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Sunday, August 26, 2012


PaperShow is a plug and play device that can change the way presentations are given and viewed. The package consists of a USB key that contains the PaperShow software, a PaperShow Bluetooth digital pen, and special interactive paper that transmits your notes onto the computer screen.

PaperShow was originally released as a Windows-only product. The Mac version made its debut in March, 2010. Set up is quick and easy—put the USB key into a USB port on your computer, and a window pops open. Inside this window is a file. Double click this file and follow the directions. Installation is very quick, and all files are on your key; nothing is left behind on your computer. Once the program is installed, pair the Bluetooth pen with the key. Again, quick and easy. The pen is paired with one specific key, so if another person has a PaperShow kit, their pen will not work with your USB key.

So how does PaperShow work? In a nutshell, the interactive paper is made up of microscopic dots that are "seen" by the camera in the Bluetooth pen. The user taps the pen onto the paper's toolbar to choose a color, line thickness or shape, then starts writing on the paper. What is created on the paper shows up on the computer screen (or projector, if the computer is hooked up to one) in real time.

All in all, there are a lot of positive features of PaperShow. Once you've finished with a whiteboard or Power Point it can be emailed or exported right from the key as an image file or PDF file. Rather than taking notes at a meeting, participants can focus on the discussion and read the notes later in their email. Workers unable to attend a meeting can be kept up-to-date quickly and easily. PaperShow can also be used for web conferencing. Teachers can save presentations from year to year and make them more interactive and interesting for the students. Since files are saved to the key and not the computer, PaperShow can be used with any computer. And, its small form factor makes it very convenient to carry in a backpack or briefcase.
The biggest drawback with PaperShow is the severe lack of Mac support. The web site has not been updated to reflect the new Mac based product—it still lists PaperShow for Mac as pending. Until that changes I'm afraid many businesses won't want to risk using this product. The cost may also be a factor. The starter kit, which retails for $199 US, contains a Bluetooth pen, USB key, 48 sheet notepad for whiteboard, 30 sheets of PaperShow printer paper, a pencil case to store the pen, key, battery and ink refills (both included), colored rings to customize the pen and key, and a ring binder to hold the printed sheets. All consumables can be purchased separately; as of April, 2010 prices were $12.99 for 48 sheets of whiteboard paper, and $19.99 for 200 sheets of printer paper. The USB key, Bluetooth pen, and ink cartridges are also available at varying prices. Amazon is currently selling these items at deep discounts. While $199 may seem costly, it really depends on how PaperShow is used. If you present a lot of the same Power Point presentations over and over again, PaperShow could be quite cost effective.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Boogie Board

The next time you reach for a piece of paper and a pen – Don’t! Grab a Boogie Board instead, the tree-friendly alternative to memo pads, sketchbooks, sticky notes, dry erase boards and other writing/drawing mediums that can be re-used over 50,000 times. -----The site of the product asks "How Can You Use Your Boogie Board Tablet?" The answer is there too: Student - Practice cursive and print handwriting, solve multi-step math problems; Teacher - Memo pad, visual aid. They also have a school pilot program, to try out the Boogie Board tablet as a learning aid in USA schools.

I really liked it, but it doesn't seem that useful, just cute. What do you think?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Oatmeal

Your reading classes won't be the same again with this site! The Oatmeal has very funny quizzes and comics - some about serious subjects, as "How to use a semicolon", "How to use an apostrophe" and "Ten words you need to stop misspelling" - and I believe can be used as light easy reading, to make students enjoy and have fun at the same time. Reading is so hard and boring for most of them, some classes with this site will make them see reading can be cool.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories. As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic and contain a particular point of view. However, as the name implies, digital stories usually contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips and/or music. Digital stories can vary in length, but most of the stories used in education typically last between two and ten minutes. The topics that are used in Digital Storytelling range from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from exploring life in one's own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally, everything in between.

Teachers can use digital storytelling as a teaching tool in the classroom. This page addresses how to best utilize software such as Photo Story 3 in ESL or foreign language classrooms. Using digital storytelling will assist both the visual and auditory learners. It is important that the student has a model outside of the classroom. This will allow students to practice and engage in active learning even when the instructor is not present.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


When you open this site you see a person. When you use your mouse the eyes and the head of the character move. She or he will say everything you type. Try it: Type a word or a phrase (use punctuation) and click on 'Say It'; the character will say everything on the language you have chosen, using the accent you have chosen. Your students can use it to practice pronunciation.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sweet Pic

My students threw me a birthday party last year. I even got gifts! It was very fun. =)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Can you name all the games?

Think of it as a Where’s Waldo and Guess Who mix - Arcade Aid is a huge graphic with gaming references to classic and modern games, and the goal is to name them all. Initially it had 56 games, now it has 167! If you do then you can brag to everyone in the school yard that you are indeed a gaming wizard. But, to name them all you don't need to be addicted to games, you just need to think in English... Applying it in your class as an warm-up activity or as an end of class activity on an interactive board would make your teen students love you, specially the boys, wouldn't it? You can also send it as an extra activity for them do it at home or spend some minutes on the school lab doing it. As I'm not that mean, you can have the answers here: .

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spaghetti Kids

In this edition - updated and expanded - Spaghetti Kids collection continues to maintain the qualities that put it among the most widely adopted collections and it is still providing more resources for both teachers and  students. The level is beginner to elementary (from 06 to 10 years old), it's made for 40 to 50 hours of classes per year and the variant of English is American. New graphic design, more activities, supplementary materials and suggestions for diverse projects that explore the topics covered in the units and integrate the teaching of English and other disciplines are some news of the collection. Along with the Student's Book we have the book Let's Celebrate, with activities related to holidays accompanied by cultural notes. A CD-ROM for each volume of the Student's Book is available, containing interactive games and songs that are part of the Student's Book. 

The Teacher's Pack includes Teacher's Book with answer key, as well as simple tips and guidelines on how to best use the bookTeacher's Guide containing information, tips, tests and photocopiable games12 thematic posters (40 X 54 cm)CD-ROMs with interactive games, songs and the listening activities proposed in each Student's Book. Teachers can also download extra activities here.


Some comments:
- I worked with this material two times per week, on a total of 80 hours/year approximately, so I really had to add a lot of extra activities to use the spare 40 hours I had;
- Volume 1 is made for kids that already know how to read, but when they are 5/6 years old they still can't;
- They don't have neither flashcards nor flipcharts for all the levels;
- The Teacher's Book / Guide is in Portuguese.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ask MisterDuncan

Besides running Learning English with MisterDuncan (The World of English), the English teacher MisterDuncan also has a new place to teach online. He uses 'Ask MisterDuncan' as a video forum to answer questions sent by his viewers about the English language. I have never used his classes because I never had the opportunity, but I believe it can be used as a different way of explaining/illustrating some subjects to students. If you want to send him a question, the address is .

Saturday, August 11, 2012


The best place to find TV Shows! The goal of CastTV is to index every video on the web and to help users find videos that matter to them. The site wants to give users the best way to find all their online videos, from TV shows to the latest celebrity, sports, news, and viral videos. What is sad about this site is that some videos are paid... But if on your workplace you have an Internet Lab or access to the Internet on the PC where the video projector is used (and are going to use the free videos), you will never rent TV Shows anymore to do video activity with your students!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I saw a student of mine playing this game and I thought it amazing for learning vocabulary. As I'm a happy owner of a Nintendo DSI too, I'm really thinking of buying it for myself, lol! The main idea behind Scribblenauts is that you are presented with a challenge and you can do whatever you can think of to get past that challenge. This is done via the onscreen keyboard. You can enter anything you can think of into the keyboard and it comes to life in the game world. Not everything works, but you’ll be amazed at how much actually does. The game accepts over 20,000 different inputs. The game is split into two modes, challenge and journey mode. The modes aren’t actually that different. In challenge mode you have to complete a certain objective, once you complete it a star appears and you collect that to complete the level. In journey mode, you have to get past obstacles in the level to get to the star. Both modes require you to think of ways to complete the object by brining whatever you can think of into the world. Everything including: people, animals, dinosaurs, weapons, tools, buildings, vehicles, and whatever else can help. Challenge mode has all kinds of objectives. Examples from the first area include: saving a sandwich from ants, beating a long jump record, picking flowers, catching a butterfly, etc. Those might seem simple, but they can get tricky depending on the level layout, and the challenges get harder as the game goes on. Journey mode could have the stars behind walls, up on high ledges, or guarded by enemies, so there’s some thinking involved on how to get to them as well. Once you finish a level in either mode you can choose to play it again and this time you’ll be playing in advanced mode. The idea behind advanced mode is that you have to complete the same level 3 times in a row; the problem is you are never allowed to use the same object twice. This really causes you to think about the puzzle in a different way and try to come up with new solutions. You really have to think outside the box to complete most levels in this mode. For each level you’ll earn a currency called “ollars” you can use these to buy new areas, songs, avatars, or other features from the store. You can also create and share your own levels through wifi. You can choose any level as a template and modify it to include whatever you like. This has the potential for some very interesting user generated stages. Now aside from just creating and populating levels with objects, you do have a character that can interact with the objects. You can move your character around the level, have him ride vehicles, and also hold objects. He can attack with weapons, use tools, and throw items as well. Also you can drag the objects you create around, and attach them to each other when necessary. So there’s a lot you can do here.

(I bought it later! =p)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Learning English with MisterDuncan (The World of English)

Mr. Duncan has worked in China for 4 years as an Oral English Teacher and now he lives in England. He loves teaching, that's the reason for producing these video classes. I have never used this in my classes because I have never had the opportunity, but it seems to work. If you use it before me, please, let me know!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sweet Pic

Me, by a student. Besides the letter I, it's sooooo lovely! *.*

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Final Michigan ECPE Skills Booster

Passing the Michigan ECPE exam just got easier! Here you will find almost everything you need for success on the ECPE. Almost everything because the listening part of this book is very different of what you'll hear on the day of the exam (the exam is harder), but the other parts of the book are great. The purpose of this book is not to test how much you know already, but to build on this knowledge.

You'll find Student's Book without key, Teacher's Book with key (it's called teacher's book only because of the key, the book is the same as the student's book) and audio cds. A Multi-ROM is also included, but it's not that much.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Multiple Intelligences in EFL

Multiple Intelligences in EFL gives a brief overview of the latest research into multiple intelligences relevant for EFL; shows how you can enrich your own teaching by systematically activating other intelligences in your language lessons; demonstrates what you can do so that more students feel “addressed” in your class; will help you to appreciate otherwise hidden strengths in your students and provides fun lessons for your students - through 99 clear and easy-to-follow teaching recipes. 

"Drawing on their own experiences and on tips from many educators, the authors have assembled a wide ranging set of exercises which should stimulate and help students who are learning English. Their collection represents one of the most original applications of Multiple Intelligence Theory that I have seen." - Howard Gardner

I teach mainly for kids, and I love this book because most of the exercises are adaptable for the young ones - and all the exercises are wonderful!