Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Annotate a picture with Pixorize

Today I read a post by R. Byrne, shared on twitter, on tools to annotate videos and images. I like trying out new tools to provide engagement in my classes. I picked https://pixorize.com/, an image annotation tool, which was new to me. I signed up for a free account and created the image below which includes interactive text. I downloaded the initial image from my google drive on my laptop. I had created it as a scene composed of smaller free images using google drawings. Then I uploaded it to Pixorize, added points, selected, by clicking, each point with the selection tool (arrow), added text and clicked on any place on the image. When I finished I clicked on File, save as and gave it a name.

If you want to share your Pixorize image, click on View and share it on twitter, facebook or G+. You can alternatively click on More in the top bar and copy the direct link provided for you or the embed code.
To edit your image, click on create, file, open, double-click on the folder which has already been created for you, select the image you want to edit, click on open image, make your changes and finally, save.  

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Safe Search Engines for Kids

Kids often have to resort to the Internet to search for information on their projects or other stuff. However, search engines may come up with unwanted results, such as sites full of ads or even inappropriate content. The best way to protect them from such pitfalls is to encourage them to search through kids-friendly search engines. Nevertheless, if students are at a very young age, it is advisable for them to search the web under an adult's supervision. Some free safe kids' engines, which tend to diminish the risk of exposing young learners to too many distractions, include:



Sunday, 25 March 2018

The Goal-Minded Teacher

One of my favourite MOOCS during year 2017-18 was the Goal- Minded Teacher by Shelly Terrell, Fabiana Casella and Jake Duncan. We were asked to create a learning portfolio which I always find important in lifelong learning experiences I have!
Click on the image below to get to my google site I created especially for the MOOC

Monday, 5 February 2018

SID2018 activities in 1st Primary School of Ilioupolis

Safer Internet Day 2018 will be celebrated globally on Tuesday 6th February 2018 with the slogan “Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you”.

My school, 1st Primary School of Ilioupolis, Greece has been registered as a supporter for that special day! Enlarge the map below to view the name of our school in Attica: 
Grade six EFL learners, divided into groups, discussed some questions relating to this year's theme. Here are the instructions and the questions used as prompts to their responses:

After thinking critically and exchanging ideas concerning the three questions the students were provided with, each group reported their thoughts back to the whole class.

Some of their ideas can be read below:

For Question 1:
'What sort of content should a responsible digital citizen create online?'

If web users are older than at least 13, they can create a blog or a site with their biography, personal achievements or even informative content such as the results of a research, their thoughts on environmental issues, a film they have seen, a book they have read or a place they have visited. Moreover, they can create a social media account, e.g. on Facebook or Instagram and share valuable content for others as well as learn from others. If they are above 18 or 13 and with their parents’ permission, they can also create a youtube channel to upload interesting videos about how to make something, how to take care of an animal and so on. For younger kids there are special sites they can use to create something interesting such as posters, cartoons, drawings, digital books, online games, educational apps under their parents’ or teachers’ supervision; there are also kids blogs which can be controlled by their teachers or parents.

For Question 2
'How can a child at your age connect with others safely online?'

Connecting with a stranger or simply exchanging messages with him/her online can be dangerous. You never know who this person may be. Children can connect safely online on special platforms suggested by their teachers. Edmodo and etwinning are two examples. They should also connect for a reason, i.e. to work together to exchange ideas on an interesting topic and so on. When they connect with others, they should remember not to reveal too personal information such as their full name, their address or telephone number. They can use a fake name and instead of uploading a personal photo with their face, they can use a free image of a flower, an animal or a landscape.
Sometimes children connect with friends via social media, such as viber, with their parents’ consent. In this case, they should use an avatar for their profile and a nickname only their friends know about. Even in this case if something strange or bad happens, they should immediately let their parents know. Sometimes parents choose to control the sites their children visit or even use a special safety or secret code so that their children enter the internet only with them.

For Question 3
'What ways of sharing respect online can you think about?'

Behaving respectfully online is very important. You shouldn’t call somebody names. You shouldn’t make fun, insult, make negative comments, speak badly of somebody or generally make him/her feel bad. You should not upload inappropriate photos or another person’s photo without his/her permission.
Concerning creative commons licenses, you should try to respect others‘ work and not copy or use it without having the right to do so.

One more activity with another class of sixth grade EFL learners was the presentation of a student-created digital book. Two of my students had started preparing it in the afternoon classes after resorting to helpful material on https://saferinternet4kids.gr/yliko/dhmotiko/. Here's the two students' book with the kids' thoughts and tips on esafety and SID2018.

Saturday, 3 February 2018


The trigger for this blog post is Vicki Den's question on twitter about the reasons I like Writereader. As I could not limit my reply to a single tweet, I decided to write this post and explain why I've been blown away by this powerful app.

First of all, this app is extremely easy to use both on the part of teachers and on the part of students. I just watched a tutorial on how to use Writereader and then introduced it to my students in our IWB classroom. I demonstrated the various features of the tool to my students and then we created a short class book together.
Creating a class book in the IWB classroom



Another reason I love this tool is that it is user-friendly even for a person who is not tech-savvy. Teachers sign up for free, create a class and a class code is automatically generated. Then they add students by simply entering the students' first name and a username for each of them.
A great advantage esp. for younger students is that they do not need to have an email account. Students simply enter their username and the class code the teacher provided them with when s/he created the class.

Writereader allows students to use images in their books through a variety of options. It provides an amazing bank of free images which are interrelated under categories. These pictures can function as writing prompts for students to make up a story or produce any other type of coherent written or spoken discourse. Another option is to use the search tab to find a picture you like. This search engine is powered by Pixabay, which enables students to add images without violating copyright laws. Moreover, students can take a photo with the camera button that is embedded; finally, they can upload their own photos from their laptop or device.

Writereader also involves some more magic and that is the audio recording button which allows students to record their voice very easily. Although students really enjoy this feature, for an EFL teacher this is tremendously functional as s/he can plan remedial work on stress, intonation or pronunciation student mistakes.

Students' creativity enhances with their opportunity to add their text in the space provided for them and to add extra pages to enrich their books. At the same time, their writing skills are developed in an enjoyable way!

Teachers can watch their students' progress by clicking on the name of each student and reading or listening to their books, which are stored on the class bookshelf. They can edit the book or provide comments for the students to edit the book themselves by making modifications or adding something. They can print or download students' books as pdf files and they can get a book link to share with friends and families. Below you can see a book created with Writereader, downloaded as a full-page pdf file and uploaded to ISSUU.

I always try to find attractive ways to motivate and engage my young EFL learners in learning. Writereader has really excited them! It is a phenomenal tool which enhances students' imagination, boosts their literacy skills and engages them in a fun way! Get some useful advice about Writereader here.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Crossword puzzle generator

An easy way to create your own crossword puzzles is by using EclipseCrossword. You download and install EclipseCrossword on your laptop and in just a few minutes you have your crosswords for your students. Here's an example of a crossword puzzle I created and embedded in a blog like blogger. 
Vocabulary, Unit 5, Year 6

Vocabulary, Unit 5, Year 6

This interactive crossword puzzle requires JavaScript and any recent web browser, including Windows Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari. If you have disabled web page scripting, please re-enable it and refresh the page. If this web page is saved on your computer, you may need to click the yellow Information Bar at the top or bottom of the page to allow the puzzle to load.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

How to Schedule your tweets

It sometimes happens to twitter users not to be available to tweet on a particular day or at a specific time. If you wish to schedule your tweets in advance, there is a very handy tool to use: Tweetdeck. I learned about this tool from Shelly Terrell. Here are the steps to follow in order to plan a tweet for some future time.

1. Sign in to tweetdeck using your twitter account username and password.

2. Click the feather icon in the top left hand corner of your screen.

3. Type your tweet in the empty box that appears. Add an image or a link if you want to.

4. Click the 'Schedule Tweet' button below your typed tweet.

5. Select the date you want your tweet to be posted; use the arrows if you need to change the month. Adjust the time

6. Click 'Tweet at (the specific time)'.

7. Your tweet is ready to be posted at your desired time. You can see it in the 'Scheduled' column of tweetdeck.