Talking Technology with Kristi Reyes

What are the possibilities for integrating technology in the New Year? There are many, but here is a top 10 list.

1. Use PowerPoint for Presentations
Use PowerPoint to make grammar and vocabulary presentations, listening exercises, visual to help student comprehend reading assignments, games, and more. Or teach your students to use PowerPoint to make class presentations. If you were unable to attend the Basics of PowerPoint workshop during Fall Orientation, here are simple directions for getting started: PowerPoint DirectionsPowerPoint Instructions. Many of our instructional aides are learning PowerPoint. Sue Otis created a beautiful slideshow on Mt. Fuji, while learning with Zakia Farouq’s ESL 899 students. Sue said, “If I can do it, anybody can.” Remember that if you don’t teach in a classroom with a computer, you can arrange with Andrew Villena to have a computer on a cart set up for use in your room. E-mail him ( with the date, time, and room number. Also, indicate whether or not you will need internet access.

2. Use Digital Storytelling
Digital storytelling is the process of transforming a personal narrative into a multimedia show. Many instructors are creating integrated-skills projects for students to make digital movies. Leslie Rule of KQED's Digital Storytelling Initiative conducted a two-day digital storytelling workshop at the CLC on Sept. 29 and 30, taking participants step by step through the process from choosing a story to tell and storyboarding to telling the story using images and voiceovers. Everyone who took part in the workshop experienced how this can be such a powerful way to voice one’s story – and everyone has a story to tell.

There are several commercial and free programs for making digital movies. Such “movies” can also be made on PowerPoint with rehearsed timings, effects, slide transitions, and inserted sound clips. Digital movies can be burned onto CD, posted to a website, saved onto a USB device, or broadcast for free on video sharing websites such as YouTube. See the Digital Storytelling Resources, below, for more tools.

3. Put Yourself on the Web
Hotlists, webquests, podcasts, and blogs are a few ways to get yourself on the web. You and your students could try mapping, social networking, and photo sharing.
Watch your e-mail and mailboxes for a spring technology integration workshop on making your own class website. In the meantime, start bookmarking your favorite websites for a hotlist.
There are several internet resources for making a free website for your class, including the following:

Make a hotlist, scrapbook, hunt, sampler, or webquest free.
See an example.

School Notes
Create notes for homework and class information and post them on the web using this free community service.
See an example.

There are numerous podcasting sites where student can listen to real language in use. Here is one example of a podcasting website especially for ESL:

ESL Pods
Free podcasts for ESL students, each with a Learning Guide that has complete transcripts and more vocabulary, explanations, cultural information, and more, available for download upon registering and paying for a subscription.

Create, find, and share podcasts. On this website you can register and upload your own podcasts for free.
See an example.

A blog is short for weblog, a free way for students to form a public writing community that allows students to write and read each other’s published work. With the following website you can set up a blog spot for your own class:

Here is a blog created by an instructor working in a prison with inmates:

Other free blog sites:

You or your students can network and map hometowns, places you would like to visit, plan a trip, upload and post your own photos, share travel experiences, and more.

A free way to store, search for, sort, and share photos.

A free website for “mapping” friends and contacts. By registering, you can create a profile, post photos, list interests, create your own blog, and more.

From google, a downloadable tool to find photos of any place in the world, create and view customized maps.

Live Search
A download from MicroSoft Virtual Earth to get road, aerial, hybrid, and 3D maps and images.

4. Assist Students to Make their Own Websites
EON Foundation
Make a personalized website from the template in five minutes. Seriously!

With a yahoo e-mail account, make a free website with photos, links, and more.
The wizard makes it easy.

5. Use Internet Sites that Give Students Practice with Authentic Language Use
English Language Listening Library Online (ELLLO)
More than 800 listening activities that consist of interviews and conversation with comprehension questions, including English speakers from many regions of the world.

Youth Radio
Multimedia reports on current events created by youth. Articles higher-level ESL students can listen to and read at the same time.

Students can submit information about their cultural customs. Among the submissions is information on sneezes, wedding ceremonies, and toasting around the world.

6. Use Software Programs and Internet Resources for Technology-Integrated Projects
Find new ways to use Word! Students can use templates from MS Office Online to create stylish, professional-looking documents, from diagrams to greeting cards to reports. Simply download and fill in. Publisher is even easier, and students love Excel! There are VESL tutorial booklets on MS Word and Excel available, e-mail me if you would like copies.

NCES Create A Graph
Make a pie, bar, line chart with these online tools.

Interactive tools to supplement a variety of lessons and provide an opportunity for students to use technology while developing their literacy skills, including Plot Diagrams, Word Wizard, Venn Diagrams, What’s in the Bag. For Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, try Word Mover for “I have a dream.”

Susan Gaer’s Projects Page
Through the International Community Virtual Visit (ICVV) project, students visit others' schools on the Web and communicate with partners in a class from another part of the world. This ESL teacher’s website was featured on MSN for its International Home Remedies section.

Nellie’s English Projects
Webquests for high school students that can be modified into higher level ESL projects.

ESL Webquests
A hotlist of internet projects for ESL students.

Creative Commons
Legal sharing and reuse of cultural, educational, and scientific works. Use or share contributions, including audio, images, video, text, lesson plans, and more.

Isabel’s ESL Site
Projects, reading, writing, and grammar exercises.

7. Use Online Tools to Create your Own Instructional Materials
Teachnology’s Tools
Make printable rubrics, teacher, and puzzles, and much more.

Getting to Work with Games and Interactive Learning with PowerPoint in your Classroom
Games sites and downloadable templates.

Resources for Teachers of Basic Skills
Lesson plans and software (including much freeware) for teaching low-level English, computer literacy, money skills, and more.8. Be Mobile
Ever wish you could access the internet sites from your favorites folder on your home or work computer from any computer? This site makes that possible. Register, download, and follow the directions to get a website with all your favorites that you enter.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets
A web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that lets the people you choose update files from their own computers; for example, coordinate your students’ homework assignments, access your family to-do list from work or home, or collaborate with remote colleagues.

9. Make a Free Telephone Call on the Internet
Some ESL instructors in the U.S. have used this downloadable tool with their classes for students to talk to other students learning English in another part of the world.

10. Attend a Technology Conference for Educators
Computer-Using Educators (CUE) Conference
March 1 – 3, Palm Springs, CA

Distance Learning and Technology Symposium
March 9 – 10, Abram Friedman Occupational Center, LAUSD, Los Angeles

Community College TechEd Conference
March 26 – 28, Ontario, CA

CATESOL State Conference
April 12 -15, Town and Country Resort Hotel and Spa, San Diego
See especially the Electronic Village’s Internet, Software, and Distance Learning Fairs.

AND THERE'S MORE....Digital Storytelling Resources

Center for Digital Storytelling

Digital Stories
A high school website designed to showcase digital stories told by students, teachers and their community.

Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

Teaching Teachers Digital Storytelling

DigiTales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories
Seven steps to create a DigiTales story.

Storyboard Freeware from Atomic Learning
A planning tool for creating video projects. Download the software for free and learn with the online tutorials.

Tips for Writing Voiceovers

Writing for Audio

Writing for Multimedia: A Guide

Free photo editing from google.

Sound/music/voice recording/mixing tool can be downloaded for free. All you need is a microphone for your computer if your computer does not have one built-in.

MovieMaker tutorials and
Download MovieMaker for free

Or Producer
Free downloadable MS PowerPoint 2003 add-on to turn a PowerPoint presentation into a movie – even a feature to add a video of yourself narrating if you have a quick cam
See video tutorials online at
See samples
Or Photo Story 3, downloadable free from Microsoft at
Or, if you are a Mac user, you may already have iLife

About Technology

Computers of the Future, from the Snopes website:

Tech Learning
Great ideas for integrating technology in the classroom, software tips, and computer news. Can subscribe to free online publications including Technology and Learning magazine, Educators’ e-zine, and Digital Media in the Classroom (a quarterly e-book)

Language Learning & Technology Journal for Second and Foreign Language Educators

EON Foundation
Check out the Teaching English in a Mobile and Networked World and The Living Classroom Network Initiatives.
Internet 4 Classrooms (i4C)

Technology Tutorials on the Web.
Atomic Learning
Free online tutorials.

Have questions, need technical assistance?
If you are interested in technology integration or just have a “how do I” question, I would be happy to learn with you! I am available Mondays – Wednesdays, 11 – 12 in the Community Learning Lab, room 130, at the CLC, or e-mail me if this schedule doesn’t match yours (
Happy New Year and Happy Technology Integration!