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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


There are so many ways in which you can use voki, depending on the task or the time of year. For homework at Christmas time, I got my students to make up vokis wishing me a Merry Christmas or telling me what they plan on doing during their Christmas holidays. Below are a couple of examples. Some of the more timid students opted for typing in the message and not using their own voices. Both options are valid and the important thing is that they enjoy it and get some English practice at the same time.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Let students be creative at Christmas time by making comics with TOODOO. Although there isn't a lot of writing involved, they do have to invent a short dialogue and get it corrected (hopefully by the teacher and not by google translator!) before putting their comic online. They seemed to enjoy the activity and I'm hoping they'll use it for expressing themselves on other occasions now that they've become members. A NEW FOOTBALL
This is another example of a toondoo made by a student, although they used my login name! I assure you it's not mine! Christmas day

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Here's an example of my students' wish board for Christmas. Wallwisher is like a digital 'post-it' notice board and can be used in a variety of ways. In this case, students have posted their wishes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

I just discovered VYOU. You can receive messages or record video responses. I could see it being used for students to answer or respond to the teacher or to other students. They could practise their pronunciation and send messages to others in the class... Teachers could also use it as a response box for students to send their questions to. Make them think you are on call 24/7! With a bit of imagination, I think it could be used in a lot of innovative ways in the EFL class. Would love to hear any of your ideas on how you would use this tool.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Just as the title says, 'Listen and Write'. Good for language students to improve their listening skills and hear about the news at the same time. Available in many different languages which is great.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Online Comic Creators

Came across this slideshare presentation on comic creators. I've used a few of them in the past with my high school students. Comics are great way for EFL students to practise their written English. They love sharing them with other students too which means they'll also be brushing up on their reading skills at the same time. Depending on your students' ages you may find one comic creator more appropriate or appealing than another.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


For those of you who learn better by 'listening' why not try QWIKI. If you're feeling lazy about reading new information on a topic, you can type it into QWIKI and within seconds you'll be sitting back and listening to the information come to you. QWIKI will tell you all the important information about the subject and also comes accompanied by photos. In an ESL/EFL context, QWIKI could allow users to learn about a variety of topics through multimedia and storytelling, rather than through reading. I could see how it could also be particularly useful for students with dyslexia or simply for students with reading difficulties. I know that many of my students are often lazy about looking up any information on Wikipedia so this seems to be an exciting new alternative.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I love when I see a student motivated enough to do that little bit 'extra'. It doesn't happen very often! My 15 year-old students had to use Prezi to make recipes. Most of them, if not all of them, used images from google to show which ingredients they were using. This particular student actually took his own photos of each ingredient as he was making his 'panellets'. He took photos of each step as he was making his recipe and then of the final outcome. The result was a fantastic prezi presentation and one very happy teacher. It's nice to see there are still some students out there who are willing to put in that extra time.
Another student example:
This student brought in the final product for us to try!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Create a free class website with WEEBLY I've personally opened a site and it's very easy and fast to use. There are a lot of different templates to choose from and adding content is as easy as dropping and dragging new items onto your page. If you are a teacher, they also have Weebly for Education which offers extra features such as accepting homework from your students. There's no need to download any software either; it's all online so you can keep your site up to date from any computer. I'd definitely classify Weebly as another 'COOL TECHY TOOL'.

Friday, October 28, 2011


This is a cute tool for younger students. Children can use an animated emoticon to express the emotion they are feeling at that moment. They can then add a short sentence saying why they are feeling like that. Finally they can tweet or get the link and share it with their friends or with their teacher. Might be a good tool to get some feedback on the teacher's classes!
Free and easy to use!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


This is a very new tool for recording a voice message. All you need is a microphone! There's no time limit which is a bonus. After recording your message, you can easily send it to a friend via mail or post it on your site. As a language teacher, I could see this being a great tool for getting students to send specific messages to eachother or to their teacher. Some ideas that occur to me could be the following:

A Dictation: - students could send messages to eachother. The receiver could listen and write down the message.

A Greeting: Students could send greeting messages to their teacher or introduce themselves at the beginning of the year.

Narrative Stories: Students or teachers could record themselves reading short narrative stories. The other students would listen to the story and 'listen for specific information'.

Pronunciation: Different accents could be recorded and students would have to listen and try to identify them.

I'm sure there are many ways in which VOCAROO could be used!

Powered by Vocaroo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This is such a cute video. A must-see! Never too old... It's exactly how we want our students to be; fearless and willing to try new things. Not to mention how fellow teachers should be with regards to trying out new technologies. I know it's not a new 'techy tool' but I couldn't resist sharing it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back-to-school blues...

Teachers, it's ALMOST that time again!
Very soon we will be starting up a new school year and rather than feeling more in control as we gain experience from previous years, many of us feel more overwhelmed than ever before. Shifts in the educational system require us to make adjustments to curriculums, develop objectives integrating the 'Key Competences', implant the 1x1 program (1 laptop per student) in our classroom, etc. It’s no wonder we get the back-to-school blues even though we may feel well rested and ready to take on a new year. In many cases, it’s simply because we do not feel totally supported in taking on these new tasks.

Why not create a PLN? What's a PLN you ask?

Great question. Most teachers probably have no idea what a PLN is, how to go about getting one or how it can help them to fight the back-to-school blues.
Richard Byrne – teacher, speaker, edtech blogger and advocate for technology in classrooms – describes PLN as a “network of professionals with whom you share knowledge and from whom you gain knowledge.”

Have a look at the following presentation to see how you can develop a PLN.

Friday, August 12, 2011


A short inspirational video!


A colleague of mine recently discovered 'Verbling'. This is a fairly new site that enables language learners to instantly connect to native speakers through live video. At the moment,there are about 7 languages being exchanged and from what I can see, it looks free. It's set up for short five-minute chats based on a topic of your choice. There are also three levels; beginner, intermediate and advanced.

To facebook or not to facebook with your students?

To facebook or not to facebook with your students? That is the question. The following article gives some good reasons why connecting with our students on facebook may not be a bad idea and may actually be beneficial.
10 Ways Facebook Strengthens the Student - Teacher Connection

Monday, June 13, 2011

21st Century Education

I came across this presentation about 21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada. It's very well done and worth a look.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Haven't had time to try this one out yet but it looks interesting.

Read, Write, Read, Vote, Read, Write Again! One of Boomwriter's guest authors writes the first chapter of a story. Then Boomwriters are invited to create the next chapter. The chapters are submitted by Boomwriters from around the world and then they are voted on. The winning chapter gets published!

Boomwriter is 100% free for schools.

I think this could actually get students motivated with the degree of competition involved.
And it obviously gets students to practice both reading and writing skills.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


One of my students showed me 'BITSTRIPS' this week. It seems very similar to 'TOONDOO'. It enables you to create comic avatars and use them to make up comic strips. They have been making comics related to food and restaurants. I will try to post one of the examples soon. For now, I shall leave you with an example found on the bitstrip website.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Web 2.0 Like drinking water from a fire hose

A short article by Frank Pileiro worth reading. I thought I'd share it with you, as it gives good advice for teachers who don't know which tools to start with.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Here's a tool that can be used to practise 'Oral Communication'. BubbleJoy enables you to quickly create and design custom video cards. All you need is a webcam and you are ready to go. There is no need to create an account and you can create a video card in minutes. They are easy to share with others.

Some ideas to use in the English classroom:

- Reciting a poem
- Sending a birthday wish/Christmas wish to a friend/teacher.
- Planning an imaginary trip and send a card telling other classmates about it.
- Pretending they are anchormen and reporting the news.

Monday, April 4, 2011


For those of you who work with primary-aged children, is a great place for younger learners (6-10). My seven-year old, just turned eight, discovered it a few months back and is thoroughly enjoying it. The programme allows them to adopt their own pet monster, chat with friends and play games. In my daughter's case, it's been good for her reading and writing skills as she has friends that post messages on her board and she has to read them in order to reply. It also teaches them the responibility of looking after a pet. They have to feed it and care for it in order to change the 'mood' and 'health' status. All in all, it seems to be quite educational and best of all, it's set up within a controlled environment, normally set up by parents or teachers.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This tool is a good idea for setting up mutual times for meeting up with others. Teachers could use it to set up meeting times with other teachers. It often seems impossible to find a common time with everyone's busy schedule. With Doodle, you can quickly set up a few date and time suggestions, send it to others and save yourself phonecalls and back and forth messages. I can see older students using it too but I have a feeling that most will still prefer using their phone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Another quick idea which might capture the attention of students and get them writing in English!

<a href= title=creation blog>agence de communication ecologique</a>

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Glogster is a great tool for creating interactive posters with photos, links, video and music. In an EFL context, it's a fun tool for students to create profile pages. They can add information about themselves, their hobbies, their music, etc... It's easy to use and very intuitive. Glogster also offers EDU accounts for teachers and students.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Get your students WRITING using
They can generate their own newspaper article and personalise the name of the newspaper, the date, the title and the article. Great writing exercise if you are working on past verb tenses. The articles can be printed and put up around the classroom.


Photopeach ( is a presentation tool which teens seem to love. They can make a slideshow using their own photos and adding their favourite music. It's a motivating tool for them to use and at the same time it gets them writing in English. Below is an example.

My life on PhotoPeach


WALLWISHER is an online NOTICE BOARD maker. You can get your students to make announcements, introduce themselves, leave clues, write post-its, etc... It's easy to use and it's COLLABORATIVE!


Screen Jelly is a great tool ( for recording what's happening on your screen.
It records your screen activity with your voice and let's you share it via twitter, email, facebook or by embedding it on your site. I find it's often difficult to help fellow teachers or friends with managing a new tool without actually sitting down with them at the computer so this makes it really easy. I've made a quick demonstration on how to set up a wiki using wetpaint. The address has since changed so take note that the new site is

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


"If we teach today's students as we did yesterday's, we are robbing them of tomorrow" - John Dewey

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Students love being the protagonists of their own film clips. In this class, students were paired up to create dialogues demonstrating various verb tenses. In this example, they are using the future tense with 'will' to make predictions.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I have been using wikis with my classes for a few years now. What I love about them is that they are so easy to set up and all my students can easily join. I usually put a lot of class resources on the wiki and set it out term by term. I find it easy to set up all my grammar links for the year too, so students can practise what they are learning in class at their own pace. Of course, I also add a lot of links for students to improve their English whilst having 'fun'. (songs with lyrics, word games, comics, etc...) As a class, we have also been in contact with another school in America and the students were able to share their information about themselves and their lives. Basically, I use the wiki to put all of the work and information from any given class into one place and it makes it very easy for me, the teacher!


Sunday, January 30, 2011


Xtranormal is a tool to make movies. The first couple of movies are free so it could be used for a one-off project. Fun and easy to use. The only negative thing I find is that you can't record your own voice and have to use one of the voices given to you. I can see a lot of possibilities for using xtranormal in my English classes with ESO level students. Here are two examples of short clips I have made.

An example of a short clip made by my 7 year old and I. She loved making it!

An Example from a student

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Bubblr is a great tool for adding text to your flickr images.  You can add your own photos to flickr and add text or choose from the photos in their database.  Students can make their own comic strips in minutes!


Monday, January 24, 2011


Students seem to love making their own avatars so why not have them practise their English whilst doing it.  I recently had students make avatars on practising the structure 'Present Continuous'.  They had to make the avatar, record a sentence about what they were doing or someone in their family were doing at that moment and send it to their teacher.  Not only are they practising their English; they are also using new tools technologies which are sure to help them with their blogging, facebook or personal websites.  They also feel motivated to do this type of task which is clearly important for their learning process.
Below is a link to one of my student's vokis:

Thursday, January 20, 2011


It's not very often that a teacher leaves a class hearing another student say to another, 'Today's class was great, you're going to love it!' This is precisely what happened today and it was after having a class using ''.  For those of you who are not familiar with Wordle, it's a great tool for making word clouds. I usually use it in the language class for vocabulary, however today I used it to show the grammar tense, '1st Conditional'.  I had previously made a wordle using sentences such as, 'If you have a headache, take an aspirin', 'If there is an earthquake, get under the table', etc... The students paired up and had find the 10 sentences that were hidden within the wordle.  They did it as a race and this seemed to inspire them more.  Once finished, they had to invent a few examples of their own and we proceeded in making our own class wordle of 1st Conditional.  We agreed on the font, colour, design, etc... and their wordle was published on the net in seconds!  They loved the fact that others would be able to see their work.  For homework, each pair had to make their own wordle using their own examples that they did in class.  All in all, it was an inspiring class and the students were enthusiastic about using this tool for their own personal purposes.
* A word of advise:  Remember to print out your wordle or copy and paste it onto another document (I use the notebook cutting tool).  Wordle doesn't have a search box and it's practically impossible to find your wordle once you've exited the program.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Prezi is a great presentation tool which is very easy and intuitive to use.  I use prezis to make up presentations for my students on whichever topic we are learning at the moment.  I often have my students make presentations for homework too.  They love using it and even more, showing their presentations to the rest of the class.  I try not to focus on their spelling or grammatical mistakes.  I'm just happy to get them writing in English!
Here are some examples of two prezis; one of my own and one of my students.


Motivating teenagers is no easy feat.  Integrating cool tools into the classroom or as homework can sometimes do the trick.  If you have any tips for motivating your teens, post them here!