The first part of this post is my usual introduction to this series. If you’re familiar with it already, just skip down to the listing of new sites…
Here’s the latest installment in my series on The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly. As you may remember, in order to make it on this list, the web tool has to:
* be easily accessible to English Language Learners and/or non-tech savvy computer users.
* allow people to create engaging content within minutes.
* host the user’s creation on the site itself indefinitely, and allow a direct link to be able to be posted on a student or teacher’s website/blog to it (or let it be embedded). If it just provides the url address of the student creation, you can either just post the address or use Embedit.in , a free web tool that makes pretty much any url address embeddable.
* provide some language-learning opportunity.
* not require any registration.
You can find previous installments of this series with the rest of my “The Best…” lists at Websites Of The Year. Several hundred sites have been highlighted in these past lists. You might also want to take a look at the first list I posted in this series — The Best Ways For Students (And Anyone Else!) To Create Online Content Easily, Quickly, and Painlessly.
Here are my latest picks:
WRITE A “LOVE NOTE” FOR TWO WEIRD CREATURES: Made For Each Other is yet another weird example of viral marketing that can be used as a fun and useful language-learning tool (you can read about how I use these applications here). I guess it’s connected to advertising to Frito-Lay in some way (though it’s hard to tell how). It’s too strange to explain, other than to say you connect two creatures to one another and then write a love note for one of them to give to the other. You are then given the link to that note that can be posted on a student or teacher website. If you have a few minutes left to kill in the computer lab, and you want to give your ELL students a short and engaging writing task, this would certainly be an option.
SEND A CONSERVATION E-CARD: Conservation International has a wide selection of environmentally-related E-Cards. Once you pick an image, you can write a message and email it to yourself, a friend, or a teacher. The E-Card itself will appear within the email, but if you click “View a Printable Version Of This E-Card” it will take you to the card’s url address, which can then be posted.
WRITE A Six-WORD MEMOIR: Smith Magazine invites people to write their own Six-Word Memoirs and post them on their site. It doesn’t quite fit my criteria for web tools to make it on this list since it requires registration, but it’s so minimal that I’m adding it here anyway. Of course, this good idea can easily be used in the classroom on a piece of paper, too. It reminds me of another site and activity I’ve posted about called The Three Panel Book Review. Thanks to the English Blog for the tip.
CREATE AN INVITATION: Anyvite is a super-simple way to create and send invitations to an event. Since no registration is required, and you can easily grab images off the web to include in your invite, it’s a good exercise for Beginning English Language Learners. They can create an invitation to an imaginary event and post it on their site or a teacher’s page.
DIRECT A MUSIC VIDEO: Purina lets you create a Beggin’ Time music video using an old M.C. Hammer song. You can add your own photo, or select any one’s image off the Internet and then post it on your site. Students can then describe it. It’s a pretty weak language-development activity, though, and I’m only including it because the video itself is closed-captioned.
CREATE AN EMOTIONAL TALKING AVATAR: Oddcast has updated its site where you can create your own talking avatar and send it to a friend for posting on a blog or website. Now, you can add facial expressions illustrating emotions. You can upload your own picture, or use one of theirs, and add your own audio.
As always, feedback is welcome.
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