Adventure Narratives for EFL ESL Students

Nik Peachey

For a long time now I've really admired and been fascinated by the work of Amanita Design. They have a really unique approach and I love the way they blend photographic textures with cartoon images. I also find their games quite addictive and that's I quality I always look for when trying to find stimulating materials for students, so I've been looking at how these games could used for language development.

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My blog has moved

Connecting 2 the World

Due to some problems with subscriptions using this blog, I have moved my blog to another platform.


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Wiiboard Software

The Electric Educator

Turing a Nintendo Wii controler into a smartboard is a relatively simple process. Here is what you need. Nintendo Wii controler (Note: you do NOT need to have the Wii system. A controler can be purchased for about $50). Blue tooth enabled PC (if you don''t have built in bluetooth on your PC, you can purchase a bluetooth adapter for as little as $8, although I would recommend spending a bit more for higher functionality) 3.

Heroes and idiots

Learning with 'e's

It's been a traumatic week. But strangely interesting too. An enforced stay in hospital for 6 nights has made me sit back and observe instead of participating for a while. The nurses and doctors were absolute heroes of course. Nothing was too much trouble and I was well cared for. I will be sending a letter of thanks to the Sunderland Royal Hospital to let the managers know that they have some quality staff on their books. I bet they don't get that much praise.

Intent Signal Data 101

Intent signal data helps B2B marketers engage with buyers sooner in the sales cycle. But there are many confusing terms used to describe intent data. Read this infographic to better understand three common areas of confusion.

A Tool for Comparing Words

Nik Peachey

I've just found this very useful tool that allows you to compare words and phrases and how they are used online. It works very simply by taking the two words or phrases that you type in and searching through Google to give you the results for each word. It tells you which is the most popular and how many pages each one appears in.

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A River of Images

Nik Peachey

I love the power of images and their adaptability for teaching, so I can't say that I'm upset to be almost overwhelmed with really great tools for exploiting Flickr at the moment. The latest of these is Flickriver , an incredibly simple Flickr search tool that creates an endless webpage (just keep scrolling and the page keeps getting longer!) of Flickr images based around either a search term or whatever it finds interesting on the particular day you visit the site.

Pronunciation goes 2.0

Nik Peachey

I've been looking this week at Forvo , which is a kind of web 2.0 pronunciation site. The site allows users to request, and add audio clips of the pronunciation of different words from a huge range of languages , so if you want to know how a word is pronounced you can either do a quick easy search for the word and then listen to it, or if the word isn't already within the database, you can add it and request a pronunciation.

Using Word Clouds in EFL ESL

Nik Peachey

I've just discovered Wordle , which is a really useful site for creating word clouds. The word clouds are created by entering either a text, URL or del.icio.us user name into a field. The site then generates a word cloud based on the frequency of key words in the text or webpage. Here's what a word cloud based on the URL of this blog looks like. The word clouds are really easy to create and can be printed up for classroom use or saved to a gallery on line.

Create your own social network 7 steps

Nik Peachey

Social networking is one of the key concepts that is driving Web 2.0 these days. With the opportunities social networks offer for collaboration and communication, this is certainly something we as educators should be thinking about being involved in. In this tutorial I'd like to show you how to create your own social network on Ning, just by following 7 steps. I've published these as a downloadable PDF with screen shots, so that you can print them up and follow them / share them.

The Guide to Accessible Learning for Associations

Speaker: Dan Streeter, Vice President of Learning Strategy & Development at Blue Sky eLearn

In this 45-minute webinar, we’ll share real-world accessibility solutions and hidden tools in the applications you use every day such as Zoom, Microsoft Suite, Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Articulate Storyline 360, and Articulate Rise 360. This webinar will help you evaluate the accessibility of your current learning efforts and learn about the tools needed to ensure your eLearning is in alignment with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (proposed WCAG 2.2).

My blog has moved

Connecting 2 the World

Due to some problems with subscriptions using this blog, I have moved my blog to another platform


The fear of podcasting!

Connecting 2 the World

I recently heard a podcast from the ELI conference on the future of education and technology. While I am sure there was some editing done, in listening to the podcast I knew that I could never be a star in this area. Since I will be teaching about podcasts as a means of organizational communication in the next few weeks, this got be to thinking, Who should and who shouldn’t podcast. I am sure many of you have seen the CEO videocast or heard their podcast to the rank and file.

Defining New Communication Technology

Connecting 2 the World

One of the first goals in teaching my class on New Communcation Technology in Organizational Life, is to define “New Communication Technology.&# The assigned reading is a blog on ZDNet Blogs by Dion Hinchcliffe. While some people may question the use of a blog as an assigned reading, the fact is that there is very little accessible at the undergraduate level on New Communication technologies. This is a well written piece which allows for discussion from the class.

Good resource on Social Networking

Connecting 2 the World

I found a great blog on social networking which I have just started subscribing to. What I like about this blog is that it encompasses many fields in its analysis of social software: law, communication, education, and business. Deborah Pierce Jon Pincus Social Networking social software Tales from the Net

Increasing Equity and Access: A Canvas Case Study of Virtual Arkansas K-12

Virtual Arkansas, a fully online school, had a mission to provide high-quality courses in rural and urban areas throughout the state. How would they simplify content creation while enhancing learning? Discover 3 key insights to transform your classrooms.

Developmental requirements for technology

Connecting 2 the World

The discussion on the eLearning Technology blog about cursive vs. print vs. touch typing got me to thinking about any of the technologies being used in the classroom today. My Introduction to Distance Learning course has students in a variety of educational levels (K- 12, university, public education, and professionals) and subjects (Art, science, math, business, cyptopathology, computer science, foreign language, library science).

Not all blogs are created equal

Connecting 2 the World

While searching for blogs on new technologies (I am surprised at how many there are), I came across a conference that was held at the dawn of blogging. Global PR (which I had come across before) gave me some new directions in finding relivant blogs. The posting I came across was written by Italo Vignoli about blogging in foreign languages. He brings up some interesting points that I would love to see follow up on.

Understanding the big picture while keeping track of the details

Connecting 2 the World

I find whenever I use a new tool, I have trouble using it until I see where it fits into the system of communication and education. I am very excited about my new course, as I have been able to put together a conceptual framework of the types of Web 2.0 technology, and how they relate to each other. I still am having trouble with facebook, but I am getting there.

Skills needed for new communication technology

Connecting 2 the World

George Sieman wrote an interesting post that got me thinking. What are the skills needed for new communication technologies? What should we be including at the higher ed level to prepare students for the workplace of the 21st Century? Here are some idea: How to network. I plan on having my students join linkedIn and follow the paths of networks they create with their class.

Keeping Students Safe and Productive on Devices

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, we’ll explore the full range of Jamf education products to protect students, including quick and easy tools for IT admins, powerful apps for teachers to ensure student safety anywhere, and parental engagement tools.

The effect of new technologies on organizational communication

Connecting 2 the World

The following is a framework I am developing to use in my class as we look at new technologies (enterprise 2.0, Web 2.0, mobile technology). In my previous blog I mentioned there being four categories of technologies: those for CMC, information sharing, collaborative work, and social networking and community building.

Social Networking and Search Engines

Connecting 2 the World

In reading Tony Karrer’s blog today, I realized that there is so much technology that I don’t understand and know how it works. For example, he has a number of statistics that I am sure I should know how to use, yet I can’t figure it out. Likewise, the shift from WebCT to Blackboard’s BLS system has been painful and frustrating. I feel sometimes that there is a secret code that I have yet to crack.

Games With a Purpose and a Social Network

Nik Peachey

Well who would believe it? A social network built around playing word games with online partners! This may not sound like a great idea, but I have to say that I'm impressed! Gwap (Games With a Purpose) is a collection of 5 basic word games which you can play in collaboration with an online partner (The website automatically finds you one). The site has a selection of five rather addictive games: The ESP game.

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Using Product Reviews

Nik Peachey

Product review sites are becoming ever more popular on the internet, and why not after all? If you are going to spend money buying something, it's always a good idea to see what other people who bought that same product think of it. ExpoTV is just that kind of site. It has a collection of, mostly home made, video clips made by ordinary people, mostly from North America, talking about the products they have bought.

White Paper: Enabling digital creativity with Augmented Reality in K12 education

We have conducted 2 research projects on teaching with AR. This research has been conducted with the UiO and the UiS. The resulting white paper is an in-depth look at the state of creative learning through the use of 3D modeling and exploration in AR.

Create Image Books

Nik Peachey

I've always liked sites that take images and enable you to do something interesting with them. Pim Pam Pum seems to be a company that is remarkably good at helping us to make the most of Flickr images, and I particularly like this little tool called Bookr. Bookr enable us to create nice interactive image books with text captions. Here's an example that I created based on the poem 'In White' by Robert Frost.

Prompting reading speeds

Nik Peachey

This is a really handy little tool which is doing the rounds at the moment. It's called CuePrompter and it's an online Teleprompter. For those not in the know, a Teleprompter is a tool used by news readers, TV presenters etc to help them remember their lines. They read it from above the camera. This one is very simple to use and you simply cut and paste your text into the field, choose screen size, text size and colours and click a button and you are off.

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Using 'How to' videos

Nik Peachey

Monkey See is an excellent site which carries a lot of short high quality video content. It is based around the concept of instructional videos; being able to see something in order to be able to do it yourself. It has short video clips that cover a really wide range of things from parenting tips, relationship advice, to how to set up a home studio, play the guitar or apply red lipstick!

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Online Video: What does it have to offer teachers and learners?

Nik Peachey

This series of postings are the result of a training presentation I was asked to deliver for Moroccan teachers of English in Kinitra on 15th December 08. To prepare the session I looked back at many of the postings from my blogs over the last 18 months and thought about some of the changes that have been taking place in the way online video sharing has developed. I've split the materials from the session into four sections.

Why Genentech Is Transforming the Employee Experience for Mental Health Leave

Speaker: Deborah Olson, Lead Strategist, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group & Smita Das, MD, PhD, MPH, Medical Director, Lyra Health

Employees with the greatest mental health needs often find themselves navigating a complex disability system. Streamlining their mental health leave and recovery time leads to an overall more productive workforce. In this Lyra webinar, hear how Genentech is changing the employee experience to provide fast access to care for members who are suffering from severe mental health needs.

Soundscapes from Soundtransit

Nik Peachey

Sound Transit is a really wonderful formulation of an idea. It's not just a huge collection of Mp3 sound files from all over the world, but the sounds have been tagged by country and described and a visitor to the site can take a sound journey around the world. You just choose your country of origin, your destination and how many stops you want to make. You then get offered a choice of itineraries with stops at various destinations and descriptions of what you will hear there.

Skype Part 1 Recording Audio

Nik Peachey

This is the first in what is going to be a series of postings looking at Skype and the range of plugins freely available for it and how these can be used for teaching languages and creating ELT materials. As most people know, Skype is a freely available VOIP program which allows users to make computer to computer 'telephone calls' for free.

Things You Can Do With Your WebCam 1

Nik Peachey

I'm beginning to think that besides the actual computer itself, a WebCam is one of the most fundamentally useful tools we can possibly have to help us teach and learn a language and of course what's great about WebCams is that they are getting very cheap and many laptop computer come with one ready installed for free! Beware of bad hair days!!!! So I've decide to start a mini series of postings on 'Things you can do with a WebCam' - Even if you don't have an Internet connection.