Return  to Computers for Education home



Tech: For
              Better or Worse

These are quick lesson plans, good sites to bring your students to, or other kinds of resources you may find valuable for professional development.  Please be sure to mention my name if you adapt these materials for your own uses.

If you don't find what you need, please drop me a line and let me know.  We may be able to create something together! 
Write to me at (copy and paste--this address is unclickable to cut down on spam).

Also check on my Communities of Practice page, which contain hundreds of resource files and links.

  QUICKSTEPS - lesson plans to teach writing

GOOD BLOGS and regularly updated social media

The CALL IS Virtual Software List - social bookmarking on Diigo; you are welcome to join and contribute, or just browse through the bookmarks. Use the >Search function to find numerous sites on Writing and Teaching Writing, Programming and Tools, Assessment and Evaluation, etc.

My Twitter account sends you updates from the CALL IS VSL Diigo site and my site, Computers for Education. (You must become a follower to see the Twitter citations.)

Computers for Education on has longer articles about teaching, tools, and pedagogy.

Nik Peachey's Quickshout blog - Explores new tools and offers many tips for using them with EFL/ESL classes. Nik's site has longer articles and teaching tools.

Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers has great short articles about selected tools and ways to use them for classroom teaching.

TeacherTube has hundreds of videos by teachers about lessons they use in their classes. Organized by U.S. grade levels (just add 5 to the grade level to get the approximate age of students).

Russell Stannard's Teacher Training Videos are step-by-step guides to a variety of tools with suggestions on how he uses them in his own classrooms. You can receive a monthly newsletter with news of new and updated videos.


EVO Video Archives - Tools, teaching tips, and other resources for using video, slideshows, digital storytelling, etc.

Jing - Russell Stannard shows how to make movies of your monitor and mouse action with one of many free online screen recorders.

Video Online, by E. Hanson-Smith and M. Marzio, suggests good Websites using video for language practice and content- and project-based activities. Available as pdf file from TEwT Journal.  A slideshow with audio is found at AuthorStream.


Project-Based Learning and WebQuests: Using Authentic Content with ESOL Support - My page with tools and resources to help students with authentic content Web sites

WebQuests for Academic Writing  - Lists of good WebQuests, links to the WebQuest homepage, and queries and replies from Webheads about resources available
See also the list of links at the CALL IS Virtual Software Library - most with short abstracts: Project-Content-Problem-Based Learning


Constructing the Paragraph - Tutorials and Self-Tests

Quicksteps to a Short Essay: Descriptive Writing - uses two pictures of "perfect" houses as a prompt for descriptive writing

Steps in Writing the Research Paper - SUNY Empire State College's Online Writing Center -- advice on essay writing

From Character Blogs to VoiceThreads: Exploring Points of View - article by Jane Petring discussing how to use blogs and digital media to teach literature and writing

Web-Blogs!!! Easy to Create and Publish - presentation by Buthaina Al Othman:  what's a blog and how to use one for teaching writing; many examples of students' blogs

WebQuests for Academic Writing  - Lists of good WebQuests, links to the WebQuest homepage, and queries and replies from Webheads about resources available


Teaching Poetry Writing

Teaching Short Story Writing

Teacher Training Sites - free online professional development

  • The Electronic Village Online, a project of TESOL's CALL-IS - offers 5-week online sessions annually in January-February for teachers all over the world.  Free and all-volunteer.
  • The Teaching Channel - Videos of hundreds of teachers in their classrooms illustrating techniques for K-12 teaching, with discussion questions. Many selections offer help with translating the U.S. Common Core standards into practical lessons.
  • - this British-based video series has a few videos directed toward instructors of EFL/ESL, but a very wide variety of others on such topics as teaching poetry and Shakespeare, maths and science, primary literacy, managing disruptive behavior, and working with disabled children; generally applicable to all classrooms, especially their series, From Good to Outstanding, which will make you a better teacher of any subject!
  • Teacher Training Videos - Russel Stannard's award-winning site makes good use of screencasting to demonstrate how to do stuff with computers. He also includes a large number of teacher education videos.
  • Shaping the Way We Teach English, a YouTube channel produced by the University Oregon for the U.S. Department of State (2009); of very high production quality and demonstrates such approaches as Pair and Group Work and Alternative Assessment using a wide variety of student levels and ages.
  • MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is a long-standing online community of teachers from a variety of disciplines who share peer-reviewed resources and advice about education across the entire spectrum of curricula.
  • TeacherTube - like YouTube, but specifically for educators. May be hard to find exactly what you are looking for, however.

Online Presentations and References for selected papers

Games, Gaming, and Gamification: Some Aspects of Motivation - Paper presented at TESOL 2016. Published in TESOL Journal, 7(1): 227-232. [Write to me for a pre-publication version.]
Unsupported claims have been made for the use of games in education and the gamification (game-like aspects, such as scores and point goals) of various learning elements. This brief article examines what may be the motivational basis of gaming and how it can affect studentsí behavior and ultimate success.

A Brief History of CALL: Theory & Research - a multimedia talk presented at the
25th Anniversary of CALL IS Colloquium, TESOL Denver, 26 March 2009.
(Based on the paper, a Brief History of CALL.)

The Effect of Technology on SLA and vice versa - A paper delivered at the CALL-IS Academic Session in New York City, 4 April 2008. (Downloadable ppt or play online, includes audio.)
This presentation for the CALL IS Academic Session at TESOL NYC, April 4, 2008, reviews in general terms what is known about second language acquisition and discusses the implications of Landauer and Dumais' theory of Latent Semantic Analysis, a general learning mechanism that resolves Plato's problem of "excessive knowledge." LSA uses computer-based algebraic matrixes that in effect simulate the human brain's neural processing of inferred inductions. The presentation examines some of the reasons computers may be an optimal means to learn a language and explores some of the difficulties in CALL research in an open-ended media-rich environment.

Trends in Digital Media 2007 - A paper delivered online at the Webheads in Action Online Convergence, 19 May 2007. The published version is in TESL-EJ, 11(4) for March 2008. The recording of the presentation is no longer available.

Video_References (pdf) to a paper from TESOL San Antonio: Video Online: What's New? What's Cool?  Links to sites with lessons based on movie trailers, lesson plans to use with the news, good content video for teaching culture, Webcam projects, etc. The text version, Video Online, by E. Hanson-Smith and M. Marzio, is available in pdf (originally published by the IATEFL journal, 2006, and presently housed at the Teaching English with Technology (TEwT) Journal), v. 2006, Issue 2, article number 7 (see pdf above).

Writing in Cyberspaces (pdf - Pre-publication version). (2009). Writing & Pedagogy, 1(1). [by pay or subscription only]. Advances in technology, such as the word-processor, have long supported the pedagogy of composition. However, in the Internet environment a variety of electronic tools and multimedia can further enhance best practices in teaching writing: the integration of reading and writing, recursive drafting, targeted grammar and vocabulary study, peer review, and publication.

Return  to Computers for Education home
Author and editor of works for the technology- using teacher Creator of software  for the computer-using teacher
Contact me for further information about online and real time consulting

Tools, lesson plans, and resources for the TELL educator
[You are here]

Connect with me at
 Linked In
CALL-IS Virtual Software List at Diigo

most recent update 3 May 2017   
copyright Dr. Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, Computers for Education