2006 LaTESOL Cool Online Tools

Follow-up note

My apologies to all of you who attended my session. The internet connection made it much less valuable than I think it might have been otherwise. I hope you will explore some of these links on your own now. If you have any questions, please let me know; I would be happy to try to answer them!


Welcome to my presentation for the 2006 LaTESOL Conference: Cool Online Tools that Anyone Can Use.

In this brief period of time we will try to explore some of the resources that are available online that may help you

  • as a teacher
  • as a person

Please feel free to ask questions as we go along. I want to make this presentation as useful to you as it possibly can be.


My name is Nancy. I teach ESL at St. Joseph Seminary College outside of Covington. This is my 6th year there. A few years ago the Academic Dean asked me if we were using any technology in our classes aside from computer software. I told him we weren't. And then I set out to change that. What you will see today are some of the technology tools I use either with my students or for personal reasons. I hope you will find something that is of value to you.

If you would like to contact me about anything you have seen here or with any questions you have about online tools, please moc.oohay|dnaekcman#.em liame

My Professional Portfolio


What is a Blog?

The best way to learn about blogs is to look at a few.

Random Thoughts
Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Guerrilla Season Book Blog

What do you notice?

  • A blog can be about anything.
  • A blog is a place where teachers and students can share their thoughts and ideas. It is a place where student work can be published.
  • You can search a blog to find an old post.
  • You can see what other people are reading and thinking about.

Where can you get a free blog?


RSS Feed Aggregators

What in the world is an RSS feed?

Today many, if not most, websites have an RSS feed. The purpose of an RSS feed is to allow you to easily keep track of new material on websites you really like. If you want to read a lot of blogs, for instance, it is easier to go to an aggregator to read all the new posts than to go to each one individually.

What are some examples of RSS aggregators?



What is a Wiki?

A wiki is what you make of it. Look at these examples.

Holocaust Wiki Project

Where can you get a free wiki?

PB Wiki

Online Word Processors and Office Suites

Why not just use Word?

Well, there are many reasons not to use Word, but the ones that most apply here involve the expense for students. There is also a problem of not all computers having Word.

In addition, an online word processor is more convenient. If our students do their work one day at school in the computer lab, the next day at the library and another day at a friend's house, it can be hard to complete a project. With an online word processor, the project is available wherever the student gets on a computer with internet access.

What are some online word processors"

Zoho Writer
Google Docs


What are podcasts?

Podcasts are recorded messages from almost anyone about almost anything. Some podcasts are created by professionals like the folks at NPR and PBS, but others are produced by teachers and other "regular" people.

To see a list of some of the podcasts and types of podcasts available, check out Podcast.net.

Another source for podcasts is Podnova. A search for podcasts about ESL turned up this list.

How can you listen to podcasts?

If you go to podcast.net, you can listen to the podcasts right there on their site. All it takes is a program that plays mp3s. Windows Media Player, Real Player and many other programs you probably already have on your computer will work.

What if you want to listen to certain podcasts a lot?

If you know that you will want to listen to NPRs New Horizons in Education podcast, for instance, all you have to do it get their RSS feed information and add it to your aggregator.

Other Speaking and Listening Tools

Audacity - One of my favorite tools; it isn't exactly online but it is a free download.

Online Storage

Slide Share

Other Neat Tools

Online File Cabinet

Have you ever read something online in a newspaper or magazine and then never been able to find it again? Well, it never has to happen again.


Online Classroom


Graphic Organizer / Drawing Tool

Gliffy is a neat little tool that can be used to create flow charts, floor plans and other types of graphics.

This is a diagram I made in a few minutes using Gliffy.

Citation Assistance

Easy Bib

Pulling it all together

Suprglu allows you to bring all your different web presences together on one place. It can be useful for class blogs and wikis.

Here is the Suprglu page of Women of the Web 2.0.

Here is math teacher Darren Kuropatwa's Suprglu page.


Instant Discussion Board

Quick Topics

I would love it if you would take a moment to let me know what was helpful and what you wish you would have learned in this presentation. Please do that here.

Return to ESL, Writing and Technology

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.