You Have to Check ‘Check This’

I have recently came across to a wonderful Web 2.0 Tool that can motivate your students to write wider texts in English. This tool is Check This and what is really great about this tool is that you can make a simple website without even registering. Moreover, you can make your page more interesting by adding images (from your computer but also by catching them onyoutube line), video from youtube and vimeo, contact form and others. The user can also choose the theme of the website or add his/her own picture as a background to the website.

Great Features:

  • Excellent for use with all ages of students (registration is not required in order to start creating your website)
  • User can choose if the website will be public and visible to all or accessible just to the people
  • The user does not create a simple – plain page but can add pictures, videos, audio etc.
  • The user (in our case students) can share their work by email to the teacher or  share it with a co-student (peer-review)

It is a great tool that can be used for practicing:

Writing – Ask students to create their own websites (essays, letters, applications, reviews, express their feelings about sth etc)

Reading – Create your own website and share the link with your students to read it (you can add some reading comprehension questions)

Listening – Add a video of your choice from youtube and create an activity on this listening.

I would love to hear your opinion and possible lesson ideas.

 

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My top 11 blog posts from ’11

Magic in Education! is a blog that was created for the needs of a presentation on technology in the classsroom. Me and my collegue Makis Aggatheris were assigned to create a 3 hour workshop on New Technologies in Teaching. While we were preparing the workshop I came with an idea of having a blog where the participants can visit and see the links that I suggest them to visit. When the workshop was over, I decided to maintain the blog and keep publishing my ideas on technology in classroom. It is now 8 months amd it has been already visited from visitors from all over the world.

Here you can see my top 11 blog posts (according to the blog’s statistics) from ’11:

11. Make your own comics, Witty Comics

10. Penzu, your own personal journal and online diary

9Using Blogs in Education

8Wallwisher, Words that Stick!

7. Social Networks in Education

6How we created an interactive whiteboard with low cost!!

5. Web 2.0 apps

4. Prezi.com – Creating ashtonishing presentations

3.  How to create your own superhero comic

 2. 30+1  Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom

and….

1. Glogster.com: Poster your self! (Text, Images, Music and Video)

Knovio.com, Create and Share Video Presentations

    Knovio.com is a free online application in which you can create video or voice presentations. The procedure is really simple. You only have to upload a PowerPoint file and then start recording your video or your voice.

Knovio adds personality to your presentations. It adds your voice and your face and the result is personalized and more effective presentations. It is a perfect tool for presenters but also for teachers. I have assigned to one of my students to make me a presentation of the environmental issues and he came back with a perfect presentation. He told me that this tool helped him a lot with his speaking skills.

Special features:

  • Webcam or voice recording next to your presentation
  • User friendly environment
  • Sharing & publishing instantly to private spaces or your social networks
  • Excellent results
  • Make changes without  the need for video editing software or skills
  • Share privately and invite your audience
  • The viewers can send you instantly feedback

Cons:

  • Sometimes (according to the internet connection) the webcam video gets stuck.

I tried knovi myself and I prepared a video. Please excuse me for my anxiety. It really was the first time that I have recorded myself in a video. In order to see the video you have to click on the picture and it will link you to the video presentation:

Here are some pictures from the operational side of the application:

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LittleBirdTales: Capturing the Voice of Childhood

    LittleBirdTales lets you easily create digital tales in which you can add text, photos and add you own voice. It is great for  young learners learners who learn English as a second language because the student can add their own voice (speaking skills), they can write rubrics to the pictures (writing skills). This application allows to children to be creative and express themselves. It is really made with the kids in mind as it is very user friendly and  all the website’s design is mainly  addressed to kids.

Special Features:

  • Add photos or create your own drawings by virtual drawing
  • Add your own voice
  • Embed to your site
  • Real kids friendly envornment

Cons:

  • Limit to the tales that you can produce (25MB space)

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Here  is a video which the designers of the website shared:

Little Bird Tales: Capture the Voice of Childhood. We offer a fun, unique way to create, record and share stories online. Kids can make drawings, upload photos or artwork and record their voice online, creating a slideshow format book, then share it with family and friends as gifts or a keepsake. Environmentally friendly and great for schools, too.