Friday, October 22, 2010

Five Free Technology Tools for ELL/ESL Teachers and Students

I am currently serving as the Past-President of the Intermountain TESOL affiliate, and I am always impressed with the quality of character and scholarship among our membership. I was reminded of this today as I participated in the first day of the two-day I-TESOL Fall Conference hosted at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. I attended some wonderful sessions, one of which discussed five free technology tools that have application both in and out of the classroom that I am very excited to use. I thought it would be worth passing these resources along. I attribute these ideas to Ben McMurry, a colleague from Brigham Young University.

Here are the five educational technology tools that were shared:
1) Do you ever have a YouTube video you want to show in class but you don't have internet access? Download YouTube Videos using "1 Click". Once you download this app, you can choose to save the file in FLV, MP4, 3GP, or HD formats. I like this tool over other YouTube downloaders because you can download the videos right from YouTube rather than having to copy and paste the URL in another website.
2) Google Voice is a great tool for those times when you want to give your students homework assignments involving leaving phone messages. Students call a phone number that Google Voice provides you with, and students call that number, leave a message, and you can access it from your Google account. This tool also allows you to receive voicemail messages and texts using this phone number rather than having to give out your personal phone number.
3) translates typed text into several languages. This tool will also read English text in English using text to speech.
4) Google Forms allows you to create forms and access the information in a spreadsheet format. I love this tool for gathering information from students on a homework assignment, providing practice quizzes, etc. Google Forms can be accessed at
5) Once you create a form or Google doc, the URL is usually quite long. If you're emailing it out and would prefer that it isn't so long, shorten the url using

I will be receiving more information about these tools soon and would be happy to pass it along if this is of interest to anyone.

(See also my post on other free technology tools here.)


  1. These are great, Heidi. Many thanks to you and Ben McMurry.

  2. I'm glad you find this information useful, too!

  3. These tools can help in a lot of ways. As an educator, I'll definitely consider them. They can actually improve my teaching.

    Hulme computer repair