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.