This is Part Six of my series on The Best Ways to Create Online Content Easily & Quickly. Previous parts of this series have shared over sixty sites that English Language Learners and others who might be new to using technology can create engaging online content in minutes.
The only knowledge that students would need to have in order to use these web applications is copying and pasting, and even that is not necessary for most of the sites on these lists. You also don’t have to know how to type, and only need a beginner’s understanding of English.
These applications are free, content created is hosted by the sites themselves indefinitely, and no registration is required. Obviously, a number of these same tasks can be performed equally well in the classroom with a pen and paper. These applications are just opportunities for a change-of pace, and for students to develop their English and technology skills at the same time.
The sites listed in this post, the latest of my “The Best….” series of lists, primarily come from three sources — my own knowledge, and recent posts that have appeared in the Langwitches blog and in GoToWeb20.
Links to these applications, along with 8,000 others, can also be found on my website. These particular sites, along with others where students can create online content, can be found on my Examples of Student Work page.
Here are eleven more recommendations:
CREATE A SENTENCE SCRAMBLE WITH A PICTURE HINT: I love OneSens. It is an extraordinary web application for English Language Learners though, to tell you the truth, I’m not really quite sure why anyone else would use it. You write a sentence, pick a picture that goes with it, and then the words are mixed-up on top of the picture. There’s a built-in email feature, so you can just email the link to a teacher or friend and post it on a blog or online journal. Then others can try to put the words back in order. It works great in Firefox, though seems to have some problems on occasion with Internet Explorer.
SEND A SHORT REPORT WITH AN IMAGE: Phreetings is another new web application that appears to work best with Firefox. You search for an image (it appears to use Flickr, but I can’t be sure), drag and drop it on a virtual card, and then write something below it (it looks like you can write a lot there). You’re then given the url to copy and paste. During our study of natural disasters, for example, I can see my students finding an image labeled “Katrina” and writing a short report on what they’ve learned so far about the hurricane.
EMAIL A LINK EASILY:Like with Phreetings, several of the applications that I’ve included in the six parts of this series have not had a built-in email feature you can use to send links of your creations to a teacher or someone else. Of course, if you have an email you can just open your own email program. But what do you do if you don’t have an email address? You can use a nifty site called Note2email. Just go to the site, type in the email of your teacher, paste the link, and click send. It’s just like having your own personal built-in email feature.
HIGHLIGHT KEY WORDS IN A WEBPAGE: One of the challenges many of my students face, both mainstream and English Language Learner, is learning how to take notes. Often, when given a highlighter, students want to highlight almost the whole page and don’t know how to judge which are the most important parts. I will sometimes make a rule that they can’t highlight more than one, two, or three words in a paragraph, and then we’ll review which ones they highlighted and why. The Awesome Highlighter lets you highlight anything you want on any website and then provides you with the link to your page with highlights.
CREATE A PERMANENT WEBSITE WITH IMAGES & TEXT: I’ve posted about Short Text before — it’s a super-easy way to create a webpage. The drawback is that once you’ve created it, you can’t make any changes. It’s ideal for a final version of a report, for example. They’ve recently added the features of being able to easily add images and videos, plus they have a built-in email feature that allows you to email the link to your site to many others.
EDIT PICTURES TO INCLUDE CAPTIONS, SPEECH BUBBLES, AND FUN EFFECTS: I’ve included several of these types of sites in previous parts of this series. Here are three more sites that allow you to do similar things, and then provide you with links to your creations — Pixenate, Dumpr, and Pointpic.
DESIGN A CAR: Create a Ride lets you design your own race car. Boys in particular will love it. You can save your design with a special number, but it doesn’t provide you with a unique url address. So to access it again you just have to go to the site and type in the the number. Students can learn some vocabulary and write about their car.
DESIGN CRAZY IMAGES: RedKid and Glass Giant are two sites with a bunch of options for making strange things like a chocolate bar with your own text on it or bizarre Easter eggs. In order to get the url of your creation, after you’re done right click on your creation, then click on “Properties,” and then copy and paste the url address that comes up.
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Hey Larry, I’m Joel from the Awesome Highlighter. Thanks for mentioning our product in your blog post! We think it will be a great resource for educators and students. We’re honored to be mentioned along with some of the other great web apps on your site. If you have any questions about the highlighter, let us know!
Hi Larry, I love the series. I wanted to drop by and let you know about another great site out there. Diigo.com is a social bookmarking site that allows students to add highlighting and sticky notes to bookmarks. They can share the bookmarks with other students in their group as well. I used this in the fall with a largely ESL class and they loved it!