TESL Canada 2012 Conference: The Landscapes of Technology in Language Education: Theory,Knowledge and Practice

I had the privilege of being part of a panel discussion at the TESL Canada 2012 conference along with Joe Dobson, Amy Snider, and Jody Gilbert. Here is the summary that appeared in the program:

This session focuses on how theory, knowledge and practice can be successfully integrated in language classes. Panelists will discuss their experiences using web 2.0, m-learning and other technologies in their teaching practice. These will be linked to relevant theories, research, and perspectives on utilizing educational technology in the language classroom.

I did a 10-minute overview of m-learning and how this connects to the language classroom. Here are my slides:

I will post the other presentations or links to the sites for the other presenters notes and slides as I get them. Please come back later for that information.

For those who came out, thank you for taking the time out of your busy conference schedule to be a part of this important discussion.

TESL Canada 2012 Presentation


Photo thanks to Sheri Rhodes

Yesterday, I gave a presentation with Michael Burri at the TESL Canada 2012 Conference in beautiful Kamloops, BC and had a great turnout. A number of people have asked me for a copy of my presentation so I am posting it here along with links to each of the things that we talked about. The committee also had our session video recorded, so I will post that here once that comes available. Thank you all for your support and wonderful comments!










MeBeam Due to issues, do not use this site. My apologies for recommending it.






Poll Everywhere


Google Forms



Reel: Display images, PPT, and PDF documents online without registration

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As many of you are already aware, I have focused a lot on online tools that don’t need registration. One of my favourite sites for sharing presentations online is Reelapp which allows you to publish images, PPT, and PDF documents without registering and can be embedded in a website as well. Here is how it works:


  1. Go to Reelapp and click in the box that says ‘Click to upload images, PPT files, or PDFs’. A dialog box will appear that allows you to choose a file from your computer. Choose the file to start the upload process.
  2. An indicator will show the file being uploaded. Once it is near the end, the screen will scroll to show ‘Creating Your Preso’. Wait and images of the slides will start to appear below the box.
  3. Once the presentation has been loaded, a new page will appear with thumbnails of each slide or page. At the top of the page, type in the title in the space marked as ‘Preso Title’. Below that, type in the description in the box labelled ‘Preso Description’.
  4. Below the box at the top there are thumbnails for each of the slides or pages of the document. Clicking on a thumbnail brings up a dialog box where you can add a title and description for each slide. You can also click-and-drag the thumbnails into a new order.
  5. Optional: If you would like to add more images, click on the ‘Upload more images’ on the right-hand side of the page. A dialog box will appear to select a new document or image.
  6. If you would like to test the presentation first, click on the play button at the top right (it looks like a sideways triangle). If you would like to delete the presentation, click on the button with a trash can on it.
  7. Click on web address in the box directly above the ‘Start Preso’ to get a dialog box that has the link and the embed code for website. To embed in a website, just copy the code and paste in the HTML of your website or blog. To share with Facebook or Twitter, click on the respective button to the right of the URL. Click on ‘Close’ to return to the thumbnail page.
  8. Click on ‘Start Preso’ to bring up the play button and the URL box. Click on ‘Play’ to start the presentation.
  9. In the presentation mode, if the slide is larger than the window, you can scroll down to see the rest of it.
  10. There are arrows on the left and right side to go forward or back. There is a thumbs up and a thumbs down for each slide. Other visitors can rate the slide by clicking on the respective thumb.
  11. When you get to the end of the presentation, you can click ‘Replay’ to play it again or you can click on ‘report page’ to see the results of the poll.

This is a really nice way of posting presentations or PDFs without having to register. It also has some potential as an online poll using images or documents. Students can post their work to share with others on their eportfolios or blogs. Students can also share presentations with each other to get feedback. The simplicity of the platform makes it a great tool.

Have you used Reelapp before? How well did it work for you? What would you use it for? Share your comments below, send me a Tweet at @nathanghall, or email me using the contact form on this website. Thanks!

Utilizing technology to develop a community of inquiry

Today, I received an email informing me that my joint proposal with Michael Burri has been accepted for the TESL Canada conference in October! I thought I would pass along the summary and abstract of the session:

Utilizing technology to develop a community of inquiry
This presentation explores ways of implementing simple technology tools and structures into the language curriculum in order to promote a community of inquiry amongst students. A demonstration of these strategies will be provided as well as a discussion of the results of these techniques in a variety of classroom environments.
Recent work in the area of technology and language instruction has focused on the integration of tools to promote peer collaboration. A study in California by the MacArthur Foundation (2008) involving over 800 youth and young adults found young people are turning to specialized knowledge groups outside of the classroom as their primary learning environment. This is primarily due to the need for social interaction and the desire to improve their reputation amongst their peers. Sharing, collaborating, and instant feedback are a trademark of the current generation of learners and the language classroom sometimes falls short in meeting those needs, even with the use of technology. A community of inquiry, as noted by Garrison and Anderson (2003), involves a cognitive, social, and teaching presence. The role of the instructor is to provide the framework and guidance that engages students cognitively and gives them the ability to express themselves socially. Giving students the tools within the classroom to integrate these values engages the students and provides them the opportunity to develop personal learning strategies within their own contexts.
Consequently, this presentation will demonstrate a number of language learning strategies, especially those targeting the four skills, that integrate technology in a more social and cognitive manner. Feedback from the use of these techniques in both an ESP and EAP classroom environment will be shared. There will also be an interactive brainstorming session to allow participants in this session to share their thoughts and ideas to develop our own community of inquiry.
Michael and I would love to see you in our session. I will post more information as it comes available.

BC TEAL Presentation – Narrowing the Digital Divide

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Finding and Sharing: