As it has been mentioned in the post about Digital Citizenship our world is becoming progressively digital. As a matter of fact, unlike conventional classroom education, e-learning could be much more efficient and would add up more engagement and interactivity to learning.
We are going to try to bring more technology in our classroom and namely Web 2.0 tools. The use of these tools will enable you to become successful learners, will facilitate your personal expression and creativity while doing the assignments and build collaboration through multimedia platforms.
An assortment of Web tools is waiting to help you keep up with the modern digital learning as well as facilitate English learning by integrating the basic skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing.
Let's get started!
Talking Character Tools
The first tool I am going to introduce to you is Voki.com - an educational and interactive Web 2.0 tool, that allows its users to create customized talking characters for various purposes, such as self-introduction, class presentations, presenting biographical information, expressing an opinion, reading a poem etc.
Below you can watch the video tutorial on how to customize your personal character and give it a voice, you can either record your own voice or use the existing ones, which sound really nice in different accents, and then publish it online or share it with a friend.
Blabberize.com allows you to quickly animate any image to make it talk. All you need to do is:
Check out the video below which contains a tutorial on how to use this funny tool including examples of students using it in the classroom.
Here is another awesome example of using Blabberize in a History class in which famous quotes are cited by important historic personalities.
PowerPoint Alternatives and Presentation Tools
PowerPoint is a great tool for creating digital slide-based presentations. However, today, if you’re looking for a true PowerPoint alternative that will help you create memorable and engaging presentations, you can use one of the following web 2.0 tools.
Movenote.com is a simple, effective, and great tool which allows its users to add a voice and some personality to an existing presentation.
Unlike PowerPoint, Movenote is a way of communicating by combining any document or attachment with video and audio. It enables you to create screencast type short videos which you can share with the people you want. You can also import in Movenote a variety of other format files such as Keynote presentations, PDF’s, pictures, and snapshots.
When writing is no longer enough - Movenote provides the fastest way to speak out.
Check out the Movenote tutorial below and think of your future presentation with emotions.
Watch and listen to the Movenote presentation created by a secondary school student on the topic of "Population Growth".
Click on the text button below to see the presentation:
Voicethread.com is a Web-based tool that allows users to create a shared presentation as a media album that visitors can asynchronously comment on either by text, voice, or video.
After creating an account, which takes only a few seconds, an individual can begin creating a VoiceThread by uploading media elements (images, videos, text, audio) into slides to create a presentation. The creator can then add annotations that are either audio, video, or text on each slide. At this point, the VoiceThread creator can share the presentation with any group of individuals who, in turn, can quickly and easily add comments on any slide in one of five digital forms.
Have a look at this wonderful presentation made by a Moldovan undergraduate using the multimedia slideshow application Voicethread and start pondering over your first creative Voicethread presentation.
Pepsi and Coca Cola competing against each other
Utellstory.com is a multimedia storytelling and sharing community where you can easily create and share stories in slideshow format by combining audio, images, videos or just text. It can be used by students of different levels, from beginner to advanced. It allows the students create narratives, do a research on a topic, make presentations and demonstrate learning in any subject area. This tool can easily integrate the basic language skills: writing, reading, speaking, listening. Using voice in your slideshow helps you improve the prosodic features in English,as well, such as: pronunciation, intonation, stress and rythm, which are key elements for successful communication.
This is a great presentation that shows you a range of topics you can cover with the help of Utellstory.
Watch the tutorial below to learn how to work with Utellstory.
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