August 30, 2012

VOKI project with EFL students

In a previous post,
I described a project I intended to start with a group of students this semester.

Well, I have  proposed the project to students ...

... and have been surprised with the results so far.

I was thinking of having students write their first draft, show the text to me, then I would correct it and give them back the marked paper. But then, I changed my mind, so now, students send me their draft, I record a screencast while I correct their text, explaining the mistakes and giving them a sample of how to read the text, the student watches the correction , records himself/herself reading their own text and then share it with the rest of the class as a listening dictation.

 To record the screencasts, I've been using a site called EDUCREATIONS, also an app for the ipad.

 Each week, one student is supposed to create a 50-word text with language recently learned. This last week, we've been exploring vocabulary that has to do with education. I was delighted and surprised with the text/recording created for this week where this young Brazilian student talks about education in Brazil.

August 25, 2012

TECHNOLOGY on the go - a podcast about edutech

"Technology on the go" is a podcast channel created by Camila Sousa (living in Chicago) and I (in Brazil) with the aim to talk to different teachers around the world about how they have been integrating technology to their classes. 

Camila Sousa and I often meet in skype to exchange ideas about how we've been using technology in our classes. Then, we thought "Why not share these learning moments with other teachers? "

The episodes will be recorded once a month and will have the duration of 10 mins max.

Check out our first episode which has just been recorded! 

The episodes are intended to be a very informal talk where we can learn from each other. Hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did talking to each other. Thank you, Kay, for the lovely interview.

The TECHNOLOGY ON THE GO podcast page is

Songifying the First Conditional

Last week, while studying how to talk about a POSSIBLE FUTURE using the First Conditional, I asked my students to create their own sentences hoping to make it more meaningful to them. I checked their sentences and used my own IPAD to record two different students reading their sentences using SONGIFY (app available for ipad, iphone and androids).

I explained to them that in a following class we would use the sentences as a dictation where they would be the ones reading to each other.

In a class, this week, I attached my ipad to the projector and told me we would have a challenge. We would TRY to understand the TWO sentences on each recording. As the sentences are changed into a musical version by the app, it is truly a challenge. We developed the activity as a whole class: students listened and then I elicited the sentences from them writing it on the board.
 After playing all the recordings and eliciting their sentences, I asked them to look at the examples and tell me what structure was present in all examples. IF + S. PRESENT + S. FUTURE 

Oh, I forgot, to download the audio file created by the app, just send each recording to your e-mail and download it. SIMPLE, SIMPLE.

August 14, 2012

Song APPS in the EFL classroom

I've been playing with some apps on my ipad and am plannig to try them out with my own students next week.

This week, they've learned how to talk about FUTURE POSSIBILITIES using WHEN, UNTIL, AS SOON AS, UNLESS and IF.

My plan is to ask each student to make a sentence using one of the words mentioned above using the First Conditional, then I intend to use my own Ipad to record them reading their sentences using SONGIFY. The app turns any sentence you read to a song. (for iphones or androids)

After making a songify song you can share the link via twitter, facebook or e-mail but it gives you no option of downloading it to your computer. Well, after asking for Dr. Google's help, I discovered in a great tutorial how to download the mp3 created by Songify. I'd need the mp3 audio to embed it in glogster posters or sending it to our class blog in posterous.

LISTENING ACTIVITY -With the recording done, I intend to play it to my students and see how many sentences they can write down.

Other similar apps are AUTORAP and TALKAPELLA

This is how it looks when someone clicks the shared link in facebook

This is the mp3 I've downloaded from songify.
 And this is how it looks after being published   our activities blog.

I've learned how to download the MP3 from Songify from

I came accross this app by reading an amazing post from where Lisa Johnson shares Ms. Carnazzo's ilesson. She developed a project with her students and had them use Screenchomp, glogster and songify to produce content about the content they were studying.

August 7, 2012

PROJECT: Listening Dictation with Voki

This week I´m about to start a new project with my Upper Intermediate students.
The objective is to offer them further reading, writing , listening and speaking practice at home.

The idea is the following:
Each week, one student will be selected to make a 50-word text using recently learned language. The text will be corrected by the teacher and then that same student will record himself / herself reading the dictation for their classmates using a speaking avatar created at VOKI.

To present the project to students and to address the issue of rhythm and intonation to improve pronunciation and consequently understanding, I´ve created two different avatars with the same text. Students will listen to both in class and I´ll ask them which one they found  easier to understand and why.
Voki 1 and Voki 2
For Voki 1 I tried to read the text fast with very little pauses and little intonation.
For Voki 2 I tried to improve the reading.

The voki avatars will be shared weekly by students in our EDMODO group. Students then have to listen to the DICTATION , transcribe it and bring the text to me.

August 5, 2012

My EDTECH picks - August 2012

SCREENLEAP - an easy way to share your screen activity with anyone. No need for downloads or sign ups and best of all it's free.

PRESENTISTA - a way to create a presentation. Very similar to Prezi, but still in it's BETA version. They have very few transitions now but it's promising. Let's wait and keep an eye on what comes next.

SUPALOGO - a super easy way to create text logos.

POWTOON - another promising Presentation tool. You can create your presentation with super cool transitions, add characters, speech bubbles, images and sound effects. You can save your presentation online or download it to youtube. What I miss is the possibility to add links to the presentation. It's a bit more challenging to use then ppt or Prezi but it is surely a breath of fresh air when it comes to presentation tools.  AWESOME !

VISUALIZE - an iphone/ ipad app which allows you to create posters using text, images, cut out photos, stickers and then share it online. LOVED IT!

VIRTUAL WRITING TUTOR - paste your text and have it check the spelling and grammar.

August 3, 2012

CULTURA EDTECH - online course for EFL/ ESL teachers

I started my technology path in 2006 attending different online courses  and then becoming a co-moderator at different EVO sessions. However,  while trying to spread the knowledge among teachers I work with, I noticed that for many teachers it's not easy to break the barrier of our own personal beliefs and start exploring the web with an eye on educational possibilities.

Bearing these difficulties in mind, I devised a 3-month online course which has the aim to help EFL teachers learn about different webtools and how to incorporate them to lessons. 

Each week, participants are expected to watch tutorials, read articles, try out the proposed WEBTOOL and reflect about their possible use in a lesson plan. I do my best to provide full support to teachers via e-mail, tutorials and skype calls. Teachers also have the chance to join an online community where they can be in contact with various like-minded professionals in order to share and build knowledge.

The course completes 4 years in August and we're very proud to announce the beginning of the course for GROUP 10. 

For more information about the course, please visit

Check what previous teachers have developed this year:
Luiza Cardoso 
Roseli Serra 
Ana Carolina Henrique 
Roberta Dayrell 
Aurea Stela 
Ana Paula

August 2, 2012

Creating AUDIO QR codes

I wish we had an app which would allow us to record voice , host it, and automatically generate a QR CODE.

Well, TOKKERS does that for a price :(. As an educator in Brazil, I'm always looking for webtools and apps which are FREE so that they can be used to promote learning.

All things considered, in order to make an audio qrcode, I end up having to use two different tools: one to record and host the audio and another to generate the code.

So first, I used my AUDIOBOO app to record myself reading a poem and then grabbed the audio URL.

Then, I used to generate the QR CODE and saved the image.

So, if you scan the code with you cell phone, you'll be able to listen to the poem.

August 1, 2012

QR Codes - the mystery solved

We see these little codes EVERYWHERE and many people still don't understand what they are for.

Meanwhile, several teachers have been sharing different qr code generators and interesting activities for the classroom.

But first things first, if you're one of the many who don't really know   how different they are from normal bar codes, FIRST, let's  understand them and then see how they can be used in our classes.

Let me tell you a secret , I was one of these people who didn't really see the beauty of QR codes until I came accross the following video

Step 1: watch the explanatory video.
Step 2: download a scanner reader app to your cell phone or ipad.
      - apps for android
      - apps for iphone/ ipad
Step 3: Test your scanner app by pointing it to the qrcode on this post and you'll be taken to the video I mentioned.

Step 4: Let's learn how to generate these codes.
There are different generators you can use, the easiest might be a simple generator such as but one I've found very useful is using URL Shorteners such as:  or

First of all, copy the URL of a page you would like to share, go to one of the sites mentioned above (tinyurl or, paste it and click to shorten. You can customize the name of the link by clicking CUSTOMIZE. Copy the link provided by the site and paste it on a new tab, include /qr and press enter. Then you should have the qrcode of the shortened URL.

Oh, as you can see the QR Codes are black and white but if you want to add some color to it, try

And how can we use QR CODES in education?

You might enjoy reading these articles:

I've been collecting interesting ideas about QR CODES in my PINTEREST BOARD for some time and here are some of them:

Another way you can use QR CODES is ....
Let's imagine you are at a conference and don't have a business card to exchange. NO PROBLEM, with SnapMyInfo you can trade info by using your phone camera.

QR code at a glance

An amazing comic tutorial from the Daring Librarian