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I’ve been trying to summer-clean my e-mails this evening, deleting ones that are no longer needed, bookmarking sites referenced and archiving ones from fora that contain resources. Whilst doing so, I came across an e-mail reminding me that I’d requested an invite to Twitterfone, and sending me the necessary code to get an account.

I must admit that I like shiny new things and like to be up to date with the latest ‘thing’, and sometimes forget what I’ve requested so I had to look up Twitterfone.

Glad I did!

Whilst I am becoming a bit of techno-chick (according to colleagues!), I still have a blindspot with one regard – I cannot get my head around predictive texting! I am a fast texter but predictive textig gets me all of a flutter. As I love texting and my only access to Twitter whilst at school is via my mobile, I sometimes become frustrated by my inability to text fast enough and wonder why I can’t just dictate my message.

Now I can! Twitterfone works thus …

Having registered with my invitation code, I’ve just tried it out – and it works!! I called the number, left my message and voilà – my tweet arrived a minute or so later, complete with a link to hear my dulcet tones dictating the message – just in case it’s gobbledegook!!
As the info section points out, it isn’t perfect, as it won’t recognise @ replies or d messages which is a bit of a pain, but I guess they might sort it in time.

Want an invite? Click here!

Off to Twitterfone my blog post ;o)

PS Sadly, doesn’t seem to spell in Spanish :o(

I have made no secret of my love of puppets as evidenced by various blog posts over the last nine months and several dodgy pictures floating around the blogosphere. So a post on Linguahelp captured my attention.

I hadn’t discovered the Linguahelp blog before, probably because my school doesn’t subscribe to Linguascope. However, my Google alerts today included a link to the most recent post entitled Gimmick sites to help in the MFL classroom and it made lots of sense to me. I’m always up for finding innovative and captivating ways of engaging language learners so the idea of using the Iceland Socks site seemed appealing – and I tried it out!

I followed the advice offered on Linguahelp –

The idea is simple – you build up a mini ‘film’ using sock puppets, subtitles and a series of animated locations, which you can then email to friends – but the usefulness to language learning is immediately apparent. The puppets speak a ‘Pingu-esque’ nonsense chatter, which is made into intelligible dialogue by the user. Students could use the site to build up practice dialogues in a very up-to-date, hi-tech fashion – instead of potentially awkward and embarrassing role-play in class, they can create YouTube style cartoons full of the language they are learning. To top this, the resulting ‘films’ can then be emailed to the teacher for checking later! Not perhaps the original intention of the site designers, but a fun adaptation to liven up the lesson.

and you can see the results of my first attempt by clicking on the title, Lucía and Miguel go to Iceland.

In fact, it was so much fun, I made another! Mimi and Roberto go to Iceland.

And I’ll probably make more!

Feel free to leave me links to your videos in the comments box – would love to see what others dream up!

I recently discovered Ben CurtisNotes from Spain blog (via a Tweet from Mark Pentleton I think). The sub heading, Travel -Life -Culture, gives a flavour of what can be found on the site, but doesn’t adequately describe the breadth of information and insight offered. There’s are 3 podcasts, and the excellent Notes in Spanish section quite apart from great and varied blog posts – recent favourites of mine include photos from Spanish fiestas and ferias , a video of the madness of walking El Camino del Rey and a post about the Patios Interiores that brought flooding back the memory of descending two floors to knock on the door of a neighbour I had yet to meet in order to retrieve my smalls that had fallen off the washing line. What an icebreaker that was ;o)

Today when I checked my Google Reader there were two articles , one about news reports from Spain and the other about a new feature of Google Maps which excited me!

Entitled – Kill ten minutes in Spain with Google Maps, it points out the addition of geotagged photos and Wikipedia entries to Google maps. Really interesting and useful too as now it’s possible to look at the physical geography, satellite images, street maps and photos of places (and I’ve just discovered, you can check on traffic in the USA!). And it’s not just Spain – there are images and information from all over the world (the W is for a Wikipedia entry) Year 6 will be my first guinea pigs as we investigate the area around Wasquehal, France in Geography- they’re already very impressed by GoogleMaps and had a great time finding sites in Wasquehal on PlaceSpotting (anyone else doing this unit, there are about 8 or 9 puzzles if you use the search facility and input ‘Wasquehal’)

So I’m now off to do some virtual sightseeing before I really go to Spain next week. (click on the map to make it bigger or go to here.


Thanks Ben for the inspiration on this – and for your site which makes me feel so much closer to Spain :o)

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