Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Meet the Boo!

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

In this entry, I would like to share a website that is very useful in doing Podcasting. For those who are new to the term, Podcast is a way of recording either audio or video and usually can be downloaded from the Internet. Using Podcasting as a main medium, Audioboo allows people to upload their voice recording onto the Internet, which can be access by anyone who are using the tool. This website is currently one of the famous website for information sharing and is very useful for people who are doing business as they can use this platform for online promotion. Not only that for business purposes, most of the users use this tool for leisure purposes as they can speak about everything that they like or even sing a song!

Audioboo and language learning.

Despite the huge advantages on business, Audioboo can also be used a medium for language learning, especially those who are learning a second language. Students can exploit this website to practise communicating skills as they can upload their audio and listen to their own recording as well as share it with their friends or teachers. By doing so, it will likely to enhance their confidence in speaking as they are not communicating face-to-face but rather speaking to the computer. It is important to know that some students are less confidence to speak in the public due to poor language proficiency but this website allows them to practise their script beforehand yet they still get to share their thoughts with public.

How to do it?

It is not difficult to use this tool as it is free and easy to operate. All you need to do is just sign up for free account (which is needed is you would like to put your podcast online) as well as have the microphone ready. The maximum recording that you are allowed to is 3 minutes and the recording will be automatically stopped after that. The recording can be made either by record it instantly or upload other existing audio file from your computer. You can always delete the recording that you have made and make a new one if you are not happy with it, which I found very convenient. Then you just have to follow some simple steps, as shown below:

step 1: click Make a Recording button
Step 2: Choose whether to record
it online or upload it from your file.

Step 3: Start the recording. After finish
the recording, click "Happy? Add title'
Step 4: After editing your Boo, click Publish.
It will then be saved in your profile.
Example of my Audioboo

Personal Review of Audioboo (mp3)

Advantages of Audioboo.

1. Allow audio sharing from all over the globe.
2. Platform for marketing management;
   a. It is fast and can reach people within a single click.
   b. It is cost free 
   c. Saves a lot of time because marketers do not have to come for meeting but they can just do it online.
3. Allow sharing on Facebook,Twitter, Blogs as well as Itunes
4. You can follow other people's profile and listen to their Boos.
5. You can download this application into your smartphones.

Disadvantages of Audioboo
1. It does not allow video recording as you can only record your voice.
2. No face-to-face interaction
3. You can not record anything longer than 3 minutes.
   a.  If you have a longer information to convey, it will need you to do it in two or more different Boos. 
   b. You have to compress ideas within a short period of time, which may result in less information sharing.

Here is the link to the website:

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Educational Trip to Australia.

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

For this week entry, there is one particular website that I would like to share which is beneficial for teachers as well as students to make use of the available resources for language teaching and learning. It is called the National Film and Sound Archive which contain hundreds of audio and video clips related to the Australian context. Although the topics are about Australian environment, teachers are still able to use this website for learning purposes because this website also provide guidelines of how the materials can be used in class. It is also a good tool for learning Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) as the students get to learn the language through particular content. For example, students in Malaysia will also be able to explore this website and learn about Australian community as well as improving their English as a second language. Apart from that, it also offers  a range of topics that teachers can choose from such as history, ceremony, arts, education a lot more. So teachers and students can choose the topic of their interest, see the video and also download it if they wish to. The process of streaming and downloading the audio or video clip is not complicated as they web developer has provide clear instructions and it can just be done with a click.

Variety of topics available.

Need some guide?

As I mentioned, this website is easy to operate and I have explored one particular section which I will show you the content. The section that I choose is Arts Portal.

Arts Portal section
There are two main sections under this topic which visual arts and performance arts. This two topics are similar and you can just choose which topics suit you best. There is also a clear description of what this section is all about so that you will be able to get a general overview of the section. Apart from that, there are also featured videos suggested in the page which are related to the topic.

List of labels, featured video and highlighted clips available.
If you click on one of the topics ( visual or performing arts), you will be taken to the requested page and there will be a list of labels which relates to the previous topic that you have chosen. there will also be a suggested video and highlighted clips that relates to the topic. Then you will be able to see video and audio clip suggestions that are arranged according to the level of the students. There will also be suggestions for classroom activity as well as further resources for students to access.

Different levels to choose from.

Available video to stream and download, description
of the video, suggestion for activity and further

Advantages of the website.

1. It has variety of topics to choose from which make the learning process become interesting. This is because students can choose the topic of their interest.
2.  Students have the opportunity to learn about other culture and develop the language from the materials.
3. The archive is arranged in different levels so that it will be easier for learners to choose clips based on their level.
4. The quality of video is very satisfying even if you download it.
5. The topics are well organised that it helps users a lot to locate their preferred clips.
6. Students get to share the materials on Facebook as well as twitter which is good as it allows interaction with other people.

Disadvantages of the website.

1. One particular thing that I dislike the most is the audio provided when you enter the Arts Portal section. There is no control button and the audio will go on until you click on another subtopic, which is very annoying.
2. The content is limited to the Australian context, which may not be familiar to some students and may result in less effective in language learning.

Here is the link to the website:

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Let's 'Play' English!

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

Have you ever feel bored learning English the traditional way? Well I am going to introduce a website which is very useful in learning English. Not just learning, but learning in a fun way! It is called ClicknLearn. This website, unlike other educational website offers variety methods in learning English. It is fun and easy because it has fantastic interface and sound effect, just like most of the online-gaming websites. If you are a person who likes playing games, yet still want to learn some English, this is just a correct website for you. This website is design for a Spanish-learning-English context but the content are all in English. This website consists of quite a number of different levels that the students can choose from. Each level is has three different difficulties which are easy, intermediate and advanced.

Different levels available on top left corner.

Example 1:  Activity page.

Example 2: Activity page

How about the content?

The content in every section is designed based on topic which means that the students have to complete the exercises based on the topics such as cloths, schools, shops, sports and a lot more which I personally think worth to discover. The exercises at the lower levels are designed to exposed students to vocabulary items that are used in different context so that they will be familiar with the particular context. There are also pictures indicating the vocabulary items and sometimes it also requires students to memorise and then complete the gap activity. At the higher level, there are grammar activity as well as activities related to the issues and culture which the students of higher level might find it interesting and challenging. However, most of the activities related to the topic culture is designed based on Spanish culture, which might not be familiar for students from different country. 

Advantages of this website:

1. Rather different from any other educational websites that stick to formal style.
2. It is fun and interactive as learners get to do the activity based on various topics.
3. It caters different level of students.
4. It is free and easy to operate.

Disadvantages to the website:

1. The instruction is in Spanish which is not understandable to learners of different context.
2. Some of the activity relates to the Spanish context which may result in difficulties for some learners
3.  Sound effect while initialising the webpage may be annoying to some users including me.

Here is the link to the website.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Watch movie? Well, Zimmer it!

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

This time around, I am going to show another fantastic website for those who have passion in directing a movie. It is called the Zimmer Twins! This fun and free website allows you to create your own movie, well cartoon of course and share it with your friends. Not only can it be used for entertainment purposes, it also suitable for educational purpose. This website encourage students, especially young learners to develop the skill in creative language which can be demonstrate in a form of a short movie. It is fun and very attractive because it offers a lot of situations so that they can almost create their own storyline. It is not complicated because this website, in my opinion, is designed for young people because it requires you to register with the parent's email address. After you have registered, you can straightaway make a movie and save it in your profile.

Fun interface!

Apart from creating a movie, you can also watch other people's movie, usually the site editors. This is located under the label Spotlight and you can find a lot of interesting movies uploaded by them, and get an idea for a movie of your own.

The process of making a movie is not difficult. All you need to do is just choose different scenarios listed and arrange them in the timeline provided. You can also insert text to make your movie more realistic. After you have finish, you can save it in your profile so that you will be able to retrieve it anytime you like.

Advantages of this website:

1. It allows language development in a creative way.
2. It is free and fun as well as suitable for young learners
3. You can save you movie in the profile and retrieve them anytime you want.
4. Encourage children to learn language.
5. Not complicated for parents to monitor their children.
6. It does not contain any inappropriate content.
7. You can comment on the video that you have made.

Disadvantages of this website:

1. It rather annoying to have parents' email address for registration. Also you need to go to the email and verify the username before you can actually use it
2. It does not allow you to watch different users' movie. You just get to watch your own movie and the site editors movie.
3. It also does not allow you to embed your video onto your blog! I made one but I could share it here as it does not allow to.

Here is the link to the website:

Friday, 18 November 2011

Summarising Made Easy with Wordle!

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

Ramli: I don't like reading! Seriously!
Mak Yam: What? Why don't you like reading? Reading is very important you know. It keeps you up-to-date.
Ramli: But I just don't like it. It is not my interest. Oh no help me, or I will be left behind. I wish I could just have the summary.
Mak Yam: I think I have a solution.

Have you ever come across the above situation? Well it is true to some extent that reading can be such a boring activity especially if the topic is unfamiliar. Sometimes we may feel that it is better if we could summarize the article quickly and have a glance at it in order to get a basic idea of the particular article. Well, in this entry, I would like to recommend a website that could make your reading more interesting. Wait, did I just say READING? Well, I mean SUMMARY! It is called Wordle. One particular thing about this website that it gives an instant summary of a text in a form of words arrangement so you do not have to spend a lot of time reading the whole article. The organisation of words is very interesting that it arrange mainly according to size; where the most frequent word that appears in the text will be the biggest. So you will be able to guess what the article is all about by looking at the arrangement of the words. For example:

As you can see that the words differ according to the size which means that bigger words appear more frequent in the text. The text that you want to use does not necessarily be in English. It can be of any other language as long as the system is able to read the text. As for the above example, I chose a Malay language text and it gives me an overview of what the text is all about.

Let's Wordle-it!

It is not complicated to operate this website. All you need to do is first have your reading article copied and paste it in the box provided and then hit the 'Go' button. As soon as you hit the button, the words in the article will be arranged. By doing this, you can actually copy the whole text or perhaps a chapter of the text, whichever you feel necessary. However, you can also have it retrieved from a particular website by filling in the URL of the  website in the space provided. Have a look at the picture below, which shows you the idea of the page.

Advantages of this website:

1. Saves a lot of time by not having to read the whole article in order to get the basic idea.
2. The arrangement of the words in a very attractive way.
3. You get to publish your own Wordle in the general archive provided as well as have a look at other's wordle
4. It does not limited to English language only as it also applicable to other languages.
5. It is free as well as fun.

Disadvantages of this website:

1. Can be used only if the article is available online. You will not be able to use it if you have the printed article.
2. Sometimes you still may not be able to guess the content of the article especially if it is a difficult one.
3. It does not really engage students with language learning as the words are all available in the text. It is merely a tool to summarise the text in a form of words arrangement
4. It may not suitable for students at the higher level especially intermediate and advanced because it does not promote critical thinking. Students also are not engage with cognitive skills as they do not have to do anything. Everything is done by just a single click.
5. It may encourage laziness amongst students.

Here is the link to the website:

Monday, 14 November 2011

Narrate Your Presentation!

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

Have you ever feel tired of presenting your power point presentation? Having trouble with your throat? Well I am going to suggest you a solution. This time around, I'm going to introduce a very useful web page which allows you to do a power point presentation and help you overcoming you anxiety! This webpage is called the Brainshark where it allows you to narrate your own power point presentation in advanced.

Its more than a power point!
While students might be using using Brainshark for academic purposes, it is also beneficial to know that this website also offers a great opportunity to people in the business team. They will be able to do an online presentation and able to make money through this web page. Marketers especially get to manipulate this website to do online marketing to their respective customers or audiences so they will be able to promote their business. by doing so, more time will be saved because they will not have to do face-to-face meeting and the best thing of all, they get to save money!

Brainshark is not too complicated to operate. All you need is a username (which is very easy to register) and yes, a password of course! And you are ready to upload your materials! For example, if you are going to narrate a power point presentation, first you need to have you power point slides ready before you can actually upload them.

By clicking the Upload Content button, you will be able to upload your powerpoint slides or any other materials onto the web page. The following steps are fairly easy as you just have to follow the instructions.

Before you start narrating your presentation, you will be given a choice whether to narrate it by using your own microphone or by using a phone. The best and easier way to do it is of course by using a microphone as you do not have to call them. After that, you are ready to narrate! I have make one of my own, which is about my background. check it out!

Some of the advantages:
1. It allows an online platform for students as well as business people to promote their stuff and materials in an easier way
2. It saves a lot of time because you do not have to go and see people by just speaking to the computer.
3. It is free and all you need is just a simple registration.
4. It allows you to share your presentation with other people across the globe.
5.It is not complicated and suitable for intermediate and advanced learners (as well as other people)

Some of the disadvantages:
 1. It has a time-out based system. If you leave your screen without doing anything for a certain period of time, you will have to sign in again, which is quite annoying.
2. It may not be suitable for a new company because it needs to have their own audience.
3. It may encourage laziness; you are just talking to computers and not meeting people!

However, despite some of the disadvantages that I can think of, I still like this webpage because I find it easy to use and it benefits me as well in improving my presentation skill because I have the opportunity to practice.

Here is the link to the website:

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Roti Canai: A Pleasant Morning!

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all. 

This time around, I'm going to show you one cool website which enables you to make your own personal journal. Its called the Bookr! Bookr is a free website that allows people to make their own book and they can put everything including text and pictures into their own mini online book. This tool does not requires you to upload any photos as you can just type in any labels you want in order to find the pictures of your choice. It will then grab pictures available online so that you will have a wide range of pictures to choose from. If you first open the website, it straightaway gives you the front page so that you edit
it by yourself.

As in the context of teaching and learning, especially language learning, this website is seems to be one of the interesting tool in enhancing student's language especially their creative writing. Teachers can manipulate this website for students at lower levels as well as children and ask them to make a mini book using this tool. By doing so, they will be able to produce meaningful language by relating it to their own context as well as encourage them to think creatively.

How to do it? Simple!

If you go to the website, you will need to enter the items that you want to put in your book and it will grab all the photos that are available from Flickr. There are numerous pictures related to your search that you can choose from and once you have decided, you just need to drag the pictures into your own book. You can also select the number of pages that you would like to have. The more pictures you select, the more pages you have, and the more interesting your book will be. On your own book, you will be able to add text such as title and description of the pictures so that it will be more meaningful.This website is free and you will also get to share it with your friends as well as embed it into your own blog like what I did. these are some snapshots of how is it looks like.

You can edit the title of your book.

You can also add description to the pictures.

This is one that I have made.

There are some advantages of this website such as:
1. It does not require you to sign up in order to use this tool.
2. It is free and very easy to use.
3. Promote creative language because students have to describe their picture so that it will be interesting
4. Personalisation where students create a book based on their interest.

Disadvantages of this website:
1. It is too simple that it does not cater students of higher level; advanced students may find this activity less interesting and less challenging.

Here is the link to the website: