Bubblesnaps: let the fun begin!

I am an artistic person so since I will become an English teacher I am always looking for artistic, interactive and fun activity to do with the students. I know that not all the students are pleased to use their creativity I might have found something that will catch their attention. I found what I was looking for on that useful website that I discovered with the help of a really nice person 🙂 I am talking here about Bubblesnaps.

What it is? This is a web tool that have been design to allow someone to be able to put a sentence or a paragraph in a bubble (comic strip like) that he/she can integrate in to a picture of their own or found on the web. It has first been design as a fun thing to do for a friend kind of like a joke, here is an example. However, it can be adapted to a classroom environment such as this blog explain.

First of all as a future teacher I can use it to make fun presentation by using a tool like Edmodo. It allows me to use a fun picture of an animal as an example and making him says what kind of animal he is and all the facts that my students will have to know about that animal. It is a much more pleasurable way to make the students learn, all I have to do it’s using my creativity. Moreover, it is not only me who will have the chance to work with Bubblesnaps, but the students. They will have the chance to use this web tool to do presentations, stories, projects and so much more. A great activity that as a future teacher I will ask them to do it is to create a comic strip using pictures that they will have to take themselves. This project will activate their creative side and then will allow them to use English in another context than writing a sample text about the weather let say. The students will participate in such a project without even noticing that they are doing an evaluated task. Like I said lots of activities could be done with Bubblesnaps and here are other ideas.

Today it is not simple to give the motivation to students to achieve a task. They need to be attracted to what we are giving them to do. It has to be related to their field of interest. Bubblesnaps achieves both of them. It gives the students the motivation to do a written project and it can be done with a technological tool so something that they are acquainted to and they have fun with. Get started to have fun with your student with Bubblesnaps!

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Please, use Prezi

Ohh my.. how many presentations given on PowerPoint have I seen this far in my life? Probably too much. My teachers, my friends and my bosses they’re all using PowerPoint to present stuff that I don’t even pay attention to anymore because of the “boringness” of the linear, doll, unpleasant way that the presentation has been made on PowerPoint. I can’t stand it anymore. This is why I will use Prezi in my future class.

Prezi is an amazing free tool found online to present things beautifully and organized.  It has the same purpose of the PowerPoint e.g presenting stuff to a public, but Prezi does it in a way that you will probably not fall asleep in the first minutes of the presentation. Anyone can use it. Students, employees, bosses, and of course teachers. It has been design the way that we think. We do not think linearly we think generally at different things at the same time. It goes to one thing to another in a second. Our mind is like a map so like is Prezi. This tool allows his users to do a presentation like as a map. You add a “path” and it will start the presentation by zooming on the first thing appearing on the path and then it will go on until the end of the presentation. You always have the option to de-zoom to have an over look of your Map. To have a good idea how to create a Prezi and use the “path” look here.

No more students falling asleep while you are giving them new information. Prezi will help you with that. It is interactive and students love it. It enhances spatial and visual student’s concept. Prezi can also be used on a SMART board and it is even better. It engages the students to participate even more during the presentation. They do not know what will be the next thing. It is not linear, it’s interactive. Students can always refer to the Prezi on which his/her teacher made the lesson. Students will be more trilled to use a Prezi versus a Powerpoint. Students can even use it to make presentations or to organize their thoughts. It brings students to interfere with technology in their classes by having a web tool that can fit on a  SMART board.

Once again this tool will be on my list of tools to use in my future class. It is user-friendly and I will not have difficulty to use it and to make my presentations creative and pleasant to watch. At least my students will have their focus on front because my Prezi will be so well done that they won’t have the choice to keep looking at it. I am that good with my creativity skills.

 

 

 

A particular Story

Writing and reading are competencies that students will need to develop during all their student’s life. For young students it might be hard for them to get interested in reading and writing. It seems boring for them to open a book and start to read or to take a pencil and start to write a text. There is a useful tool that can motivate them to start their reading and writing career. This tool is called Story Jumper.

Story Jumper is a free web tool used to create and read stories. The student is able to build his/her own story from images from the website and write a story online. The students are using a web tool to build a book. Once created, the story will be available online. The students can also use it as a slide show to do presentations like a book report.

This implement is really a great opportunity for children to embrace their writing and reading skills. The students are getting into the action. They are not just writing a text, they make a book with their creativity. To get them on the process of building a book it implies them to go deeper into the writing process because they are making their books from step 1 to step 10. Also for students that are very visual, it helps them to structure their stories by adding images of their own or in the Story jumper’ pictures bank. All the students will benefits from the tool because they have to create their stories online so they will work with technology and learn and create from it.

As a future teacher myself I will use that tool for sure. I am a creative person and I love involving kids into creative stuff to have them learn and retain what they have to learn. Even if it’s not all the students who will be trilled to do an activity that involve their creativity because of their lack of it then at least it is done online. The student that I will have to teach will probably be better and at ease than me with computers or what will be called computer then, so they will be at least happy to work on a computer instead of using a piece of paper and a pen. I will get probably more enthusiastic kids this way by using Story Jumper then by asking them to take a piece of paper and pen. This will be my job to find new creative ways to have them do their work and that is what I did when I found this one.
I read one blog about the use of this tool to help students with learning disabilities and I found it interesting because this tool it’s not just designed for regular students. It is a good way to teach those kids how to write and read. It is interactive so it captivates their attention to the images and they can transform the story, as they want to do it. It is a good start to have them read and write. This free tool will bring more smiles on your students’ faces then the old method of having them to write that is for sure!

Share It with the Class, Share it With Google Drive

A tool that is going to be helpful in my future career as an ESL teacher it is Google Drive. Some teachers claim that they have a paperless classroom since they use Google Drive. Is it possible? I would say yes definitely, but my goal by using Google Drive won’t be to reduce at zero my use of paper but to use it because it’s a safe of time first and of course it’s a safe of papers too. Could you imagine that everything that I will produce as a teacher, every documents that I will do will be available for me and my students at any places and at any times? This is Google Drive.

As a future ESL teacher I will have to teach students English. At some point I will need to evaluate their writing skills. That is where Google Drive becomes interesting. Let say that I ask my future students to practice their writing skills by producing a text of 200 words about what they did last summer. I will tell them that they will have to share their text on Google Drive than this way I can have a look on each and every student copies and then I will be able to correct them as they evolve on the task. This way they can get feed back really fast and they will be able to see my comments on their copies as well. It is a safe of time for me and for the students and a safe of papers too. They can even ask classmates to have a look on their texts to have feed back from them. Each student will evolve by sharing this/her ideas with others. The students will be able to help each other and they will earn something in return by doing that. In that blog I found more detailed ways to use Google Drive in a classroom.

Everything that I will need to give to my students like exercise sheets, texts, learning lessons, etc, I will be able to save them on Google Drive and share them to all my students. I will have access to all my documents from home, school and even on my smartphone. I will be able to work with my colleagues on document shared on Google Drive. We will be able to work on it from our respective house on our respective device at the same time. It is interactive. Same thing will happen with my students if I need to have a meeting with them regarding help that they could ask me. I will be able to give direct feedback on their work shared on Google Drive. Another thing amongst the variety of things that you can do with Google Drive is evaluate my students as they are evolving through the year by giving them a little test that I won’t evaluate. I will use the Forms app on Google Drive to send them a questionnaire about the simple past verb tense (as an example). They will answer to the test and then it will let me know if they get what I taught them or I will need to review certain points that they did not understand. It will be really useful to test out at which level they are at.

Google Drive in my future career will be a plus, but as a student now I really need to start to use it. It will make my life easier.

A Poster? You Mean a Glogster

A teacher who uses a whiteboard to teach his/her students will be able to teach what his/her students have to learn. However, it is not because you teach them matter that they really understood or even pay attention on what you were saying. It is boring. That is why as a future teacher myself I will include fun tool like Glogster to my classes. It is meant to relieve student’s boredom.

You learn more efficiently when you have texts accompanied by visuals. Traditional classes given on a whiteboard do not allow the teacher to use visual at least is a real artist. Glogster acts like a poster. You can write on it, you can add visuals, you can add videos; you make it your own. It is interactive. You do all that on the application and then you are able to share it with your students and your colleagues. To know everything about how to create a Glogster go to this link and or just use the Glogster website.

Teachers always need to present contents or projects on a board in front of the class. They use whiteboards or Smartboards to do their presentations. The contents that they are presenting to their students are often texts without pictures or if there are pictures, there are few. This is why Glogster is the perfect way to combine visuals, texts and videos all together on the same page. The teacher can put on his/her Smartboard his/her Glog. Let say that the Glog made by the teacher is to present a new project that his/her students have to do. The teacher puts texts about what the project will be about on the Glog. He/she is able to add videos aswell. The teacher can record himself/herself and add that video on the project. His/her students will have the chance to have access to that Glog in class and even back home on their computers. It allows students to easily get what they have to do because the Glog includes a ton of visuals and as a student myself I understand way better with visuals, it is clearer. The teacher still do his/her presentation but in a format much more interesting for his/her students.

Students can also do Glogs. The teacher can ask them to do a Glog to present a project. It is a good way to introduce technology in class. It is fun for them to use an application on the web to do a project for school. It is a good integration of web application designed for educational purpose. A perfect project to do with Glogster with students it is the CV project. You can do that at the beginning of the school year to get the students to know each other. You ask them to do a Glog, which will represent them, and they will have to present it in front of the class. It will give the opportunity for the teacher and all the students to know each other. The teacher can even ask a print copy of each students Glogs profile and pin them to a wall in the class. It will involve the students to use their creativity, something mentioned in this discussion.

Glogs are definitely a tool that I will use in my future career because it involves student creativity something really important. Developing creativity is the beginning of success because it implies the students to think and having them think it is what you want them to achieve as students.

For other benefit of the Glogsters application go to that link.

 

Lesson on Educreations

Smartboards can be found in more and more classes this days. This is because technology is taking more space in schools. The education system realized that technology is a part of our everyday life and it has to be reflected by the way teacher are teaching in schools. That is why we see schools using graphic tablets. Where I am doing my practicum, the language program will deliver to each of the student of the program an Ipad next year.

Lots of apps will be now available for teachers to teach their students. One in particular that caught my attention called Educreations. When I search on the web for educational apps offered on the Apps store I found Educreations. It is a tool where a teacher can download on his/her Ipad and use it as a whiteboard. The teacher can record his/her voice to explain the lesson and use pictures to add visuals. It is pretty much the same as the teacher himself in a real class with a whiteboard, but we cannot see the teacher on the recorded lesson on Educreations (in certain case it is better this way… J). Here is a video that explain how to use Educreations.

 

Technology is there to make teacher’s life easier. This is why Educreations has been made. Teacher won’t have to repeat to every students what he/she just explained because it will be recorded and his/her students will have access to it 24/7. This way the teacher is sure that he/she explained the lesson the same way to every of his/her students. The teacher will be able to re-use it next year and the years after as long as he/ she decides that the lesson need an update (the app will probably update before the lesson itself). I will definitely use it as a future tool. It keeps you organize to. You have to do first the lesson on Educreations and then you save it on your Ipad and then you are ready to give the same lesson to your 3 or 5 classes (or even more depends on your capacities).

 

Nothing is perfect, not even this tool. Like I said it is a great way to record your lesson in advance, but the thing is if you plan to do a lesson that last 15 minutes and you a make a mistake in the middle of the lesson, just to bad you have to restart your entire lesson. There is no editing button that allows you to erase the mistake and continue just like nothing happen. Maybe with a future update from the app that magic button will appear, but who knows. Even with that disadvantage it stays that this is a useful tool. That blog goes along with my thought.

This tool will allow me and allow already lots of teachers to give interactive lesson to their students. Students learn through a media that for most of them have already played with (Ipad) they can refer to thing that they already have been with. So when they learn with a lesson on the Ipad it attracts their attention and they are more likely to listen and learn from it. A good example of a lesson that I will be able to do and teach to my future students is this one.

Lets hope that every classes could get an Ipad to use this tool, at least lets hope the teacher could get one to use it on the Smartboard in his class, if he has one ….lets just hope for technology in Schools then.

Pin It for Education

I do not have an Iphone, but my roommate just got one last month. She has been using an application called Pinterest. I asked her what she was doing on that application. She told me that she was watching the new hair fashion trend for this spring. I was like give me your phone I want to know what will be in for next summer. She told me that I could subscribe too to be able to have access to what will be in for next summer concerning my hair. As soon as she told me that I went online to get an account on Pinterest myself. I learn that you can join different categories of what you like and after you have pictures on your board of what you subscribed for. You can also pin what you find interesting on the web or you can re-pin a picture someone already pin on Pinterest and then it will be added to your wall (board). That is why it is called PINterest. You pin what you like and make a board out of it. After I set my account, I though that as a future teacher I can definitely use this application for my future class.
I looked through Pinterest and went on the category of “Education“. I found there was a lot to discover there. I found projects that I could do with my future students for Easter. I found songs, Mathematical problems, artistic projects of all kind and even more. It is a wonderful resource to find ideas for projects that you can do with your class, as long as you have an elementary class. Most of the projects presented tough are for kids. It is great when you are at kindergarten, but when you have a high school class to manage; it is not the most appropriate thing to have them sing a song about an Eastern Bunny.

Pinterest is not just about finding ideas, but also more about sharing idea and stuff. I think that it is a great way to share stuff with other teachers. The most effective way to use Pinterest in a classroom is to do a board where the teacher (in this case me) will use it for a project given in class. Let say that I asked my students to do a project related to the book that they had to read in class. I will be able to do a board for this project. On that board, my students will be able to have a look on the assignment sheet, the evaluation sheet, they will have access to the visual of the book and I will be able to add on the board as long as the project goes on. I will be able to add video maybe that I would find interesting related to the book. The Pinterest board project will grow as the time goes on. My students will always have the chance to refer to it if they want to have a refresh of the project. A pin that I think resume not what I just said, but what could be done with Pinterest in Education it’s this one.
I will use Pinterest in my future career as a source of inspiration. You always need inspiration during a teaching career. I have now my resource. If I was a teacher now with an actual class I would use this resource to give me inspiration about what it is IN to use as an application for Ipads or computer to teach my students English, but I am only a student who wants to become an English teacher and needs to do 3 more years before graduating. She can at least use this resource to give her ideas about what will be her next blog about:)

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