6 Ways to Create a Venn Diagram Online Without Registration

A while back, I listed some ways of creating charts online without needing to register. Today I am adding to that list by summarizing 6 ways to create Venn diagrams online without having to register. There are a number of ways these could be used in the classroom and it is a good way for students to visually evaluate information that they are studying:

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  • I Heart Venn Diagrams: Enter in the data for two or three circles including how much overlap and size of the circles. It creates the Venn diagram and gives you a url to the image which you can share or download.

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  • Classtools Venn Diagram: Choose either a two or three circle Venn diagram and then enter the data, title and notes. You cannot adjust the size or overlap. Download the HTML file or embed in your website.

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  • Good Labs: Create a very nice pie chart or two circle Venn diagram. Label your items, adjust the overlap by clicking-and-dragging, enter a title, and choose your colour. It makes a very nice infographic-style chart. You can also save the diagram in the public gallery.

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  • Fuel the Brain Venn Diagram: Choose a two or three circle Venn diagram and enter the labels. Add dots with initials to each circle. You can’t download or ember the diagram, but you can always make a screenshot. This works best on an IWB.

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  • Venny: Create a two, three, or four circle Venn diagram. Label your elements, add your notes, and then download the final image.

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  • ReadWriteThink Venn Diagram: Create a two circle Venn diagram, add labels and elements, and print out. You cannot save online or embed.

How do you use Venn diagrams in your classroom? Please share your thoughts in one of three ways:

  1. Enter your comments below. That way others can see it when they read this post.
  2. Send me a tweet at @nathanghall and I will add it to this post.
  3. Email me using the contact form on this website and I will make sure to add it here.

Thank you!


11+ Registration-Free Online Annotation Tools

A fantastic way for students to discuss and work on projects online is to use an annotation tool. There are a number of ways that students can share websites, documents, and notes, and here are 12 that don’t need registration to use:

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  • Markkit: Highlight webpages using an online highlighter. Add the bookmarklet to your toolbar, go to a website, highlight some text and then share the URL with others to view. You can also see a list of the things highlighted on a separate page. My review of Markkit

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  • szoter: This site allows users to mark up an image you upload, find on the internet, or take via screenshot or webcam. There are a number of tools to draw or write on the image before sharing with others or embedding into a website. My review of szoter

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  • RoohIt: This is the swiss army knife of online highlighters. You can highlight text, share through various methods, create instant pages from your highlights, or add the tools to your website. A little more complex than some other sites, but more functionality. 

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  • Crocodoc: This site allows you to upload a document (Word, PDF, etc.) or image and then comment on it and share with others.

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  • Bounce: This site takes a screen shot of a webpage and allows you and others to comment on it. It is a fast and easy way of sharing a website with others. My review of Bounce

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  • Webklipper: This is an extensive tool that allows you to annotate texts, webpages, PDFs, images, text files, or combine multiple URLs. Share that information with others as well.  My review of Webklipper

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How do you use annotation tools in your classroom? Share your ideas below, send me a tweet at @nathanghall, or send me an email using the contact page on this website. Thank you!

5 Registration-Free Word Cloud Generators


A great way to ‘visual’ text is to use word clouds. Word clouds take a set of words, be it in a text or a word list, and display it in a shape where words counts dictate how large the word appears. A word that is used a great deal gets a large font where a word that is used sparingly is displayed in a small font. Word clouds are often used as a pre-reading exercise to help students draw on their previous knowledge or to focus on new vocabulary before diving into the reading. It can also be used to evaluate a student’s writing to help them realise where they can make changes to the text. If there are only a few words and there a words that are much larger than the rest, the author may need to diversify their lexical choices. Here are 5 word cloud generators that don’t need registration:

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Wordle: Probably the most popular site for creating word clouds and is one of the best for creating high-quality printable versions of the image. Paste in a text or put in a website URL and it creates a random word cloud. Change the font, style, colour and limit words. You can also check word counts as well. Print out as an image to save for later (if you have the capability of printing as a PDF, you can then print the cloud as large as you want without problems with losing quality).

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TagCrowd: Paste or upload a text or choose a website URL. Enter your criteria including word limitations and word counts, and create a square type word cloud that can be embedded or printed. The PDF download function didn’t work for me, but it may be just a temporary problem.

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Wispy.me: Grab text from Twitter or Facebook or paste in your text, choose your colour scheme and font, and create an instant word cloud. Save to a unique URL and then download the image to your computer or share with others.

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ABCya! Word Clouds: This is a nice little word cloud generator designed for kids. It can’t handle larger texts (seems to have trouble beyond about 35 words), but the images are nice and can be downloaded as a jpeg image file or printed. You do have some control of fonts, colour, and layout as well.

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WordItOut: This is the only word cloud generator listed here that needs an email address to save it. You can always do a screen shot or put in a temporary email address to get the file. You can paste text or get from a URL and create a word cloud with some control on font, colour, and layout.

Have you used word clouds in your class before? How did you use it? Share your ideas or thoughts in the comment section below, send me a Tweet at @nathanghall, or email me using the contact form on this webpage. This list is part of a larger list of webtools that don’t need student registration. Thank you!

13+ Free Online Whiteboard/Corkboard Sites That Don’t Need Student Registration

One of the real advantages to using online tools is that students can collaborate on projects at school or anywhere else. A freeform tool that is always handy is the online whiteboard or corkboard. Here are 14 online applications that don’t need student registration:

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  • scrumblr: This is an online sticky-note application that allows you to create columns to organize your notes. You can also categorize your notes using coloured dots and stars. My review of scrumblr

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  • Board800: This is an online collaborative whiteboard that allows for multiple pages. Draw, write, or type on the page or an image. Share with others. It is good for 90 days. My review on Board800

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  • draw.to: A small, simple whiteboard that you can share with others or embed on your website. Draw, type, or write on the board and have others join in.

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  • interactive illimitably: An interesting chat and drawing tool that includes some drawing games as well. Collaborate with others on a drawing. Text, draw, and apply layers.

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  • FlockDraw: Draw, add text, and chat online with up to 10 people at once. Embed the drawing or save it your computer.

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  • GroupZap: This is made up of a number of great tools including drag-and-drop images and files from your computer, drawings, coloured notes, and exporting and embedding. Add a custom background, reply a history of how the board was created, and more. An email address is needed to join, but since you don’t need to receive a registration email, a fake email account works just fine (something@something.com). Boards are only active for 7 days.

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  • Scriblink: Draw or write on up to 5 different pages. Share the link with others or save to your computer. Upload and draw on photos as well. Person who wants to save the board needs to provide an email address.

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  • Padlet: One of the most well known of all of the stickynote sites. Add notes to a wall and others can go on and add theirs as well. The administrator needs to register with an email, but other can add without registration. Works well with tablets and phones. My review of Padlet

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  • Twiddla: This is the most extensive of all the whiteboard tools here. You can annotate and draw on a whiteboard, Etherpad document, webpage, document, or image. Use audio including connecting with Skype and so much more.

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Let me know what you think. Comment here or send me a Tweet at @nathanghall. Thank you!

4 Registration-Free Video Conferencing Sites

There are a large number of place online that you can chat with someone without needing to register. Many of these sites are not safe for use in the classroom. There are very few sites that allow for a simple, safe video chat without registering first. Here are four that don’t need registration and provide a private place to host a video conference:


ChatRide: Video chat with one other person and use text chat as well. When the person goes to the site, you are automatically connected. You can turn off the video or audio as well. It can also be used in fullscreen mode (video and text chat).


BoostCam: Video chat with one other person. Text chat is available outside of fullscreen mode. You can move the inset picture to any corner by simply clicking and dragging. The quality is lower, but that could also mean lower bandwidth as well.


Ubiqq: This is a very simple one-to-one video chat that has two small screens on the page. There does not appear to be any place to make it fullscreen or to use text chat. You can turn off the video or the audio simply by clicking on your screen to toggle through the options.

MeBeam: DO NOT USE THIS SITE! There are problems with this site. I apologize for any problems I may have caused. 

These sites could be used by students to do group work as homework, to consult with parents or other teachers, or to give a simple lesson online. I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons as well. Share your comments and thoughts by using the comment section below, by Tweeting me at @nathanghall, or by emailing me using the contact page on this website. Thanks! 


10 Sites for ELLs to read and listen

In class today, we had a discussion about some of the problems students’ face in their writing assignments. We were talking about the relationship of the spelling of the words and their sounds. The students were complaining that English does not follow the same rules that most of them have in their own languages where the letters are directly related to the sound that they make (I avoided the discussion of diphthongs for the time being. I will address that later with them) and how difficult it was to figure out how a word sounds and how it is spelled in English. I asked them how often they read in English for themselves and how often they listen to something other than conversational English on their own. For the vast majority of them, the answer was almost never. I encouraged them to use some online tools, which I shared with them, to read AND listen in English. There are a number of good sites that have the text and the listening available on a variety of topics and genres. The reason for this is simple: there is a direct correlation between spelling and reading and, I would also add, a relationship between hearing a word and seeing how it is spelled.

Here are some sites that provide both the text and the audio together:

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  • Lit2Go: This is a site that has a number of stories and poems that are organized by author, books, genres, collections, and readability levels. You can read the story and listen to the text online or you can download the MP3 and PDF. They are visually beautiful and the listening is really easy to listen to. This is a great site and safe to share with students.

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  • VOA Learning English: This is a popular news site that has the news article and listening available online. You can also download the MP3 to listen offline. One unique feature is that you can double-click on words in the text and the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary opens up to the definition. Readers can also comment on an article. Stories are categorized by topics along with classroom activities and articles.

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  • ManyThings Listen and Read Along: This is a site specifically designed for ELLs. Each listening uses a unique player that has three panes: one on the left and one on the right for things coming and past, and one in the middle for the part that is being read at that moment. You can also choose how many times it will read over the text in the middle. There are also reading with clickable teleprompted text. This is mostly for lower level students.

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  • British Council LearnEnglish Listen and Watch: The British Council has a number of interesting things on their site including stories and poems, a drama series, a news magazine, and a section on UK culture. Some of the items have tasks that students can do on their own. A well done site designed specifically for ELLs.

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  • California Distance Learning Project Adult Learning Activities: This site is designed for ELLs and has a number of stories and articles listed by general topics. The stories are divided into basic and full texts, both which have a listening file as well. Most have activities and some even have videos (Real Player files). These topics are designed for adult learners so should be more relevant for older learners.

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  • Spotlight Listen and Read: This site has a large number of interesting articles that also have audio files that you can play on the site or download. Readers can also comment at the bottom of the article. Teachers can also print the scripts to read and listen in class as well.

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  • LoudLit: This site as a shorter list of stories, poems, children’s stories, and historical documents that can be read while listening. This can be done online or the listening can be download as an MP3 file. Mostly for higher level ELLs.

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  • LiteracyNet Story Archives: This is an older site that hasn’t been updated in quite a while. Regardless, there are a number of news articles divided into categories that has an abridged story, full story, and outline and also has the audio recording to go with it (Real Player files).

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  • StoryCorps: This is one of my favourite sites. It has real stories and interviews done by real people. They are about people’s lives and the other people that have influenced them. My students love these. If you click on the transcripts, you can listen and read along. You can also subscribe to the podcast as well. Great natural listening for higher levels ELLs.

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CNN Student News: This site wasn’t designed for ELLs, but is quite good for higher levels. Go to the transcript section to get the video and the transcript to follow along. It is updated each day with current content.

I would be interested in hearing what sites you use for listening and reading. I am especially interested in places that have the text with the listening so students can read along. Please add your favourites to the comment section below, send me a tweet at @nathanghall, or email me using the contact form on this website. Thank you!

20 Registration-free online map tools for the classroom

Last year, I did a project with my students that integrated a discussion on the impact of tourism on the environment and the students did a map presentation using Zeemaps showing places people could visit that were more environmentally friendly. There are a number of ways to use maps in discussions, presentations, reports, and blogs, so I have done a summary of 20 map sites that could be used in the classroom:


: Find precise location data, sunrise and sunset times, height, contours, and distances all without registration.


MapMaker International from National Geographic

: Overlay a number of different themes from water, land, and climate to population, political, and economic systems. Draw on the map and place a variety of different markers as well as use a measuring tool in kilometres or miles. Save as an XML or PNG file.



: Add markers to a Google map, mark points of interest, and draw lines. Password protect or openly share your map with others without registration.



: Create and download a custom vector map. Add places and political, topographic, and seafloor layers.


Marine Geoscience Data Systems Custom Maps and Grids

: Make high-resolution topography maps of land and seabeds that you can download for free.


National Atlas Map Maker

: Create, save, and print US based maps using a number of layers including geographic, political, and historical.



: Overlay historical maps over current satellite views of a number of places around the world.


Flash Earth

: View Bing and Yahoo maps on one site. Zoom and rotate.


Map Generator

: Create a simple Google map with one marker and text that you can share or embed without needing to register.



: Add a data overlay to a map based on US data such as age, income, and population. Embed or share a custom URL with comments.


Aardvark Map

: Create custom Google maps that can be embedded or shared without registration. Add multiple points or add custom overlay sets.


Scribble Maps

: Draw on a Google Map and add markers, images, and text as well. Save as an image, get a link, or embed. Even add a custom style to your map.



: Create a custom Google map with markers, images, movies, and more. Share your custom map for free.



: Create vector, shape based, or custom maps based on your own data. Change projection types and export as an image.



: Created using data from users, OpenStreetMap is an alternative to Google maps where users can download images or data.



: Draw lines, scribble, and add markers with comments on a Google map with out registration. Share the link or embed in your blog or website.


Dual Maps

: Combine Google maps, Streetview, and Bing maps as one map. Add Wikipedia and Panoramio layers as well. Embed on your website or blog.



: Show a map with all the places you have visited in the world. Embed the map on your website or blog.


Roadtrip America

: Create a road trip route with markers of things to do and see along the way. You are unable to save or print the map without registering, but you can always create a screenshot of the map to download.


How have you used maps in your classroom? Have you used any of these sites? How well did they work for you? You can comment below, send me a tweet at @nathanghall, or send me an email using the contact form on this website. Thanks!