Keeping your students engaged with PollEverywhere

PollEverywhere is an online service that lets your audience interact with your live presentation using their web browsers, or mobile phones. You can also insert the polls into your PowerPoint presentations or web pages. The poll that is embedded there will be update in real time.

DropBox – Easy file accessing and sharing

Dropbox is a free file hosting service that helps you keep your files safe, synced and accessible from anywhere. According to Dropbox, “ Dropbox is a home for all your photos, docs, videos and files.  Anything you add to Dropbox will automatically show up on all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website – so you can access your stuff from anywhere.” After you have placed files in Dropbox, you can easily share your files with other people, and the files will be backed up and kept safe.  The following image best illustrate how you can access files in Dropbox:


Haiku Deck – Simple and beautiful slideshow creation

Haiku Deck is a free slideshow creating app.  It is a completely new kind of presentation app designed to make your slides stunning. It allows you to create unique presentations with artistic flavor.  It allows you to pull a large database of striking background and images from the web. It is best to show a chart, image or screenshot with fewer words to describe it.

Bamboo Paper – Note taking with iPad

Bamboo Paper is a free app for iPad, which turns your iPad into a notebook.  You can use it to sketch your thoughts and ideas in an authentic paper-like digital notebook and your notes  can be shared visually and easily. You can also use it to practice your penmanship of writing in non-western language characters such as Chinese, Arabic, etc.

Creating Interactive Presentations Using myBrainshark

Brainshark is a free online tool that allows you to upload PowerPoint slides, images, PDF files, documents and other media, and then embed your narrations over the content.  Additionally, you can add music and multimedia to the presentation to make it more engaging.  The final output file can be streamed online or embedded onto your website or blog.  This software could be used for online presentations, slideshows, flash cards or even podcasts.


Wikispaces in the Language Classroom

Wikis are an effective collaboration and organizational tool to archive student and instructor coursework, lessons, videos and other instructional materials. Wikispaces is a free and easy to use wiki resource currently used by faculty members, instructional technologists and students in a variety of fields.

Using Word Cloud in the World Languages Classroom

What’s a word cloud? It is a form of information graphic of infographic! It is an application that turns text into a visual representation.  The words from the original text are arranged in collage fashion in the graphic. Word clouds visually highlight the most often used words in the passage.

You can use this type of tool to facilitate world language teaching. You can use it for activities such as topic introduction, vocabulary development, word association, practice writing, word matching, pre-reading, brainstorming, defining main ideas, assessment and reflection.  For example, in a word-matching activity, you can write a list of words both in your target language and in English, and then using the resulting word cloud as a vocab quiz/worksheet.  In a pre-reading activity, you can engage students’ discussion by using key words created in a word cloud and make predictions about the content before reading the actual text.  In the defining main idea activity, you can create a word cloud out of an article in the target language and ask students to discover and highlight the main ideas in the article.   Take a look at this article written by a Spanish instructor to see how she used the word cloud tool in her classroom.

There are a number of applications available that will allow you to generate word cloud:  Wordle, Tagxedo, Wordsift, Worditout, Word Mosaic, Tagcrowd etc.  Click on each of the link to find out how you can use it to create a word cloud.

Using Presentation Tools (PhotoStory 3) in the World Languages Classroom

PhotoStory3 is an easy-to-use free download that allows you to create photo slideshows with movie effects, music, and narration.  You can edit the photos and audio right in the program, and output the video for use on the web.