Chances are you and your students will want to send a holiday greeting, so why not use web tools in class to create them? Various web tools and apps allow your students to be creative while spreading holiday cheer. Also, multimedia greetings are a fun way to learn about various cultures and their holiday traditions, because often they provide backgrounds and sayings for Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. Additionally, language learners can acquire new vocabulary and apply the vocabulary in a fun way while practicing writing, listening, reading, and speaking skills. Many of these web tools have the ability for users to share their productions via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter!
Holiday Web Tools
These are the free tools I recommend. Some of them come as free mobile apps as well.
Animoto- Upload images, choose a creative commons soundtrack from the library (many nice holiday tunes to choose from) and click a button to make a 30-second video. Sync your videos with your Animoto.com account, download videos for offline viewing, and make longer ones with an All-Access Pass. You can create your greeting online or use their free mobile app for the iPhone. Here is a holiday greeting to you from me and Rosco, my pug!
GoAnimate- Create holiday videos that are funny. Use your own pictures or choose from their database. Narrate the characters. Upload your video to Youtube.
Smilebox- Create a beautiful photo slideshow using their website or iPhone app. Upload your images and choose from various holiday themed backgrounds and music. Embed this in your blog.
Fotobabble- Quickly create and easily share talking photos in 3 steps (Snap or select or a photo, speak into the microphone to record audio, share with friends via email, Facebook or Twitter). Fotobabble is really easy to use and free with various holiday themed backgrounds. You can create your greeting online or use their free mobile app for the iPhone. Here is a holiday greeting by Rosco, my pug!
Storybird- This is a free site for creating beautifully illustrated digital stories. Students write the stories and choose the characters and background. Furthermore, the site allows collaborative tools and ways to share the story in a blog. There are several holiday themes.
Mixbook- Collaborate on a photobook with friends. Create stories, photo journals, and more with your uploaded images. You can zoom in on photos, add holiday backgrounds, and embed this in a blog.
Scrapblog- Create multimedia scrapbooks. Upload your images and play with the various holiday themes, stickers, backgrounds, text features, and frames. Embed this in your blog.
ArtisanCam- Create incredible holiday cards by choosing themes, stickers, images, and more. Students can spray paint or color the card. Send your personalized card and even enter a contest.
Northpole- Students create holiday e-cards, stories starring themselves, chat with Santa and the elves, play games, write Santa a letter that he replies to, and so much more!
Voki-This application lets students create personalized avatars to use on wikis, blogs or websites. You can also e-mail these wonderful characters and choose from a variety of holiday characters and backgrounds. Students record their audio messages on a microphone or through the telephone.
Design an Animated Card- Students choose stickers and a holiday message. They can import their own photos and animate the card. They can download the holiday card or email it.
My Holiday Sweater- Students decorate their own holiday sweater by choosing stickers, buttons, the pattern, and more. Then they upload a picture and choose a holiday background. They type a greeting and email it to a friend or family member.
What apps and web tools do you love using to send your friends holiday cheers? Leave a comment below so that we can give your favorite apps a try!
Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, author, and international speaker. She is the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars and the Social Media Community Manager for The Consultants-E. She has co-founded and organized the acclaimed educational projects, Edchat, the ELTON nominated ELTChat, The Reform Symposium E-Conference and the ELTON nominated Virtual Round Table language and technology conference. Visit her award winning blog, Teacher Reboot Camp, for resources for effective technology integration. Keep an eye out for her book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators published by Eye on Education. She has taught toddlers to adults English in various countries including the US, Germany, and Greece and currently travels around the world training teachers. Website: http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/ Twitter: @ShellTerrell