Friday, April 27, 2007

Yahoo! Pipes

How has it taken me this long to use this. I've heard about it numerous times in recent months, but I didn't think much of the descriptions.

This might make your eyes roll back when you see the interface, but the possibilities are incredible and it is well worth learning if you are interested in being a couple years ahead of the game. I only tested if for filtering so far, but it could be done for so much more.

One thing that this does is to create an RSS feed (even from a group of other feeds) that is SUPER customized.

I've been thinking about using an approach like this to deliver individualize feedback and tools for learners in both the CALL class and my EFL courses. I see some real potential in this tool (which is still in Beta).

All I can say is Wow!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Video: RSS in Plain English

Take a look at this video. You should already understand much of this if you have followed up with your subscriptions begun at the beginning of the course.

Nice video.


Student Books on Lulu

Great posting on a student publishing project. How cool is this? It is so modern, yet a little retro at the same time. How about some new books for your library. How about your students as the authors?


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Comedy Central: Crash Course in Comedy

This is a really cool contest and application. I hope that they keep it around for a while, but it will likely disappear after the contest.

This application uses a technology from Oddcast who create avatars for use in Web pages. The audio can be drive by text (text is converted to speech by the computer), a audio file, recorded by phone, or recorded directly by microphone. You character will then perform this.

I thought that this was really fun and could be used in many ways that have nothing to do with comedy OR you could have students try their hand at humor (a difficult cultural and linguistic task)

I made a very brief example. Click HERE to check it out.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Google Maps

I know that this will just end badly, but I think that I love Google. They just keep on coming out with new, cool, tools all the time.

I've loved Google Maps (, but their newest feature just thrills me to no end.

You will now notice a new tab in Google Maps called "My Maps". This lets you annotate, save, and publish your own personal maps. Don't think that this is just a way to look at places, it is most definately a communication tool as well. These annotations can tell a story with text and images.

It was so cool I had to map out a few places around my campus. Check it out.

Lastly, this tool is incredibly easy to use. There's not that much functionality yet, which is good because there's not too much getting in the way of you using it. I predict that this will become one of my favorite tools to use both personally and professionally.


Friday, April 06, 2007

How to Use English Punctuation Correctly - WikiHow

This could provide some of you with a lot of fun. Do you see yourself as a punctuation perfectionist? Why not give advice to others by editing this wiki?


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Teaching EFL to Children: The Delight of Being Constantly Challenged

Here is another article on TESL-EJ. It isn't really a tech article, but it is a good example how you can get teachers' stories out there using a simple Web page (in this case an online journal).

These are personal stories of Cambodian English Teachers collected at/as a result of the TESOL Conference in Cambodia.



SuperMemo 2004

This is a neat-looking software reviewed on TESL-EJ (a nice journal with many practical articles for language teachers).

The software seems a little overpriced in today's market, but the features are quite useful. It is basically a flashcard program, but it has a lot of features that you aren't likely to find on the free ones, including support for HTML and multimedia (I don't know if you can embed something from Google Videos or YouTube--that would be nice).

Given the price, I don't think that I'd buy it, but something like this to provide ongoing review of language learning is a good idea. An approach like this is something that we should encourage our learners to do.