Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mailvu - do things differently


So what is Mailvu???

Generally Mailvu is a tool that allow us to record video messages for us to share with our family, friends or else anyone else that we wish through email. Plus you can easily create and send the video with just a couple of simple steps without having any complicated stuff to worry about. How cool is that. it is simple, fast and easy. Click HERE to go straight to Mailvu!

The steps of using Mailvu >>>>

1) Click the record button on the right hand side and start recording. (max 10 min)

2)You can also click on the play button to preview what have you recorded just now before you can actually send it to anyone.

3)After you have already satisfied with your message, click the send button and enter the necessary details such as the receiver email address and yours as well.

4)Now your task is finished and the receiver will get your message in an instant and could also reply back to you in the same way through Mailvu.

So what can you do with Mailvu in the class?

1) Speaking activity = The teachers could ask the student to make a a short message at home using Mailvu to promote an object that he or she would love the others to buy and send it to them. This will give the opportunity for the students to practice using the language and to improve their speaking skill as well. Plus,  a connected classroom can be established as through this activity, students will not only be learning on how to use the language at school but also learning and practising using the language at home with a specific purpose.

other topic/activity :
--Draw a timeline and share stories on why the dates or the year are important to them. Is it meaningful or full with painful memories.

--Share their interest, talents or hobbies such as cooking, playing, climbing rocks, etc...

2)Listening activity :
-- The teachers or the students can use the tool and record themselves to give the listening input for the class to hear later.  Thus, the students are going to be more excited and motivated to listen to someone that they know rather than a stranger doing it.

3)Writing activity:
Teachers could send videos of them speaking a certain topic to the student at home and they need to summarize what they have understood as well as they own comments about it.

Why i like this tool?

  • Its free 

  • The steps of using it is simple, fast, and easy.

  • It encourage the students to speak as well as improving their skills by practicing a number of times while doing the recording.

  • Allows connected classroom becomes a reality. This happens when it create a chance for the students to link what they have learned in class and still using it at home with a solid purpose.

  • The tool itself is fun to experiment on and the students will feel more motivated to learn in the classroom.

  • Plus, it gives a refreshing new way of learning or even as a homework where students can now change The words they used to express through writing to become more alive and real to see. Its interesting for them and even make the students become more engage with the lesson.

Limitations >>>

  • The video is only limited for 10 min 

  • We can only share our video messages through email 

  • There is not direct chat box for the receiver or anyone else to comment or reply.

  • As it is a free version, no code is given for us to embed our video in our website.

  • The receiver can't actually download the video and can only watch it through email.

  • There is no pause button and we need to record everything in just one go.

Other options >>>


As an alternative, KEEK is also a website that have the same functions as what Mailvu does and it can offers a code for us to embed our video in our websites. Therefore if you would like to share your video publicly in your blog, you can use KEEK instead of Mailvu. Unfortunately there are some drawbacks of using KEEK as it only allows us to record a 30 sec video rather than Mailvu who offers a 10 min video. Clik here to try KEEK yourself!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Say it! don't keep it !

Have you ever been in this situation before?

Feeling shy to speak in class...

Afraid that your answer will be wrong or you are interfering with the lesson...

Does not have the time to copy everything that is being discussed...

Afraid to ask silliy question and to be laugh at by the others...

Here are the solutions!!!

Introducing Todaysmeet & Wallwisher.



      Both Todaysmeet and Wallwisher are tools that are basicly have the same function whis is to create a platform for the students tho chat about thier thoughts and share things between the members. These great tools can be used by the teachers as a backchanneling system that allows them to get feedback or their thoughts about the lesson indirectly. Suitable to be used by learners from various level, both tools can be manipulated as a medium to get people to be engage with the lesson interactively and fun.


The layout is rather simple, clean and nice where we can have discussion of different topics in different rooms. Unfortunately we can't share any videos or pictures directly in the chatbox.


Wallwisher is more fun and colorful where the layout comes with different colors. You can can also directly share some pictures, audio, files and videos with the other members participating in the room rather than just words.

 How might these tools be a great help in language classroom.

  •  It provides a medium for the teachers to get some feedback about the lesson and adjust its pace by monitoring the students understanding.

  •  The chat room can be used as a platform for online discussion or practice. For example teacher might ask the students to come out with sentences that use modal verbs.

  • A chat room makes the students to be more relaxed and motivate them to participate interactively in the discussion.

  • As both tools are visual and textural, these enable the learners to improve their auditory and analytical skill where they need to carefully listen to the lesson and make critical judgement out of it at the same time. 

      • Plus, students can also copy and paste all the discussion or some of the correct answer as their own personal copy as reference later.

        • Motivate less active students to participate in discussions.

        Some Limitations of using these tools.
        • The students might be out of control and keep on discussing on different matters unrelated to the lesson.  

            • Learners might get distracted by other people in the chatbox and loose focus of the entire lesson.  

                • They might choose not to use thier real name which will make it hard for the teachers to identify the students participation in the discussion.

                Tuesday, November 29, 2011

                elllo english ~learn english naturally!!

                Bored with just pen and paper?

                Interested of trying a  new style of listening activity?

                Excited to improve your English language skill?

                HELLLO ENGLISH is the answer!!!

                What is it about?

                Elllo English is another cool website that is specially design to help learners to improve their listening skills in a way that is more visually interesting and fun to do even if they are doing it alone.

                It is wonderful site that contains nearly thousands of listening activities that covers a range of different topic all around the world for the learners to choose based on their interest.

                Plus, it is a tool that caters different kinds of level suitable for students age 13 to 16 years old to learn and improve themselves moving from the beginner to an advance level.
                Apart from that, the most cool thing about this website is that almost all the listening activities are being supported with interesting mutimedias, cartoon animation, downloadable mp3 files, vocab task, language notes and MANY MORE for FREE!!...How interesting is that???

                How to use this tool?? 

                1)The activities in Elllo English has been categorized and designed into 5 different section which is views,mixer,scenes,news and game. You can choose which section that you prefer and all the topics that is related to the section will appear for you to choose depending on your level and interest of your student. You can also use the search column to find your desired topic instantly.

                2) After that, you can start doing the listening activity by listening to the audio/ slide show presentation before answering the question provided at the right hand side.

                Listen to audio/ slide show

                The activities

                3) You can also enrich your vocabulary by going through the the language notes provided in the transcription.


                Language notes: meaning and how to use it 

                 4)There is also an activity using videos of real people speaking about the topic. There's even a subtitle to it. Check out the picture below!

                How might this tool works brilliantly in a language classroom ?
                • Excellent for a listening activity as individual or pair work that can develop their listening skills to a new level.

                • Creating a new fresh atmosphere of language learning for the students to keep the student to feel motivated.

                • The activities are developed from different kinds of topic accross culture for the learners to choose based on their interest making the activity more fun and exciting.

                • Different accents is being used as a medium to exposed the learners with different style of language used spoken from the people around the globe.
                • The materials are authentic where the language and topic used is something that we can hear outside of the classroom.

                • It comes with a printable version and free mp3 files suitable for classes with limited amount of computer facilities.

                • Promotes autonomous learning- students can improve their skills by themselves at home independently
                • Include a chance to improve a variety of language skills such as reading, listening and vocabulary.

                Some limitations of this tool.

                • The slideshow provided is sometime unrelevant and confusing to students without proper explations by teachers.

                • Some of the old activities are not included with downloadable mp3 files.

                • The questions are limited 

                • The topics under each section is sometimes questionable and unrelated.

                Monday, November 28, 2011

                Adobe connect > learning through virtual classes

                What is it about?

                Adobe connect is a software for web conferencing that has become more popular for meetings between business partners,colleagues and even being used as a tool for e-learning. Educators especially from universities, have already been using this tool to create virtual classes so that everyone from around the world can have access  to the class by just going online. Adobe connect also allows interactive collaboration as the people who have access to it can also participate interactively with the other members communicatively. Unfortunately this incredible software is not free and quite complicated.

                Why it is a good software in terms of language learning? 

                • It gives the opportunity for students to receive the knowledge by the teachers even though they are at home or anywhere else.
                •  It creates a new kind of learning environment of collaborative interaction that is less formal and refreshing for the students to experience in thier learning system.
                • As it is an online classes, students will feel more relaxed rather than being in a classsroom and they can even express themselves better.

                • The tool also motivates less active students in class to speak up thier mind and participate interactively in the lesson.

                • Students can use the tool as a medium for group discussion between the members and even for the teachers to create additional classes for the students who needed it. 


                • The software is not available for free. 
                •  Teachers could not actually monitor the students participations towards the lesson as they might been doing something else at home. 
                • The only way for all the members and teacher to interact  is only through the chatbox as only a limited number of participants are allowed  to speak at a certain time.

                • A fast internet connection is needed to avoid technical problems and access to the videos. 

                Sunday, November 27, 2011

                audioboo > the use of podcast


                Nowdays podcast has become an exciting tool in  language classrooms as a medium to support the learning system more flexible and interesting.


                So what does it do?

                Audioboo is a platform where we can record our voice and share it with our family, friends and the public through the internet. Fancy trying it click HERE!

                How to use it?

                1) In order to use it, first you have to sign up for an account so that everything is organised and all your podcast made by you can be traced in your account. You can also sign up using your twitter account if you already have one.


                 2)Then you can start the recording session through the microphone from your computer or upload the file that is already made earlier. You can pause and even preview the recordings you made earlier and record another one if you are not satisfied with it.



                3)Then you can fill up all the extra information about the podcast.


                4)Your podcast is ready to be shared with people around the world or even post it in social network such as  facebook or even twitter.


                5)You can also embed your podcast in your blogs or any websites that you got.

                Why this tool is great for language learners and even teachers?

                • A new way to practice speaking skills, where students can record thier voice and reflect on thier way using the target language.

                • As a medium to get all the students to speak up confidently especially the ones who are a bit shy to speak in class.

                • It is a free tool and students can record as many podcast as they want to share it with the others.

                • Teachers can record further explanations about the lessons in class and share it with the students so they can understands much clearer at home.

                • It is a tool that can be use to record students own voice for a listening activity to be more real and fun.

                • Need access to the internet

                • Some students might feel shy to share their podcast. 

                  • It is a tool for students to reflect on thier skills but not in terms of learning new knowledge

                  • It might be boring to some of the advance students 

                  Wednesday, November 23, 2011

                  Click and learn

                  Click and learn is actually a tool that is specially designed for Spanish students to learn English. The students are being guided to explore the rules in the English language and to go through a continuous exercises that generally covers the topic. Therefore, as it is made by the Spanish people, the systems is organised according to how Spanish people categorize their students' level and the context suitable for them. (eg ESO 1/2/3)

                  The website includes several activities such as grammar, vocabulary, global knowledge and others that could be used by the students to improve on their English proficiency level individually or for the teachers to use in class. Plus it comes with different level of difficulties that we can choose for different level of students.

                  The best part about this website is that although is made for the Spanish students, The activities and instructions are in English  so that other people who would not know Spanish could make use of this website as well.

                  How to use it?
                  Eg: spelling exercises.

                  1)Choose the level and criteria you want the students to practice.

                  2)let the students practice using the website or teacher lead the classroom with the practices.

                  Personally I would  not recommend this site to be used frequently because:

                  1. We need some time to really understand on how it works and how it would benefit the students
                  2. Sometimes the visual aid are not accurate and in low quality
                  3. No audio help in certain exercises
                  4. Its sometimes frustrating and confusing as it does not allow us to move forward if we couldn't answer any question or even go back to the previous page
                  5. The level and topics is rather vague and hard to understand for us to choose on which one is much more suitable for our students.
                  6. Some of the text are too long and make the student even feel demotivated
                  7. The games are not really fun and even make the student feel stressfull.

                  However there are some good things about this website:
                  1. Its free
                  2. Promotes autonomous learning for the students to practice their english at home
                  3. Provide continuous exercise relating to the same topic.
                  4. It does have visual and audio aid for students

                  Monday, November 21, 2011

                  WORDLE & WORDSIFT

                  What are they????


                  Both wordle and wordsift are great tools that could distill a long complicated text into a visual representation for text data. In simple the tools grabs the most important and frequent word used in the text and organise it in a way that people could predict what the long text is actually about. Like in the example below it automatically exagerates the important words by making it much bigger that the rest of the less important words.

                  How to use it?
                  Copy and paste the text in the box provided. click submit and choose the style, layout, font and the color that you want your visual to be.

                  Some extra things in wordsift:
                  1) You can sort the word from commonly use to rarely used as well as the opposite.

                  2)The tool links with a thesaurus and grabs pictures that is associated with the word.

                  3)It gives examples on how to used the word portrayed in the text.

                  Is it a great tool in the classroom?

                  1) The tool can be used as a medium for teachers to create a pre- reading activity for the students to activate thier schemata and get the gist out of it.

                  2)Encaurage students to communicate between each other while discussing and predicting what might come in the text.

                  3)The visuals by wordle can be used as a guidance for students to get the important features that should be included in thier own version of stories.

                  The good points of wordle &wordsift
                  • Its free and everyone can use it
                  • Its colorful, fun, and exciting to be used
                  • It motivates students to be more creative cognitively 
                  • It grabs the students attention for the next flow of the lesson and make them more engage with the topic.
                  • It promotes interactive communication between students and even teachers.
                  • The product can be printed out.
                  • Great for teachers to quickly identify the main context of the text or even choose some pictures or even videos that could be associated with the text. 
                  • Suitable to be used for any languages and any text. 

                    Some negative points for wordle and wordsift:
                    • The pictures in wordsift are sometimes not usable 
                    • need internet connection