Bee Clip – Create Beautiful Online Portofolios

Bee Clip is a new Web 2.0 app that gives the student the potential to create their own online scrapbooks, online portofolios, collages, moodboards and for many other ways. The user can add images, videos and texts and also can share the scrapbooks online or print a hard copy.  It is free and you can try it without the need to register.  I really like this Web 2.0 app and I am going to use it for some project work with my students.

Here are some excerpts from beeclip website:

Empower creativity

Creativity is all about ideas, not software. The software you use in your classroom should amplify your students’ creativity, not inhibit it. Our easy-to-use, yet powerful, scrapbooks will unleash your students’ creativity like you couldn’t imagine. There are no limits to what they can create on Beeclip EDU.

Engage students

Keeping students engaged is a tough challenge. Our innovative blend of technology and creativity is already loved by students all over the world. Maybe it’s the drag’n drop interface, the cool backgrounds, or commenting on each others’ scrapbooks. Whatever it is, they just can’t get enough.

Save time

Using technology in your classroom should save you time. We’ll have you up and running in a matter of minutes. And once you’re going, you’ll find the way you manage students, projects, and scrapbooks a real breath of fresh air. You don’t need to be a technical whizz to get the most out of Beeclip EDU.

 

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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)

A Christmas Lesson Plan: Write a Letter to Santa Clause

Dear Santa.... (Photo taken from operationsanta.com)

The 25th of December is approaching and I was thinking of giving a proper ”goodbye” lesson for the Christmas holiday to my students. Thanks God my experiment was successful and I received a lot of hugs from my 10 year old students) at the end of the lesson. What did I ask them?

”Write a letter to Santa Clause! Present yourself, Tell him about your likes and dislikes and tell him what you want him to bring  you for Christmas”

Short Lesson Plan:

Objectives:

  • Writing. Learn to self-present
  • Grammar. Practice Present Simple using I like/I don’t like.
  • Vocabulary. Revise Christmas vocabulary

Aids:

  • Printed Santa Clause Letters. I had mine from last year but here is one that I found on the internet or you can easily make yours on a word processor:
  • Love and excitement!

Christmas Letter. Credited to blog.christmaslettertips.com

You can find more word and publisher templates here.

Warm-up activities:

  • Chat about Christmas and Christmas traditions. Ask them what kids do in Christmas eg carols, gifts etc.
  • Announce that you expect them to write a letter to Santa Clause.

Before Writing:

  • Teacher explains the writing activity.How start, paragraph and end the letter. Make sure that you ask them exactly that you expect from them.

While Writing:

  • Help the students with any unknown vocabulary or any other inquiry.

After Writing

  • Ask them to read their letters aloud (some peer review subtly conducted)

The whole procedure lasts about 30 minutes. My students were excited throughout the activity and they could not wait to go home and to place the letters under the Christmas tree.

I am thinking to take it a step further and reply to their letters. I have not decided yet. I wish every one MERRY CHRISTMAS! xoxoxoxo

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Create easily comics with writecomics.com

Writecomics.com is a really simple comic strip generator. It does not require a registration to start creating. It is free and really easy to use with your students. There is a variety of characters and backgrounds to use. This tool is also perfect if you want to include some humour in your classroom as it has a section with alien characters. After creating your comic the website gives you a link to your comic strip and you can grab the picture online or you can save the comic as jpg file to your computer.

If you click on the image below you can see a tutorial-like video:

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More comic-maker applications described in this blog:

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.

Fauxflash: Create easily free online flash cards

  Fauxflash is a free web application that creates digital flash cards. You can add text and images at your flash cards.  As the designer of this application highlights:

”Fauxflash is an online application that takes the hassle out of flash cards and lets you get right to studying.”

I have just tried this app and I found it really easy to use. It is really handy to use with your students. You have just to sign up and start creating your cards. It is great to use with a various level of learners. I have just created a lesson plan for my young learners. We are going to practice the jobs vocabulary (eg. doctor, actor, singer, cook, nurse etc). I added from the one side the picture and from the other the word.

Special Features:

  • The people involved in this project have announced the release of Android & Apple application! Imagine to carry your digital flash cards everywhere!
  • You can share your flash cards online.
  • User friendly environment.
  • Attach pictures.

Some minor cons:

  •   It would be great if the user could print the flash cards (not so environmental friendly but we have to think about these students that do not have internet access.
  • I would be stunned if I could attach video files.

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Create tutorials in one click with Tildee.com

 What is Tildee?   

 Tildee is a free web tool that allows you to create a tutorial on any subject and instantly share it with your students. Otherwise you can assign to your students to make a tutorial about a subject. You can add photos, videos and google maps.

     What makes Tildee special?

What makes tildee special is the clear user-friendly interface. The user has just to click the +create your own tutorial button and start working. Not to mention that it is completely free and you do not even have  to give your e-mail. Registration is not required to start writting.

It is not the perfect application for making lengthy tutorials or it does not take screen shots. Nevertheless,  it is just  perfect to use with students as it is a simple application and free to use.

Practice:

Reading: Create your tutorials and show them to your students. Design reading comprehension activities etc.

Listening: Add a video and ask your students to add the rubrics.

Writting: Ask your students to create their own tutorials as a class activity or as homework.

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Create Multimedia Teaching Activities with Educaplay

   I have just discovered one of the best activity generator applications. I am talking about Educaplay.

 What is Educaplay?

Educaplay is an online application that  allows you create your own teaching activities with an attractive professional result. It is a free application and the only thing that you need is a web broswer with flash plugin. You can choose from a variety of activities to create:

 

Special Features:

  • Statistics go to the teacher (results and timing of the exercise)
  • Multilingual activities (Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Galician, Catalan, Basque)
  • Really proffessional results
  • Embed to website, blog, wiki etc
  • Create groups for your class
  • Share the exercises on social media
  • Some activities  like dictation and diologues allow voice recording

Here are some examples of the activities that you can create:

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Want to learn more about Educaplay? Here is a video tutorial: