Edshelf a virtual bookshelf for all your useful online applications to enhance your teaching experience and performance. Are you afraid of being lost in the sea of websites offering help but swallowing you instead? Don’t be!
Embrace the opportunity and do yourself a favour: use what is given freely. If you have little time and even fewer ideas for your next lesson, maybe your last hope is to rummage through a plethora of Google results but believe me, nothing suits your lessons better than your own material.
These online tools help you build up your lessons and keep your students contented.
By registering (Registration is very simple and quick!) on the site, you get your own “bookshelf” to store your chosen applications, so go and compile a useful collection! Maybe you already know some of the online applications but believe me; you want to try out more!
Wikispaces Organize your groups or get your colleagues together
Wikispaces is the melting pot of shared projects for teaching, researches and sharing knowledge and information. Don’t miss the opportunity to create your micro-universe where you can share your ideas and work on them with others on the same platform. You want to publish a new textbook with your professional friends from various parts of the world? Do you have an advanced level group of interested and dedicated students? Why don’t you try this widely used and effective tool?
Keynote Presentations in the blink of an eye
Making presentations has never been easier than now that you have Keynote. This amazing tool helps you compile luxurious presentations. You can pick several types of layouts, backgrounds, fonts and you can use any content you like; videos, charts, photos, only your imagination is the limit. Want some effects? No problem, Keynote has them. Compatibility is not a problem anymore; you can import and export a really wide range of formats. Your students will love this new kind of interactivity.
Wordle Playful but mighty – a new way of learning words
One of my newly discovered favourites is Wordle. Everybody starts yawning when only thinking of learning vocabulary. A motivating new way of acquiring new vocabulary items is to “play” with these so-called “word clouds” generated from a freely chosen source provided by you or your student. You can choose the colours, the fonts, the layout and the result is a really attractive heap of words.
Freerice If you want to learn new things…
You and your more experienced students can effectively learn about various topics with this application and for each correct answer you donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. Get cleverer and be charitable at the same time! Don’t forget to deactivate your ad-blocker when using this website. Check it out, you’ll get hooked like I did.
Tumblr Microblogging at its finest
The best thing about Tumblr is that it’s so easy and quick to use. You can share any content (eg. pictures, infographics, videos, music and quotes) easily. You can follow other people with the same interest and reblog their content if you wish. You can use this tool as a super exciting auxiliary course for your students, making the learning process more exciting and colourful for them.
Blogger A full-blown blogging tool
If you want to dwell on certain subjects for more than a few characters, well… your best choice is Blogger, which is one of the longest standing free blogging services in the world. And of course one of the most reliable. Your page is wholly customizable, still you don’t need a thorough knowledge of HTML programming. You can be a professional without effort. Spread the word!
YouTube An infinite resource
Good old YouTube is still an easily accessible collection of original content. Encourage your students to subscribe to channels dedicated to teaching English. The best and most effortless way of learning pronunciation is to listen to authentic material with native speakers and grammar is always friendlier if it is served along with fun.
MasteryConnect Assessment made easy
You can create your own learning network with this tool. You won’t need paper-based tests any more when you have an infinitely easier and more exciting way to assess. You can compile an assessment that suits your needs the best. Let it be multiple-choice, rubrics or other contents. There is also a monitoring and reporting function available if needed.
Google Books Need a good read to make your students use the language and enjoy it?
All the available books in one place? Like a huge library but without the uncomfortable offline searching. Here you can search different categories, find book reviews and when the book is in the public domain, you may even download it to your e-book device and read it at your leisure. You can also buy or borrow most books from the Google eBookStore. It’s an opportunity not to be missed to let your learners know how enjoyable it is to read in the target language. Be careful, it is definitely addictive!
Delicious A bookmarking tool to remember and share everything
Do you like the above mentioned sites? Have you decided to immediately search for more? Then you only need one more thing to keep track of the resources you may find on your way to make your work easier. This powerful bookmarking tool helps you to collect and showcase your treasures. Why would you be afraid of losing your bookmarks saved in your browser when they are only a click away wherever you go, organized the way you choose?
I’m not a judge of changes, I’m only an observer of them, however, I know, we, teachers, have to keep pace with the technological advances of the present and the future and incorporate them into our methods and our everyday life. Don’t be afraid to meet and learn new things, but be always aware that you have to decide whether something is useful or totally useless. Have fun!