Monthly archives: April, 2016

Visual presentations made easy

Looking for a visually-rich way to create–or have your students create–presentations and projects? Adobe Slate ( is a free, easy-to-use tool for creating beautiful presentations. Users can enter text, add links, and use images in a variety of ways. Your students could use Slate to illustrate a creative writing project or an analysis of a text, using images that evoke the characters, locations, and time of the text; to include lots of images in a short biography of the author they’re reading; to present research on a city, country, or cultural practice connected to the language they’re learning. Check out the examples below to get an idea of what Slate can do:

Kecak dancing in Indonesia –
Biography of French author Mme de Staël –

Streaming web radio

Streaming web radio is a great tool for language students at all levels. Beginning students can listen to their favorite type of music and gain exposure to the target language through commercials and songs. More advanced students can practice their comprehension skills and gain a broader appreciation for the cultures of their target language by listening to talk and news radio programs.

TuneIn ( is a FREE service that streams over 100,000 radio stations and millions of podcasts from all over the world. It allows users to search by language or location and make lists of favorite stations. Apps are available for all mobile devices in addition to the website.

Collaborative video annotation

VideoAnt ( is a collaborative video annotation tool that allows you and your students to take and share time-stamped notes on any YouTube video. Students could watch a documentary on education in Japan and comment on key points, ask questions, or reply to questions already asked. You could have them compare film versions of books you’ve read with the original text and note and discuss the importance of changes between the two version. Or, if you have students create videos as part of your class, they (and you) can use VideoAnt to give feedback and guidance on editing and revising. Signing up for VideoAnt is easy and can be done with your UIC Google account. See for more ideas on how you might be able to use this easy to use tool in your class.