January 24, 2010

TOKBOX - group video chat

Yesterday, I invited several teachers who have TOKBOX accounts to help me test the group video chat feature.

I created a video chat and invited teachers who were online in TOKBOX to join me. We were six people in the room. We could see (via webcam) and hear each other. I´ve read somewhere that you can video chat w/ up to 20 people.

We introduced ourselves, talked about where we live and teach, talked about our goals for 2010 and brainstormed ways we could use the group video chat w/ students.

You might say " I can video chat w/ my friends in MSN or Skype." Not really, with MSN and Skype you can chat to various people at the same time but you can´t see their webcam image. And you can only chat to people who have an MSN account or Skype account.

With Tokbox group video chat , you can VIDEO CHAT  to many people at the same time, whether they have a tokbox account or not. You can invite people to join you via TWITTER, FACEBOOK or even send the link of the video chat to your friends via e-mail.

The webcam images were very good and so was the sound. Except  for some voice delay, it was almost perfect. I regret not having taken a screenshot of our chat room. But I completely forgot about it.

How to create a GROUP VIDEO CHAT? Watch this quick TUTORIAL

How can we use this tool with students?
  • invite students to have online conversation lessons.
  • if you have individual private students, you can invite all of them on one specific day to join the room and talk to each other. 
  • you can invite all your students to join you and interview a guest. Then, each student would have the chance to ask a question.
  • Any other ideas?

January 19, 2010

How to explore QUIZLET flashcards on the IWB?

A colleague of mine asked me about Quizlet and StudyStack and I have to say I like both. However, there are features in QUIZLET that I love.

Afte watching several tutorials in youtube about the site, I decided to make one myself showing the different ways you can use it with the Interactive White Board (IWB).

http://screenr.com/Kc1 (very good image quality)

Other RELATED ARTICLES - click here 

Listening to kids talk (British Council videos)

I love listening to children talk, don't you? It's so cute!

Well, in LearnEnglish Kids you watch watch videos prepared for classroom use where children answer simple questions. Below the video, there are pdf exercises you can download, and there's also a complete page with suggested activities to do with the videos.

This one is adorable:


Going Crazy with flash-gear.com

Funny, every time I go crazy about a site I have to post about it straight-away. I just cant't help it but share. While going through the fantastic WHITEBOARD BLOG I came accross FLASH-GEAR.COM and there are so many things you can do with it. Let's explore!

You can
  • make a chat room for your blog.
  • make a counter.
  • add moving eyes to your picture.
  • add an acid effect to a picture.
  • turn your picture into an embeddable widget.
  • draw online with your friends and embed the drawing board.
I had embedded all my trials, but as they're animations, the page become too heavy so my suggestion is try everything out. It's so COOL!!!

January 17, 2010

Creating QUIZZES with Photopeach

After reading Sue Waters wonderful post and tutorial about http://photopeach.com I had to give it a try. I had already used photopeach for slideshows but was unaware of the possibility of creating quizzes. It´s so simple!


1. You create a slideshow.
2. Then click EDIT, edit captions +photos.
3. Click QUIZ, type questions and alternatives.
4. Click OK and your photo quiz w/ background music is ready.

You can see a more detailed tutorial w/ pictures  at Sue Waters blog.

MY TRIAL: I thought of a grammar topic, selected pictures and created some sentences with gaps. You can also create questions and answers, or images and words to recap vocabulary.

What are the people doing? on PhotoPeach

January 15, 2010

Slides to start your classes

4 years ago, after reading a wonderful book called "Language Hungry" by Tim Murphey, I made this presentation with excerpts from the book in order to start my classes. Now, that we're close to the beginning of a new semester, I remembered how much I enjoyed them. This semester, I've decided to reuse them on the e-board. I'll try to welcome students into class with one of these slides on, let them observe, read ,think while I organize myself and greet others.

Hope you like them:

If you press the PLAY button you'll hear background music, however if you play the FORWARD button you'll see slides only.

January 10, 2010

Camila Sousa interviews Ana Maria about Cancer

Camila Sousa, a dear friend of mine, who teaches in the US asked if I could answer some questions her students wanted to know about Cancer. Watch our interview.

We used http://wetoku.com for the interview.

This is a tutorial I've made showing how to record your interview with WETOKU, very simple.

You can also read this previous post:

January 9, 2010

BOMBAYTV - creating subtitles for Bollywood films

I had already heard of BombayTv via Ozge Karaolglu and Russell Stannard but hadn´t had a chance to try it myself. This morning I selected a scene and wrote some subtitles to it. You can also use the text-to-speech feature or record your own voice to dub the scene.


<a href="http://www.grapheine.com">agence communication Paris Lyon Graphéine</a>

Great tool to use w/ students.

How can we use this site with students?

  • The teacher can create subtitled videos to contextualize the content of a lesson.
  • Show a scene to the whole class so that students in pairs can create a dialogue for it. The teacher monitors the activity helping out and correcting when necessary. Show the scene again so that pairs of students can dub the scene. The class decides which was the best dialogue created in class.
  • In the computer lab, ask students to create subtitles for a scene they select. As they finish, students send the link to the teacher via e-mail so that it is published in the class blog.
  • In the classroom, show a scene to students. Then, with the wholeclass, brainstorm a dialogue for the scene. Students copy the dialogue. Pairs of students rehearse the dialogue. The teacher selects a pair of students to record teh dialogue and adds it to the scene. Show the recorded dialogue to the class.
  • Ask students to record themselves dubbing a scene for homework. The text should have vocabulary learned recently. As they finish it, the video should be sent to the teacher via e-mail to be published in the class blog. These videos can be used in future classes for listening comprehension.

January 5, 2010

EVO = Electronic Village Online

Do you want to start 2010 learning lots of interesting new things and for FREE?

If you are willing to invest 6 weeks in your professional growth, this is the place to go, EVO.

This year, I am co-moderating one of the sessions along with other great "blogging divas". If you'd like to join us CLICK HERE and SIGN UP. Registration has started but courses only start on Jan 11th. See you there.

January 3, 2010

Myna - recording yourself

I had already heard about Myna but hadn't tried it out. I normally use audacity for my recordings but today it was time to give it a go. First, I read a post written by José Picardo some time ago, watched the demo which is below and tried it myself.

Watch the demo

I wanted to see how easy or how hard it was to mix your voice with background music and to my surprise it's not that hard. I had a look at the library tracks, chose some of them, recorded myself saying some collocations you normally find in books teaching EFL at basic levels and mixed it up.

Don't expect a masterpiece, it was just a first (lousy) trial.

After you save it, you can embed the recording as below, or grab the URL http://aviary.com/artists/anamariacult/creations/collocations_basic_1

If the recording doesn't play, CLICK HERE.

What I like about it:
  • It's free.
  • There's no need to download anything.
  • You can upload a pre-recorded file or record yourself straight in the site.
  • There's a library of background music you can use to make your mix.
  • It's not complicated.
  • It offers an embed code for your mix.
How can we use MYNA w/ students?
  • record tracks with vocabulary you want students to memorize.
  • record your students repeating vocabulary or collocations and then mix it up w/ music and play it for them.
  • make a different kind of dictation w/ background music.
  • simply use the site to record your students reading a text or dialogue.
  • ask your students to create a mix with a list of words they have to memorize.
Any other ideas? Use the comment area to collaborate w/ more ideas.