Do you ever get overwhelmed by the floods of EdTech apps & tools online?
If so, fear not. Relax, make a cup of coffee, preferably Irish coffee, and let your online explorers climb the mountains of endless apps on your behalf 😉
This is for teachers who are just dipping their toes into educational apps for education or who are trying to scale Web2.0 versus Web 3.0 technology.
I’m about to share some of my oldest favourites as well as some cool new apps for iPad. Many new ideas and tools have come my way through involvement with the ELT Blog Carnival, The Reform Symposium, and more recently, the virtual Round Tables conference. These three events hosted tech-savvy, high-profile educators who shared their dream apps and tools online.
I’m now making a short list of my own favourites and will also include links to the events and blogs that have been shared and collected by our EdTech enthusiasts and experts online.
My old favourites include apps for news, skills-building, and creative language use. I’ll put my short list here in no particular order.
Some of these old web 2.0 favourites have been converted into applications for iPads for a new generation of mobile inspiration. most are free or almost free.
1) For news, fluency development, and blended and flipped learning autonomy.
There are currently eight useful apps on the Edulang website for news, business, exams, vocabulary, grammar and daily life. I’ve always found these apps to be the perfect supplement to any kind of course.
Make Belief comix, one of the first comic websites I found online has recently launched it’s app for iPads.
I have written a lot about this site in the past and I have featured it in webinars.
Bitstrips is another old favourite that developed an app.for facebook some time last year. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it recently and featured it during the recent Virtual Round Table Conference. To learn more about this you can see my presentation on slideshare and watch the recording on livestream.
3) Interactive posters
New generation glogster is my blank canvas for storytelling, news, video, tv shows, it’s everything you can create by combining multi-media with visual and textual literacy. Extremely user-friendly for students.
4) Endless blank canvas
Although Prezi is seen mostly as a presentation tool for teachers and business professionals, students learn it very quickly and it’s creative potential is endless. They can create, share, collaborate and build amazing school projects – a must-have for schools and universities. It’s beautiful on the touch screen and can be used online and offline.
5) Let the neurons link, fly, hook and catch.
My favourite mindmapping tools are also available as apps for iPad, and a very cheap, if not free.
6) Lexical Tools
This is a tool I’ve really enjoyed using in the past year as it’s extremely user-friendly and multi-facted. I was very interested to see that Leo Selivan aka ‘Lexico Leo’ had given a very rich and well-researched webinar on this tool for the Virtual Round Table conference. Here is an amazing article where he tells us all about lexical tools, including Quizlet.
7) Students learn from self- created animations:
User-friendly, fun storytelling for practising all kinds of language skills.
Here’s one with conditionals created by my bilingual daughter last year.
Where art, dreams and stories meet to co- create.
Remember that students are the creators here, as well as teachers. Think of what you can do with this.
10) Learn English apps by The British Council
11) BBC six minute English dream apps
Time to speed things up.
This is me chasing after my tech-savvy colleagues who are going off on a magic conference bus tour without me. I’m chasing after more apps recently discovered or shared online through blog carnivals and conferences.
1) Speech to text tools to hep your students practise pronunciation.
Voice assistant, just use your voice instead of typing. The implications of using a tool like this for language teaching are vast. Although I won’t go into ideas now, I may write about ideas for using this in future.
2) Fun apps for writing:
Powtoons is a lovely tool for encouraging students to write with multi-media style.
3) Draw my thing:
Online pictionary game shared by David Deubelbeiss.
4) Somewhere lovely to store all your apps.
Symbaloo shared by Shelly Terrell
5) Social phrasebooks.
by phraseum shared by Nik Peachey
Collect words, phrases and sentences from anywhere on the web while you you browse and organise them into social phrasebooks.
6) Adventure narrative games.
Samarost one and Samarost two by Nik Peachey.
9) Bring your own device and share your own app – Virtual Round Table
Inspiration ends in savvy 😉
Here ends my article on apps 😉
Really….for now, at least….!!
I’ll leave you with a quote from Nik Peachey which should encourage us to intrepidly experiment with change. As long as your changes are creative, practical and make a difference pedagogically, that is all you need to know. You can be your own expert on your own students and teaching relationships without always looking for tried and tested blueprints from the top down that are ultimately part of an unchanging system.
I’m beginning to think that the biggest problem we face with changing the way education is delivered is that the people who are now responsible for changing it are the people for whom the existing system was successful.
..and a great answer….
“ you’ll become more popular in circles, but less popular with squares.”