ETAS learning technologies

ETAS learning technologies blog

Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

E-books: a new generation of digitality

Posted by Illya on 23 August 2010

Just these past days I’ve been reading link after link of new e-books, written more than not by teachers for their students.

Here are just a couple.

Dead in Dublin by Jeremy Taylor, and here a short exerpt (taken from the website):

Dead in Dublin, a fast moving murder mystery based in modern Dublin. Milan Schwab, a Czech language student dies in his American teacher’s classroom. Daniel, the teacher, tries to piece together how he died – and most importantly, who killed him.

Here are more books by the author:

And here is something for smaller children: Sandcake

And here are books for kids to read along . The stories are read by kids and word for word is highlighted as it is read out loud.

And here is one more for kids with a bit of an extra touch:  Zooburst

These days iphones and other smartphones are becoming more and more popular. Computers are in every classroom, no longer just in the computer labs, and reading material has become extremely accessible on different kinds of media, and smartboards are slowly becoming the new standard.

All this will most certainly have an effect on our learners and how we can help them learn, so it is good to know what materials there are to use on them.

If you happen to have experience in using them in the classroom, please leave a comment and tell us about it.

Posted in communication, Tools, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Putting the ‘a’ into tech

Posted by Illya on 16 June 2010

Often the question is asked why one should take the time to use technology in the classroom. Is it just one big hype?
Below is a link to a slideshow that answers the question and shows how and why tech can and should be turned into teach.

A Teacher\’s Guide to Web2.0 at school

Posted in Tools, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Getting on-line feedback

Posted by Illya on 9 June 2010

Since the ETAS first on-line course has ended and we have received sme feedback from the participants, I’ll use this chance to show how feedback can be given on-line.

We asked for feedback by using a tool called wallwisher, which is much like using post-its in a classroom. Here you will see it in use!

Another great way to get feedback has been used by the ETAS after the AGMs, a short survey with surveymonkey, which is a very simple survey tool to use. The link can be sent by e-mail to the participants or embedded on a website.
Of course, if you are using a blog, wiki or other website, you could also use a poll like the two in the previous post.

Finally, if you are using a blog like this, then you can request participants to leave a comment under the concluding post.

These are just a couple of ways, but I’m sure that if you looked around, you’d find many more. If you have any ideas or ways you get feedback on-line, leave a comment to this post and let us know about it!

Posted in etas, links, survey, Tools, Workshops | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Follow-up of ETAS SIG day Reading into writing workshop

Posted by Illya on 13 September 2009

FIrst of all, a big thanks to Fiona Joseph, who gave us an excellent workshop.

It was the second of two to be given through Skype and with a pre-recorded presentation.

You can find the pre-recorded part below, but you will need Flash installed to ensure it works properly. There are also all the links mentioned during the workshop.

Flo-joe for ETAS

One of the links that we looked at is LibraryThing but there is another social network for books at Shelfari.

We discused how to include literature in the classroom and agreed to share any experiences, problems and ideas as comments to this post. I am looking forward to your input!

Posted in communication, links, online conference, podcast, Podcasts, presentation, relevant sites, Tools, Uncategorized, Workshops | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Follow-up of ETAS SIG day Skype workshop

Posted by Illya on 13 September 2009

ETAS’ very first on-line presenter gave an excellent workshop on skype. Technology went well with everything except the couple of computers that were down. Thank you, Peter Travis!

As ETAS is concerned about the environment and wants to save trees, there were no handouts. However, the presentation (not including live talks) and all the links which were mentioned are included in the website below.

Splendid speaking for ETAS

You will need Flash for the presentation to work, but all the other links should by fine.

We would love to hear from you about your experiences with teaching and learning with Skype, so please do leave a comment here if you have had any- good or bad.

Posted in links, online conference, podcast, Podcasts, presentation, relevant sites, Tools | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

What the tweet is twitter?

Posted by Illya on 15 June 2009



In the months of June/July I will spend a bit of time looking at twitter, what can be done with it, and maybe even encourage a couple of you readers to join the club if you haven’t already.

There have been several articles in the newspapers recently which mention twitter and question whether it is the next big thing or just another passing hype. Reason enough to have a closer look!

First, what is it? It is a web-based tool in which you can share up to 140 characters (including spaces) with your followers. And you can follow other people and see what they write. I’ve added my own rss feed on the side and will try to be consciencious and update regularly (also known as to tweet), showing the different ways of use.

How is it used? Well, one of the reasons for all the headshaking as to why it is so popular is that many people use it simply to inform the world of what they are doing at any single moment. It seems to many that this is very voyeuristic and more like a public diary. Probably the most oftenly asked question concerning twitter is :


I asked this myself and thought this is certainly a bandwagon I’m NOT jumping on. However, curiosity got the better of me and now I too am on twitter.

Here are some of the ways it can be used:

  • to find relevant websites that others are tweeting or to share websites with others
  • to give live summaries (using a cell phone) during conferences or other such events. – this is becoming more and more frequent, even among politicians in meetings or during football games!
  • to get advice and information. You can send out a call for help and if there are many people following you, the chances are pretty big that someone will be able to help out.
  • to share bits of information with others. You can make groups and share information within these groups, but more on how to do that later.
  • to keep in touch with colleagues from all over the city/country/world, forming an occupational network. An example of what a great resource this is can be seen when Susan Boyle was in Britain’s got talent. Within a week there were lesson plans for how the youtube video and her experience could be used for language lessons!
  • to share what you are doing while you are on holiday. If you have a blog or website, you can add the rss feed (see blogging 101) and your students, friends and family can be informed – a continuous postcard!
  • to get your students to write. 140 characters aren’t many and a certain amount of skill is needed for language learners to be eable to express themselves clearly in so few words. It can be used for creative writing or for summaries. Obviously, they need to be on twitter too, but you can do twitter virtually (in this case, on paper :-D)

I’m not the only one who has written about twitter. A very good article is on Larry Ferlazzo’s blog. He also goes into depth, and I’m sure there will be quite a bit of overlap, but I’ll also try to give examples in the next couple of posts.

If you’ve decided to join and check it out, feel free to follow me too. I’m illyac. Let me know that you are from ETAS so I don’t end up blocking you, and I’ll gladly follow you too! If there are enough ETAS members on twitter, then I’ll set up a twitter group later on. And remember, the more people you follow, the more useful it will become to you.

Tweet tweet 🙂

Posted in communication, links, Tools, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Brush up on technology in the New Year

Posted by Illya on 19 December 2008

I’d like to invite you, dear reader, to an excellent opportunity to expand your technology skills and get new ideas for teaching using technology and blended teaching.

Every year a group of educators called the Webheads offer a number of courses free of charge online between mid-January and mid-February. These experienced people are devoted to passing on their knowledge and helping others come to grips with new technology. It is here that I too have learned so much and made so many contacts around the world.

Have a look around, and I hope to see you there in the new year!

Don’t worry, there is something for everyone and even true beginners in this area. AND you get a chance to meet some of the most wonderful people (next to the ETAS gang, of course :-))

And here is the official invitation:

The CALL Interest Section of the international TESOL
professional association is pleased to offer the
opportunity to participate in the Electronic Village
Online (EVO) 2009 sessions. This is a professional
development project and virtual extension of the TESOL
2009 Convention in Denver, CO . The intended audience
for this project includes both TESOL 2009 participants
and those who can participate only virtually.

You do not need to be a TESOL member to participate in
a free, six-week, wholly online session of the EVO,
Jan 12 -Feb 22, 2009. Please visit our Announcement
Web page to select one among the various offerings.

Yours in TESOL,

The EVO coordination team

Posted in blogs, communication, links, online conference, presentation, relevant sites, Tools, wiki, Workshops | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SIG day 2008 with Graham Stanley

Posted by Illya on 4 December 2008

Graham Stanley came to give a talk full of exclamation points – Connect! Communicate! Collaborate! – on social networking.  There he presented many ways to connect, including using Facebook to collaborate with other teachers and give additional on-line support to learners, Second Life, where he has an island for young EFL learners, and lots of other fun ideas to enhance our on-line and off-line presence.

Graham was so kind as to open Social Learning Spaces for all to see. Please have a look around and maybe try out something new. I can only recommend connecting!
Here’s a peek into social networking.

Posted in links, relevant sites, Tools, Uncategorized, wiki, Workshops | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SIG day 2008 with Eric Baber

Posted by Illya on 4 December 2008

sig-day-2008-017At the Sig day in Baden Eric Baber introduced how to use HotPotatoes and Quia to make online tasks for your learners. These are both on-line products that you need to pay for, but you can try them out free of cost. The possibilitites they allow are well worth the money.  Eric has produced a worksheet informing you of how to sign up for Quia and a further online tool called English360 (see below).

Whereas quia and Hotpotatoes are for activities for online use, English360 is very interesting for those teachers who work independantly and would like to offer on-line courses. It gives you a platform for doing this and instead of you paying the fee, it is your students who must pay the fee to access the site.

Another interesting feature of English360 is that, in order to promote sharing, for any materials that you open up for others, you get a small return for each time another teacher does use them.

ETAS SIG day 2008 Quia and English360

I hope to add audio to this shortly.

Please come back soon for more from the SIG day.

Posted in relevant sites, Tools, Uncategorized, Workshops | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Another school year, another learning opportunity

Posted by Illya on 25 August 2008

The school year has begun once again and the next SIG day is already drawing near.

So I’ll take this opportunity to consider new ideas for the ETASblog.

First, what is this blog for?

Blogs are meant to be interactive, and all you need to do is to click on the ‘comments’ button to make your word heard.

Are you happy with the information on the blog? Would you like to see the development of other topics here? Do you think there should be more frequent or less frequent updates?

Or do you simply agree with, appreciate, or disagree with anything written here? Would you like to have guests featured here?

It’s up to you to tell me so that I can make this blog a useful platform for all you ETAS (and non-ETAS) members. Just go to the bottom of the post. Here you will find the button to push. It only says ‘no comments’ until one is left there.

I also have a series lined up for this year which I’ll call ‘What is…?

Here I’d like to look at different tools on your computer and on the internet which may be useful in teaching or for your professional development.

If there are any specific tools you’d like to see, you know which button to push!

So stay tuned for the first ‘What is…?’ entry coming soon.

Posted in communication, Tools | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »