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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Widgetbox

Unable to sleep because of a very sore throat (it seems strange to be up at this time without a toddler having woken me...), I've just been browsing www.widgetbox.com for some extra features for my subject blog. There are several "learn a word a day" widgets, and this (sidebar left) is my favourite. As well as presenting a key word it provides pronunciation, and an example sentence. In the case of verbs you can scroll forwards or back to conjugate in different tenses. Looks like a straightforward and useful widget which I hope to get my Year 10s looking at in the Autumn. Now for another strepsil and back to bed...

Saturday, 19 July 2008

At last!

For some reason I've found it really tricky to set up e-mail on my
phone. Thanks to very simple google mail i am now using 'mail to
Blogger'. Cool. More moblogging options! :-D

Friday, 11 July 2008

Loony Toons

I've been looking at a few different cartoon-making websites with a view to encouraging students to write creatively in French. Pixton is a sophisticated site which can enable you to produce convincing-looking satirical-style cartoons. Looks good for more advanced students, as it is flexible but maybe less visually-attractive than some others. Makebeliefscomix is good as a beginners' site, as it gives simple on-screen instructions and isn't cluttered with complicated features. No registration is needed, so quick to set up a task with students, but they will need to print their strip as the site does not store cartoons. Comiqs is fun and flexible, as you can use your own photos, so could be really motivating, but you need to be careful about permission to use photos. I like the idea of getting students to work on some exchange photos on their return from a trip (or indeed while you are there if they are in a school and have access to computers). My personal favourite, however, is toondoo, as it provides a really wide variety of characters (including aliens and monsters) and props which can really spark off the imagination and elicit some really interesting language. You can see an example of a toondoo cartoon here and a pixton strip in the post above.