Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Keeping parents and teachers connected with 5 popular apps

Once considered inappropriate for classroom use, Twitter and other social media are becoming commonplace in schools across the nation. Teachers can use Twitter to engage students on lessons and assignments, and parents can view classroom accounts to see what is being taught. Parents can follow teacher accounts to stay connected. Shannon McClintock-Miller, the district teacher librarian at Van Meter Community School in Iowa, is a great example of how Twitter can help connect parents, educators, and students. She can be followed @shannonmmiller.
The Twitter app can be downloaded in the App Store and Google Play.
Unlike the microblogging site Twitter, which is limited to 140 characters, Facebook lets users post content, including images and video, without length restrictions.
Some teachers have students create a classroom Facebook page to discuss and keep up with assignments and projects, while some districts have a page to share news and updates related to the school. John Skretta, Ph.D., is the superintendent of the Norris School District in Firth, Neb., and explains how Facebook can be an integral part of the school district for educators, administrators, and parents alike.
Access the Facebook app in the App Store and Google Play.
Did you know that more than 80,000 teachers worldwide use Skype in the classroom? One of the marvels of modern technology is the ability to communicate instantly with someone halfway around the globe. The free audio/visual messaging service Skype is already implemented in language courses, and can be used in lieu of a telephone for the busy or traveling parent wishing to speak with their child’s teacher.
For more on how Skype can turn classrooms into virtual field trips, read here.
Skype is offered in the App store and Google Play.
No, it’s not a 70′s punk band. BuzzMob is a new mobile app that brings parents, educators, and administrators together. How does it work? The app syncs with your current location and connects you with the people around you in a real-time, live community. By joining GPS-defined “Rings” in the smartphone app, “BuzzMobbers” within the same location can connect instantly and talk, exchange ideas, and share multimedia.
Download BuzzMob in the App Store or Google Play.
Looking for a safe and secure way for teachers, parents, and students to communicate? Remind (formerly Remind101) offers a unique way to keep students and parents connected with text messages about academics and school activities. For more on how this app works, watch this brief informational video clip.
Remind is available in the App Store and Google Play.
Source:  Sharnoff, M. (2014). eSchool News, http://www.eschoolnews.com

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Study Guides and Strategies

Have you ever found yourself in need of direction in your studies? Well, I was there today and turned to Google for help. What I found during my search was the Study Guides and Strategies website.

The site, which was first authored by Joe Landsberger in 1996, is an international, learner-centric, educational public service. It boasts 255 topics presented in 39 languages. The site is intended to be used by middle school students through returning adults, as well as by parents, teachers and support professionals. "Its resources are intended to empower all learners without regard to institutional and national boundaries; cultural mores and religious beliefs; race, gender and sexual rientation." (studygs.net)

The website's copyright disclaimer is very liberal; "Permission is granted to freely copy, adapt, and distribute individual Study Guides in print format in non-commercial educational settings that benefit learners." (studygs.net)

Review by Lee Putnam
ED638 effective literacy project under the direction of Dr. Rivera

URL for Guam Council IRA May 2014 Newsletter

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Guam IRA April URL: http://mnrivera1.com/April_2014.pdf

As part of our mission to increase the literacy skills of our students in the Pacific, it's important for us to be abreast of the latest literacy news available. In light of this, click on the image below to view the Guam Council IRA April 2014 Newsletter. If you are unable to view the newsletter, visit http://iraguam.blogspot.com/.

The Guam Council of the International Reading Association helps educators and parents alike discover the wonder and the worlds to be found in books. Guam IRA is a professional organization for individuals who are genuinely concerned with the development of reading programs for children and adults. They are a group of people who work together to improve literacy and reading instruction in Guam and Micronesia.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014



Monday, March 3, 2014

8 Great iPad Apps for ESL Students

8 Great iPad Apps for ESL Students

ESL AppsWhen you’re talking about learning a language in the U.S., you’re generally talking about ESL which refers to “English as a second language” or the study or use of English by speakers with different native languages.

Learning a new language seems quite tough but lucky for the students of today as technology has made it a lot simpler and easier. Many schools are now making plans to increase the availability and use of technology in classrooms in order to engage students in learning English language digitally.

Students should realize that smart phones, iPads and tablets aren’t just for playing games. They are also a great tool for learning and practicing English. Today, there are millions of smarthpone and iPad applications available for almost anything, ranging from apps for productivity to apps that help you manage your finances, and of course, apps for developing good English language skills.

Apple’s app store offers thousands of iPad apps for learners of any level, especially for ESL students. So, if you are also an ESL student who wants to learn English or improve his or her English language skills, these apps will be helpful for you:


Word Bingo is basically a word game that allows learners to play with a word list. This game is an interesting way to learn new words. In this game, you have the option to play in three different modes, moving from lower to higher levels of difficulty as you go through the list of words.

My English Coach

Berlitz is a famous name in English language learning. Berlitz has created the “My English Coach for iPad” app for all levels of students featuring various questions, answers, phrases, and history and geography lessons in order to strengthen English language skills.

Sentence Builder

This is one of the most popular iPad apps available for English language learners. It is the best app for students of elementary school who want to tackle grammar and vocabulary challenges efficiently. This amazing app features connector words that allow students to build grammatically correct sentences based on pictures and videos.

Wordbook XL

Wordbook XL is an English dictionary and thesaurus for iPad. It is a fairly resourceful app that contains audio, synonyms, etymologies, bookmarking, anagrams and reference-saving for the ease of students.

ESL Express

Usually, students are confused with words that have similar sounds but different meanings. This app is made for the ease of students who are frequently confused with such words. Through this app, students can learn many pairs of words that sound similar but have different meanings in English language.

Intro to Letters

This app is really helpful for young (elementary level) students. It uses the simplest and the most effective ways of learning the English language. It uses flashcards and puzzles by which students can browse through all the alphabets of the English language. This application helps understand the meaning and use of each alphabet.


Kidioms is an app designed for students who face trouble with finding the meaning of common phrases and idioms. The app features a digital notebook in which you will be introduced to an idiom. You will then be given an example with a graphic. In order to reinforce the concepts, this app even includes games for practice. It’s a perfect app which meets the needs of every ESL student, and helps them acquire vital knowledge.

Preposition Builder

In this app, students are shown an image for which they have to complete a sentence by dragging some prepositions. Whatever preposition the student selects for completing the sentence, the image represents the sentence they have created. The purpose of this app is to teach students how different prepositions can alter the overall meaning of a particular sentence.

Source: AlishaEllis, Edudemic.com

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Effective Literacy Website: Storyline Online

Storyline Online (http://www.storylineonline.net/) is appealing for several reasons.  First, the layout of the website is very eye-catching.  This invites you to explore the website a little more.  The visuals and audio are wonderful.  Secondly, each book is read aloud.  You will love how simple the website is.  Information does not overwhelm the website.
The home page of Storyline Online is full of vibrant, inviting colors.  Each book is large enough to see the details of the covers and there are sound effects if you scroll over each book.  When you click on the book, it leads you to a video of the Read-Aloud.  The video is a good size for the website.  It is not too large or too small.
Each video is read aloud by a celebrity.  The length of the Read-Aloud is given as well as a short synopsis of the book.  Each book is beautifully read.  Images from the book are shown in the video.
The simplicity of the website is wonderful.  It is very easy to navigate and there are not many words to overwhelm the website.  There are no advertisements on the corners to distract from it and all the links work well.
Although the amount of books offered is limited, they have popular titles such as The Rainbow Fish, Stellaluna, Harry the Dirty Dog, and Knots on a Counting Rope.  There are only twenty-four total books available on the website.  Hopefully, a larger variety of books will be provided later on the website.

Storyline Online is a resourceful website for parents, students, or other teachers.  Experiencing Read-Alouds is very important when developing literacy skills in children.  Some children may not be exposed to this when they begin to read.  This website affords children this experience.  It is very colorful and may attract the attention of young children simply because of its aesthetic appeal.  Videos are attached to each book so that the children may have a better Read-Aloud experience.
*Contributed by Rachel Flores in partial fulfillment for ED638:  Teaching with the Internet instructed by Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera

Effective Literacy Website: Bookemon

Bookemon:  http://www.bookemon.com/

It is an apparatus used for creating and sharing books online. A membership is needed to access all the great features, but it is free to join. Bookemon gives educators the option of having an “edCenter” for classes and groups projects. The edCenter is a user-friendly and secure place for groups to have a private and controlled environment. It is a free opportunity and all edCenter members receive a discount of 5% off any books that they decide to purchase.

Bookemon is great for young aspiring authors. Readers of all ages can find something that suits them in the large variety of books available. It is an effective literacy website because it serves as a utility that positively promotes the idea that anyone can become an author. Students will be encouraged and motivated to read, write, and share through Bookemon.

*Contributed by Rachel Flores in partial fulfillment for ED638:  Teaching with the Internet instructed by Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera