In this post, I wanted to share some of the tools I made a shortlist of during May with a brief description and ideas for implementing in my teaching.
1. Spellup: This was introduced on May 13th as a new word game and Chrome experiment. I first tried it on my iPhone and I had to type instead of spell and some letters were behind some icons inaccessible. When I tried it on my laptop with Chrome, it worked best as it was described (also on Android and tablets.)
Ideas: I’m planning to first demonstrate it in class. After some time, I might devote one lesson for a spellup competition. I’ll use 3-4 laptops, placed in front of the class, with groups of three students. I’ll have to plug in and out the sound cable whenever it’s a groups turn. Each time one person from the group will come to the front and use their laptop to compete.
I’m not planning to use this game in class for individual work or for early finishers. Instead, I will recommend students to play this game outside the class.
2. Quill: This is another tool I heard of in May. I think it’s not about writing skills but more to do with practicing grammar through typing. At first, I got excited presuming that I could upload students’ long writing assignments and get them correct their mistakes and get feedback. In reality, there are some Quill worksheets that you can assign to your students. Yet, this is extremely useful, because you can monitor students progress from your dashboard. You give your students a code so that they do not need to sign up.
Ideas: I think I will use quill for homework. Students can do these worksheets on their own and I can monitor their progress. In fact, I assigned them some worksheets to be finished in two days time about subject-verb agreement, which is a common problem amongst my students.
3. Chalkup: This is a nice tool to create and assign written tasks; check students’ papers and give them feedback and numerical grades. This is similar to Edmodo, which I personally don’t feel the need to use since we can assign written tasks and run them through turn-it-in using Moodle, which is more than enough. What really attracted me about this tool is the integration with Google Drive. We use Gmail at school so all teachers and students have easy access to Drive all the time. Plus, the annotator for feedback is something that Moodle lacks.
Ideas: I am planning to use chalkup for setting regular short writing tasks for my students.
Update for Chalkup: When I tried to sign up, I was asked to choose my school. There’s an “international” option but my school name was not listed. Send them an email and be patient, because the next day it’ll be there.