{December 5, 2011}   Interactive Whiteboard Activities

It’s been some months since I’ve first tried the device, and I must admit I love it! Here are two excellent sites with tons of activities for you to work with on an interactive whiteboard:

TES Iboard


English is Cool

Teacher Led


ILearn Technology

Learning Today



Promethean Planet

As some of you know, in one of the subjects I’m attending at the Teacher Training College this year we are working with a topic that many teachers are still afraid of: technology.

Our professor invited us to a talk Nicholas Burbules was giving at UNQ last Tuesday and I must say it was amazing to listen to all those trues. I hoped to listen to some tips as regards how to implement technology in the classroom for those teachers that are still reluctant to do so, but anyway, the overall impression after the talk was that of having heard a precise round up of what I was working with at College.

To begin with, Nicholas provided a very clear explanation of why teachers MUST include technology in their lessons. Basically, he believes that there is no longer a one to one relation between teacher and student but a triangular relation:

With the presence of this new connectivity element, the teacher acquires a new role in the classroom: that of mediator of information. The teacher becomes a designer or the learning environment, s/he will have to adapt the situations according to the interests of their learners. The children of today are not like us: they prefer multitasking rather than doing one thing at the time, and they seem to have been born glued to a computer. That’s why we have to include technology. Schools are now full of digital natives, who demand motivating activities from their teachers.

Nicholas Burbules also demystified some teachers’ beliefs about technology in the classroom, concluding that edutainment IS posible and that we as teachers should concentrate on providing a “translation” of the information students come across.since there is nothing that can be understood exactly as the speaker says it – we have to negotiate  meaning in a meaningful context.

In his conclusion, he stated something that I want to quote as exact as I remember since I found it really important:

“Information is NOT knowledge.

The integration of learning and knowledge to create more complex structures is something that takes time.

Information comes quickly, but knowledge comes slowly

If you are interested in learning more about this conference and Nicholas Burbules, you can take a look at:

Interview (In Spanish)

Blog entry on Technology in the Classroom (In Spanish)

{January 22, 2010}   Bloom’s digital taxonomy

Webbing a while I came across this image and I couldn’t help it. Here I am!

Some links where I found great information enlarging what’s seen on this picture are:



{January 5, 2010}   New EVO Sessions 2010

I’ve already registered for some of the sessions EVO proposes for this year. Last year was my first EVO year and I loved the sessions. I’ve improved a lot my digital teaching practices, and now I include more interesting and better prepared materials in my classroom practices.

For this 2010 sessions, I’ve chosen completely different sessions (although it’s advised not to join more than 2 sessions, if you have free time, you can join one or two extra sessions!)

Hope you join them too!

{September 27, 2009}   Email & Chat Abbreviations

Chat and instant messaging has spawned a short-hand language to help communicate via the keyboard. So, I’ve decided to teach my tweens and teens some of the abbreviations they may find useful. Here’s the list!

Abbreviation Meaning
ADN Any day now
AFAIK As far as I know
AFK Away from keyboard
ARE Acronym-rich environment
A/S/L? Age/sex/location?
B4N Bye for now
BAK Back at the keyboard
BBIAB Be back in a bit
BBL Be back later
BEG Big evil grin
BFD Big f***ing deal
BFN Bye for now
BG Big grin
BIOYIOP Blow it out your I/O port
BL Belly laughing
BOTEC Back-of-the- envelope calculation
BRB Be right back
BTA But then again…
BTW By the way
BWL Burst With Laughter
BWTHDIK But what the heck do I know…?
CU See you
CUL See you later
CUL8ER See you later
CYA Cover your ass
CYO See you online
DBA Doing business as
DFLA Disenhanced four-letter acronym (that is, a TLA)
DL Dead link
DIKU Do I know you?
DITYID Did I tell you I’m distressed?
DQMOT Don’t quote me on this
EG Evil grin
EMFBI Excuse me for butting in
EOM End of message
EOT End of thread (meaning: end of discussion)
ETLA Extended three-letter acronym (that is, an FLA)
F2F Face to face
FAQ Frequently-ask question(s)
FISH First in, still here
FLA Four-letter acronym
FMTYEWTK Far more than you ever wanted to know
FOMCL Falling off my chair laughing
FUBAR F***ed up beyond all repair or recognition
FUD Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt
FWIW For what it’s worth
FYI For your information
G Grin
G2G Got to go
GA Go ahead
GAL Get a life
GD&R Grinning, ducking, and running
GIWIST Gee, I wish I’d said that
GMTA Great minds think alike
GOL Giggling out loud
GTRM Going to read mail
HTH Hope this helps
IAC In any case
IANAL I am not a lawyer (but)
IC I see
IDK I don’t know
IHA I hate acronyms
IIRC If I recall/remember/ recollect correctly
ILU or ILY I love you
IM Immediate/Instant message
IMHO In my humble opinion
IMing Chatting with someone online usually while doing other things such as playing trivia or other interactive game
IMNSHO In my not so humble opinion
IMO In my opinion
IOW In other words
IPN I’m posting naked
IRL In real life
IYSWIM If you see what I mean
JBOD Just a bunch of disks (like redundant array of independent disks, etc.)
JIC Just in case
JK Just kidding
KOTC Kiss on the cheek
KWIM? Know what I mean?
L8R Later
LD Later, dude
LDR Long-distance relationship
LLTA Lots and lots of thunderous applause
LMAO Laugh(ing) My Ass Off
LMLYG Let Me Let You Go
LOL Laugh(ing) Out Loud
LRF Little Rubber Feet (the little pads on the bottom of displays and other equipment)
LTM Laugh to myself
LTR Long-term relationship
LULAB Love you like a brother
LULAS Love you like a sister
MorF Male or female
MOSS Member of the same sex
MOTOS Member of the opposite sex
MUSM Miss you so much
NM Not much
NFG No f*****g good
NFW No feasible way or no f*****g way
NIFOC Naked in front of computer
NP or N/P No problem
NRN No response necessary
OIC Oh, I see
OLL Online love
OTF Off the floor
OTOH On the other hand
OTTOMH Off the top of my head
PANS Pretty awesome new stuff (as opposed to “POTS”)
PCMCIA People can’t master computer industry acronyms
PDA Public display of affection
PEBCAK Problem exists between chair and keyboard
PIBKAC Problem is between keyboard and chair
PITA Pain in the ass
PMFJIB Pardon me for jumping in but…
::POOF:: Goodbye (leaving the room)
POS Parent over shoulder (change the topic)
POTS Plain old telephone service
PU That stinks!
RL Real life (that is, when not chatting)
ROR Raffing out roud (Engrish for “laughing out loud”)
ROTFL Rolling on the floor laughing
ROTFLMAO Rolling on the floor laughing my a** off
ROTFLMAOWPIMP Rolling on the floor laughing my a** off while peeing in my pants
ROTFLMBO Rolling on the floor laughing my butt off
RPG Role-playing games
RSN Real soon now
RTFM Read the f***ing manual
RYO Roll your own (write your own program; derived from cigarettes rolled yourself with tobacco and paper)
S4L Spam for life (what you may get when you become someone’s customer or client)
SHCOON Shoot hot coffee out of nose
SEG S***-eating grin
SF Surfer-friendly (low-graphics Web site)
SNAFU Situation normal, all f***ed up
SO Significant other
SOHF Sense of humor failure
SOL Smilling out loud or sh*t out of luck
SOMY Sick of me yet?
STFW Search the f*****g Web
STW Search the Web
SWAG Stupid wild-a** guess
TAFN That’s all for now
TANSTAAFL There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch
TFH Thread from hell (a discussion that just won’t die and is often irrelevant to the purpose of the forum or group)
TGIF Thank God it’s Friday
THX Thanks
TIA Thanks in advance (used if you post a question and are expecting a helpful reply)
TLA Three-letter acronym
TLK2UL8R Talk to you later
TMI Too much information
TOPCA Til our paths cross again (early Celtic chat term)
TPTB The powers that be
TTFN Ta-Ta for now
TTT Thought that, too (when someone types in what you were about to type)
TTYL Talk to you later
TU Thank you
UAPITA You’re a pain in the ass
UW You’re welcome
VBG Very big grin
VBSEG Very big s***-eating grin
WDALYIC Who died and left you in charge?
WFM Works for me
WIBNI Wouldn’t it be nice if
WRT With respect to
WT? What/who the ?
WTFO What the F***! Over!
WTG Way to go!
WTGP? Want to go private?
WU? What’s up?
WUF? Where are you from?
WYSIWYG What you see is what you get
YGBSM You gotta be s***tin’ me!
YMMV Your mileage may vary.


Net for beginners

{May 9, 2009}   Melting Post (:

Today I was looking for new ideas for this week’s planning, and I came across several interesting sites, which I’m sharing with you:

Trash Matcher is a site where you can find lots of crafts to make with recycled materials.

OneHen is a great site to teach finance to kids!

Learn to read free provides free online reading for kids who are starting reading.

Internet4Classrooms provides resources for teachers to use Internet effectively in their classrooms.

Colouring Books for Download

And, the most interesting for me this week, Mayan Kids (Since my students are doing a project on ancient civilizations)

Hope they prove useful for you!

{April 15, 2009}   E-teaching

A nice idea that got on my mind while attending to the EVO Kick off Session (yeah, it was a long time ago… I really forgot to change this post status to “published”), was to create a chat room where my students can join one hour a week, to practice colloquial English. Since classroom work focuses mainly on formal English, this would be a nice way to engage those students who are not so interested in learning English “the old way”. Furthermore, if you know some native speakers, or another teachers, you can invite them to join your chat so as to make it a more interesting experience. Another option could be to make the chat “topic based”, so each different meeting, you could provide your students with opportunities to talk about varied topics.

Second Life (or any other VR) is another option that many teachers are taking into account. I guess it would be kind of a playing with dolls situation, where one of the characters represents a teacher and the other,  the student.

Blogging is a well known tool nowadays, but with some training on web tools, it can be a really powerful teaching tool. Many teachers publish a class blog for parents to see what their children are working on, or just to share some extra knowlede with their students.

There are lots of tools for language teaching and learning but where should we start? I tend to use IT with my private students, since they are all grown ups and acquainted with technology.  My advice is to start by using those tools you are familiar with, and then gradually start including new ideas into your teaching practices. Of course, you don’t need to be an IT expert to choose what to use for your teaching practices, but be sure you know all tips and tricks before you make your students work with technology (and, if they are under age, do not forget to ask for parents’ permission if you are planning to work on the net!). Sometimes school policies do not allow teacher-student contact after school hours, so be sure to ask first!

{January 16, 2009}   Online Learning

For the past 4 or 5 days, I’ve been taking part on a series of online teaching and learning sessions, and I’m really looking forward to tell you all about them.They are 6 week courses and this was the first week.
Some courses’ topics are blogging, digital media and education, teaching a language and conflict resolution in the classroom.
I’ll try to upload a weekly summary of the activities, so you can see what this geekyteacher does during her holidays!

BTW, I have to sit down here and order my bookmarks! I’ve got lots of nice things to share with you, but first, they should be in the right place 😉


Are texting and instant messaging destroying our language?

This is the most common question I never answer. People ask me this all the time, and I’m never quite sure what to say. I’m not a linguist. Evolution of language is not my expertise. Yet many think that because I study grammar, surely I must have a front-row seat for its demise.But if you stop and think about what it means to deteriorate, you’ll see why I’ve always found the question a little unsettling. I’ve lived in neighborhoods where the streets were falling apart. Everyone knows that if you don’t change your car’s oil and rotate its tires regularly and do other maintenance, it will fall apart. I’m quite sure that if you put milk instead of water into your coffee maker, you won’t have your coffee maker very long.

But these things all have one thing in common: They’re manufactured. They’re artificial constructs. They start out shiny and new then they begin to fall apart — slowly or quickly depending on how they’re treated.

But language was never shiny and new and perfect — fresh off the assembly line, so to speak. Grammar was not manufactured. It evolved quite naturally, on its own, probably first with club-wielding people grunting stuff even less intelligible than “LOL” and “BFF.” And they’ve never — despite what your nostalgic, sentence-diagramming mom might tell you — achieved a state of perfection.

Yes, technology is accelerating change. It’s introducing an unnatural element into an otherwise natural process. But is it unnatural enough to mess up the whole system?

As I said, I’ve always dodged the question. I point out that, if modern communications are indeed messing up our language standards, then the first finger pointed should not be aimed at some poor kid ROFLing.

It should be aimed squarely at advertisers. They tell us to “drive thru” and offer values “everyday.” Their abuses date back to the days of cigarette ads when they told us a certain brand tastes good “like a cigarette should” (properly, that “like” should have been “as.”)

In other words, my message is: “Put down the mallet and step away from your kid’s Blackberry. Let’s all just remain calm.”

Of course, that was in lieu of any real knowledge on my part. But now, after years of dancing around the question, I found a real answer — a qualified answer from the most pioneering linguist of our age. Though many know him better for his controversial politics, he is first and foremost a language expert and the guy credited with the revolutionary concept of a universal grammar. Noam Chomsky.

I found my answer, ironically, on YouTube, in a recording of an author talk Chomsky gave this spring. Asked whether texting, etc., are messing up our language, he had some interesting stuff to say.

Chomsky is deeply disturbed by technology’s effect on kids’ minds. “They have to be stimulated constantly by noise and by visual imagery,” Chomsky told the audience. “I’m sure that’s having an effect on children growing up, and I don’t think a good effect.”

But what about grammar and syntax? Is technology harming them? In a word: No. “It’s not doing anything to the language. I think that’s a mistake. The language is robust enough so it’s not going to be affected by that.”

Yes, teenagers today are creating their own “speak,” so to speak. But according to Chomsky, they always have. It’s part of language’s evolution, he said. It never damaged the syntax before, and it won’t do so now.

So, if you find this surprising, it’s OK to express that with an emphatic “OMG”!

JUNE CASAGRANDE is a freelance writer and author of “Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies” and “Mortal Syntax: 101 Language Choices That Will Get You Clobbered by the Grammar Snobs — Even If You’re Right.” She may be reached at


P.S.: I’m actually re-reading Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies, because I loved it! 😉

{September 30, 2008}   More Useful Links!

How many times did your students ask you…. “Hey teacher, can you teach us offensive words?”

How many times did they come to you and ask you about a weird term they heard and “it was wrongly translated, because this means another thing”, and you had to explain that words have several meanings according to usage in contexts, and so on…

This time, and thanks to those people from Argenteam who collected many of these links for their subtitle translation team, I want to share with you lots of links that may be useful for you or your students. Some of them are well known resources, so, come on! Start upgrading your English!

PS: I’ve checked all the links, anyway, check them before giving them to your students!

On-line Translators


English Dictionaries

Cambridge Dictionary

Lexicool, bilingual and multilingual dictionary collection



ImTranslator / PROMT Online

ImTranslator / PROMT Online

Google Translator


Urban Dictionary


Merriam-Webster On Line

Merriam-Webster On Line



Alternative English Dictionary

Alternative English Dictionary

English Daily

English Daily

OneLook Dictionary Search

OneLook Dictionary Search

Other Languages


English, German, Italian

From German, Italian and French to English

English, French

English – German DataBase


Clichés, Euphemisms & Figures of Speech

Diccionario de Proverbios y Refranes (Español/Inglés Spanish/English)

Boxing 1

Boxing 2

Boxing 3

Glosario de fármacos con nombre común no internacional (EN-ES)


Poker Vocabulary

Technical Dictionary

Other Dictionaries and Glossaries


Drug Related Slang Terminology

Street Terms: Drugs and the Drug Trade
Buzz Slang

Sex-Related Slang

Sex Slang
Street Slang
Toilet Slang

Offensive Slang

More on Politically Incorrect English

et cetera