Sunday, November 20, 2011


What is Audioboo?

Audioboo is a podcasting tool which allows us to create up to 3 minutes of audio. Users can also add title and tags once they finish recording. We can also add an image to our 'boo' and add the location of where you record your 'boo'. Once everything is done, the audio can be shared to others on Twitter and you audio can also be searched on iTunes. An account is needed in order to record and upload audio and we can use Twitter account to sign in.

How can teachers use Audioboo?

The use of Audioboo in teaching and learning English would be possible with the access of internet connection. Teachers may use Audioboo to make a podcast, for example, teacher may create a podcast asking students to write an essay on a topic and students at home will listen to the podcast and write the essay to be submitted the next day.

Other than that, teachers can also ask students to talk about their daily activities and make a podcast to be uploaded into their blogs or just uploaded into their Audioboo account. It would be sort of like asking students to keep their own 'journal'. Teachers may also ask students to email the podcast to teachers and teachers may then give feedback on students' language and context by using podcast as well. 

Here is an example of an Audioboo.
For those who would like to learn how to use Audioboo, you can watch the video by Russell Stannard.

What I like about Audioboo
  1. Can record a podcast easily or upload from phone.
  2. The podcast can be embedded to blogs, websites and etc.
  3. Suitable for giving instructions or homework to students.
  4. User-friendly website. Everything is clear and organised.
What I dislike about Audioboo?
  1. No privacy. It goes up on iTunes and twitter and everyone can listen to it. 
  2. Need to set up an account or sign in using twitter account. Not convenient.
  3. Maximum duration for recording is only 3 minutes.
  4. Facilities (need internet connection, microphone, phone)

Monday, November 14, 2011


What is MyBrainShark?

MyBrainShark is a tool that allows users to insert narration to their PowerPoint presentation, word document, video, and photo album. All we have to do is to upload our files and add audio by phone, microphone or MP3. 

How can teachers use MyBrainShark?

Teachers may use this tool to allow students to practise speaking, and probably writing as well. An example of activity that can be used using MyBrainShark is by asking students to produce a PowerPoint presentation about themselves, their family, or about any other topics like global warming, population explosion, pollution, festivals, or about their idols.

It can be carried out in the classroom or as but I would personally suggest that it is used as a homework in order to allow students to work individually at their own pace. In addition, students may need a quiet surrounding in order to record the narration in which may not be possible in classroom environment where every student is trying to record his or her own narration. Students may then be required to upload their presentation to MyBrainShark and add narration to their slides and finally email it to the teacher. Teachers may then reply to students with responds regarding their language. Teachers may also decide to show several presentation to the rest of the class.

This tool, in my opinion, is suitable for students in upper secondary (16-17 years old) because it may require a slightly higher knowledge in technology and I personally believe it is also suitable for adult learners. Students who have intermediate level of English to advanced students are probably the most suitable to use this tool.   

Below is the example of a slide presentation with narration created using MyBrainShark.

For those who may need some help in using this tool, you can go to Russell Stannard’s website which shows you how to use MyBrainShark. For those who are interested to learn more, click here  to view the second part of the instructions provided by Russell.

What I like about MyBrainShark... 
  1. It is TOTALLY FREE.
  2. We do not break copyright.
  3. Improves multiple skills like writing and speaking, but mainly focuses on speaking skill.
  4. An effective communicative activity which requires students to talk through their presentation.
  5. Can be shared to public and can also be set to private.
  6. Reduce affective filter as students can speak in the language without having anyone watching them and reduce their anxiety.
  7. Allows students to be creative (can incorporate audio recordings, live web pages, surveys, background music)
  8. The presentations can be emailed and embedded.
What I dislike about MyBrainShark... 
  1. It can only be viewed online and cannot be downloaded to your computer. It may cause problem if there is no internet connection.
  2. Needs a microphone, a computer and the Internet. It may not be accessible to all of the students if this activity is carried out as a homework.
  3. Time-consuming for narration.
  4. It may not be authentic spoken activity as students may have written their script and just read and record it. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


What is Bookr?

Bookr is a website that allows people to make slideshows presentation or a photobook using pictures grabbed from Flickr. All they need to do is type in the keyword of the pictures they would like to search for and the results will be displayed. Students just need to clicked on the image and dragged it into the slide page. Students may then click on the edge of the book to move on to the next page. The pages can also be added.

How can teachers use Bookr?

This website is suitable for students in secondary school students in which around the age of 13-17 and it may also be useful for adult learners. Bookr is also suitable for students who have low level of English to advanced students. 

Bookr can be used as a classroom activity or as a homework to practice students' writing. Teachers may ask students to make photobooks by giving them a topic, for example, favourite food, favourite place, thir hometown, their idols, or their favourite actors. If the facilities in the classroom is adequate, students may be asked to work individually during the lesson and write their caption in the box. Students may then be asked to present their photobooks to the rest of the class. This may also allow students to practice speaking as they will be required to speak to describe their pictures despite having captions in each of the slide. If the activity were to be set as a homework, teachers can get the students to email their end product to teachers and teachers may reply to them by giving feedback on their work and language.

Another idea on using Bookr in a writing lesson is teachers may prepare the photobook, but only with pictures and without the caption. Teacher will then show the pictures to the students one by one and get the students to a sentence that best describe the pictures that they see. Teachers may then collect the students' sentences and give them feedback on their language.

Below is the example of a slide presentation created using Bookr.

The instructions on using Bookr can be found in the website by Russell Stannard.

What I like about Bookr... 
  2. We do not break copyright.
  3. It encourages the sense of personalisation in terms of the pictures chosen and the captions.
  4. It is also good for communicative activities as the students may write the description of the pictures in their slides.
  5. It develops creative writing among students.
  6. Students may write according to their own level of English
  7. Improves multiple skills (writing, speaking)
  8. Do not have to set up an account (saves time).
  9. User-friendly, easy to use. Just click on the pictures and type in the words in the caption box.
  10. The pages can be added.
  11. Can be embedded.
What I dislike about Bookr... 
  1. Some of the pictures do not match with the keywords, hence it is difficult to find suitable pictures.
  2. Students may not write as much as the teacher expects them to, therefore teachers need to probably set how long the students are required to write.
  3. It can be time-consuming because there are a lot of images to choose.
  4. Facilities (computers, the internet) may refrain teachers and students from using the website.
  5. The slides can no longer be edited once they are published.
  6. The published slides cannot be made private.
  7. The caption box cannot be moved to position that we like.
  8. The font and the font size cannot be edited.