Website ideas 4 teachers & students – by Joana Styliano Costa

Looking for tools to help you make material such as exam tips more engaging for your students? Well, here are some ideas which aren’t too much work and will make a great deal of fun and learning for all.

Voki.com

Here you can select a character and his/her voice to say whatever you want them to say – all you have to do is type the text and select from a wide range of accents! I have used Vokis as a way of providing students with tips for writing tasks, and they have found them fun and more engaging than any handout. I opted for a static background, in order to ensure they focus on the actual content without their getting too distracted by the scenario. I then selected one of the characters and made sure that similar tasks would have the same spokesperson in order to ensure coherence and thus make it easier for students to identify the topics. The fact that it is computer-based – my students watched them in class and I then shared them by email – ensures the experience is more interactive and memorable. All you need is a free account to sign up, log in and start creating those Vokis! And they are actually quite simple and enjoyable to make!

PowToon.com

This is a truly fun website where you can create short videos – you can choose pretty much everything from background, symbols and characters to include, text, etc; alternatively, you have ready-made templates which you can easily adapt. It is very useful for promotional videos, as you may have seen on our website, but it can also be used for presenting students’ work or even as a tool for their projects. It can also be an alternative to a more traditional slideshow when introducing a topic.

GoAnimate.com

Yet another fun website for creating animation videos, as you may have guessed from the name. Lots of different characters, including celebrities, as well as familiar backgrounds can be used. It is similar to the previous one, so explore the ready-made videos and then start making your own to suit any educational purpose – be it students’ project work or exam-related ideas and tips. All of the above may be used by students themselves as well, provided they have been given a specific task.

Finally, two suggestions to make sure you are always up-to-date with the latest technological tools for education:

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/ – which you can follow on Google+ and Pinterest

– the teachers’ group on Facebook called Ferramentas Educativas 2.0 where different teachers from different areas exchange tools, resources and viewpoints.

IHLanguageRainbow

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