May 09, 2017

Nik Peachey's Edtech & ELT Newsletter - 9th May 2017


Hello and welcome to the first May edition of my Edtech & ELT Newsletter.
 
In this newsletter I have the usual round up of free tools, interesting articles and links to educational game related sites and apps.
 
I also have a special offer from Learnclick. Learnclick.com - The ideal quiz creator for language teachers
www.learnclick.com is the ideal tool for asking questions in context. Simply mark words to turn them into gaps, dropdown or drag & drop quizzes. Lots of formatting options available and you can insert images, youtube videos or mp3 sound files. Track your student's progress. If you sign up here for the free account before May 20th 2017, you can win a Pro subscription: https://www.learnclick.com/signup/peacheyoffer
 
I also have two ebook offers.
 
The first is 50% of my new ebook - 20 Tech Enhanced Activities for the Language Classroom - at: https://payhip.com/b/zc3v using this promotion code: O3EJ71E8N6 
 
The second is that I’m giving away free the next 40 copies of my lesson plan - Study How to Study just go to: https://payhip.com/b/nCD6 and click on Buy Now and apply this coupon code:  ZPCKRORTAD
 
I hope you enjoy these offers.

1. Free tools and apps
Here are some of my favourite new free tools and resources from  http://www.scoop.it/t/tools-for-learners over the last couple of weeks.

Pronounce Live - Free trial
This is a web application for pronunciation practice. You can listen to authentic speech models read any text or words, record your own voice for comparison and receive immediate feedback. Perfect your pronunciation and practice for life!
https://www.pronouncelive.com
Click image to see video
8 YouTube Tools to Help Learn English
This is an article with a collection of 8 different free tools that vary from  tools to help learners with pronunciation to tools to help teachers create online courses, share videos safely or download audio or image from videos on YouTube. There are some really useful tools there so be sure to check it out.
http://peacheypublications.com/8-youtube-tools-to-help-learn-english
 
Comics English 
This is great teaching material for students. Each of the short cartoon scripts has an interactive comprehension check questions as well as some vocabulary explanations. These are great to use in class or online as warmers or discussion prompts.
https://www.comicsenglish.com/
 
Grammarman Comics
This is the online home of Verbo City's most super hero. You'll find all kinds of comics and ideas for teaching and learning English. The content is great and has audio to go with the comic strips as well as video version of each comic so that you can choose which skill you work on with your students. Here’s a good example to check out: http://grammarmancomic.com/comics/grammarman/gman02/ 
http://grammarmancomic.com/
 
RefSeek
This is a much more serious resource that can help anyone who is doing research or teaching EAP. RefSeek searches more than one billion documents, including web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers. Here’s a quick search I did on ‘Lexical Approach’: https://www.refseek.com/search?q=lexical+approach 
https://www.refseek.com/#
 
Generator
This is a great site if you want to do video making projects with your students. There are lots of free resources that students can use in their video projects as well as tools to help them structure the projects. I particularly like the storyboard maker, which is a useful activity in itself: http://generator.acmi.net.au/storyboard 
http://generator.acmi.net.au/resources
 
Beautiful Audio Editor
I wouldn’t really describe this as beautiful bit it is really useful. It’s a great tool for you or your students to use for recording audio. You can use it to create listening activities or students can use it to record their speaking. It works in the browser and it’s easy to download the recordings.
https://beautifulaudioeditor.appspot.com/app
 
Solecle
This is a great resource if you want to start apply Sugata Mitra’s SOLE (Self Organised Learning Environments) approach. There is a search engine of SOLE type questions and if you register you can create and share lesson plans around them.
https://www.solecle.com/#/welcome
 

2. News & Articles
So now here are some of the recent articles from: http://www.scoop.it/t/learning-technology
 
How to crowd-fund and self-publish an e-book
This is the first of a series of articles that I’m writing for the British Council. The first one looks ta the crowd funding process and how you can raise the money you need to write your ebook. Other will look at the writing process, how to create the ebook, how to get it on the market and the all important issue of how to get people to buy it.
https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/how-crowd-fund-and-self-publish-e-book
 
Innovations in learning technologies for English language teaching
This is a great free ebook from the British Council and edited by Gary Motteram. "Each chapter embeds a number of real-life case studies into a framework of research. The chapters show some of the development of the field, and a wide range of technologies is covered.” I hope I find the time to read it soon.
http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/innovations-learning-technologies-english-language-teaching
 
10 Tips for Making Self-Evaluations Meaningful
This article comes at the issue of reflection from a business / human resources perspective but the suggestions it gives are very relevant for teacher development and for the development of our students, so well worth a read.
http://www.cio.com/article/2386859/careers-staffing/careers-staffing-10-tips-for-making-self-evaluations-meaningful.html
 
The Age of Notifications and Attention-Deficits
This is an interesting look at how we and our students are using our smart phones (or how they are using us). This is well worth a read if you want to understand the issue of attention and how to deal with it.
https://thecoffeelicious.com/the-age-of-notifications-and-attention-deficits-e31352bbb9cc
 
Keeping Up with… Digital Pedagogy
This is a quick and simple introduction to ‘digital pedagogy’ and the way digital tools and resources ‘should’ be impacting our teaching and students’ learning.
http://www.ala.org/acrl/publications/keeping_up_with/digital_pedagogy
 
Digital Skills
This site goes into a bit more detail and attempts to define the full range of digital skills. There’s also a really nice interactive skills map at: http://allaboardhe.org/digital-skills-framework/ which give more details and explanations of the various skills.
http://allaboardhe.org/digital-skills/
 
Infographics in Education: What, Why & How
This is a nice short article on infographics and a kind of case study of how one teacher used an infographic in their classroom.
http://ltsig.iatefl.org/infographics-in-education-what-why-how/
 
3. Games & gamification
 
TYTO Online 
This is an amazing immersive 3D game in which students learn how to protect and preserve an alien environment. This is a great way to get students learning through experimentation. This is still in the early stages of development so worth getting into early.
https://www.tytoonline.com/game/
 
Swift Playgrounds
This is a great iPad app that helps students learn the Apple coding language for creating apps. They learn by interacting with and solving problems in a game like environment. Could also be good for teachers who want to learn how to create apps.
https://www.apple.com/swift/playgrounds/
 
Virtual World Sandbox
The Virtual World (VW) Sandbox is the perfect tool for anyone creating a game or simulation. Offering a library of professional grade, highly-functional 3D assets, it is 100% open source, and built on HTML5. Best of all, it’s free and cloud-based, which means no installations are required and it can be deployed quickly.
http://www.adlnet.org/adl-research/virtual-reality-games-simulations/virtual-world-sandbox/
 
As ever, please also check out my publications on the iBooks Store at: https://itunes.apple.com/author/nik-peachey/id1025276573  and on PayHip: https://payhip.com/peacheypublications Many of these are free, but the paid ones do help me to support much of the free work I do including this newsletter.
 
Best wishes
 
Nik Peachey | Learning Technology Consultant, Writer, Teacher Trainer 
Co-Founder http://peacheypublications.com/ 
Winner 2016 British Council ELTon Award for Innovation in Teacher Resources
Winner 2012 British Council ELTon Award for Excellence in Course Innovation