December 30, 2009

Read and listen to classics - LOUDLIT

This is an interesting site to recommend to intermediate or advanced EFL learners. has a collection of novels , short stories, poems and children stories you can both read and listen to. Besides enjoying the story you can also learn the pronunciation of words.

1. Select the story
2. Then look for the Read & Listen button

3. You'll be taken to a browser where you can Read the page and listen to the story being read.

December 26, 2009

What comes first , pedagogy or technology?

Many teachers when trying to integrate technology into their lesson plans, end up getting dazzled by the wonders of webtools and run the risk of forgetting their real focus, the lesson goals.

Watch this video where I talk about Technology Integration:

TokBox - Free Video Chat and Video Messaging

Guide questions we can ask ourselves when selecting a webtool to use:

  1. What are the aims of the lesson?
  2. What kind of extra practice do I need my students to have?
  3. Which is the best tool to achieve the goals?
  4. How am I going to propose the webtool task?
  5. Where will my students do the task, at home, in class or at the lab? (Plan the time)
  6. How will the students share their work? In edmodo, in a class blog, via e-mail?
  7. What follow-up activity (closure) will we have?
It's essential to point out that you can only decide which is the best webtool to reach a certain goal once you have explored as many tools available.

December 25, 2009

Visit Zarco English - fantastic source of practical ideas

I´d like to dedicate my post today to a very talented Portuguese teacher called Alexandra Francisco who started blogging in 2008. Although she says she´s not tech savvy, I dare deny her after seeing her work and reading her great posts.

  • She shares webtools she discovers in her great blog written in Portuguese TOOLS OF THE DAY.

  • She has created a great example of a STUDENT SHOWCASE BLOG sharing projects her students have developed so far.
 Isn´t she something? She´s shared it all, the tools, the assignments and practical examples of what her students have been producing. 

Click on the image for the ZarcoEnglish site.

December 23, 2009

Why I like TOKBOX

Tokbox is a great tool teachers should explore. It's free and easy to use.

What can you do with TOKBOX?
  • You can send video messages to your tokbox contacts or to anyone who has an e-mail.
  • You can send video cards with pre-set backgrounds.
  • You can have chats with up to 20 tokbox contacts and share youtube videos, pictures from flickr, picasa, presentations from slideshare .
  • The video messages can be embedded or shared in facebook and twitter.
How can we use TOKBOX with students?
  • You can send a LISTENING DICTATION to students' e-mails, then have them write down the text you've dictated and send it back to you by e-mail.
  • You can send sts a set of questions they have to reply via video message or  sts can create sentences using target vocabulary and record it.
  • You can have a live chat with your students.
  • You can record explanations to your students and send it to their e-mails.
  • You can record a message to parents introducing yourself and send to their e-mails.
  • If a student is absent because he's sick, you can record students wishing recovery and send to the student's e-mail.
The possibility of sending video messages to e-mails is one you can't find in SKYPE, for example.

This is a video message I sent to students asking them 3 questions they had to reply to.

TokBox - Free Video Chat and Video Messaging

Nik Peachey has written a wonderful post about TOKBOX where he includes a tutorial and  wonderful ideas for classroom integration.

December 20, 2009

Interview with Camila Sousa

Camila Sousa is a Brazilian EFL /ESL teacher teaching in the US. Have a look at her blog.

Watch our interview

Originally, we tried for the interview but we had delay both in sound and image. The result was a catastrophe. Therefore, we decided to use to record our interview in Skype and it worked beautifully.

December 18, 2009

Edublog Awards 2009 - "The winners" - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

The winners, first and second runner ups have been published at the Edublog Awards page.

No, LIFE FEAST wasn´t one of the winners BUT IT WAS A RUNNER UP in the "Best Educational Tech Support Blog".

I´d like to thank everyone for voting for Life Feast and at the same time congratulate "iLearn Technology" and "Langwitches" for their wonderful work. It´s an honour to be in the same list with such great  bloggers. I recommend you visit their blogs, they really do deserve to be winners.

You can check the other winners at by clicking on each category. CONGRATULATIONS to all !!!

December 16, 2009

10 Ways of sending your Christmas Greetings

Apart from sending e-cards, there are various ways you can send Christmas Greetings to family and friends.

These are 10 ways you can do it:

1. ANIMOTO - make your short christmas video (30s) for free by adding pictures and videos.

2. VOKI - send christmas messages using your voice and a cute avatar.

3. GLOGSTER - send a customized poster with messages, videos, songs, pictures and set a date when the person can open the message.

4. OUTSHOUTS - Record your voice or image as an introduction to a video you select from outshouts.

5. TOKBOX - send a video card to anyone by e-mail.

TokBox - Free Video Chat and Video Messaging

6. BLABBERIZE - make an image speak. Record your voice and add it to an image.

7. IMAGECHEF - create a blender with a picture and message from imagechef. Poetry Blender

8. JIBJAB (ELF YOURSELF)- add your picture to the face of an elf, choose a dance scene, download the video or share it

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

9. FACEinHOLE - add your face to funny pictures (there are Christmas themes)

10. PORTABLE NORTH POLE -  a very cute personalized message from Santa Claus to anyone you choose. Great fun!!!

Check out more ideas at Ozge's wonderful "Xmas via web 2.0"

December 14, 2009

FUN TIME- Christmas songs

Now that it´s Chrismas time, let´s get into the mood with some beautiful Chrismas songs.

I´ve found this nice widget you can embed in your blog at SOUNDCLICK . Hope you´ll enjoy the songs while reading the other posts.

This other one is from

December 12, 2009

WINKBALL - more than sending video messages

I just love sending and receiving video messages by e-mail. Sometimes it's so much easier and faster to explain what you want to say instead of writing. The tool I've used for this purpose is called TOKBOX, but my post today is about a similar site which I found today via José Antonio's blog.

With WINKBALL you can send video messages to people via e-mail, you can create video messages and embed them to blogs, you can create video walls where other people can participate and you can also create a video blog where instead of writing you record yourself speaking. All you need is a webcam and a free account.


  • in class blogs, the teacher can embed messages to students.
  • the teacher can also create video-dictations and send it to sts via e-mail.
  • students can record video messages in response to a question the teacher has asked them.
  • if the teacher creates a VIDEO WALL, students can discuss topics.
Any other ideas?

December 11, 2009

Creating Videos with STUPEFLIX

My favourite video editing tool is ANIMOTO, however, I don't know what happened but lots of educators who used to have a free account for creating longer videos just had their rights (to longer videos) cancelled. :(

Therefore, yesterday I was trying to find an alternative and tried out STUPEFLIX which is free. You see, teachers earn so little (at least in Brazil) and I am really, really  FOR the free webtools available.

You can add both pictures and videos to Stupeflix, download music from your computer, add text, select some effects, create the video and download it to your computer.

This is a simple trial. Just wanted to see what it looked like.

What I liked about it?
  • it's free
  • you can add your own pictures / videos
  • you can download the video in a youtube format.
  • the video looks cool.
What I didn't like?

  • there are no songs available (like in animoto)
  • I couldn't find an embed code, so in order to embed it I had to download it to my computer first.
  • once you upload it to youtube, you lose the quality of the image.
After watching the tutorial I'm including below, I tried Stupeflix a second time and was much happier. The video looked quite good !!!!

How would Stupeflix become perfect? I wish it offered us an embed code straight from the site and not only a link.

Watch the tutorial created by DEMO GIRL and learn how to make your own videos.

December 9, 2009

Nominations for LIFE FEAST - Edublog Awards

 is my personal blog which started as a space where I tried the tools I was in contact with as I joined the Learning With Computers Yahoo Group in 2006. I had no intention of publishing anything pretentious and as I became more and more enthusiastic about blogging, it became an extension of my learning experience, a space for sharing and learning.

Most of the times, I share tools, brainstorm ideas on how to use them in class, share e- projects my colleagues and I have developed, and other times it's pure FUN.

I can't say enough how much I've learned through blogging and how many wonderful people I've met (virtually). One thing I can say is : "Life Feast has made life even richer."


I'm very happy to share with my friends that LIFE FEAST has been nominated for the 2009 Edublog Awards under three categories:
It's an honour to be in the company of so many experienced and talented bloggers from whom I learn everyday. 

You can vote for the BEST BLOGS IN 2009  at 
and explore the various blogs teachers have nominated.

PhotoFunia - a fun photo editor

I've written about various photo editors where you can add your picture to a preset template. With PhotoFunia, besides having cool images you can use, you can also make animated images from your pictures. After downloading your picture, you have the alternative to save it to your computer, send it as a postcard, grab the embed code or save as an avatar.

Really Cool!!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

December 8, 2009

EVO 2010 sessions

This is the event many EFL educators anxiously wait for: the Electronic Online Village Sessions, a professional development project and virtual extension of the TESOL Convention.

For six weeks , participants can engage with ESOL experts in collaborative, online discussion sessions or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions will bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by the four-day land-based TESOL convention and will allow a fuller development of ideas and themes of the convention or of professional interest in general.


Registration starts on January 4th, 2010 and the session runs for six weeks until Feb 21st, 2010.

Check out the various sessions available and select one of your interest.

December 6, 2009

Live Typing

This certainly looks cool!!! As you type in a text, the site records your typing. After you end the text, you can grab a link, save it, or grab the embed code.

A trial:

Hello, my name is Ana Maria Menezes and Im about

How can I use this tool with students?

  • As you can choose the typing speed (the speed the text appears in the box), I guess you can type in a text and ask sts to practise reading aloud.
  • You can type in a text and then ask students questions about it.
  • Students can create their own texts using target structure and then publish them in a class blog.
  • The whole class can create a collective story, each student typing a part of the story, and then click to generate the final result. 
Any other ideas? Share your ideas in the comment area, I'd love to hear from you.

December 5, 2009

FUN STUFF - Playing with

I learned about this great generator site  FODEY.COM  via Shelly Terrel and wanted to give it a try. Let´s see what we can do with it.


good for titles as it only accepts about 20 characters.

 good for short texts too.

NEWSPAPER GENERATOR - students can create their own newspaper stories

TALKING CAT (tomato, flower,owl,squirrel)
You can write several sentences and create an animation with your text.

Create your own Animation

December 3, 2009

My cancer : My new life

This is a post I dedicate to a dear friend called Andressa Cardoso (twitter: dessa24).

I hadn't written about my cancer in my blog  because this was a space I wanted to keep intact, until now.

Yesterday, after another chemo session, as I came into my living-room I found a wonderful package sent by Andressa by mail. Andressa has just lost her mom who died of cancer and had asked me if she could send me some books she had bought for her mom, which I felt very honoured to receive. Now, if you've ever had a chemo, you know that you don't feel so well immediately after that. When I opened this wonderful box she sent me, my eyes filled w/ tears. I could literally feel her love for her mom in every little gift she put into this magical box.

One of the gifts was the book "Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips" by Kris Carr. Today Andressa sent me the link to her site CRAZY SEXY CANCER which I'll definitely follow.

I discovered a cancer in my right breast in May 2009, had it removed and was recommended 8 chemo sessions as an adjuvant treatment. Thank God, there seems to be no apparent metastasis but there's a risk of recurrence. Due to negative limph nodes found under my arm (which indicates no metastasis) I've been denied a treatment (by my Health Assistance Plan - Unimed) which could increase my survival rate and diminish the risk of recurrence. In Brazil , the drug Taxotere is only indicated to metastatic patients although research has proved node-negative patients could also benefit from that. I don't think I and other node-negative patients have to wait until a recurrence happens to have the right to the drug, am I wrong? After receiving the denial to the drug, I recorded a video (in Portuguese) so that other people would know what's happening and we have been in contact with lawyers to see what we can do. Now, the lawyers are fighting for us.

Andressa, darling, may God bless you.

December 2, 2009

My nominations - 2009 Edublog Awards

As an enthusiastic blogger and learner, I´d like to share my nominations to the 2009 Edublog Awards

Blogs I´ve learned a lot from:

Best individual blog -

Best individual tweeter -

Best new blog -

Best class blog -

Best resource sharing blog -

Best teacher blog -

Best educational tech support blog -

Best educational use of audio -

Best educational use of video / visual -

If you want to make your own nominations, follow the instructions at

Check out other nominations in real time HERE.

November 24, 2009

Fantastic VIRTUAL SOUND experience

Ready for an interesting virtual sound experience? For that, you need a pair of headphones and close your eyes. click on the presentation below and DO CLOSE YOUR EYES. It´s unbelievable how true the sounds seem to be.


Fantastic 3D Sound Experience - Virtual Haircut - Free videos are just a click away

Found the link via Polyana Vida, a colleague of mine.

November 23, 2009

Readthewords - audio files

Discovered this site via Tony Watt. converts any text, blog, document or RSS into an audio file you can download to your i-pod to listen to. You can select the reading speed and the voice/avatar which is going to read it (male or female).

Check how it works:

How can we use this with sts?
  • Students could convert texts to audio files to help them study.
  • Students can use it to see the pronunciation of a given set of words.
  • This would be an indefinite source of listening material which could be personalised.
  • The teacher could use it to convert a text into an audio file and use it in class for dictation. 
  • Or send the audio file to sts at home, have them listen, write down and hand in the dictation.

This is a text about a Brazilian composer called Heitor Villa Lobos which I converted into an audio file.

After creating the audio file you can download it to your computer, grab the embed code to post it in a blog , get the mp3 file link or even send it to someone by e-mail.

November 21, 2009

Creative tools: CREAZA

While checking my subscriptions at youtube I found this wonderful site presented by gigafide. It´s Creaza and its tools: mindomo (which I posted about recently), a movie editor, an audio editor and a cartoon maker.

Watch the video and check it out.

Trying out CREAZA:

- my cartoon

November 19, 2009

Mindomo - a great mindmapping tool

Thanks to Rafael Parente´s tweet, I found this great tool MINDOMO for online mindmapping and especially this one created by Jesper Isaksson called " E-learning and Web 2.0 tools for schools" . Click on the + symbols to see the sites he suggests.

A MINDOMO tutorial

My radio station - (again)

How can you create your own RADIO STATION?

Easy. Go to BLIP.FM , create your free account and start blipping. You can search songs by artist or track. Some blips have audio only and others include video clips from Youtube. It´s similar to facebook but with songs. You can create your own playlist, listen to what other people are listening, add friends and listen to their radio station too.

By clicking on the image, you´ll be taken to my radio station.

November 17, 2009

Fairy Tales and Lívia Fernandes

Let me talk about a colleague of mine I really admire, Lívia Fernandes. Not only is she a talented EFL teacher but she also finds time and energy for her second love (or first?), photography.

What I like about her photos? They're creative, innovative, colourful, energetic ...

These are some slideshows of two of her projects. The first one is called "Conto100fadas" and she deconstructs Famous Fairy Tales such as "Little Red Riding Hood", "Alice" and others.

The second project she created for Halloween.

You can find more of her photos at

or at her blog Atellie Fotografia.

November 16, 2009

November 14, 2009

Grammar VIDEOS

This is a selection of links to videos I've been exploring to teach GRAMMAR.

Teachers explain several grammar topics.

From the British Council page, fantastic grammar movies w/ explanations.

Several videos and lesson plans.

A wiki with several Grammar Videos

November 13, 2009

Grammar sites - a diigo slideshow

I´d like to share some sites I´ve been bookmarking at under the tag GRAMMAR. In order to share them, I´ve saved them under a list called GRAMMAR , clicked on view webslide and got the widget which is just below. This is a nice way of sharing sites with colleagues or even with your students.

November 10, 2009

Pocket video cameras in the classroom

After reading so many posts about how teachers have been using pocket video cameras in the classroom, decided to include the Flip camcorder in my WISH LIST.

Watch this video demostration

From the "Ideas to Inspire" blog, these are 42 ways to use Pocket video cameras in the classroom.

Larry Ferlazzo wrote a great post about Flip camcorders.

Another great post about Flip Video Cameras.

November 9, 2009

Cultura EDtech online course - (Group 2)

Cultura EDtech is an online course for BRAZILIAN EFL teachers interested in integrating technology with education.

A new group starts on 01/12/09 and for 3 months we'll be learning how to create class blogs where teachers can share material with students and we'll also explore several webtools in order to devise lesson plans integrating them to our content.

The course is going to follow a very manageable pace and participants will be able to ask for synchronous and asynchronous help.

Watch a video about Cultura Edtech.

A virtual poster about the course .

If you´re interested in joining us, send me an e-mail to and I´ll send you more information.

November 5, 2009

Chat robots - practising conversation

This is my second post about chat robots. I was reminded of them by Ozge Karaoglu during a presentation and decided to have a second look at them.

Of course chat robots can never replace f2f interaction, but using chat robots in class or showing them so that students try them out at home can be quite fun.

This is a chat robot (Maggie) created by
Cartoon EnglishTV

You type in the questions and you can read and hear Maggie answer them.

Morpheus is another good robot to try.

Athena is another chat robot which moves her lips as she speaks.

Nik Peachey has posted a lesson plan using a chat robot site called Virsona. The difference is that you can chat to the virtual characters of famous people in the past. Nik's lesson plan.

Another bot suggested by Susana Canelo

October 28, 2009

Google wave extensions

This week I received a google wave invite from Andressa Cardoso, a talented colleague from Goiania, and have been playing with it ever since. After having watched many youtube videos and having read Orli's great posts about it (although she says she's not very enthusiastic about Googlewave) I feel less lost. :)

My objective now is to add fellow teachers as my contacts in order to test the tool and create meaningful waves.

This is an interesting document shared by Orli about Google wave extensions.

Google Wave Extension List -

These are the extensions I've tried:

Emoticony - you can use emoticons.

Tweety - lets you tweet from within a google wave.

Now, the best way , in my opinion, to tweet from a wave is to click on this symbol when starting a blip (a message), and insert this URL

Thiago Eduardo tought me how to drag and drop files into a wave. For that you need to install the gear from .

I still feel like a fish out of water, but I'll persist.

A nice Google Wave tutorial to get started:

If you're an EFL teacher and would like to find other educators with whom you can wave or if you'd like a wave invite add your name to this wiki

Oamos - an amazing search engine

Just learned about this new VISUAL search engine from Technology Tidbits and had the same impression he had, I was hypnotised by it. Enter a term in the search box ( I typed Brazil) and click Oamos search. You'll see images, links, sounds and finally word bubbles which will take you to other tags.

I also looked for anamariacult and had fun watching what the web world has about me.

Crazy flower

Just found this site in Dkapuler's blog "Technology Tidbits" and have been thinking how we could use this. It's fun to create this crazy flower where you add objects, words, mix music and can share it via twitter, facebook or even send it to someone by e-mail.

Click on the image to HEAR IT.

What can my flower say about me?

Maybe this could be an idea to use w/ students. Students can create their own flower and then talk about them explaining their choices. Any other ideas?

October 27, 2009

Embed documents to your site

This is an interesting site to share with your students. If you want to share a document you've created or an URL in a widget instead of a link, this is the site for you.

This is an example of my own blog URL. After entering the URL you can choose to embed a widget, get a thumbnail image or only the link.

Teacher's Day video

We celebrated Teacher's day in Brazil on 15 Oct. Today, I found a video I wish I had seen earlier, and had had a chance to post for teacher's day.

Watch and enjoy!
I found this video and many others at

Great widget for class blogs

Have just found out about this great tool which can be added to class blogs. Any student surfing the blog, when encountering a word they don't understand can double-click on the word and get a definition. I found it fantastic. Try it out. Click on any word in this blog and see what happens.

Now, how can you add that to your blog?

1. go to
2. choose a widget for your blog.
3. copy the embed code.
4. Publish it in a post or on the sidebar.

October 22, 2009

Animasher - create your animation

This is fun. This is just a simple example of what you can create with ANIMASHER.

Animation 1 by Anonymous

Make your own| Clone and edit

I found it via Camila Sousa, a friend of mine.

ActivInspire - E-board training videos

Now that our school is about to update our e-boards with the ActivInspire software, I´ve produced a series of simple tutorials showing how to add captions, use the camera, hide texts and images and so on. If you use the software or plan to, feel free to watch the tutorials.

All tutorials can be watched at or at my youtube channel. Remember to click HD, for better quality videos.

These are just two of them

October 15, 2009

Easi-speak microphone

I'd always been looking for an easy way to record my students in class and this EASI-SPEAK microphone was a really good discovery.

Check out its features:

The black microphone looks less childish than the yellow one. It's 34,49 pounds (including VAT) but unfortunately it's only sold in the UK. A colleague of mine who is living in England at the moment will try to purchase it and I might write a review about it in January. They have also created another model of microphone (Easi-speak Pro) which looks more professional and can be found in their E-CATALOGUE p.101.

This is another product by TTS I'd love to have but cannot purchase at the moment. I had seen it in a video about an English teacher using it to record students in class. What I liked aboutit is how easy it is to record and dowload it to your computer.