Archive for April, 2017

ESOL Youth Leadership Conference – Escambia County

April 20th, 2017

Repost of content from Dr. James May at

You can also go to

Today I got the opportunity to make some new friends in Escambia County. I had a great time at the ESOL Youth Leadership Conference and learned quite a bit from the experience. Thanks again for allowing me to come in and share some ideas on leadership, technology, and service learning. As promised, here is the outsourced memory of our sessions today.

Learning in a BG World

Learning in the 21st Century

Why the Barge? Why not just land on land?

The Google Effect and Learning in a GIFfy

Do You Know Me?

Blabberizer & FaceSwap

Have you met Tega?

21st Century Thinking

From the Three R’s to the Four C’s

  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking


If you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas. Most of them will be wrong, and what you have to learn is which ones to throw away – Linus Pauling.

Let’s try a creativity game!

Thinking outside the box – Creativity in the 21st Century

Wordhippo  – What’s another word for?



What is Service Learning?  It is an approach to teaching and learning in which students use academic knowledge and skills to address genuine community needs.

Picking up trash and plastic bottles on the side of a road or a river bank is service.

Using the plastic bottles to engineer solar stills while studying water conservation is learning

When students and teachers combine a local environmental clean up with a classroom build, documented results, and an awareness campaign, that is Service Learning.

Not sure where to get ideas for class builds and Service Learning Project Ideas?

Try Instructables

Or check out these 55 Environmental Service Learning Ideas

National Youth Leadership Council –  Service Learning



Want to type faster? Try Ztype

Want to improve your reading? Have you hear of

Have you considered using text-to-speech? Here is how to do it on a Mac, and here is the same solution for a PC.

Looking for a tool to increase your Vocabulary? Try Lingro or perhaps create a Free Rice team

Don’t just say it show it. The Power of Infographics

Make your own infographics and visuals. A little touch up? Free Fun with Pixlr 

Really want to get your message across? Don’t write it, Screencast it. 


Critical thinking

Fact or Fiction – Twin Jims, Toy, Linda, Betty, James Allen

Different faces of Google – News.Google, Images.Google, Scholar.Google

Google Easter Eggs

 PowerSearching with Google

Developing Creative Confidence

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. – Misattributed Mark Twain

The power of the word YET

Circles Challenge

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 12.42.42 AM

Graham Shaw’s Why People Believe The Can’t Draw


The Google Effect








Service Learning



Text to Speech


Free Rice





Different faces of Google

Easter Eggs


Reverse Image Searching







SSTESOL 2017 – Game On!

April 18th, 2017

Try something new, earn some Experience Points (XP), and possibly even win some prizes. This year as you tackle challenges and share what you are learning at the conference, we will be keeping track of your XP, posting the best gamers to the leaders’ board and awarding prizes throughout the conference.

This year’s games and challenges include:

Praise a Presenter – This is an easy challenge that you can all do. Simply click on this link and fill out the form to praise one of our outstanding presenters.

It’s Appy HourWhat is your favorite App for teaching English Language Learners? As you chat with your friends, please share your favorite apps with us. Feel free to call us and leave a message 224-358-3765. (Don’t forget to leave your Gamer Tag if you want the XP)

Sunshine Selfies* – Like last year, this year we are collecting selfies, so feel free to get creative and snap some great shots of you having fun and learning at SSTESOL 2017. Additional XP for featured photos (Pictures we select to feature), pictures with publishers (Snap a shot with your favorite Publisher), selfies with board members (If you can find a board member with some free time, introduce yourself and get a selfie with them).

Greater Groupies* – Like last year, this year we are also collecting groupies, so feel free to get creative and snap some great shots of you having fun and learning at SSTESOL 2017. Get creative… additional XP for featured photos (Pictures we select to feature).

How Do YouTube? – How do you use YouTube in the classroom? Do you have a great youtube video you can share? Would you like to learn more about some apps that can turn your classroom into a video production studio? Check out this challenge to learn more.

Meme Maker Madness* – What is your favorite meme for the classroom? Do you have a favorite meme for teaching grammar? Do you have know idea what a meme is? Click on the link to learn more and get some new ideas.

Battle of the Bitmojis  – Do you have a Bitmoji? Do you know what a Bitmoji is? Try this challenge, click on the link to learn more and get some new ideas for how you can use Bitmojis in your classroom.

Hashtag ChallengeMany of us are old enough to remember # being called a pound sign. Today, it is more affectionately referred to as a hashtag. People use Hashtags to track conversations on social media. This year at SSTESOL we will be tracking your use of hashtags and awarding XP to our favorite posts to Twitter and Facebook. So, go ahead, feel free to share your favorite moments or things you are learning to Facebook and Twitter, just make sure you post your Gamer Tag and #SSTESOL.


Reach Out and Teach Someone – This year at the conference we thought it might be fun to challenge you to help some great ideas go viral. So if you see something at the conference that triggers an emotion in you, or that provides you with some social currency and makes you want to share it, go ahead and make it public. Share the idea on Facebook, call or text a friend. Let them know what you are learning here at SSTESOL. And then, if you are interested in earning some XP or competing for some of the gamification prizes, have your friend call us and let us know what you shared with them.

Where in the World? – Come have some fun and try out teaching with Greenscreen. Pick a destination and go their virtually. Make a quick “Where in the world am I” video for your students. We will help you do it. Then post it to your favorite social media site. Don’t forget your gamer tag and to #sstesol

Minute Mentor : This Year’s Brick or Click Challenge – We would like gather and share some of the wisdom of the crowd. Do you have any teacher tricks you would like to share. Whether they are Bricks (more traditional/non-digital teaching strategies) or Clicks (digital teaching strategies) We would like to share your best ideas in a new series we are calling the minute mentor. Here are some examples.

Memes   –   Bitmoji and Blabberize    –   Learning in a Giffy

Notice that they are all around 1 minute long. Do you have a minute mentor idea? If you do, and you are willing to share, find James May (Our Webmaster) and let him know. He will help you record it and get it posted to the SSTESOL Website. He will also make sure you get the XP you deserve for this assignment.

* Additional XP for featured photos, pictures with publishers, selfies with board members and grammar fail memes.