Apps 4 EFL @ YoJALT

Thank you to everyone who listened to my presentation on Apps 4 EFL at last weekends YoJALT meeting. The feedback and comments audience members provided were truly appreciated. There is much more to come to Apps 4 EFL in the near future, so please watch this space for updates and announcements!

Apps 4 EFL is a new platform for both teachers and learners of English as a foreign language. It features games and apps for English learners, and a student management and tracking system for teachers. Check it out today!

WikiCloze CALL Conference Presentation Write-up

Thank you to everyone who attended my presentation on WikiCloze at this year’s CALL Conference in Nagoya. It was great to be able to talk about the tool, and get lots of useful feedback from audience members.

Of the feedback I received, these were some of the most requested features. I hope to be able to implement each of them in future versions of WikiCloze:

  1. Selection boxes vs. Text Input – In previous versions of WikiCloze, students were actually required to type in each of the missing words, rather than select from a drop-down menu. One attendee mentioned it would be nice to have to option to choose between these two input methods.
  2. Provide a link to the original Simple Wikipedia article
  3. Provide an option to choose between the main Wikipedia and Simple Wikipedia
  4. Integrate WikiCloze more closely with Moodle – there were a few requests for closer integration with Moodle, perhaps via a Moodle Plugin version of WikiCloze. This is something I’d like to provide, but programming Moodle Plugins is a rather complicated affair, and this may take some time to implement
  5. Feedback for teachers – by far the biggest request, and most important. In the current version of WikiCloze, there is no easy way for teachers to get feedback and progress reports of students who use WikiCloze. A Quizlet-style “Classes” option would seem to be the best solution, whereby teachers can view the progress of any students in a particular class. This would be a major undertaking and something I am looking at for the long-term future. In the meantime, a low-tech workaround for monitoring student progress would be to get students to print out or show their “account” panel display, which lists the articles studied and number of points received (number of words entered in total)
  6. Mozilla Open Badges/Backpacks – another possible solution for feedback could be Mozilla Open Badges, which may be a little easier to implement than a fully featured “class” system.

So – it seems I have my work cut out for the foreseeable future! As I mentioned, some of these features are considerably more complex than others, and it might not be possible to implement them all, but I’m hoping to cover most of them in future versions.

Thank you again to those who attended my presentation. I look forward to seeing you at future TEFL conferences.

Journey to Mars goes live on Amazon

51brz4gckl-_sy346_The first three e-books of the new Atama-ii multi-path adventure series are now live on Amazon! I’m very fortunate to be one of the first three authors published, along with Andy Boon (Zombies in Tokyo) and James Broadbridge (The Lost Cup), with all titles featuring illustrations from Alice Carroll Illustration. Thanks to Marcos Benevides of Atama-ii Books for all his hard work in making it happen! Check out the books now!

10 Tech Tidbits from Paperless 2014

Today the first Paperless conference was hosted at the stylish and forward-thinking Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, and organised by the indefatigable Carol Begg. URLS, apps and ideas were shared aplenty. Here are 10 of the best.

  1. Open badges make it easy to track students’ progress with language learning apps across the web, and in particular on the popular Moodle LMS
  2. Wix is a powerful and intuitive drag-n-drop website builder
  3. SpeakPipe allows students to comment in audio on a class website or blog
  4. Flow is “is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.”
  5. ReadLang allows you to read articles, and look up and save the meanings of unknown words whilst preserving their original context
  6. Lex Flashcard Game uses Quizlet vocabulary sets to create engaging and educational vocabulary learning activities
  7. Vocre aims to translate your speaking in real time into over 66 different languages
  8. Hapara “helps educators effectively use cloud-based, open tools to positively impact student learning”
  9. Kanjigames helps you to study the kanji…
  10. …while cram.com offers a flashcard learning system for an array of subjects

If you found these tips useful, why not check out the new version of my book, which has been revised, updated and expanded for 2019: 50 Ways to Teach with Technology