Thursday, 21 September 2017

Find and Create a Variety of Interactive Activities and Assignments for Your Students

This is a really useful collection of activities assignments and tools for teachers and students.
There are lots of ready made interactive activities designed for learners. You can search through these and find something appropriate for our students. Some of these look a bit homemade, but the functionality and design is sound.
There are also tools you can use to create customised content for your students’ specific needs.
For most of the assignments you need to register on the site and create a class. You can then create assignments for students to do and track their progress.
Some of the activities are translation dependent, so registering (which is free) will also help set the language used.

Some of the activities I liked most are The Manga Maker, Vocalyzer, Essay Rank and Error Spotter. For the ones that involve voice you'll need to make sure students are working on Google Chrome.
In some cases the assignments need a little more instruction on how they are created and how they work, but it certainly looks like this is a resource that will continue to develop if it gets support.

Apps 4 EFL is free, but you can help to support it through Patron and it may well be worth doing so if you find it really useful for your students.

You can find more tools and activities like these in my ebook 20 Tech Enhanced Activities for the Language Classroom.

The book is available on iOS or as PDF for other devices.

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Nik Peachey

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Develop Listening Skills with Authentic Materials

Listenwise is an amazingly rich resource for developing listening skills using texts about current events.
The site has a huge collection of ready made listening materials on a really wide range of international topics.
Once you register on the site, you can access listenings and scripts and well as a range of interactive and classroom activities.

Once you select a lesson you can easily get a link to share with your students.
Any teacher can register for free, use the classroom materials and share links to the resources with their students.

To use the interactive online materials and get access to the LMS you need to have a premium account. This will enable you to use and track the materials for homework assignments.
The premium membership will also allow you to customise, adapt and assign the content to specific students or classes.

You can see some examples of the materials here: https://listenwise.com/current_events

Listenwise is a really powerful tool for developing students listening skills and for saving teachers planning time.
You can find links to many more tools like this and activities for the digital classroom in my ebooks at: http://peacheypublications.com/. All my ebooks are available for iOS and as PDF.


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Nik Peachey

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

10 Great Apps and Games for Enhancing Learning

In this post I'd like to do a quick round up of some of the great apps and games I wrote about during August.

There are some really useful tools, applications and resources here that cover a wide range of functions that can help us to enhance the way our students learn and their levels of engagement.



Make Your Worksheets Digital in Minutes
Telegra.ph is a simple to use tool that can enable you to turn your Word worksheets into online multimedia documents in just a few moments.
Go to the site and add a title, your name and the text of your worksheet. Highlight the text to get formatting options for making the text more attractive or adding links.

Build Professional Level Online and Blended Courses with this Free Plugin
H5P is a tool for building complete courses with a wide variety of interactive task types. The tool works as a plug in with a range of platforms including Moodle, Drupal and Wordpress (all of which have free versions available) .
It’s very easy to install the plug in (took me less than 5 mins with Wordpress) and once this is done you can choose any of the interactive elements to add to your pages.

Create Blended Learning with Video Based Discussions
Using Flipgrid you can create a number of grids based around top level themes and then build 'topics' into these that explore specific areas of the overall theme. When you build a topic you can add various video based resources and then students can respond by recording short video clips giving their opinion on the topic.

Create Virtual Reality Comprehension Tasks
Story Spheres is a great free app for creating immersive narrative experiences. It enables you to take the 360 degree panoramic images from your mobile device and covert them into an interactive virtual reality experience.

Create Elearning Worksheets for Comprehension & Speaking Homework
This is a great site for building digital interactive worksheets with a whole range of different interactions. You can embed video, images, text or audio into the worksheets and then build a wide range of interactions into them.With some of the activity types, like the open text one, students have the option to write or use voice input in the worksheets.

Learn English While Saving the Planet with this Great Online Game
Tyto is a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) based around the scenario of a team of students and scientists trying to save humanity by setting up life on a new planet.

Improve Listening Skills with Audio Transcription Software
This is a great tool if you have a lot of transcription work to do, but also a great tool to develop students' listening. You can give them and audio file to transcribe and they can upload it and then check and correct the transcription. Once it's complete they can download and send it to you or peer check each others work.

From Image to Story - Motivating Reading Tasks on Powerful Issues
Time 100 is an amaxing feature from Time Magazine. It's a collection of 100 images that have had the power to change the world. The images are displayed on a time line and you can scroll through and click on each image.
 
Convert Your Chrome Browser into a Language Lab for Speaking Practice
Fluency Tutor is a really interesting concept. It is a Chrome plugin that converts a computer into a kind of language lab.
If you sign up as a teacher you can then assign texts to students and they can record themselves reading the text and send it to you for feedback.

Creating Dynamic Learning Objects with Genial.ly
This has become one of my favourite tools for creating not just infographics but all kinds of digital content from reading mazes, infograhics and interactive images to video based tasks. Once you have built your learning objects you can either get a link to them or embed them into webpages or blogs.
 
 
 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Sutori for Collaboratively Creating Digital Narrative Timelines

Sutori is a wonderful tool for creating content rich interactive digital narrative.

The narrative time line is displayed in a vertical single webpage and students can just scroll down through the elements of the story.
Stories can include a wide range of media including video, audio, text, and quiz type objects as well as forums. Once created they can be embedded into websites, blogs or shared through social media.
There are some wonderful examples and a specific section for teachers on the site.
Here are a few examples that I really liked:

Creating your own narrative is very easy. Just register and go to your dashboard. Then click the cross to add a story. You can then add a title and introduction  and start adding various interactive learning objects and media.

Once your narrative is started you can also invite others to collaborate and build the time line with you.

Once the narrative is complete you can share it or even print it as a PDF.

You can use Sutori to create interactive reading tasks for students, or better still get your students to use it to create their own project or research presentations or as task outputs as a means of assessing how much they have learned.

Sutori is a marvellous tool and free to use for teachers, but there are also premium subscription which offers learner tracking and management services, so if this is a popular tool in your school it could be worth supporting the company and investing in a subscription.

You can find links to many more tools like this and activities for the digital classroom in my ebooks at: http://peacheypublications.com/. All my ebooks are available for iOS and as PDF.


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Nik Peachey

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Using Image Prompts to Inspire Writing & Speaking Activities

This site is built around the concept of using image prompts to inspire digital writing activities for students.
Photo by HB Mertz on Unsplash
As a teacher you can create classes and assign writing tasks to students. The students do their writing tasks within the platform and can publish and share them there. This is a little like posting to a blog, but within a safe environment.

Students can comment on each others’ postings and collect them into a gallery. The site also has an interesting tool to add voice recordings so you can use this for speaking activities too.

The site is free to use with up to 40 students and they can produce up to 5 postings each. After that you have to have a premium account, but it is very reasonably priced, especially if you choose the whole school solution.

You can also access the writing prompts without signing up by going to: https://www.writeabout.com/ideas/

WriteAbout is a really useful tool to get ideas for student writing projects.

You can find links to many more tools like this and activities for the digital classroom in my ebooks at: http://peacheypublications.com/. All my ebooks are available for iOS and as PDF.



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Nik Peachey

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Create Speaking Activities Based on Sequences of Images

This app enables teachers or students to create sequences of images and videos and record a monologue about each one.
The images can be ones they have created themselves or they can find images by using the apps search function. The image search draws on Creative Commons images from:
Students can also add annotations, emojis and other ornaments to the images.
The app then exports the sequence and monologue as a video file that can be shared through social media, email or embedded into a blog or website.

Here's a quick tutorial:



Shadow Puppet is a great tool for creating digital narrative, doing reports or homework assignments or creating more personalised speaking activities.

You could also use it as a portfolio tool and get students talking about any work they have created.

The site also includes lesson ideas for a range of topics across the curriculum as well as some useful printable resources for the classroom. At present it is only available for iOS.

I hope you and your students enjoy this tool. You can find links to many more  sites like this and activities for the digital classroom in my ebooks at: http://peacheypublications.com/. All my ebooks are available for iOS and as PDF.



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Nik Peachey

Monday, 11 September 2017

A Tool for Creating Interactive Fiction with Students

Inklewriter is a tool for creating interactive narrative or what I used to call reading mazes. These are stories that present the reader with various options through the story and allow the reader to choose how the plot progresses as they read through.

To start writing your own story just click on ‘Start Writing’, then give your story a title and add the first paragraph. You can then add the options for your reader.

The site tracks your options as you build the story and you can also see an overview map of the different connections as you write.

To find our more watch the very clear tutorial.

Before using this with students it’s a good idea to get them to read one of the stories so they understand the concept.  This might be a useful one to get your students started - ‘The Sand and the Scarab’ by Cian Gill

To use this with students you could create a story yourself or choose one of the stories featured on their blog and build comprehension tasks or just let students read and then compare their journeys through the story.

You can also get your students to write a story collaboratively and take it in turns to add the different options at the end of each paragraph.

Inklewriter is a great tool to get students writing and makes the process of creating this kind of branching interactive narrative much easier to manage.

You can find more tools and activities like these in my ebook 20 Tech Enhanced Activities for the Language Classroom.

The book is available on iOS or as PDF for other devices.

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Nik Peachey

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Writing & Discussion Activities to Promote Awareness of Fake News

Newspaper Generator is a useful tool that enables you to create what looks like a newspaper front page.
To do this you upload an image, select a title and a headline and then write in the details of the story. Then just click on 'Make it' and the site will produce a PDF that you can download.
You can use this in class for a number of activities.
  • This is a nice way to get students writing news type texts and then publishing them.
  • You can also use it to get them thinking about fake news by creating a selection of news articles, some based on real news stories and others that you invent. You can then ask them to research the articles and find out which ones are real and which are invented.
  • You could also use the headlines and articles to generate discussion over which are real and which are fake or work on how to spot fake news.
  • You could get students to create their own fake news test by creating two real news stories and one fake one. They can then see if they can trick their classmates into believing the fake one is true. They could use this Factitious game as their inspiration. 

Newspaper Generator can be used in an enjoyable way to raise awareness of issues regarding the credibility of news and to promote more critical thinking.

See also: 6 Useful Resources for Exploiting the News in the English Language Classroom

You can find more tools and activities like these in my ebook 20 Tech Enhanced Activities for the Language Classroom.

The book is available on iOS or as PDF for other devices.

Sign up for my twice monthly free newsletter and get a free copy of Digital Tools for Teachers at: https://tinyletter.com/technogogy/ 

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Nik Peachey

Friday, 8 September 2017

Intercultural Project Based Learning for Students

This is a fantastic idea for creating intercultural exchange projects with students from different schools around the world.

The site has a really wide variety of really interesting projects that you can choose from and they are really well designed and structured with learning goals, levels and age appropriacy clearly sign posted.

In order to register on the site as a teacher you have to be located at a physical school which you identify when you sign up.

Once this is done you can select your project and get your students registered using a class code that you find on your dashboard.

The site automatically matches your class up to another class somewhere around the world. Class match ups are done every Monday.
Then your students will need to commit 30 - 45 mins each week for the length of the project (usually about 6 weeks)

All the materials are provided and the students just need a device (the service works on most devices) and an internet connection.
You can find out more about the details here: https://www.penpalschools.com/faq.html

PenPal Schools is free for the first 5 teachers at any school, after that the school has to buy a licence.

This looks like a really cleverly designed way to get your students engaging with other schools around the world.

You can find links to many more tools like this and activities for the digital classroom in my ebooks at: http://peacheypublications.com/. All my ebooks are available for iOS and as PDF.



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Nik Peachey

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Collaborative Story Writing for the BYOD Classroom

TaleShip is a really interesting app for developing reading and writing skills in a collaborative and creative way.
Photo by Ari He on Unsplash
The app is based around a common classroom activity in which students write stories together by adding a sentence and passing it on to another writer. The next writer then adds a sentence and either passes it back or passes it to another student. The process continues until the story is finished.

In this app version users create an account and then write the introduction to the story. You can add links to images in the introduction phase too, so this can help inspire other writers. Once the introduction is create you can either make it public, share it through social media
or share it with selective people.

The app works both synchronously and asynchronously and has a text chat window on the side of the interface so students can interact with each other as they build the story.
The app works in the browser so it will run on a laptop or mobile device. This makes it particularly suitable for the BYOD classroom.

TaleShip is a great way to get students writing collaboratively and you can follow it up with some peer correction or get the students to take the stories and enhance and improve them by adding more description and detail.

Here is an example activity I created. Feel free to contribute to the story if you wish.
https://taleship.me/rooms/join/dark-stormy-night-62182317 


You can find links to many more tools like this and activities for the digital classroom in my ebooks at: http://peacheypublications.com/. All my ebooks are available for iOS and as PDF.


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Nik Peachey

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A Great Tool for Collecting Digital Research

This is a really useful Google Chrome plugin and iOS app that students can use to save quotes, links, screen shots or images from websites as they do online research.
Once the plugin has been installed, they just highlight parts of the webpage they want to save and click on the yellow icon. 

The information is saved into their account.  The 'notes' are saved as cards and these can then be added to collections (Storylines).

All information that is saved is linked back to the original source and students can add notes about the information and why they saved it. They can also organise and re-arrange the information they save to make it more accessible.
Lumio is a great study tool for doing digital research and a great way to build students’ digital literacy skills.

You can find more tools and activities for developing critical thinking and digital literacies in my ebook - Thinking Critically through Digital Media
The book is available on iOS or as PDF for other devices.

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Nik Peachey

Monday, 4 September 2017

10 Free Apps to Enhance your Students' Learning

In this post I'd like to take a quick look back at ten of the most popular posts I wrote from last month. These posts cover a host of free apps, games and resources sites that you can use to create engaging digital learning for your students.

Create Vocabulary Activities from Authentic Text in Minutes
WordBooster is a real time saver for anyone creating courses using authentic materials.
 The site generates word lists and vocabulary quizzes from authentic texts and includes definitions of the words and a range of activities to help students understand and remember the word.
Get Teens Writing with Gamified Writing Activities
Story Wars is a great gamified way to make writing creative and competitive.
Students read short chapters of the beginnings of stories and then have to submit the next chapter for the story.
Give Young Learners Structured Writing Practice with WritingSparks
WritingSparks is a great site for giving structure and adding an element of fun to writing activities, especially if you have a data projector so that students can see the prompts on the screen.
Create Texting Fiction to Keep Your Teens Engaged
Texting fiction is a new emergent genre of fiction writing that is becoming very popular among teens and I have to say when I started reading a few of these creations I can see why.
Basically the narrative is structured as a phone based text conversation and can include images and videos as well as text and audio message
6 Useful Resources for Exploiting the News in the English Language Classroom
In this article I'm sharing a collection of resources that you can use with your students to help them understand news stories in English.
Create Animated Speaking Activities with Toontastic
Toontastic provides the kind of activity that could be used to get younger students speaking and it gives them the opportunity to play out different roles and to listen and reflect on their own speaking before they save and share.
Build Your 3D Virtual Reality Classroom Today
This is a great tool for running online group classes or social events for online students.

There is also now the capability to build course materials and launch commercial courses through: . You can also take free courses that can help you use the platform.
Using Computer Games to Raise Awareness of Global Issues
In this post I'd like to introduce a few games that you can use with students as a springboard for discussion on what can be some difficult issues for teachers to address in the classroom.
Get Students Creating Video Summaries with Lumen5
This is a great tool for quickly creating video summaries. You can use it to write a short summary or just put in the URL of an online article or blog posting and then pick the parts of the text you want to include in the video.
I hope you enjoy these resources and make good use of them with your students over the coming year.

You can find more tools and activities like these in my ebook 20 Tech Enhanced Activities for the Language Classroom.

The book is available on iOS or as PDF for other devices.

Sign up for my twice monthly free newsletter and get a free copy of Digital Tools for Teachers at: https://tinyletter.com/technogogy/ 

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Nik Peachey

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