Digital

ABC Life Literacy Canada has developed a workbook called ABC Internet Matters. This is an excellent introduction to the Internet and computers. It would be effective with Stage 1 learners. The workbook can be downloaded for free with sign-in.

Free access:
http://abclifeliteracy.ca/digital-literacy

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This instructor-recommended site (privately maintained) provides listening practice for learners at the intermediate level or above. The site includes audio books, novellas, short stories, articles and song lyrics. Different listening speeds are available. Grammar and idiom activities are available.

Free access:
http://ESL-Bits.net/

This is an online dictation tool that uses voice recognition technology to transform voice into digital text. It functions with Google Chrome. Users can narrate emails, essays and long documents into text without typing. To begin, users must connect a microphone to the computer and click the Start Dictation button. The app uses the browser’s local Storage to automatically save transcribed text. The program will work with several languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Malay.

The app can also be used as a pronunciation tool. It corrects text based on context, but does not overcorrect.

Free access:
https://dictation.io/

Every instructor needs a free, easy-to-use crossword puzzle generator. It is an excellent tool for reviewing or assessing targeted vocabulary acquisition.

Free access:
http://www.eclipsecrossword.com/

This digital tool allows users to take an existing video (from YouTube, Khan Academy, etc.) and add interactive questions and activities to personalize and individualize lessons.

Free access:
https://edpuzzle.com/

ESL Library is a commercial website based in Winnipeg, offering high-quality lesson plans for Canadian, American and international educators. The lessons are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced learners, with a large variety of activities, including flashcards, discussion starters on political, social and environmental issues, mini-debates, holidays, grammar, writing, podcasts and a reading series (which includes detective serials). Themes include English at work, the environment, healthcare, everyday English and idioms. New lessons are added monthly. Sample lessons are available but are watermarked.

Subscription is required. Lessons are downloadable PDFs (copyrighted).

Available in 3-month, 6-month and 12-month memberships, from $25 to $55.

Groups of teachers can share memberships; for example 1–5 teachers can share the 1-year $55 membership.

Subscription required:
https://www.esllibrary.com/welcome

This online game is sponsored by the United Nations World Health Organization. Learners can choose from 60 levels of vocabulary. By selecting the correct meaning for the selected word, 10 grains of rice are donated to a country in need.

There is built-in audio to hear the correct pronunciation of the word as well. If a learner makes an error, the word is added back into rotation. Learners can play individually or teams can be set up for competition. It is a free log-in system.

Free access:
www.freerice.com

This free educational website houses 2,000 lessons for a global audience, covering 180 topics, primarily designed to improve technology skills for learners of all ages. There are tutorials to improve knowledge of Microsoft Office, iPads and other devices, and how to use social media. In addition, there are lessons in the Essential Skills of reading and mathematics, and English language learning.

The technology tutorials may be quite useful for teachers to improve understanding and comfort levels with digital tools. Learners can use the tutorials for independent study.

The English language feature for ESL students is suitable for intermediate/high level learners. The lessons are for grammar, reading skills. Instructions are available in several languages, including Arabic, Spanish, Chinese and Korean. The lessons have video and interactive features as well. Teacher guides and resources are available, and instructors can customize lessons.

Free access:
http://www.gcflearnfree.org/topics

Google‘s G Suite is a set of digital tools to help instructors interact, collaborate, prepare and store materials. The Suite differs from a personal account because it allows instructors to share school-wide and with the class, providing shared access to Drive, Calendars and Docs, with enhanced security. There are 11 Google tools, including Gmail, Drive, Vault, Docs, Sheets, Forms, Websites and Hangouts. The Classroom tool allows instructors to create, share, grade assignments and communicate with learners. The website is a site-builder for instructors or students to create their own website or class website. The Vault is a space to archive emails and chats.

G Suite is free for schools and includes support. There is no advertising and your data belongs to you.

Free access:
https://www.google.com/edu/products/productivity-tools/

Kahoot! is an engaging interactive quiz game app that is suited to classroom use. Instructors create multiple-choice questions, which can be displayed on a screen or interactive whiteboard. Learners play against each other or on teams using their own device. The games can be enhanced with the use of images, YouTube videos or gifs. Games can also connect with other classrooms, schools or countries, and can use screen sharing tools, such as Google Hangouts. Kahoot! can be used to introduce, review and reinforce lessons and put students’ cell phones to good use in the classroom. It can be used as well as a survey vehicle.

Instructions, suggestions and sample lessons are available in the Teacher’s Guide: https://files.getkahoot.com/academy/Kahoot_Academy_Guide_1st_Ed_-_September_2016.pdf

Free access:
https://getkahoot.com/

A popular platform among instructors, Quizlet can be used to create classroom games, learning interactions and content reviews. It can also be used individually as a study aid by students.

Free access:
https://quizlet.com/teachers

This is a digital app that makes use of learners’ cell phones (or other devices) for formative assessment through quizzes, multiple choice, T/F, polls, a “space game” and out-of-the-door “exit ticket” reviews. Games can be played individually or in teams. The app shows results in real time, charting answers of individual student results for each question, as well as a detailed chart of learner results for further review. Instructors can create rooms/groups students and classes for up to 150 students.

Free access:
https://www.socrative.com/

This website contains 24 games designed to build vocabulary through games that focus on reading, phonics and spelling. The games include practice with homophones, compound words, suffixes, syllables, idioms, contractions and parts of speech. There is also a typing practice game. Many activities have three levels (easy, medium and hard), and there are optional timing and sound features. The games can be used on a classroom smart board or for independent study.

Free access:
http://www.vocabulary.co.il/

Vocaroo is a simple voice-recording app that can be used in a computer lab or by individual students. It can be used for pronunciation practice. Messages can be played on a variety of devices, but recording is not currently available on smartphones or other devices. Recorded messages are not permanent. The site requires Adobe Flash download.

Free access:
http://vocaroo.com/

VoiceThread is a cloud-based application — no software installation required — which enables users to collaborate and share documents, add images, videos and sound in a shared space. It allows instructors to post a series of photos (or other media) and ask learners to respond and share answers. Users can use voice, text or video comments.

Instructors and learners can use VoiceThread to share documents, projects, presentations, videos and images. The audience can then comment on the VoiceThread slides using one of five options: microphone, webcam, text, phone and audio-file upload. Users also have the option of keeping VoiceThread private, sharing it with a group or making it available to other VoiceThread users worldwide.

Free access:
https://voicethread.com/

WordWeb is a free dictionary and thesaurus for Windows. Language options include American, British, Canadian, Australian, Indian and global English. Allows users to look up words in almost any Windows program.

Free access:
http://wordweb.info/free