Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Tools For Creating Fake “Stuff” For Learning

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The fake “stuff” I’m referring to in the headline includes newspaper articles, sports “trading cards,” iPhone conversations, Facebook pages etc. These can be used for conversation practice, to create reports on historical figures (or on natural disasters or on just about anything) and for numerous other learning activities.

Here are my choices for The Best Tools For Creating Fake “Stuff” For Learning:

Boy, this could be a great tool to help English Language Learner students practice writing and reading dialogue — FakeiPhoneText lets you create a text conversation that looks like the real thing and give you a unique url address of your creation. Plus, no registration is required. Obviously, this kind of conversation can also be created just as easily on paper. And, even with this app, a draft could be written on paper, and then could be typed on Word so students can use a spell and grammar check. But I’m sure they would love to be able to do a final version on something like this, which could then be posted on a student/teacher blog or website.

ClassTools has created a similar site for text messages, though theirs can be embedded.

Fake Tweet Builder can be used in a very similar way to FakeiPhoneText.

There are several other sites that let you create multiple fake items, including trading cards, magazine cards, and newspaper articles. My favorite is Big Huge Labs, but Image Chef and Fodey are also good.

Fakebook is the newest tool over at the excellent ClassTools site (Russel Tarr is the creative genius behind the site). Teachers and students can use it to:

- chart the career of a historical character
- create a timeline of important events
- outline the main plot of a book, play or film
and so on!

I Fake Siri lets you create a fake conversation — in text — with the new iPhone voice feature Siri. You can then link to, or embed, your creation. It’s just another fun opportunity for ELL’s to practice writing, reading, and speaking.

TwHistory was off-line, but is back now. It’s a great site to re-create historical events through a series of tweets.

With News Jack, all you have to do is paste the url address of any website and you’re immediately given the tools to easily transform its homepage into looking however you want it to look. Without having to register, you can make the New York Times highlight photos and articles of your great basketball-playing ability; have CNN focus on covering what was happening in 1776, or The Huffington Post reporting on the first Thanksgiving dinner. You can easily grab images off the web or your computer to insert, as well as text. You can then click “publish” and you’re given the url address to your creation so it can be shared with the world.

Simitator is another one I’m adding to this list. It lets you create “fake” Facebook pages, Twitter threads and more. Unfortunately, though, you have to download your creation — it won’t let you link to it (most of the other tools here let you save them as Web pages.

Additional suggestions are welcome.

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You might also want to explore the over 600 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

12 Comments

  1. Pingback: So tun als ob « Schwamm drüber!

  2. Hi Larry,

    Great list. Thank you for the plug.

    Richard

  3. Pingback: Tip of the Week – My Fake Facebook, Twitter and Text « History Tech

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  5. Pingback: Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… - The Best Tools For Creating Fake “Stuff” For Learning | Teacher Resources | Scoop.it

  6. Pingback: Tweet to Learn History « Eduhowto

  7. Hi Larry, Interesting site and just found it today as I was searching for help in what I want to do in my classroom.

    I have disk space on our schools server that is locked down so students can only go to this directory and can be accessed only from within the schools network. I’ m looking for a way to have the students create their own blogs and practice in our classroom.

    Any ideas on how to do this? I don’t have rights to be loading blogger or WordPress software and really don’t want to do this :)

    Thanks for this site, I will subscribe and explore it, Mark

  8. Loved the resources! http://twhistory.org/teachers appears to be no longer operational, though :( Managed to see past projects at http://blog.twhistory.org/reenactments/

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