learn how to use it, watch this TUTORIAL:

About Tech Talk Live! Conference 2011

There is a conference coming for K-12 IT professionals this April!

If you're an IT professional who works for a school, school district, or educational organization, you may be interested in a conference this April in Pennsylvania.

IU 13 in Lancaster, PA, is hosting Tech Talk Live on April 26-27, 2011. While there are other conferences for professionals interested in using technology in the classroom, this is the only conference that serves IT professionals who work in educational environments. The content is directed toward directors of technology services, systems and network administrators, application developers, and IT support staff.

Walt Mossberg, who writes a weekly column on personal technology for The Wall Street Journal, is scheduled to speak. Breakout sessions delve into the nitty-gritty of deploying and maintaining information technology systems in K-12 institutions. 

Greg Schwem, a standup comedian who pokes fun at corporate and institutional cultures, is giving the keynote, to bring levity to the intense two-day event.

Early Registration is $250 through the end of February, and includes entry to win a free Apple iPad.

For more information on this conference or to register, visit the Tech Talk Live website,


November 21, 2010

Learn Vocabulary w/ movie snippets

Found out about ENGLISH ATTACK via facebook yesterday.

Another fantastic site to suggest to our students. ENGLISH ATTACK, has a selection of movie snippets which students can learn from. First, they pre-teach some vocabulary (words + definitions) necessary for the understanding of the scene, then you watch the scene and move on to the interactive exercises (very cool!).

If you have an Interactive White Board in class, you can use it as a whole class activity. You can also take students to the school lab to work with a selected scene or a scene of their choice.

November 13, 2010

PURPLEMASH - a creative space for your students

This last week, I learned about , a perfect example of meaningful technology integration. Very beautiful work being developed, I wish I could be a student in this class. :)

This same teacher, Alex, used PURPLEMASH to have students create drawings and a newpaper based on the content they were studying.

Watch this video to learn more about PURPLEMASH

I haven't explored it yet and will be posting about my trials this coming week.

November 9, 2010

Helping a student understand how to express the Past

I feel thrilled when my students use our Edmodo group to ask me questions about content. It's proof they've accepted it as  a powerful communication tool. Yesterday, a student of mine sent me his doubts about S.Past, Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous. He sent me his questions in Portuguese, nevertheless, I liked the fact he called for help.

So, how can I help him? If I don't want to wait until next class and talk to him face to face (and I believe he doesn't either) I need to answer him as quickly as I can. Traditionally, I would type in a written explanation which would be quite long, I imagine. So which tool could I use? I thought of sending him a video message where he could see me and hear me but then I wouldn't have the written sentences to show him the different tenses. I then remembered SKETCHCAST , a great tool I've posted previously.

This is the answer I sent him today. The tool is incredibly easy to use, no downloads, all you need is your microphone and internet connection. Then you can send your explanation via e-mail or grab the embed for publishing.

Learn more about SKETCHCAST with Russell Stannard's tutorial.

November 7, 2010

Practise LISTENING with Music

The first time I heard about LYRICS TRAINING was a few weeks ago via Roberta Righetto. I bookmarked it but didn't try it out until some days ago after watching Russell Stannard's fantastic tutorial.

First, you choose the language you want to practise (Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, German) then you select the song, the level (easy, medium and expert)and finally start completing the gaps as you listen to the song. The idea is pretty simple, however it's great fun listening, watching  the video clip and trying to understand the missing word. An additional feature is the way you can control the song, if you type the wrong word it doesn't accept and the song stops, to listen to that part of the song again all you have to do is clik ENTER. You listen again and again until you get the word right and the song continues.

Let me tell you a secret: I had SO MUCH FUN, I ended up trying 3 or 4 songs just for the fun of it.

Wonderful  LISTENING and SPELLING practice. Students can try it out at home,or you can use it in class as warmer on an IWB by showing it to the whole class and asking different students to use the keyboard to complete the gaps.

This is a little tutorial I've created to show to students.