Saturday, December 3, 2011


What is MailVU?

MailVU is a website which allows users to create a video message and users can email the video to anyone. This tool is free and very user friendly. All you need is a webcam and click on the button to record and send the recording. 

How can teachers use MailVU?

One of the activities that teachers can use with MailVU is having students to record about the important dates in their lives. Teachers may begin by drawing a timeline in the class and write several dates on the timeline. Teachers may then get students to ask what happen during the timeline in the teachers' lives and teachers will answer students' questions. After that, teachers may get students to draw their own timeline and get students to work in pair and ask each other of what happen during the dates that they have written. As a homework, teachers may get students to record a video of themselves describing their own timeline using MailVU and email it to the teacher. Speaking at home and with no one watching them allows students to be more confident and lower their affective filter as they will not be nervous to use the language.

Other than that, a variety to the activity could be recording interviews. In this activity, students may interview a friend by asking them some personal questions and record it using MailVU. Students may take turn interviewing each other and then email it to the teacher. This activity allows students to speak meaningfully and create purpose for students to talk as well as listen because there are information gap. Students are also able to use the language more meaningfully. Teachers may then decide to play several videos of interviews in class.

Another activity will be asking students to promote an item. Students may take the role as promoters who are trying to persuade the teacher and the rest of the class to buy an item. The items could be anything, for example, a broom, a towel, a computer, or an apple. Students will do the recording at home and email it to the teacher and on the next lesson, the teacher will play the videos to the rest of the class. Students who are watching may be asked to give comments on whether they will or will not buy the items. At the end of the class, students may vote on which three items that they will buy. Other than practising speaking, this activity allows students to make use of persuasive language.

I believe that the activities above using MailVU is suitable for learners of all level and ages because they may speak according to their levels of English and at their own pace as the videos can be recorded at home. In addition, the videos can be redone if the students are not happy with their videos.

For more information on how to use this tool, you can check out the video by Russell Stannard.

What I like about MailVU...

  1. It's FREE!!!
  2. User-friendly. Easy to use with only 3 clicks and it's done.
  3. The time limit for the recording is quite long (10 minutes)
  4. Suitable for students of all levels of English because students may speak using their level of English.
  5. A variety for homework. Instead of having a written homework, students do a recording and email it to teachers.
  6. Connected classroom activities. Plus, it gets students to practise speaking English even at home!
  7. The recording can be sent, deleted and saved when the students sign up! 
  8. The receiver of the email may also reply the video using MailVU. 
What I dislike about MailVU...

  1. Cannot be embedded on blogs or websites if students do not sign up for an account. 
  2. The FREE TRIAL ACCOUNT only valid for 14 days.
  3. The videos cannot be downloaded.


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