March 29, 2014

How to create screencasts on the ipad

On my previous post, I talked about how I managed to create some tutorials on my iPad. I took screenshots of the app and with these images I created the tutorials. However, I wanted to see if it was possible to create screencasts using an iPad app.

After searching the web, I couldn't find any iPad app which could do that but came across some other alternatives such as mirroring your iPad to a laptop and then record your laptop screen with a screencast tool.

The post I found most useful was this one

Today, I decided to try the last option described by Amit Agarwal.
1. I bought REFLECTOR Airplay Receiver ($12.99) and installed it to my Mac.
2. I activated the Airplay and Mirroring on my Ipad.
3. I used the Quicktime from Mac to record the screencast (other screencast tools I suggest are and

March 27, 2014

Making app tutorials on the Ipad

How can I create a video with the Cartoonatic app?

This post started with a question from one of the participants of the online course Jennifer Verschoor and I have been moderating this month.

As the online course is about MLearning and we've been exploring several apps, I sent the following cartoonatic video to participants at the beginning of Week 4.

The video was recorded with the CARTOONATIC app I have downloaded to my ipad. After that, I downloaded it to youtube as a video. It could also have been shared in different ways as facebook, e-mail, twitter or saving it my camera roll. After sharing the video with participants, Erika downloaded the app to her iphone and sent me the question mentioned above after having problems.

My next question, this time to myself, was:

How can I make this tutorial?

When using my laptop it's quite easy to create screencasts showing what to do, but with the ipad, it's not so easy, at least, as far as I know. I would have to use AN APP TO EXPLAIN HOW TO USE ANOTHER APP.

My first trial was with the app SNAPGUIDE:

Check out How to Use Cartoonatic by Ana Menezes on Snapguide.

Now, how did I make this Snapguide?
1. I took screenshots of the images from my ipad.
2. I inserted the arrows and texts to the images using SKITCH app and saved the images to my ipad again.
3. I used SNAPGUIDE app to create the tutorial slideshow and then grabbed the link to share.

My second trial was with the app SHOWME:

This one I liked best as I could add my voice and draw arrows on the images while explaining.
I sent the link to my own e-mail, clicked the link, clicked SHARE and grabbed the embed code for publishing.

In conclusion, with both apps, I had to base the tutorial on static screenshots taken with my ipad. I keep wondering if there is an app which allows us to record video tutorials of ourselves while we use an app. I know some people mirror their ipads to their laptops and then make a screencast, but is there a way to do that with an APP? Wondering ........

March 22, 2014

Mobile Activity: Pair Dictation

Language focus: any grammar topic or vocabulary.
Device: Cell Phone (1 per person)
App: notetaking app which comes with any cell phone.
Interaction: student - student
Time frame: 15 mins.
Connection: offline


1. Teacher asks students to individually write 3 sentences using a target structure, vocabulary or topic on their cell phones. While students create their sentences, teacher can move around the class checking if students need help.

2. In pairs, students have to dictate, letter by letter (without pauses) one of their sentences to their partner. They use their cell phones to write the sentences dictated to them. Students keep on alternating until they have dictated all their sentences.

3. Students show the sentences they have written down to their partner and check if they understood them right. Teacher can also help.

4. For debriefing, teacher can elicit some of the sentences created by students by writing them on the board.

March 21, 2014

How to leave comments on a TUMBLR blog?

This question was sent to me by a friend, Camila Sousa Sakai, after I left a comment on her Tumblr. She's been sharing her first experience as a future mom via videos on a TUMBLR blog I've been following,

Camila is very creative and this is how she announced to her friends that they were pregnant.

Well, now back to the purpose of this post. 

How can we leave comments on a TUMBLR?

It seems simple if you think of Blogger and Wordpress blogs which by default have comments allowed. Now, with TUMBLR, you have to go to your Tumblr settings and allow comments from people YOU FOLLOW.

So, first you have to allow comments, and then you have to follow the blogs you want to send comments to.

This is a simple tutorial I created for her.

Camila, hope this is useful. And CONGRATULATIONS, once again.

March 17, 2014

App Smashing a study guide

This post is a simple app smashing I created for my students today using two great apps:

I usually try to make the revision guides I provide to my students more visually appealing. Apart from a paper revision sheet, today I'm going to offer them a VISUAL STUDY GUIDE to help them study the topics we've covered so far.

1. First, I created a comic strip with the COMICS HEAD app (IOS) with the images you can see.
2. Then, I linked resources which I had curated using the THINGLINK app (IOS).

And this is the result:
If you hover over the image, some clickable links will appear.
 Let's see if they are going to find it useful.

A day later, a colleague of mine inspired by my interactive study guide, created her own for her teenage students. With Bethânia's permission, this is her app smashing creation:

March 15, 2014

Mobile Activity: Secret SMS

Is it possible to have students use their cell phones in class to learn languages even with no internet connection? Oh, yes, IT IS.

Yesterday afternoon, during a workshop I presented to Cultura Inglesa Uberlândia teachers, Ana Cláudia, a colleague of mine, shared a very creative activity she has tried with her students. I'll call it Secret SMS.

These are the steps we followed:

1. Ana Claúdia asked each teacher/student present for their cell phone numbers and wrote them on a whiteboard we had in class.
2. Then, she asked us to choose one of the numbers on the board to write a text message to. The message should include 2 things we did last weekend.
3. Once everyone had written the message, she gave an OK for us to send it.
4. The student who got more messages was the winner and got a candy.
5. She then explained that in class, she elicited the messages students got on their cells and wrote them on the board calling attention to verbs in the past.

- As we don't know who sent us the message, students could then stand up, mingle and try to find the sender of the message by asking questions such as:
"Did you go to the cinema last weekend?"  "Did you eat out last weekend?""

- Instead of writing the phone numbers on the board, the teacher could ask students to write their names and cell phone number on a slip of paper. Then, after collecting all slips with phone #s, the teacher would hand one number to each student, making sure no one got their own number. Each student would send a message to the cell phone number they got (this way all students would get a message). Again, as a follow-up, students could mingle to try to discover the sender of the message.

- The teacher would write his cell phone number on the board and ask students to write a message (with their names) to send to the teacher using specific vocabulary, structure or topic. When teacher says OK, they all send the message. The first message the teacher receives is the winner.

Any other ideas?