Saturday, December 22, 2007

Why Frozen Peas - Social media to support a cause

Why the frozen pea theme in my previous post? Last week pea avatars and "tweets" about peas, started to appear on Twitter, these led me to and to Susan Reynold's blog BoobsOnIce. Susan 'Cancer Patient in Social media soul' is using social media to help raise awareness to breast cancer. In her blog she shares her journey with us. In order to add 'a touch of lightness to what could have been a sad and serious tale' Susan relates how she used a bag of frozen peas as an ice-pack to sooth her cleavage after the initial diagnostic examination. As Twitter followers started to post pea avatars in identification with Susan and her desire to raise awareness to breast cancer the Frozen Pea Fund was set up. See also Duncan Riley on TechCrunch Canyou spare the peas?"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Random Clicks lead to A FlickR Flip Book and more

I don't remember why I clicked on or, once there, why I continued to click on - however whatever the reason I'm glad I did. From there I continued to click on the link to heymilly's blog "Thinking Past The Square". Many interesting and valuable posts and reccomendations to be found. Among them a post highlighting the uses of flickr as a storytelling tool and some useful and fun Flickr mashups.
Embedded below a flickr flipbook created at After clicking on create book all you need to do is search for a flickr user or tag, drag photos into the book interface, add text and publish.

Or as a link
Frozen Pea Fund by social media

Why the frozen pea theme? Susan Reynold's blog "BoobsOnIce".
post pea avatars
Frozen Pea Fund
Duncan Riley on TechCrunch "Can you spare the peas?"

Friday, December 7, 2007

Twitter - in 140 chars and 30mins

1) Teacher tweets request for comments on student blog
2) Network responds
3) 30 mins later student has comments+ from around the world

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

December Holidays Multicultural Greetings VoiceThread

December or thereabouts is a time for celebrating! Christmas, Hannuka, Kwanzaa and Eid Al-Fitr all fall round about December time. I'm trying to create a voice thread where students can send vocal greetings around the world, to their friends and family.

The project has 2 stages.
Stage One:
add holiday graphics created by your students to a photo pool on Flickr or to a wiki I set up for the purpose. (I've uploaded my G2 Hannuka graphics to get the ball rolling)

Flickr Pool:

Stage Two:
(after I add your graphics to the VoiceThread)
Have students record Holiday Greetings to their friends and family either in English or in L1.
Voice Thread:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lingro - dictionary for any website will pop up a dictionary definition for any word you click on a website. No need to play about with site code. Simply type
before the URL of the website. So if you wanted to try it now on this blog all you would have to do would be to type (or click on the link).

If you register at the application will save a history of the words you have clicked to enable you to practice later. Other tools include, file uploader, bilingual dictionaries, for French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish, audio of the word, add new translations, ajax based dictionary which starts suggesting definitions after you type the first few letters of a word

Saturday, November 17, 2007

VoiceThread as a Collaborative EFL learning space.

I don't think I have mentioned VoiceThread in this blog as yet, surprising really, as if I were to choose one web2.0 application for EFL elementary, voicethread would be the one.

Although a written description doesn't do it justice here is a quick summary of the features.
Userfriendly application which allows you to create an online album of photos, pictures, video and documents, invite others to contribute by recording their voices, doodles, text, video(web cam) or even uploading mp3 they have prepared ahead of time.
Threads can be public or private, comments allowed or not, moderated or not. Did I mention Userfriendly? VoiceThread is free for teachers, after requesting a teacher's account you can create unlimited VoiceThreads. Although it is neccessary to register with a confirmable email address, one account can be used for a whole classroom, teacher simply needs to add extra identities to his account ie an identity for each student.

So why the intro? Until last week I had only tried voicethread with a small group of students, however last week my two 5th grade classes (about 70 students) started working on this thread.
I was happy to see that the interface was easy for them to learn, but much happier when I finally got home at the end of the day and could listen to their work.
They did a really good job!
I'm now looking for classes to join us on the thread, it is moderated so comments won't show up until I approve them - (yes, a couple of my students recorded things that I'm happy I got a chance to erase before they were seen/heard by others - also a couple of the student recordings were drowned out by a very loud teacher - who has only just realized exactly how loud she is!)

I have started a collection of voicethreads for efl elementary it can be seen at if you'd like to add yours to the list just add a comment to this post.

Friday, November 2, 2007

One year mark for Google Apps Education

Official Google Blog: One year mark for Google Apps Education Edition

Google apps is an excellent opportunity for schools to use a set of web20 tools without having to create multiple accounts on seperate websites.

Apps included are Gmail, personalized google startpage, docs and presentations, shared address book, web-based multi-user chat and more.

It's a great shame that the foreign language versions of the apps lag behind as far as features go.

Still, maybe the disadvantage can be turned into an advantage! The idea of being able to chat right from within their mailbox, may just be enough to encourage my 5th graders to try the English interface.

I'll let you know!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nice Surprise! Old friends, New friends!

Well, it's been quite a while since I created this blog, but finally found the time to visit in order report on what's been going on in our EFL-Tech classroom (One 45 min lesson per week).

A very pleasant surprise awaited me here, when I discovered a comment from Christine Southard, whom I "met" first on Classroom20. I've been so sidetracked for the last couple of months, translating the Ning platform to Hebrew, setting up a network for my EFL students and kicking off "Edureshet" a social network for Israeli educators (reached 50 members yesterday - yay!!) that I haven't been taking part in the English conversations going on - there just doesn't seem to be enough time to fit everything in.

Hopefully now that Edureshet seems to be about to take off I will be able to revisit the friends I made during the summer.

As I mentioned briefly above, we, Susanb the EFL teacher and I, have set up a Ning Network for our EFL 6th grade students.
Registering to the site, working inside the Ning space and creating their profiles and profile pics, takes time for our students, but it's all good! They are using English in an authentic way, and they are enjoying it so much that they visit the site from home too!

We have set up the site so that the profile questions- repeat vocabulary and grammar used in the first few weeks back at school. The profile pics have been used to revise Parts of the Body, ie students create avatars here. Next up they will add an "About Me" text to their pages, and create voki characters and after maybe we'll start blogging.

The original intention was to follow the pace of the regular EFL lessons, but so far that has proved impossible - however I think our pace will pick up once the students start to feel comfortable with the site.

For now it is wonderful to see the busy list of recent activity, to read the short comments they leave on each other's pages, to discover through their profile info that Eshel's hobby is building computer games, or Boaz plays guitar etc.. That Nir "am not so good English" (although he really is), to recieve a message from Adva through the in site mailing system ...
...and of course to recieve "friend's requests" :-) (although I haven't announced it anywhere - anyone sending me a friend request gets a gif of their name in glitter - I'm waiting to see how long it takes them to realize that)
as the site is a closed site instead of adding adding a link I'm uploading a couple of screenpics.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Hello World

Welcome to my blog! As the name suggests I will be using this blog to post about EFL and Web2.0. more accurately, the combination of EFL, web2.0 and technology in general.

I started out 14 years ago teaching EFL in elementary school, but after catching the technology bug moved away from EFL, to become a tech teacher.
This year the 2 come together for me, as I work with the EFL teacher at school, to build a joint EFL-Tech curriculum.

I am looking forward to this year for many reasons which I may go into later. Right now I've been online for most of the night and it's about time to drag myself away from the screen.