How to Entertain Ourselves on a Snowy, Wintery Day


This post is shared by jagsombrero and designed to help people new to the United States understand this beautiful American holiday called Thanksgiving.  It includes a bit of history, photos of many of our traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu items (which make lovely leftovers), and a few of the activities that we enjoy before and after dinner such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the football games that have also become a part of our traditions.  Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the busiest shopping day of the year for people to get special sale prices and a head start on their holiday gift shopping.  A heated topic this year is whether stores should be open for shopping on Thanksgiving evening. Many people argue that Thanksgiving is a family holiday that should be celebrated at home, while others believe that people should have the option to go out shopping if they desire.  For more on that, see Today.

Thank you to jagsombrero for sharing this presentation.

For some delicious Thanksgiving recipes, visit Pinterest.

Creative Learning by Steve Wheeler

Via – English Classroom

This slideshow was a part of an invited workshop presented on September 1, 2011 at Plymouth University as a part of the Your Idea, Our Health Conference. Thanks to Steve Wheeler  (@timbuckteeth) for sharing this with us.
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The /t/ and /d/ Sounds in English-Google Docs or Power Point?

One of my students asked if I could do some pronunciation lessons during our “Friday ESL Workshop,”  which was a four-hour block of individualized instruction for approximately 45+ ESL students.  I felt that this was a great idea and went about the task of putting materials together.  However, developing this first pronunciation presentation was, and continues to be, an interesting learning experience for me.

My challenge wasn’t finding the materials; there were many excellent pronunciation lessons on the web shared by talented instructors around the globe.  My challenge was to put something together that I could use in class with the students that they could also then use to study independently after class.  I didn’t want to make a video to use in class since the students appreciated having a live teacher there.  I wanted a presentation with YouTube segments and slide narration, but I wanted to be able to omit the narration for our in-class lessons, having it available, however, for their study at home.  What would be the best web tool for this kind of a pronunciation lesson?

I decided to use Google Docs Presentation not only to develop the presentation but to learn more about the web tool.   I also wanted to be able to post the presentation to my wiki (Rita’s ESL 4 U!) so it could be accessed outside of class without needing Blackboard.  I thought Google Docs would be what I needed.

So Google Docs it was.  Unfortunately, after I had put the presentation together, I realized that while the YouTubes embedded perfectly, I could not add my own audio to the slides which was especially necessary for the students in order to be able to listen and repeat the sounds I was teaching.  (Note to me:  Next time check the capabilities of the tool before doing all the work.)  So, I transferred my Google Presentation to Power Point where I knew I could add sound.

The transfer from Google Docs to Power Point was easy.  However, I continued to dive into the water to find out how deep it was.   My YouTube videos no longer loaded.  I never imagined that that would be a problem on Power Point.  (See video tutorial, “Embed YouTube Video into PowerPoint 2007” or Embedding YouTube Video into Power Point 2007, No Internet Connection)   Nevertheless, I figured I could do without the video since the students had me in class, and I could add the YouTube link to a “For More Study…” section at the end.  Onward…

When I went to add my Power Point to my wiki on PBworks, I realized that I had to upload it first into SlideShare.  No problem since I already had an account and had uploaded presentations there before.  So, I uploaded it only to find that the YouTube was still not available, (I guess I expected it to magically appear there) and that in order to have audio on a SlideShare presentation, I needed to add it in the form of a slidecast.  (What’s a Slidecast? A slidecast is a format for viewing presentation slides synchronized with an audio (mp3) file. It can be used for conference talks, musical slideshows, webinars, teaching lessons, etc. You can host your mp3 file on SlideShare, or use a previously uploaded mp3 URL as well.”)

A slidecast was new challenge I didn’t have time to undertake at that point in the semester.  However, on a positive note, with very little tweaking,  I could get my YouTubes to play through the Pp presentation on SlideShare.  It’s not beautiful the way it’s added, but it’s there.  So, I ended up using the Google Presentation for the class and linking the Power Point version with narration to Blackboard.  My next move will be improving the Pp on Slideshare so that I can put it on my wiki.

Journeying through the world of web 2.0 certainly is an adventure, but I personally have always loved adventures!  I learn so much!  How about you?

The 12 Days of Technology-Day 10: SlideShare

After a brief hiatus from blogging, it’s time to write about my PLN’s 10th Day of Technology gift – SlideShare.  While I am grateful for all 12 gifts, SlideShare was the first web 2.0 application that showed me how we as teachers and learners across the globe could share our work and pool our intellectual resources while still being technology neophytes.

SlideShare is a free media site where people in all lines of work can share their presentations and documents.  It is a place to gather ideas and inspiration.  It is a place to get feedback on our own creations. It is a place to build on others’ work and have others build on ours.  It is a place to find collaborators.  It is a cloud in which to save our own presentations either privately or publicly.

As an ESL teacher, SlideShare has given me access to grammar explanations, “how to…” presentations, cultural presentations, and nearly every other kind of slide presentation I’ve needed.  I have found works that are superbly done both in content and presentation, and others that need improvement.  This variety in quality has given me inspiration as well as that little push to go ahead and see what I can develop solo or with my students without feeling like I’m jumping in way over my head.  Now I am watching the quality of my presentations improve as I am able to study what others are doing-through SlideShare.

Blogger Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers), in his November 22, 2009 article, “12 Ways for Students to Publish Slideshows Online” includes an excellent “how to” slide presentation for using SlideShare.  If you are interested in finding out more about SlideShare and other venues for you and your students to use to publish your presentations, you will appreciate his article.

Go ahead, jump into SlideShare, and see what you and your students can create as a legacy to their learning and as resources for future students.