We moved

5 10 2009

 

moving home

We moved to a better place!

Visit our new blog on www.e-blahblah.com





The language Show is Back!

14 09 2009

LanguageShow_09

Once again the biggest event for language learners, language teachers, language lovers, linguists or those who just want to indulge in a little wine tasting, is taking place in Olympia, London from the 30th of October to the 1st  of November 2009.

The Language Show is free to attend; you just have to register in advance by going to the exhibition’s web site – http://www.thelanguageshow.co.uk/

The show offers an array of distinguished exhibitors (including us WAES!): Colleges, schools, publishers, specialist language teachers, recruiters and quality speakers.   The event is aimed to help, advise and provide tips and resources needed to learn or teach languages.

The talks and events this year look to be a well-judged mixture of fun insight sessions and in-depth guidance. I would strongly recommend popping in some of the language teachers’ Seminars, particularly the E-Learning related talks!

recommendedseminars





22 07 2009

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SpinVox – Word of Mouth

15 06 2009

spinvox-logo

SpinVox captures messages and converts them into text. It then delivers your message to a destination of your choice, such as your inbox, blog, wall, messenger or social web space. The message is instantly delivered to its destination, giving you the power to speak freely.

What can SpinVox do for you?

voicemailIf you are not able or can’t be bothered to pick up your voicemails, SpinVox converts your voicemail as text

memoSpeak yourself a reminder in case you can’t reach out for a pen and your message is sent straight to your inbox

blastSpeak a text message and send it to as many people as you like at once

textIf you are in a place where no one can hear you, just speak a text message

socialShare your moments by grabbing your phone, speaking your message,  SpinVox converts it to text and send it to your social network (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter…)

blogUpdate your blog just by speaking

Check out how you get your SpinVox!

instructions





Please vote, thanks!

8 06 2009

We are planning a few more elearning training sessions for Summer, but we would like to know from you all when would be the best time for everyone.

Please tick the preferred slot or type in other suggestions.

Thanks for collaborating!





iTunes U – A Special Section of the iTunes Store For Education

8 06 2009

Picture2

Learners and teachers already use mobile technology in nearly every aspect of their daily lives. Now education has been plugging into that massive chance for learning by providing permanent access to educational materials, along with easy ways for learners to connect, collaborate and share.

You know that mobile learning is reshaping the educational experience. Learning no longer happens only in the classroom or at a desk.

I am sure that loads of students are iTunes users already. Now instead of just going to iTunes for their music and movies they can also find entertainment for their brains!

Picture3

iTunes U in the iTunes Store offers free audio and video content from top universities, well-known museums and other cultural institutions. With iTunes U your students can learn from the world’s leading thinkers, attend free lectures, peep at an exhibition, listen to audiobooks or just brush up their Spanish.

Students can sync iTunes U content with any iPod or iPhone, so they can go right on learning while they grab something to eat, walk to class or work out at the gym. They will only have to search, download and play educational content as easily as they do with their music, movies and TV shows.

It’s accessible to anyone with a Mac or PC.

If you haven’t got iTunes, you can download it for free – click here!

Try it yourself! Learn anytime, anywhere.





Smartboard and Health Education

1 06 2009
Click here to visit the site

Click here to visit the site

Health education is essential these days but it can be quite difficult to explain the concept of a balanced diet. Fortunately, teachers can use some great interactive websites and their interactive whiteboards to help students learn the concepts of a balanced diet.

ActiveScience GSK has a great interactive activity called Balanced Diet that challenges students to interact with different people, read about their goals for a balanced diet and then choose the best meals throughout the day. They are provided feedback about their choice of diet that helps educate them about the importance of the types of foods they are eating. This activity also has supporting worksheets including a word search and a word scramble.





Using Videos in the Classroom

1 06 2009

Picture2

Many teachers love using video to enhance their lessons. The downside: many videos are too long, and it’s time consuming to scan a video to find the clip you want to use. Here are two sites that can help streamline the process.

TubeChop and SPLICD allow you to select a section of a Youtube video and crop the bits that you do not want to use, then you obtain a link that you can share with your students or place into your SMART Notebook file. This gives you the ability to launch a quick video clip with minimal classroom down time.

All you have to do is to copy and paste the YouTube URL, crop the video and copy the link to share or the embed code to insert in your VLE.





5min Life Videopedia – Another Amazing Video Website

26 05 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to go to 5min

Click here to go to 5min

 

 

 

5min is a platform for instructional, knowledge and lifestyle videos. This library includes tens of thousands of videos across 20 categories and 140 subcategories, which are professionally produced and brand-safe.

5min features content from some of the world’s major media companies as well as the most innovative independent producers. You can watch video recipes, yoga and fitness routines, tech tutorials, DIY projects for home and garden, health videos on specific conditions, beauty and fashion tips, video game walk-throughs and much more.

It’s a great tool for every subject area. Go and have a look.





Befuddlr

18 05 2009

What can you do to keep your learners engaged when introducing them to a new topic?

Why not play with Befuddlr?! Befuddlr will take pictures from Flickr, or you can also upload your own, and befuddles them to create a fun picture puzzle to solve.

It’s a perfect application for the SMART Board! Try it out!





Etherpad – An Online Collaborative Text Editor

18 05 2009

Try out Etherpad for a fast, free, easy and really live collaboration and chat session.

etherpad

Click for screencast

Etherpad is an online collaborative text editor usable by anyone with an Internet connection. There is no sign up required; you just share a unique URL (web address) with the people you want to collaborate with.

Each user has a different colour and there is a chat box. You can use the random URL assigned or make one up just by adding the name of the document to the end of the URL.

It is real time; you see the edits of the other people as they make them, and you may discuss changes as you make them in the chat box.

The potential for use in education is unlimited. This is a great web tool for collaborative writing and planning; writing reports, stories or scripts, answering questionnaires, improving writing, making lists or also discussing opinions.

It really is simple to use.

  1. Just go to Etherpad and create a new pad.
  2. Email the link for the pad to your learners.
  3. Learners click the URL and they are ready to start writing and chatting in the same pad. You can see everyone editing the document.
  4. All revisions of the etherpad can be saved at any time.
  5. It is simple to format text as well as headlines and bullet points.
  6. You may delete your etherpad

There are also loads of opportunities for using it with staff. There are many situations where we have to put a document together with just one scribe! Well now everyone can get involved in the self assessment! It could also be used for communication!





Wallwisher

11 05 2009

 Another great web tool! Another great way of communicating. And free!

Picture1

 http://www.wallwisher.com/

Wallwisher is an online notice board maker. You can use it to make announcements, make notes, share opinions and resources, etc … Just think of wallwisher as your virtual post-its!

It is extremely easy to use. You don’t need to register or create an account. You just have to click on write post and that’s it.

You can add images, links, videos and music to your comments or post it.

To arrange your post its, you just need to drag and drop them where you want.

Check the wallwisher I have just created to try it out with you, and please write something to play with it. To add you comment you just need to double click on the denim background.

 Picture2

http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/WAESelearning

What do you think?

I am sure you can think of some good ways of using wallwisher with your students. You can ask your learners to give opinions on something you brought up related to what you are teaching, or you can ask them to try answer a difficult question and everyone checks all the answers and can have discussions.

All you have to do is to click on build a wall, choose a URL, pick a theme, add an image (optional), enter your name and email and edit the title (here you can type in your question). Then just click on done.

To share your wall, copy the link and send it to your students. Or wallwisher will send you an email with the link and a template email that you can use to send to your students.

Have fun!





Using Online Resources

5 05 2009

There are loads of websites that you can use with your students. I am sure that you know a lot of good online resources, but sometimes you don’t know how you can use them with your class.

The web sites can be employed for individuals, small groups or the whole class, depending in what you are trying to achieve. Or you may want to structure an entire session around one single site.

Here is a list of extremely useful online resources that are valuable for teaching and learning.

National Gallery

national-gallery

The National Gallery offers very good resources for educators and potentially helpful in adult education. The site contains detailed notes for teachers about particular paintings and suggestion for learning activities, facility to browse and access the whole collection, zoomable pictures, as well as biographies of several leading artists.

BBC Learning

bbclearning

This web site is a considerable resource to help learning in a wide range of subjects, such as health, study skills, history, geography, English, foreign languages, maths, computers…

There are several online courses, as well as information and other forms of content.

Tate Modern Gallery

tate

The Tate website offers the opportunity to view their contents in several languages as well as BSL. This facility offers a wealth of opportunities for language classes.

The podcasts are also very good learning resources and they also offer a free online level 1 course Introducing Learners to Art.

Virtual Tour

n10

Several websites provide access to online simulations, as for example science experiments, demonstrations of products and virtual tours.

10 Downing Street’s web site offers an opportunity of taking a virtual tour of the building. It allows one to explore the different rooms and read about their history. It also provides information about the government’s structures. This could be quite useful for teaching Citizenship, History or ICT navigation. You could set up a class discussion by projecting the tour on the interactive whiteboard and use it as a whole class resource.

Multimedia presentations

moneymatters

The Money matters to me site provides a series of interactive workshops, including a simulator of a cash machine or an electricity meter.

There are also loads of utility bills, case studies and interactive activities.

As this site offers a structure based on an individual’s life changes, learners can explore different financial issues relevant to their lives, which could be motivating and meaningful for them. As a tutor, in this case, you should only support your students instead of controlling what they are learning.

Resources

There are also various sites that offer resources in a variety of forms. For example:Images that you can use for educational purposes,

nasa

The NASA website offers access to 300.000 images linked to space exploration and related subjects. It is free to use their images for educational use.

Maths

maths

This web site offers free mathematics resources. It includes discussion forums, puzzles and reviews of calculators, free software and books. This could be handy for class preparation or use of the interactive exercises.

Arts and Humanities

aldaily

This site offers hundreds of links to newspapers, journal articles, book reviews and extracts, essays, periodicals, TV and radio stations and organisations. You can use this resource for preparation of discussions on philosophy, literature, language, culture, history, music or art; current affairs, media studies and international relations.

Tools and Aids

You can find an automatic translation service on the Alta Vista or Google search engine. This facility translates text from one language to another.

You can also select a whole webpage to be translated on

translate

Google Maps is excellent for getting hold of maps as well as Multi Map and Ordnance Survey.

maps1

The Met office web site besides giving weather forecasts also has a section for teachers, even though it is primarily aimed at young learners, there are many different resources you can use and adapt for adults.

weather1

The best tips to use online learning content is by involving learners, allowing them to create their own knowledge, basing activities on “real-life” issues, varying methods, using simulators to practise something that is intimidating, thinking of your learners’ needs and contexts, integrating online resources with traditional methods, making learning fun and interesting, encouraging peer support, using the internet for specific topics to demonstrate the richness of resources and making your learners become internet confident users.

 

Source: Online Resources in the Classroom by Alan Clarke and Claudia Hesse, NIACE





Digital Storytelling

27 04 2009

Digital Storytelling has become a powerful instructional tool for students and teachers. Digital storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell a story, basically combining the art of telling stories with a variety of digital multimedia, such as images, audio and video. Digital stories bring together a mixture of graphics, text, recorded audio narration, video and music to present information on a particular topic.

There are several types of digital stories, such as personal narratives, historical documentaries and stories designed to inform or instruct on a specific concept or practice.

Here is an example of a digital story. Have a look!

 

Click here to watch a digital story

Click here to view a digital story

There are numerous ways of using Digital Storytelling in education. Teachers can create their digital stories or have students to create their own. An engaging multimedia Digital Story might capture the students’ attention and increase their interest, and it can also be a potent tool for students if they have to create their own stories. Teachers’ digital stories may also be used to enhance lessons, facilitate discussion, and make abstract or conceptual content more understandable.
 
WHAT TECHNOLOGY CAN WE USE TO CREATE DIGITAL STORIES?
 
Not long ago producing multimedia digital content required expensive equipment and technical expertise, but now we are at a point where we can make a very compeling content creation with Smart Notebook Software, PowerPoint, Photo Story, Movie Maker, iMovie or web tools such as:
 
            animoto
 
        
 
            voicethread-logo
   
          onetruemedia
     bubbleshare
               rock you
 
      joggle
             slide-logo1 
 
       
Click on the web pages logos and try creating your Digital Stories. All web tools have tutorials in case you get stuck.
Here are some links where you can find appropraiately free and licensed resources for your Digital Story.




Xerte – A Superb Free Toolkit

21 04 2009

xertelogo

Xerte is a suite of tools for rapid development of interactive learning content. The online Xerte tool is an effective way for staff with limited IT skills to create high quality, cost-effective and accessible learning materials. 

With Xerte you can create materials with the same quality as the NLN materials.

This toolkit provides a quick way for tutors to create presentations or interactive exercises, such as quizzes, with built in colour preferences, font size preferences, keyboard navigation and text to speech.

Xerte templates allow the content creator to make highly creative accessible learning objects in an extremely user-friendly way. You can integrate text, images, audio, video and animations, create interactivity, drag and drop and hot spot interactions.

Click to watch the video on MoleTV
Click to watch the video on MoleTV
How to get hold of Xerte?

Go to Xerte website – www.nottingham.ac.uk/xerte -  download and install the Xerte engine.    

picture22

OR  just use the online tool by going to http://www.techdisplayxerte.info/. To play with it you will need username: techdis and password: jisc. Try to create your own project. On the website you can find a very simple and fast demo, as well as Xerte examples.

This is a free open source that you can share with your students by uploading it as a SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) to Moodle.





QR Code

31 03 2009

myqr  kaywa

QR (Quick Response) codes are 2-dimensional bar codes that can contain text, URLs, phone numbers and other data. The QR code can be read by a camera phone as long as it has free QR Code Reader software.

These awkward looking images are being used with students in various ways.

Students can use it to subscribe to a RSS news feed; tutors can integrate QR codes in their PowerPoint presentations or printable materials, as it facilitates note taking; you can send as sms to a phone; transfer a phone number; append the codes to Moodle, it facilitates classroom evaluation and it is perfect for mobile learners.

How to create a QR Code

Go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com , type in text, a URL or a telephone number and generate the code. Copy and paste the image generated into your slide or document etc.

Check if your phone can use QR reader software on http://reader.kaywa.com/getit , download direct to your phone or to your computer and transfer.

Use your camera and software on your phone to capture the code’s message.

snappr

Another excellent QR code creator is Snappr.net . You just have to create a free account and you can create QR codes linked to music files, images, URLs, VR Cards and Voting. Snappr allows you to download the QR code reader on your mobile phone (few mobile phones cannot read QR codes).

In case you do not want to download the application to your phone or if your phone does not accept a QR code reader you can use the MMS option. It’s simple! – Take a picture of the code on your mobile phone and send it to Snappr@Sannpr.net . Within a few moments you will receive a link that leads to the collected information on Snappr, all optimized for your device.

Visit http://molenetprojects.org.uk/moletech for more ideas using QR codes in teaching and learning.





Mobile Learning

24 03 2009

uses_of_pdas

Imagine teaching where your learners can access the internet, record videos and photos, create PowerPoint presentations on the go, access a digital library, read e-books, answer interactive quizzes, or produce dynamic mind maps of their project-based work in the palms of their hands anytime and anywhere.

This is the world of Mobile Learning. Using the latest handheld devices, seamless integration of technology is becoming a reality in educational establishments across the country.

With M Learning you can effectively support personalised learning styles; create learning activities with easy-to-use tools; engage your learners anytime, anywhere; choose from a varied of tried and tested learning materials for mobile devices, including topics like ESOL, numeracy, literacy, driving theory, health and safety, business, and much more; enrich your students’ experiences through online collaboration; create podcasts; interact and share ideas, resources or information such as audio, images and videos.

Mobile learning has proven to improve retention, achievement and progression in many projects that took place in different colleges in the country. It also increases flexibility of provision, extends the virtual learning environment, helps those who find it difficult to attend classes and have little or no access to IT equipment, provides learners with technology to strengthen the relationship between learning in the field and learning in the classroom, and also facilitates data recording and evidence collection.

Visit http://www.molenet.org.uk/ to read more about Mobile Learning.

Let me know if you are interested in knowing how to use M learning with your students. You can tie in your commitment to 30 hours CPD and log on the “research project” on ifl. You can come up with your own idea for a project (could be for example finding out the effect of M Learning has on students’ motivation), undertake training as part of the project, deliver and report back logging the whole as part of your CPD activity. If you liked the idea I am more than happy to help you with ideas, planning the project, providing training and overseeing the project.





Xtranormal – Text-to-movie

23 03 2009
Click here to watch the animation

Click here to watch the animation

 

Xtranormal is a fantastic web 2.0 tool where you can make 3D movies for free.
Everyone watches and enjoys movies and everyone can make movies. Movie-making, short and long, online and on-screen, private and public, will be the most important communications process of the 21st century.
Xtranormal presents us a revolutionary approach to movie-making. You type something; they turn it into a movie. On the web and on the desktop.
 
You just have to pick a scene, the characters, type a script, add actions and sounds, publish and share.
Your learners can also make their own movies and share them with the rest of the class.

 





Quandary

17 03 2009

Quandary

Quandary is an application for creating Web-based Action Mazes. You can create an action Maze using Quandary and upload it to your Moodle.

An Action Maze is a sort of interactive case-study where the student is presented with a situation, and a number of choices as to a course of action to deal with it. After choosing one of the options, the students are presented with another situation with another set of options. Working through these branches is like negotiating a maze, so that’s why it is named “Action Maze”.

These Mazes can be used for several purposes, such as problem-solving, diagnosis, procedural training, surveys or questionnaires.

Surviving on a desert isle, dealing with a difficult landlady, and creating a needs assessment are just a few examples of Action Mazes.

Creating an Action Maze requires well-thought-out planning in advance. The benefit of the exercise is its ability to help students think through the results of a variety of choices they can make

Quandary is easy and free to download – Go to http://www.halfbakedsoftware.com/quandary.php. It is only available for Windows at the moment. So no Quandary for Mac users for now.

Check some good examples here.

MAze Sample

Click here to see examples

If you have used Hot Potatoes before, you will find creating mazes quite straightforward.  If you are not sure how to start check their Quandary’s tutorials.

Tutorial

Click for Quandary's tutorials

Hope you will live up your Moodle with loads of Mazes. I am sure your learners will enjoy and appreciate.





AccessApps – Free Software

9 03 2009

 AccessApps USB

ACCESSAPPS is an inittiative developed by the Scottish JISC Regional Support Centres in cooperation wit JISC TechDis. It consists of more than 50 open source and freeware assistive technology applications that can be used from a USB memory stick on a computer.

All you have to do is to go to JISC website and download AccessApps to your USB stick. There are three download options: – The Works that includes all the programmes and guides which is a 2Gb download, – Go Lite a 64Mb download containing a selection of most popular apps, and – Pick n Mix  you can choose the applications you want.

Here is a list of  some of the guides and applications on AccessApps:

Guides – AccessApps Help, Accessibility Essentials, Aspire Learning.

Open Office

Planning & Organisation – Freemind -mind-mapping, Hott notes – sticky notes, Sunbird calendar

Reading and Writing Support – AMIS-Daisy reader, DSpeech – text to speech, PowerReader – dyslexia reading support, RapidSet – change font/background, TheSage – dictionary & Thesaurus, Typefaster – typing tutor, VuBar – read text one line at a time

Visual Support - QuickRes – change resoltuion, Sonar – cursor ring, Virtual Magnifying Glass

Accessible Browsers – Mozilla Firefox, WebbIE – text-based browser

Keyboard/Mouse Alternatives - Click-N-Type – virtual keyboard, Dasher, MouseTool – automated clicking

Multimedia Tools – Artweaver – art package, Audacity -record/edit audio, Audiobook Cutter – split mp3 files, GIMP – edit images, UnFREEz – create gif animations, VLC Media Player

Presentation Tools – Camstudio Portable, KompoZer – web editor, Scribus – desktop publishing

Utilities - 7-Ziop Portable – file archiver, ClamWin – anti-virus, Converber – converter, Sumatra – read PDFs, TopOCR – convert images to text

Games – Anagramarama – word puzzle, Jooleem, Othello – board game, Stranded – island adventure, Sudoku

Installable Software - Install Thunder screen reader

JISC website has all the instructions. Very easy to follow.

 

 





Video Jug – Life Explained, On Film

2 03 2009
VideoJug

VideoJug

VideoJug is a comprehensible library of free instructional videos online.
The high definition videos are professionally produced and cover every imaginable topic – definitely an online video encyclopaedia of life.
The videos are divided in two different formats: The informative “How To” and the “Ask The Expert” that guides the viewer step by step through everything and anything in life.
The “How To” videos deliver easy-to-follow, bite-size tutorials on a variety of topics, such as recipes, beauty and hairstyle tips, jobs and careers, technology, DIY, sports and fitness and education videos including languages, punctuation, math and special needs.
Recipes videos example
Click to play

Click to play

The “Ask The Expert” videos are professors, coaches, teachers or consultants providing answers to common questions and concerns.
For example the Yoga videos
Click to play

Click to play

VideoJug is a source for credible answers and wisdom for every possible aspect of human life. VideoJug informs, helps and inspires. I think we could make good use of it in our classes and for personal reasons as well!
 




A New Way of Providing Feedback to Your Students

23 02 2009

 

“Screen capture software” allows you to record the screen of your computer as if you had a video camera pointed at it. Everything you do on the screen is recorded and can be played back as a video, and if you have a microphone connected to your computer your voice will also be recorded.

This piece of software has been mostly used for IT training purposes, as for example; teaching how to animate objects in PowerPoint (PPT). Trainers simply turn on their screen capture software, begin actually to create the animation in PPT and comment on what they are doing, adding notes and call outs. The video is then saved and trainees play it back, listen and watch how to animate objects and jump from the training video to actually creating an animation themselves.

Russell Stannard, principal lecturer and Course Team leader in Multimedia /ICT at the University of Westminster, realised that  “Screen capture software” could be used as an innovative way of providing feedback to students on their written work. This method is leading to a substantial interest in the academic world. THES and Guardian have already written articles about it. Many lecturers and teachers have started using this method.

This new method is really simple and basically works like this: Your students send you their written work as Word files (or other formats), you open their work on your computer, highlight mistakes or aspects you want to bring up, turn on screen capture software and start recording yourself correcting and marking your students’ work.  Once you finish recording, send the video to the students. The learners are able to listen and watch as you talk about their work. You can also tell your students to watch and re-do their assignments according to your feedback recorded on the video.

The key factors that drew Russell Stannard to this idea of  “live video feedback” were:

  • Offers a solution to the issues around face to face contact
  • Students normally don’t understand the feedback we give them and they are unllikely to do more than quickly look over it. Video feedback provides visual and oral information and helps the learners to overcome any misunderstandings
  • Gets students more involved with the writing process. A teacher can point out problems and suggest alternatives, and learners can use the video to write up a better essay
  • Combination of  the video and audio leads to a “deeper learning”

Click here to read more about the case study and watch some screencasts.

If you want to try this new method with your groups, you can get screen recorders by googling “Screen capture software”, or you can download free software, such as Camstudio or Jing.

Drop us an email if you need a hand.





Please vote – Thanx!

16 02 2009

 

We would like to know how often you use E-blabla in order to improve our blog.
Please participate in the poll, it will only take one second of your time.

Many thanks





Google Earth – “The World’s Geographic Information at Your Fingertips”

10 02 2009

 

 

 

 picture11

 

I am sure that most of you know that one can fly anywhere on Earth on Google Earth. You can view sattelite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean, you can explore rich geographical and Historical content, save record your tour and share it with others.

Google Earth is a fun Skills For Life resource, supporting Literacy and Numeracy skills development.

 

There are loads of different things you can do with your class using Google Earth, such as viewing a satellite picture of your chosen location by typing in an address; searching for colleges, museums, parks, restaurants, hotels; getting and giving directions; tilting and rotating to see 3D terrain and buildings; measuring shapes, space and distance; reading and writing descriptions of places; and also reading and printing out driving directions.

 

Google Earth is free and no registration is required. Visit  http://earth.google.com/ to download and install Google.

 





Create your Interactive Games

3 02 2009
Click here to go to what2learn.com

Click here to go to what2learn.com

Play the game on EZone

Play the game on EZone

What2learn is an innovative and exceptional eductional tool which develops and tests learners knowledge in a fun and interactive way.  Loads of effective and envolving learning games will drill your students in essential knowledge. their attainment will be automatically calculated and recorded.

The games work brilliantly on the interactive whiteboard for the whole group or on EZone, so they can have a go individually.

If you want to use the games that were already created, all you have to do is to search for games, select the tag you are looking for, such as Art, Design Technology, English, French, Spanish, German, Film, History, ICT, Mathematics, Music, etc, and then just click on the game.

As a teacher you can prepare resources to support the delivery of your subject, create a range of games related to the scheme of work you are teaching. These games can be used as starter or revision tasks. To create your own games click on “Make a Game”, choose the type of game ( Hangman, question and answer, wordsearch, anagram and multiple-choice), hit the highlighted game’s name, enter the content in the adequate boxes, add a tag to your quiz and confirm the questions. To share the game you can send it via email or social web or you can copy the embed code on the right handside of the web site, paste the code to a web page on Ezone, save it and it’s ready to play.

Let me know if you need a hand.





Skills For Life Network

3 02 2009
Click here to visit SFLN

Click here to visit SFLN

Skills for Life Network (SFLN) is a website you should register asap. It keeps you up to date with what is going on in the Skills For Life (SFL) area. You will get e-news every fortnight direct to your inbox, all the SFL news, developments, events, jobs and resources. The SFLN brings together need-to-know information from a wide range of sources that saves you precious time!

The membership is FREE. SFLN covers the full range of SFL specialisms and related areas, such as Literacy, Numeracy, ESOL, Key Skills, Functional Skills, Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficuties, Learning Disabilities, ICT, E-learning, SFL Teacher Training, Research and Strategy.

Don’t miss this! Let us know your thoughts and if you need any further help or info.





NLN – National Learning Network

28 01 2009

picture3

The National Learning Network (NLN) is a national partnership programme designed to increase the uptake of information and learning technology (ILT) across post 16 education as well as Adult and Community Learning (ACL) funded by the Learning and Skills Council.

The NLN has gathered loads of interactive materials designed to be used in further education and are also made available to ACL providers. WAES has access to all their online materials. All you need to do is to register. You will also need WAES password  that you can get from David or your E Guides, just drop us an email.

Interactive Materials on NLN

Interactive Materials on NLN

This is really useful for everyone. The materials cover Art/Craft, Basik Skills, Business, ICT, Communications, ESOL, Flower Arranging, Food, Gardening, Hair/Personal Care, Health and Safety, Interior Design, Music, Performing Arts, Sports/Fitness, Technology, etc
You can add these materials to Ezone easily. Once you’ve selected the resource, you will have to copy the Learner URL, log-in Moodle, click on “Add a resource”, select “Link to a file or web site”, enter a name, paste the Learner URL to the “Location” box, save and return to course. This resource will be available to your students in your learning environment.
Learner URL

Learner URL

You can also download the collections that contain all the learning objects you wish to use. Once you have selected the collection, dowload the zip file, then go to Moodle, click on “Add a resource”, choose “SCORM/AICC” and upload the zip file as you normally do with your files.

Let us know if you need a hand uploading the NLN materials to your Moodle course.





Text to Speech Tools for Students with Special Needs

21 01 2009

ICT can help meet many of the needs of learners with special needs. ICT can help our students accessing their course content by reading text to speech, increases their independence, ameliorates visual discomfort or stress, offers alternative forms of recording written information and helps them improving and practising Literacy skills.

With appropriate programs and ICT tools special needs pupils gain confidence, work independently, demonstrate what they know and can do, overcome frustration and raise self esteem and also become less tired.

Here’s a list of some good tools and tips to reduce learners visual stress:

 claroplus_pc

ClaroRead is a powerful multi-sensory software solution for supportung computer users who struggle with reading and writing due to dyslexia or othe conditions. This software provides a high quality text to speech tool that is extremely easy to use.

Our learners can start writing and reading independently with the support of this software’s tools. By making the computer speak any text with a human voice, text documents can be proofed read out loud as well as web pages, emails and any other text.

There is a portable version of Clarosoftware on a USB memory stick, it speaks back text as it is typed, includes voices of over 25 languages, provides a single Check Button that combines a homophone dictionary, thesaurus, reference dictionary and spellchecker, making the checking of text and documents easier and more comprehensive.

Thunder on iBBC Player

Thunder on iBBC Player

Thunder is another screenreader talking software for people with little or no sight. Just go to www.screenreader.net and download the software for FREE! Watch Thunder users on iBBC player. 

browsealoud

Reading large amounts of text on screen can be difficult for those with literacy and visual impairments. Browsealoud is another piece of software that reads webpages aloud for people who find it difficult to read online.

Hope these tools are useful for everyone!





YouTube Symphony Orchestra

12 01 2009
YouTube Orchestra Symphony

YouTube Orchestra Symphony

This is a good one for our music department.

YouTube is inviting people from around the world to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. All the video entries will be combined into the first ever collaborative virtual performance, and the world will select the best of you to perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in April 2009.

If you need any help with the recording and uploading the video to YouTube, please dom not hesitate in contacting your ELearning team.





Smartscreen for everyone

12 01 2009

smartscreen

Smartscreen

Smartscreen

Smartscreen.co.uk is a huge e-learning portal, set up by City & Guilds, to provide dedicated online support to learners, tutors and assessors.

Smartscreen provides unit-specific support materials created by subject matter, offering a complement to the entire teaching and learning experience. It has more than 36,000 pages including downloadable documents and interactive activities.

WAES gained unlimited access to all the support for all levels of all qualifications and has full admin rights to issue as many tutor and learner logins as we wish. If you would like to subscribe Smart screen, just drop the E Learning department an email and we will send you login details, confirmation of qualifications purchased and simple instructions on how to take advantage of unlimited tutor and learner access.

This is a real time saver! Don’t miss it!





Creating a Time Line

5 01 2009
timeline

Time line

Xtimeline is a free web-based time line. You can create and share your own time lines with pictures and videos or explore public ones.

A time line of the history of a topic, somebody or a place is very good for teaching History or English or any other subject area where you would want to use a time line.

You can have your students creating their time lines, adding pictures, videos or other important links.

There is the facility of creating your own group, where only members can visualise the time lines created. These members can also edit the time lines.

Sharing the time lines is also very easy. You can email them to your students or you can embed them on to your course on Ezone.

Let me know if you need a help getting yourself around the website.





Happy New Year

2 01 2009

Happy 2009

Embark on a fresh start this New Year. Start visiting our blog for great tips on how to integrate ICT in your teaching and other IT guides.

May you achieve in every facets of life and all your wishes come true.

Wishing you a Happy New Year of Happiness & Success.

Hope to hear from you all throughout 2009!





Have a Super Happy Christmas!

17 12 2008
Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Have a nice break and get prepared for some more E Learning tips next year!

Thank you for viewing our blog.





Create Your Own Podcast

11 12 2008

What is a podcast?

 

 

A podcast is a feed used to share out audio or video content, such as a weekly music show or video program. Like blogs, podcasts have many different formats and topics, from talk shows to cooking.

 

Podcasting has now become popular as an alternative way of providing content that can be listened to whenever, wherever and as many times as the listener wants. The idea that a podcast can be produced by just about anyone with access to the Internet has generated a lot of interest in educational circles.

The call is not only in providing supplementary listening input for students, but that students themselves can become involved in recording and producing their own podcasts.

How do you produce your own podcasts?

You can do this with a handheld MP3 with recording facilities. I have got one in my drawer, if you need it!

You can use the program Audacity on our PCs.

 

 Audacity

Using Audacity allows you to edit out the mistakes, change the order of students and add music and sound effects, creating a more professional show.

Don’t worry! Audacity is amazingly simple to use.

OR there is another extremely quick and easy way of creating your podcasts that is signing up podomatic website.

http://www.podomatic.com/
http://www.podomatic.com/

You will easily be able to make a recording, save it, find it, keep it nicely organised, embed it on EZone or send it to your students.

Signing up is completely FREE.

Once you log in, the site gives you lots of information about podcasting, you can search for podcasts on whatever topic you want, and if you go to My Podcast area you can create your own podcasts.

To produce your podcast just click on post new episode, click on Record with your webcam or microphone and hit on the record button. You can preview your recording or re-record if you are not happy with it.

After that you press on Use Recording, move on to Next Step, give your podcast a title and write a short description, you can add pictures to it, tag it and then punch the Post Episode button.

And that’s it! Really easy! Give me a shout if you need a hand.

Good podcasting! Enjoy!





Videos For Everyone

3 12 2008
You Tube

You Tube

You probably think that You Tube is not very useful and that it is just for Entertainment!

Actually, it is one of the best sources of content on the web.

You can find loads of resources for all areas of teaching, such as languages, History, Science, Health, Make up, Business, Pottery, English for Academic purposes, as for example IELTS or Cambridge Certificates.

Try to search for information about teaching methodology, Interviews with famous people, Language lessons, Pottery or Make up tutorials, Live Lectures, television programmes and help with exams.

If you want to use some of the videos in your class and you would like to embed the videos into your presentations, especially if you are working offline, you can grab them from You Tube.

 

 

You Tube Downloader

You Tube Downloader

You just need to Google youtube downloader, click on the first link of the sites returned, download the small piece of software, press Run and it is installed.

 

 

Press Run

Press Run

 

 

 youtube-downloader

The downloader allows you to download videos from You Tube and then convert them into other types of format.

Enter the URL of any You Tube video and convert by clicking on Convert video. You can save the video as a mov, avi, wmv, mp3 or mp4 to your computer .

Please let me know if you need a hand with it.





English Listening Language Lab Online

26 11 2008

This site is superb! It has a load of listening materials, such as interviews, dialogues, mixer activities featuring six speakers, different accents, video format, pictures, quizzes, listening games, listening for GIST or details, animated newscasts that develop test taking skills for standardised listening tests such as IELTS, mini lectures or presentations, situational English needed for daily communication, podcasts, slide shows, slide quizzes, text view, audio notes, worksheets and printable lessons. It also has a songs section that allows the students to listen to the song as the words are displayed on the screen so they can catch the lyrics as well as working on grammar, pronunciation, reading speed, reading by chunks, common slang and idioms.

Your students can use ello.org at home, in the classroom or the slide quizzes, videos and newscasts work brilliantly on the Smartboard.

It can be used with all levels.

Let me know what you think!





Text To Speech

18 11 2008
Click to listen to the Spud

Click to listen to the Spud

Today’s post is about Text to Speech.  Text to speech is fantastic for students as it offers them the option of listening or listening and reading at the same time. We tend to give our pupils a lot of content to read, that probably they will not read! By using Text to Speech we can make sure we reach more learning styles.

It is great for getting your students ready for the listening exam and also pronunciation, as they enter the text and will get all the words properly read.

All you have to do is to copy a text, paste it, choose the language, save it and use it in the classroom or add it to Moodle.

Have a look! And please tell us how you have been using it and if it has been useful.

Here’s a list of other Text to Speech online links:

AT&T Labs

Text-to-Speech

Spokentext





Worksheet Genius

13 11 2008
Worksheet Genius

Worksheet Genius

I couldn’t wait for next week to tell you about this fantastic and life saver website.

Worksheet Genuis is full of printable worksheets, puzzles and activities that can be differentiated and randomized at the touch of a button.

You can design your own worksheet really quickly. A time saver especially for Basic Literacy tutors!!

English – you have Anagrams, bingo, falsh cards, matching pairs, mixed-up sentences, phonics, slideshows, spelling tests, word lists and word searches.

Maths - you can create addtion, bingo, clocks, division, subtraction, greater than / less than, larger/smaller, multiplication, percentages and place value.





Learn a language with Podcasts

11 11 2008
Radio Lingua Network

Radio Lingua Network

By using an iPod or another mp3 player you can take your learning with you – learning with podcasts allows you to learn a language on the move.

Just download free podcasts to your computer or mp3 player, or listen online. You or your students will be using the language with confidence in no time.

These podcasts from Radio Lingua Network help learners to master basic or tricky aspects of more than 15 different languages, such as English, Spanish, Catalan, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Mandarin etc…

 

 

 

The Radio Lingua Network

The Radio Lingua Network

 

 

 

This is all about learning at any time wherever the learner wants to. It is aimed to anyone from tourists to business people or school students. You can find one minute lessons, pick-up working knowledge, in-depth courses, and insights into using idiomatic expressions.





Learn and Practice Typing

11 11 2008
Typing Tutors

Typing Tutors

This is a tip for the typing course tutors and students. Or everyone interested in improving their typing skills.

It is a great site packed with links to the best shareware and freeware typing tutors.

http://typingsoft.com/

Most of the online typing tutors and typing speed tests are free. They are designed to accommodate both beginners and more experienced typists who are looking to gain speed and accuracy.





We were at the Language Show

3 11 2008
WAES Stand

WAES Stand

The Language Show was a huge success. Our lovely stand really stood out because of all the nice people working there during these three days, giving loads of information about WAES, the cost-effective prices and the fortune cookies!

The Language Show 2008

The Language Show 2008

It was our first year exhibiting at the Language Show. Our stand was visited by lots of people interested in studying and working with us. I think that this initiative will pay off. Our next step will, definitely, be participating in the seminars. I have attended loads of interesting seminars delivered by teachers sharing their projects carried out in their schools, E-learning Consultants highlighting the importance of ICT in the learning process, and teacher trainers such as Russel Stannard, lecturer at the University of Westminster. Russell brought a new concept of giving feedback to students that is fantastic. I will be writing a post on this new way of marking students’ assignments very soon. Actually, I will need two or three volunteers to take part of this project I am starting!

The "Dream Team" at The Language Show

The "Dream Team" at The Language Show

So, let’s hope that next year WAES will be at the Language Show once again, not only publicising our courses but also showing our ICT projects!

Watch the video!

Nice one!





Lets get a Smart Table for The kids

27 10 2008

SmartTech wants to bring multitouch tables to the people who would probably most appreciate them: Kids

It is the world’s first multitouch table. It is a fantastic learning tool. It makes learning fun and its a medium that some children learn quicker from.

Have a look at the video.





Making a movie in Dvolver

27 10 2008
Movie

Movie

This is another great web site that allows you and your students to make your own videos.

Dvolver  is extremely user friendly. All you have to do is to select a background, a sky, a plot, characters, type in characters’ lines, choose a backgroung music, select and write a movie title and then it’s ready for you to send via email or you can also copy the embedding code and paste it to Moodle or your website, for eg. facebook.

In the class, this video can be used as a reading comprehension activity or the students can make their own videos and that would be a writing exercise.

Let us know if you use this movie maker with your group and how you used it.





Create a Fancy Quiz

21 10 2008

This is really eye-catching!Looks nice on Moodle and the students love it!

This site allows you to create quizzes enhanced with pictures, audio or video and post them to your Moodle course on ezone.

MyStudio is an interesting web-based quiz making software that lets you create multimedia quizzes and also tracks reader submissions.

You only have to register a free account at MyStudio, name your quiz and then just start adding questions, you can add as many questions as you like and may even supplement quiz questions with hyperlinks, images or YouTube videos.

 

 

  





Animoto

14 10 2008

Do you want to have a fancy presentation, looking really professional?

Go to http://animoto.com, and get started: Upload the images you want to use, these can be from your own files or taken from your facebook etc…, you can also add music. Animoto will customize your images and it will create a fancy presentation.

When your animoto video is ready, you can email it, post it to youtube or your site or even download it to your computer.

It is a great tool and it will make a difference in your presentations. There are a few examples on the website, check them out.

Here is one of my 30 seconds presentation I have used with my students to introduce vocabulary.





Speech Bubbles

7 10 2008
Pizap.com

Pizap.com

This is a great website to use with your class! And it’s free!

For example: Practicing writing and telling stories.

Students can use their own pictures or they can save a few images from gettyimages, flickr or istockphoto and then add on speech bubbles, images, titles and drawings.

At the end they can show their edited pictures to the rest of the class and tell a story.

It is easy to use:

Click on  

then

Choose the photos from your files and to edit the picture just drag and drop the speech bubbles or pictures to your image. Save it and show it.

Share with us the outcomes of using the website. We would all like to know!





e-blabla goes mobile

24 09 2008

From now on whenever you forget to check out e-blabla at work, you can do it in your way home from your mobile.

Thanks to mofuse.com, I could mobilize eblabla blog. Anyone can create a mobile version of your website or blog. They even have an iphone version.

Try it!

Bookmark http://eblabla.mofuse.mobi





Meeting live and sharing

23 09 2008

 

   Acrobat.com 

This site is really cool! All you have to do is to register and try out the goodies.

It allows you to convert files to Adobe PDF, you can store and send files to others for an easy access, and the best of all you can meet live over the web and share your screen with your colleagues, as well as writing and collaborating on documents anywhere at any time.





I BETT you will love it!

22 09 2008

BETT

 

BETT

 

BETT is a huge educational technology event that you cannot miss. It’s taking place in Olympia – London from the 14th to 17th of January 2009.

This exhibition is a great opportunity to network with peers, share good practice, get to know brand new resources, touch and test, hands-on training and develop our knowedge.





The language Show

19 09 2008

Attention, attention!

All Language teachers should pencil in your organisers these dates – 31st October – 2nd November 2008 Olympia London.

You can get free tickets online andyou can attend FREE seminars covering many interesting matters. I am certainly not missing Russel Stannard on Saturday, whose site – Teachers Training Videos - I live in!

I went to this exhibition last year and ended up with tons of innovative and useful ideas, specially tips for using interactive whiteboard.





You-Tube Symphony Orchestra

8 06 2009







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