Tag Archives: onlinetools

Awesome Free Online Video and Image Editing Platform for Language Teachers

Who’s ready for a free online image, video and GIF editing platform?

I have been meaning to write about Kapwing for ages but there is always so much to share that I  kept putting it off. I don’t know why because quite simply, this is my all-time favourite free online multimedia editing suite.

What can you do on Kapwing? The answer would be:  What CAN’T you do on Kapwing?

Let me break it up for you:

VIDEO

Their flagship product is Studio, which an online free video editor: you can add video clips, images, gifs, text, filters, you can trim the video and add a progress bar…etc. Basically a video editor, but simple, online and free.

But what is awesome for us, language teachers, is :

1. The possibility to add subtitles and … ready for this?  You don’t have to add them manually, the app automatically writes them for you. This feature is still in BETA and it might not be a 100% accurate but you can always edit the text. Plus, it works with a number of languages, not only English.

More? Yes? Coming!

2. Once it has subtitled the video, you can ask it to translate the subtitles into again, several languages. How cool is this!!!! I have tried Spanish into English and it works just fine! Not 100% accurate but almost and remember, you can always edit it.

In this video tutorial, you will see how to do it. I have also unmuted the video and added music to it using Kapwing.

You can also

  • Edit a video from YouTube
  • Add Audio to video.
  • Remove the sound of a video.
  • Resize the video.
  • Convert video.
  • Remove the background from a video.
  • Create stop motion videos.
  • Reverse a video.
IMAGE

3. There are a few things you can do with an image but the most attractive one for us is the possibility of adding audio to an image.

You can also create collages mixing image, video and gifs. Maybe not very useful, but fun and visual.

 

More?  You can also create Memes and work with GIFS.

Although it is not necessary, you will get better results if you register. Remember it is free although it also has a paid version. One of the advantages of registering is that your videos won’t have the Kapwing watermark and this is an added bonus.

There are many great ways to enjoy your spare time. I know. Playing with technologies might not be one of them for you. But, if you happen to find yourself with some extra time, why don’t you give Kapwing a try? I think you will love it!

Showcasing Students’ Written Work Using Google Slides Magazine Style

Happy New Year to everyone! And here we are, back at the start of a new year. I am kicking off this one with a post about writing,  inspired by another post written by a fellow teacher from EOI Pontevedra, Paula Gómez. You can read her post here.

Have you ever entertained the idea of publishing students’ written work but were put off by the limitations imposed by free online publishing apps?  Not any more.

This post is about showcasing students’ written work using one of the greatest free collaborative apps: Google Slides.

How often, when you are marking essays think ” Gosh, this essay or this covering letter is soooo good! I only wish the rest of the class could have it as a model of good writing”   And then, you find yourself contemplating the idea of photocopying it and sharing it with the rest of the class.  But…what if I told you there is an easier way to do it? What if I told you you only need to have a free Google account to showcase your students’ written work in a beautiful way, for free and without any limitations? What if I told you that you can very easily change the dimensions in Google Slides to resemble a magazine?

You don’t believe me? Have a look at this Google slides-magazine style boasting some of my students’ book reviews here

Ready to make one? It is really very easy to set up. We are going to do it in 7 steps.  If you have already grasped the idea, you can stop reading now. If you need further guidance, I have recorded a video tutorial to walk you through the steps.

  • Step 1: setting up the slide
  • Step 2: creating the cover of the magazine
  • Step 3: creating the template
  • Step 4. Duplicating the slide
  • Step 5: sharing the magazine/editing permissions
  • Step 6: Sharing the magazine/present mode
  • Step7: downloading and printing the magazine

Before you watch the video, some highlights:

  1. Log in to your Google account and open a Google Slides presentation here https://docs.google.com/presentation/u/0/ and open a blank presentation
  2. The first step to making my magazine on Google Slides is changing the default dimensions. The slide needs to have the same dimensions as an ordinary page in case you want to print it. To do this go to File/ Page Set up/ Custom/ and choose: in cms 23×28; in inches 9×11
  3. Now we need to set up the two most important slides: the cover and the template the students will need to duplicate and fill in with their own content.
  • The cover: Amazing the results one can get inserting shapes, pictures and playing with different fonts. It is all about creating a beautiful inspiring cover.
  • The template: This is also an important part. Spend some time deciding what your magazine will look like and design the template students will duplicate and use to write their own content.

Eager for more? Watch this video tutorial and  show the world what your students can do

 

Brainstorming, Introducing and Revising Vocabulary Related to Work for C1 Students

Undeniable. This course is proving to be quite challenging. Having your students sitting in rows, stuck on their seats and only being able to talk to the person on their right or on their left has me racking my brains trying to find attractive alternatives to some of the successful dynamics I used in the past.

With teaching online on the rise, more than ever I have been juggling different tools to make sure the work my students do at home is relevant, effective and motivating. I think Genial.ly, the tool I have used in this lesson, is a must-have in any teachers’ toolbox.

In this lesson, you will find:

  • Activating prior knowledge:  handout
  • Introducing new vocabulary: handout
  • Speaking activity
  • Engaging game to revise Vocabulary

Step 1. Activating Students’ Prior Knowledge. Brainstorming

Before introducing new vocabulary, it is crucial to help them activate prior knowledge so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by how much they need to learn. Learning expands gradually from previous knowledge and we cannot and should not neglect this important step.

To brainstorm vocabulary, I gave them 2 minutes to write down on their notebooks, words or expressions related to “work”. On the board, I wrote Work and then wrote their suggestions, exemplifying, clarifying and drilling pronunciation.

When appropriate and relevant, I also started introducing new terms, like the minimum wage as represented in the picture below.   Some  other vocabulary they came up with is here

Step 2: Introducing New Vocabulary

PDF here

Individual Work: I gave them this photocopy and a couple of minutes to underline any new words/expressions.

Whole class: Then,  I instructed them to ask the question. Does anyone know what the meaning of…. is?  Only when no one in the class could come up with a clear explanation, did I offer it.  Until then, it is all about asking students to tap into their previous knowledge.

Step 3: Firts attempt at introducing some new vocabulary in a speaking activity

I divided the class into As and Bs and asked As to choose three new words they wanted to use in their speech. I wrote them on the board under the headings A’s words/ B’s words.

I gave As this statement to discuss: Unpaid internships should be banned and I gave B’s Retirement age: higher or lower? I let them have some thinking time and asked them to do the speaking task.

Step 4: Revising Vocabulary with a Game

This proved to be an engaging game to revise vocabulary. You will find the instructions in the second slide, but watch the video with my students doing the activity if you want a sneak peek of how much fun we had.

And here’s the game. I have made the template editable in case you want to add your own pictures. To reveal the hidden word, you’ll need to hover the mouse pointer over the picture.

Otter.ai: an Awesome Free App to Get Accurate Transcript from Audios/Videos

Let me start by saying that this is not a sponsored post. I don’t get paid to write about tools. I just write about what works for me. And thisss …. has already saved my life 3 or 4 times.

Imagine this!  You have an awesome video/audio in your computer or on the internet that is great for the topic you are discussing in class. You want to give it to your students, but you cannot find the transcript. It is simply not available.

What do you do? I am going to give 2 options:

  1. Discard the audio/video. After all, you can always use something from the textbook.
  2. Use an app that will easily, effortlessly and accurately transcribe it, giving you the possibility of downloading it in different formats (including Docx), without time stamps and ready to share with your students?

If you have chosen Option 1, you may stop reading. This post is not for you. Hope you continue to drop by.

Those of you choosing Option 2, I can picture you rubbing your hands and holding your breath. Here we go!

Otter.ai is a mind-blowing text-to-speech tool. It is very user-friendly and the transcription you get is incredibly accurate. Perhaps, you might need to add a comma or a stop here and there but that’s it. It is almost perfect.

For free, you get 600 minutes of transcription per month but if you need more, you can always invite friends or colleagues to try Otter.ai. For every friend that decides to try Otter, you will get one month Pro Lite.  Not a bad deal! So, the link I am going to share with you is the one that will allow me to get one-month Pro Lite. There is no money for me here, just the opportunity to enjoy more free minutes of transcription.

I have created a video tutorial to guide you through the app. It is in Spanish but, don’t panic, I have added some explanatory notes with instructions in English.

A big thank you to Miguel A Sánchez (Michel) for bringing it to my attention.

Edited to include contributions and tips from other teachers

  1. “It also records sounds from a YouTube film opened in a different tab. Much better than YouTube transcript.” – Ewa.
  2. “It’s awesome to give feedback in oral exams. I provide my Sts the transcript and underline the death-penalty mistakes. They realise at once and correct them, something that hardly ever happens if they just listen to themselves” Loli Manteiga.

Try Otter here

 

Giving Students a Fun Challenging Written Assignment

So there’s mediation written assignments, then there’s creative mediation written assignments and then, there’s ANIMATED mediation written assignments.

Naturally I am a huge supporter of anything that involves using digital tools, and this activity is packed with digital tools; not only on my end, to create and present the assignment to my students but also on their end, to animate and share their creative animated task.

Here’s what we’re working with:

  • I have used: Google slides, Genial.ly, the Google chrome extension Bitmoji
  • Students will have to use: Render Forest and then share their animate videos on a Padlet.

The activity is explained in the Genial.ly below.

Note: click on the arrows, on the bottom right corner of the Genial.ly, for a better experience. 🙂