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Archive for the ‘avatars’ Category

#PracPed15 – Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Evernote Snapshot 20151016 104158My session at the wonderful Practical Pedagogies conference centred around the use of technology to enhance Primary Language Learning.

Key points I made included:

  • technology is not  just for the pupils but also for the teacher;
  • it is just one tool we have to use;
  • it is not always the best tool for the job.

I went on to suggest online tools as well as apps that might be useful in a range of contexts and situations.

My presentation is below and there is wiki with links to tutorials, examples and ideas that accompanies it. Feel free to ask questions via the contact form or @lisibo on Twitter.

Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning from Lisa Stevens
And thanks to Marisa for sharing her notes (and photographs!) here.

AQA – Creative and motivational language learning in the primary classroom. Part 2

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

On Tuesday I was in sunny (yes, it was sunny!) Manchester, delivering my AQA course.

Apart from the problems with the internet, I believe a good day was had by all – lunch was once more a highlight!

Rather than repeat all the links, can I refer you to my last post where you will find all the ‘new’ links about PLL, and also some recommendations from other delegates of sites and learning materials that they’ve found useful.

I forgot last week to put a link to a resource listing many many games and quick activities for the PLL classroom, so here it is.

Inspiring Creative Teaching in the MFL classroom.

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Today I was part of an ICT and Creativity in MFL day run by Links into Languages West Midlands at Aston University.

Below is my presentation about free tools that can be used to enhance language teaching and learning.

Inspiration for Motivation – Top Tips for PLL

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Here is the Slidecast of my second presentation from Brighton.

Apologies for the audio cutting out before the end – no idea what happened there!  Perhaps the iRiver overheated!

Apologies to @wizenedcrone for forgetting her real name – it’s Fiona Joyce!!!

And the German site I mentioned was called GenkiGerman.

My Avatar Editor

Sunday, August 30th, 2009


Thanks to the lovely Joe Dale who has just blogged it, I have discovered this marvellous site called My Avatar Editor.

My Avatar Editor enables you to design your own avatar for use as your ID on, say, Twitter or for a tool like Voicethread or as your ‘online persona’ on your blog.

As Joe points out, it’s also great when teaching personal descriptions – either pupils are given a range of people to describe – see below – or are given descriptions and asked to make the avatar to match.

You could also use them to inspire pupils to creativity – eg characters for stories; to demonstrate feelings; talk in the style of….

Great fun! Not sure my hair is quite right though….

BTW – I’m the one at the top, not the very scary Granny ;o)

Comenius West Midlands Primary Languages Conference 23rd June

Thursday, June 26th, 2008


On Monday, Comenius West Midlands held its Primary Languages Conference at the Novotel in Wolverhampton. Sandwiched between keynotes by Joe Brown from CILT that involved song rhyme and lots of action, and Steven Fawkes from ALL who thrilled us with his ‘Banane‘, delegates had to choose sessions from a range including :

  • It’s magic!
  • International Perspective
  • Let’s play – Language games and activities for the playground.
  • Numeracy through Languages
  • Animation
  • Italian for the Primary classroom – a cross curricular approach.
  • Music and songs in the Primary classroom
  • Animation in the languages classroom (double session)
  • Creative use of ICT

A tricky choice for many, judging from the feedback at the end of the day! I for one will be emailing presenters for notes from their sessions as I was presenting and missed out on all of the sessions!

Actually, I didn’t completely miss out as I was able to attend the plenaries and also began the day by acting as ‘roadie’ for Oscar Stringer as he presented a whistle stop double session on animation from idea through planning, modelling, filming, adding finishing touches and publishing. Phew! In a very short time (less that two hours), the participants made short films in French and Spanish which can be viewed below and on his NING network. Just shows what you can do in a short time with good instruction, imagination and a bit of plasticine. ;o)

Find more videos like this on Animation For Education

Definitely inspired me! So much so that, after a quick chat with Oscar, I decided to have a go with my Year 4 class this week. More of that in a later post!

My session was entitled Creative use of ICT and centred on the use of some tools that i thnk are useful to enhance and enable PLL.

The idea had been to introduce delegates to Voki, Voicethread, Audacity and Photostory, explain how I’ve used them in my classroom, and then let delegates have a go at using one of the tools. I’d prepared notes for people that went into everyone’s pack so those who couldn’t attend were able to benefit too, and these pointed to online tutorials for the tools as well as examples from my experience and research. I’d also requested a laptop between two to be provided with a microphone and Internet access, and Audacity and Photostory3 uploaded ready. I’d prepared a Voicethread and Voki account for the day so all outcomes could be saved together for future reference, and I’d also added some examples to get people started.

Best laid plans and all! There were three laptops provided, the speakers didn’t work, and Internet access was at best infuriatingly slow and at worst non-existent (at 20€ per laptop, I hope the orgnisers got a refund!) Anyhow, it left me rather embarrassed as my examples took an age to load (Voki) or didn’t play sound (Voicethread AND Voki at times) – next tie I’ll save them for offline access using Camtasia or similar – and I’ve found that there is a facility on Voicethread now to save for offline access.

However, I did manage to highlight the use of del.icio.us which i hadn’t intended to mention but proved to be one of the most popular ideas with delegates. My account of how I use Audacity led to lots of smiles and there was a general hum of interest as I made a Photostory in three minutes.

I must say was a little disheartened by the first session, especially as I had to repeat it after lunch, but several people came up to me and seemed to be buzzing about something I’d shared, so I went into the repeat feeling a little more confident, especially as I was prepared for the problems this time! The make up of the group was different this time and they asked lots of questions – I think they were the G&T group ;o)

At the end of the afternoon when the evaluations were returned, I was rather surprised, and very pleased as well!- to read several who said things like

“The ICT session was the best bit!’
“Brilliant session on ICT – can you do a whole session on Voicethread and podcasting next time please?”
“the notes were so useful – I’m going to check them out on del.icio.us – and I’m going to tell my staff about it too”

If you want to have the notes, see below. and all the sites / references can be found on my del.icio.us account – http:del.icio.us/lisibo/june22

Creative uses of ICT in the PLL classroom – Get more College Essays

Build your Wild Self

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

I blogged about this great site a while back – but thought I’d mention it again, and post a picture of MY Wildself as I intend to mention it tomorrow when I speak about Using ICT in the Primary Language Classroom for Comenius West Midlands in Wolverhampton, and also as I mentioned it in my post about El Carnaval de los Animales.

So here’s Lisibo – the Rein-pol-conda-ger-guin-peacock (always said I was a bit mixed up )

As I mentioned in my post on Unit 11, my idea is to use the image above as the stimulus for descriptive writing. Pupils could describe

  • the physical attributes of their Wild self
  • the character traits that their Wild self displays
  • the environment in which it lives
  • the food it eats

So – my example would be:

Me llamo Lisibo. Tengo la cabeza de una niña. Tengo las orejas de un oso polar y las cuernas de un reno. Tengo la lengua larga de una anaconda. Tengo los brazos de un tigre y el cuerpo y piernas de un pinguino. Y tengo la cola muy bonita de un pavo real. Soy simpática y cariñosa pero a veces soy feroz. Me gusta el sol aunque tengo que sentarme en un palo de hielo porque mi trasero es de pinguino ;o) Como las hormigas y los gusanos con la lengua, y mi comida preferida es una hamburguesa.

There are probably other things you could add – feel free to add suggestions to the comments below. I like it when you talk back!

Name that avatar!

Friday, April 25th, 2008

After I posted Joe’s quiz yesterday, I had an exchange of comments with Langwitch about how tricky it is was to name all the bloggers from their photos with so many people using avatars.

My obsession with widgets and avatars is well known (and well documented on this blog) but less is known about my love of quizzes and very competitive streak!

So, combining the two, here’s my version. Let’s see how ‘Joe’s best class‘ as José put it yesterday in a comment on Joe’s post, you get on with this.

(apologies to those who I’ve missed – any more avatars to declare?)

Meez blogging in a field.

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

I’ve been playing again! Here’s the latest addition to my ‘virtual selves’ – Lisibo Meez.

Meez allows you to create a 3D animated avatar, choosing a theme (in my case Easter), clothing including costumes and sports wear, and other accessories as well as the physical appearance of your avatar. You can export the finished product to your blog, website, Facebook etc and even send it to your phone.

You could use this when looking at physical descriptions, or clothing in a similar way to the suggestions for Build your Wild Self in the previous post – for reading, writing, speaking, pair or group work – or just for fun!

Wish I was blogging in the middle of a field of Easter eggs and spring flowers ….

Build Your Wild Self

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Build Your Wild Self

I’ve been having some fun making myself a new avatar. I’ve got a WeeMee (see right), a Yahoo avatar (wearing a Spanish football shirt or a Sevillanas dress), a DoppelMe wearing the Swedish football kit, and a beaver Voki of me pretending to be Mrs Beaver from Narnia (for the benefit of my kids :o))

Build your Wild Self is a site run by the Wildlife Conservation Society and New York Zoo and Aquarium. It allows you to choose a basic body and then add bit of animals, reptiles, birds etc to it to make a ‘wild self’.

I had great fun making myself into a rein-pol-conda-guin-peacock. Cute aren’t I?

I can see using this in the PLL classroom, linking body parts (los brazos, las piernas, la lengua, las orejas, la cola, las alas etc), animals (un pingüino, un reno, un pavo real, una serpiente, un tigre, una tortuga etc), descriptions (colours, characteristics like feroz, grande, tranquilo, orgulloso, peludo etc) and habitats (la selva, la jungla, el Arctico, la sierra, el desierto, el río etc) in a fun activity. Pupils could collectively discuss and describe a model Wild Self, perhaps using a scaffold text. Then they could create their own Wild Self either to match a given description (listening and / or reading) or choose their own design and then describe it (speaking and /or writing).
e.g. Tengo las orejas de un oso polar. Tengo los cuernos de un reno. Tengo la lengua muy larga de una serpeinte. Tengo la cola impresionanate de un pavo real. Tengo las piernas de un pingüino.
Perhaps the class could then play a game with all the Wild Selves – someone says a sentence in Spanish about one of them, and teams have to find the correct image, or perhaps five images and five descriptions to be matched. And what about a quiz akin to the baby photo game – whose Wild Self is whose?

What do you think? Anyone got any further ideas or comments?