Thursday, October 16, 2008

Exercise 3.10 Sites for Teacher Development

1. “Lantern fish”
formerly BogglesWorld is one of my favorite sites for Role play activities, and specific communicative/task based lessons. All lessons are created in Word format and are easy for teachers to change and adapt for their own purposes. There are number of different purposes for the site, enabling many different users to utilize the various aspects for a number of different purposes.
i. Variety of lessons, that cater mostly for Communicative teaching.
ii. Adults/Children, Teachers and Ss.

i. Search is a little long and laborious.

A good site to get lessons in the form of worksheets.
i. Lessons are categorized under topics.
i. Lessons are only available in .pdf format, which is difficult to change (but makes it easily accessible to a wide audience)

3. English to
Provides a variety of easy to implement lessons, for quick one point teaching.

4. ELLLO Listening activities
This site provides a listening activity on almost every topic you can think of.
i. Semi-natural interviews.
ii. Organized into themes.
i. Speed and authenticity is compromised for clarity.
ii. Themes have yet to be properly sorted.

5. BBC Skillswise
Well organized into the four macro-skills and grammar, writing and Vocabulary.

6. Cloze Maker JavaScript Wizard
A great tool for creating cloze activities that can be saved in HTML format and put up onto a website. I use this regularly to provide extra reading practice online, and to support units of study.
i. Activities can be saved to your computer/website.
ii. Easy to use as it’s a kind of authoring program.
iii. There are a variety of options that give teachers plenty of room to experiment.
iv. Ss can see their score, and redo activities as many times as they want.
i. It is difficult (if not impossible) for average teachers to manipulate the fonts and format of the page, or add or subtract any features.

7. Discovery PuzzleMaker
A great place to create your own puzzles for classes.
i. Great for Vocabulary puzzles.
i. The interface is a little difficult to use at times, and sometimes it takes several manipulations of the input to create puzzles.
ii. Good for printing, but difficult to copy and paste puzzles into a word document.

8. Bingo Card Maker
Often a laborious task to make bingo cards, but this site enables you to make a number of cards, with different word combinations in a fraction of the time it would take you to make them by hand. Provides users with two options (3x3 and 5x5 grid).
i. Easy to use and efficient
ii. Allows user to shuffle words with a click of a button
iii. Provides samples
i. Not easy to manipulate for individual uses.

9. Interactive word search creator
A good site for teacher to create word searches that can be tailored to suit individual needs.
1. Has a database of ready to go activities.
2. It’s free, and easy to use (5 step process) authoring program.

10. Youtube
I thought I'd put this in, cause in provides an incredible resource for teachers to include visuals to support material (something I try to do on my site).
i. wealth of content
ii. videos can be linked to or embedded into web pages.
i. Quality of video feed, and length of videos.
ii. copyright considerations.

There are many sites out there that focus on providing lessons and/or teacher tools to make lessons. One thing that I did notice was that they tend to be 'works in progress' (like my own site) and design of the site usually has come after the material have been collected... This is probably inevitable, but it does mean that organization seems to suffer...
The best sites seem to be simple to use and allow teachers to be flexibile to a certain degree. Also the sites that allow manipulation of material can open up to a greater variety of users.
Steven M

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