Maria Hatzisavvas


A super nice member!


January 15, 2013

Jclic is a a set of applications with which you can form exercises, quizzes, puzzles and what not. You only need a little patience and a minimal knowledge of computer skill, since there is a lot of help and guidance on the creator’s site. Your imagination is the limit to creating educational programs that fit your specific needs. I have seen students use it to create pre-school educational appclications in their course of studies with ease.

January 14, 2013

Audiobook cutter, does exactly what its name suggests. If you have come across an audiobook which is long, you can split it into pieces you need. There is no reduction in quality and no parts are cut out. The reason I use it is because I like to listen to audios while I work, but mp3 players are sometimes difficult to control. What I mean is that you may need to fastforward or rewind, and you can not easily do that on a simple mp3 player other than have your finger pressed on a button until you reach the desired spot.

Moreover it is easier for students learning a foreign language to listen to smaller segments of a speech or text, to go back and listen again.

Audiobook cutter is free although there is a Pro version for a small price.

January 12, 2013

Although it is outdated and I think that it is not supported any more, it still is a very easy tool, to make tests (cloze, flashcards, multiple choice and more) even if you are not computer savvy. After creating a few tests, they can be all connected so students can go from one exercise to another. The programme enables you to customize your work, adding sound video and pictures.

January 12, 2013

Wordhero is an Android Application with which you play with other players online. You need to form words of at least 3 characters on a 4 X 4 board in about 2 minutes. The longer the words the more points you gain. It helps you think about how words are formed, remembering prefixes and endings, thinking about nouns and verbs.

September 3, 2012

Extremly easy program to use. Younger students are especially thrillied to play games and learn. I do not over do it, but I always make it a point to award them by letting them play a game when time permits or if they beave. Little do they know that I get to teach them and revise vocabulary and grammar while doing so.

It's very quick to write up a few exercises, multiple choice, missing word, true or false. And they simply love it. I do suggest that the parents are informed, though. I like to have parents agree that their children play games while they learn. I have had parents misunderstand my passion with computer games and teaching English.

Teachers especially ESL should give it a try!

September 3, 2012

Udacity is one of the first University platforms for free education worldwide. It is more Computer Oriented than other online courses and totally free. The lectures in contrast to other online courses are much shorter in length with more quizzes on the way, whih makes revision easier. The technology used is advanced, with the emphasis placed on the notes rather than the professor.

There is a deadline for submitting homework which is very motivating, and it is claimed that a certificate is sent to anyone passing all the Units and final assignment homework.

I personally started with Python, but I haven't finished the whole course since my PC was giving problems with a program needed to complete the assignment. Any problems, however, can be solved in the forums, but people are asked not to post answers and spoilers.

Anyone interested in any of the courses should enroll. All that is needed is an email account.

September 3, 2012

The Literacy Shed is actually a shed, eh blog full of animated segments of well known movies and clips. You can get lost in a "shed" with all the great video collection. Presenting video in the classroom has more advantages than anything else. I usually have something ready for times when my students are simple NOT in the lesson. Watching an animated film will more often than not turn out better than following the textbook/coursebook. When I gain the student's attention then it's only a matter of a few simple tweeks to teach or revise whatever I want.

The Shed however does not simply provide the clips in an organised way, the author has provided roadmaps for practically each post form his own experience as an educator. It's rather safe to say that even if students visit the site they won't come across anything inappropriate. However, some work must be done to find the video clip that would most likely "agree" with your students at a specific time.

I would definitely recommend teachers and educators to take a look. They will certainly find a rich amount of content.

September 1, 2012

I have put a Freerice widget on a blog I created for my students. It is a great way to engage them in a vocabulary activity and at the same time get them involved in discussions concerning hunger and helping others. It seems amazing to see them try to perform better when they see rice falling into the basket than if it were simply points. The fact that the vocabulary is often repeated is a good way to raise their self confidence and revise.

Apart from the game factor, raising awareness of problems such as hunger and discovering that there are solutions is for me one of the greatests advantages of using sites like Freerice in my lessons. Teaching English does not only mean teaching words and grammar. A teacher is a teacher.

September 1, 2012

Using Wordie with students learning English as a second language is a great time saver. First of all its a great way to get students to learn vocabulary and spelling. It intrigues them because it something they are simple not used to. With younger children they can simply type in words that they are learning (a fun process in itself) and randomize the output.

With teenagers, I found that inputing the lyrics of their favorite song will quite oftenly produce more lyrics. I have also asked students to rewrite a piece of text with the words from the cloud. It was very helpful.

The best thing about using Wordle is the fact that you don't need to sign up or provide an email, which makes it safe to use.

If you have a bit of extra time, or a quick learner who is getting bored, Wordle is a great idea.

September 1, 2012

I teach Information Technology and the Basics of Computers to 1st year students. When it comes to saving things on "Favorites" I always make a note to tell them about Diigo, stressing that their Favorties will only be aved on the computer in the lab. With Diigo however they can check their bookmarks anywhere.

Diigo is a really useful tool. I haven't actually used it to its full potenial. There are many sharing options that I haven't used. Nevertheless, it makes surfing the internet really stress-free. You may be reasearching one topic, only to come across something different but useful. You can bookmark it, adding a tag, or adding to a list for later. I would be lost without it.

There are also times when I don't need to do anything more than log into my diigo account when something comes up in class and I can find a website to share in no time.

September 1, 2012

I am probably the only person I know who gets a thumbs up for using Facebook at work. Following the saying: "If you can't beat them, join them", I created a Facebook account with a catchy name to use with the undergraduate students at the department of the University where I work. Since most students first log into their Facebook accounts, they will see announcements, articles shared from my blog, interesting news, and videos. One example I am proud of, is a video I shared on paper mechanics – making 3D books. There were at least 5 students who got a high grade because of the ideas they got from that video. Students don't always have the time to search or the ability to research the internet for subjects in their field. Furthermore there are also those students who are not on campus. Facebook gives them the opportunity to keep in touch and learn of important or not, events going on.

When using Facebook, and other social media tools, you should always be mindful of what you post. However, I can not further stress how helpful students have found interacting through Facebook on matters concerning their studies. I was really happy to see that beginning with the third year students, they created a sub-group and are even more organized.

If you are mindful of what you post, and keep your personal account separate to the account with which you interact with your students, you will be able to use Facebook to your advantage, and parents will probably approve!

September 1, 2012

I loved the notion of blogging ever since it became known. I have tried many blogging platforms but I find blogger to be the cheapest and most straight-forward, at least for the 2 blogs I try to maintain. The first one is a blog for my English students, where I posted videos, articles, widgets and anything I found they would find interesting. Interesting facts we read in the text book, I exploited by providing more information about it on the blog. This gave them the chance to read more about something in English. What they really appreciated though was when -with their parents permission- we uploaded essays or drawing on the blog! That really had them wanting more.

My second blog is oriented to undergraduate students. With Blogger, I have found the perfect way, not only to share interesting articles, posts, videos, even pictures, but I also manage to give them updates on things happening on campus. Blogger has helped here since many students do not have Facebook accounts. I usually share my posts with the Facebook account I have opened for exactly this reason.

I found that in some countries blogs are not such a big thing yet, and Blogger has helped me tell people what the rest of the world already knows. But as any major projects, even a small blog needs updating or it just fades away, which proves time consuming.

Even if you don't like working with computers all that much, Blogger makes it easy to intergrate technology to your lessons. All you have to do is write, upload and share. Personalising your work towards your students, really helps.

September 1, 2012

Coursera in my opinion is the future of education. I started on one of the first courses on computers and programming 101 which was rather easy for me. However, I did learn something of course and the professor was really fun to listen to. Another course I signed up for was much more demanding as students needed to do quite an amount of reading (literature), write an essay and assess essays written from other classmates. You needed to complete 7 out of the 10 assignments to get graded. However, even if you do not have the time to follow the whole course, watch the lectures and do the exercises, you still gain knowledge. You get the chance to see real live professors, read material, documents and essays and do something more than just mindless internet surfing. As the Greek philosopher Socrates said "As I grow I learn", you can learn something in an organized way. There are also forums where you may ask questions, get answers from your peers or even from the professors themselves, form study groups with others from your area or simply interact with people with the same interests as you. All in all it is 100% educational and really helps non-English speakers improve their understanding of English in many fields as there are subtitles accompanying the lectures.

The only drawback is the lack of enough hours in the day for people like me to fully take advantage of this great collaboration of these fine institutions!

September 1, 2012

Dropbox is simply a must have. One of the great advantages of using DropBox, as other people have said is not needing to carry hard-disks or flash-drives around. Your data and files are on the go with you. You can gain access to your files and data on your computer at work, at home, on your phone or tablet, and everything is synchronized. Haven't you ever left your flash drive at home? With DropBox you just "drop" your file in the DropBox window just as you would with any other window. When you next turn on your "other" computer you will be informed of any changes to your Dropbox. More importantly the sharing functions are incredible. I frequently need to share notes with students so instead of sending the notes individually I just give out a link or find the contacts on my Facebook account and send them a reminder. This way it's easier to send files too big to be sent through email.

Free users get 2GB of space and every time you refer a friend who downloads the Dropbox application you are awarded space which can reach up to 16 GB of space! Now that is something worth thinking about.