64 online resources I’ve used for teaching English this year (plus 7 others)

Here’s a list of online resources I’ve either…

a) used in the last year

b) observed other teachers use

c) been told about very recently and am about to try out

Why? I feel like doing a tech vomit today.

I’ve been in my new job one year, and thought I’d do a recap of things I’ve used, tried, tech-wise over that time. I did this edtech dump (to follow…) and thought ‘Jeeez, I’m so unprincipled and this is WAAAAAAY too many tools’. But then I remembered that it’s not just me using them, some were just trialled, some were a quick revisit for an old resource or tool, and very few are ones I use VERY often. That can be narrowed down at the moment to the Google stuff plus Wordwall, Quizlet, and Loom. Ah I gotta add Loom! Oops!

(It’s ridiculous really! I can’t believe I use so much tech. Definitely overkill)

Anyway, let’s start with this post on 20 video resources for the ELT classroom. I still use Great Big Story a lot and British Council Video Zone (the current writer doing a better job of selecting vids for it than I did IMO).

What other vid stuff have I been using this year? Well, Go Noodle popped back on my radar as I was teaching more YLs (*WATER WATER WATER WATER WATER CYCLE!*) and Cosmic Kids Yoga has appeared as my kid uses it. I included it in a mindfulness resource the other day. Regarding editing vids, I want to try Kapwing for adding subtitles (as recommended on Blog de Cristina). I was briefly teaching some Year 6s and got them to muck about with vids on Biteable, a tool I like a lot although the free version with the big biteable branding does look a bit meh. Also made movie trailers on iMovie in one activity which was surprisingly easy (wasn’t really happy with class I planned though).

Tube Quizard is mentioned in that ‘20 videos…’ list – I also share it as a resource for self-study:

Test your English for Schools been used a bit early on in the year.

Abe Dakin (British Council Thailand) tells me I bang on about Wordwall too much, so I won’t share my posts on it, but it’s great for vocab games and reviews. It’s kinda like a more modern, less garish version of classtools.net in some ways (more functionality than that), although I’m not knocking tools as it is a classic. I revisited Teknologic’s Powerpoint templates recently after a LinkedIn discussion, which reminded me that they also add a bit of variety if your learners love a game.

Quizlet is still one of my go-to sites. Kahoot! Still gets the odd outing, maybe for some SPaG related stuff or to use older grammar games I made. Quizizz and Baamboozle have popped on my radar more recently and I’ve seen them used well by others, they aren’t my favourites though. Still, good to mix things up. And you can’t beat Sporcle for an intro/review quiz either.

Mentimeter seems popular in webinars these days – I’ve used it now and then for student generated wordclouds and that, and our Geog teacher trialled it recently. Seems quite good.

I was well impressed by Seneca Learning, which our Science teacher uses to good effect as a revision tool. I’ve decided to revisit Genially with it’s cool templates as I haven’t really used it since reviewing it during the ITDI.pro Digital Materials course. If you get a free log in and look at the ‘Inspiration’ section there’s some interesting stuff (Abe I think you’ll like this one). Oh, just one thing related to Seneca (going back to that) – I hope Avallain Author bring out a tool for teachers, as I see this as being kinda Seneca-y. Not really relevant to what I’ve tried used though so I’ll shut up.

I had a look around Teacher Tools dot Digital, can see some potential but there’s too much functionality some of the tools better elsewhere. Still looks good though.

Twinkl ESL been getting a bit of an outing for guided reading texts. Some good stuff on there, and good tips in Miranda/Alice’s promo vids.

We did a review of key terms as a skribbl task at the end of last term, another new tool for me – activity was surprisingly engaging but bit of a one trick pony I guess. Just randomly, do you remember Google Quick Draw? That was fun as a two-minute end of class reward!

Seesaw is the learning platform used in Primary. I mentioned it the other day, love it. In Secondary it’s Google Classroom. I mostly plan using Slides/Docs (not counting them!). One teacher (History, tech guru) uses Pear Deck add on for Google Slides, which looks good for visible thinking, metacognitive ‘stuff’ (my technical term), exit tickets, etc. I had a little go with Socrative during first lockdown which was a revisit. It’s alright, but I seem to recommend it more to others than actually use it. Same with Padlet and Flipgrid actually – both I would like to use more but hasn’t happened to date. Maybe next for me to try out.

Speaking of Google, I’ve experimented a bit with Jamboard. I do like it but doesn’t integrate with G Classroom for some reason (maybe me?) and that annoys me a bit. I mucked about with online whiteboards before that, like whiteboard.fi. Not bad, I just liked Jamboard.

In the most boring reference to a resource ever, Google Meet Grid View extension was useful. Aaaah wait, extensions! I’ve just added the Read&Write extension but it seems a bit fiddly tbh. The school tech guru (the History one) mentioned Insert Learning too, which looks excellent. I’ll be trying it out properly soon. Loom!!!!! Best extension EVER for screen recording. So easy, love it. I’ve just learnt about Mote extension for voice recording, about to add that too!

Primary learners use Bug Club for reading and Nessy for self-study reading/spelling/phonics. I’m still not that familiar with them although seen Bug Club in action more and like it. Pricey institution subs for both though I think…

Talk4Writing have been some of my favourite resources – TEFLers who like Tomlinson are likely to love them.

Our Year 4 teacher recommended Everyday-Edits (Education World) for SPaG and these crossed over well to Secondary to supplement the resources in Cengage Great Writing.

NewsELA has probs been the best find of all the tech I use. Great for non-fiction texts that can be graded at the click of a button. Some comp questions too, and easy to share in Google Classroom (or set up a class on the actual site. Love it. (JackieESL recommended it). I haven’t used Breaking News English at all this year but I did follow up on a recommendation from OnthesamepageELT and use Learn With News, but preferred NewsELA.

Kiddle used a bit for safe search with the YLs, plus Simple English Wiki at times for new(ish) to English teens.

One Stop English continues to get an outing. I’ve been ego-teaching a little bit and trying out some of my Everyday Life resources when relevant. CLIL stuff a bit more relevant for my learners now.

I’ve been doing some writing for Richmond ELT, which led me to stumble across their grammar explanations from the Yes, We Can books. See this section on remedial work for all levels – the grammar vids are for secondary and they are kinda Doodly or Powtoon style I guess. Good quick fix. I’m just starting a ‘Grammar Challenge’ daily challenge with my learners which will use some of the vids, plus the Learn English Teens Grammar Snacks, which are actually pretty good.

Canva got an outing in Geog for making travel brochures. We used Chatterpix in a creative writing class for giving inanimate objects a voice.

I saw someone recommend blackout poetry, which reminded me of magnetic poetry, both of which got a fairly niche outing at one point – gifpal might be the next one to be given a go although I’m getting a bit quicker at dismissing gimmicks. Not prejudging… Well, trying not to…

Right, bored now. Line of Duty is calling!

4 comments

  1. On the off chance some of your students play popular video games like Minecraft, Fortnite, Call of Duty, etc., etc., from time to time, you might suggest they check out the Real English for Gamers Youtube channel and website.

    Liked by 1 person

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