8 years ago
I'd like to create this thread so we can discuss some applications that are useful for teachers and students in ESL.
8 years ago
I'm an ESL teacher enthusiastic about integrating technology in the ESL classroom and created the Astroloquiz app that you have seen displayed on this site for some time now. If you own an iPad I'd like to ask for your support of my application so that I can continue to make more like it. It's an expensive and difficult process but ultimately, students will benefit from it the most and that is most important to me. I'd like to tell you a bit about the app here so that you can better understand how it can be used in your classes to assist you in promoting the literacy of your students.

Astroloquiz was designed for use in grades 5, 6 & 7. The aim of the application is not to teach Astrology but to give students and their teachers an opportunity to learn. Here are some of the ways the app can be harnessed in educational settings.

Astroloquiz develops creativity and critical thinking skills. Students may be shy or afraid to talk in class get a chance to speak out their minds in pairs. The app can be used as a pair and share / turn and talk activity. Ideally, sitting students together in small groups from 2 to 4 students would facilitate conversation.

In linguistic terms, Astroloquiz helps to develop a student’s communicative skills and is a powerful tool for literacy by promoting vocabulary acquisition. Students can clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words by listening to easy to understand touch-activated definitions. Language acquisition is further enhanced by reading through situations in context.

Other literacy building activities include comparing and contrasting a student and their classmate’s individual choices as well as comparing and contrasting the star signs. The situations presented in Astroloquiz can be utilized to write opinion pieces which support points of view on various ways to deal with conflicts that are presented to the reader. Teachers can use this application to enable students to write narratives on personal or imagined experiences to illustrate concrete understanding of new vocabulary.

Importantly, Astroloquiz encourages the development of a student’s sense of individuality by lending an opportunity to experiment with and establish their identity. Promotion of social and ethical discussions may not be given sufficient time in the modern classroom and the app gives plenty of opportunity for a teacher to augment their lessons with an app that gives relevance to a child’s life. It empowers a student to discuss deep feelings about relevant, every day topics and situations and helps them to convey a powerful personal message to each other.  Students can explore the meaning of their own experience, give this value, and communicate this experience with others.

How does your classroom teaching of this work? Do you do it once a semester, as a special occasion, or is it an on-going study project over several weeks?
I need a bit of a setting to be able to present it well, 

I teach with this app over three 50 minute classes but could probably do more with it if I had time. I have spoken to some other educators who have said they could use this in a thematic unit for over a weeks worth of instruction. Using this as a ‘Treat’ in the class is certainly a possibility but that is definitely not my intention. I want the app to be used to its full potential where teachers with creative freedom can use this to augment some of the curriculum targets they’ve been tasked to teach. As you can see now, Astroloquiz really encompasses so much- First and foremost, it is an application to promote literacy. Giving opportunity for communication, and individual expression are essential in exploration of social development, critical thinking skills and promoting personal confidence in ones' self . When used in this context there are a variety of supplemental activities that educators can use to support the overall development of their students.

The app isn’t completely intended for the education sector. I also think that parents could buy this for their children for a great learning experience. Children can endlessly compare their reactions to each other and their friends in the right settings such as car trips, slumber parties, long plane rides and so on. I’m a teacher. I could have easily excluded all ‘Learning’ aspects of the app and made it a gimmick- something you download for .99 cents and play once. I didn’t want that though. I want my legacy to be that I helped to create powerful learning tools that were used to bring people together in the enjoyment of learning.

8 years ago
reply to davewingler's post #2
hello! I would like to warn you about the possible reactions you may encounter when facing Christian students. As a matter of fact, I personally had to face a few years ago Christian parents who strongly disaproved my use of a worksheet about astrological signs and personality. I had to explain my point of view as in fact I didn't have the slightest idea it could shock some parents. But these parents gave me their point of view and I thought they were right: there are so many other biases to talk about personality... So be aware that even if your work is valuable, you may have negative reactions to it! Thank you for your attention!
8 years ago
Dear Annouchka & Dave,
I'm glad I work for a State School ...- ie : Let's keep religion out of the Educational system - shall we ???
I have many students - not from many foreign cultures though - But ...Either Christians, Muslims or Buddhists,...parents perfectly know the French system of education WON'T teach their kids about religion. If they do care for it, - their own right - we've got a wide range of Private schools for that.
I just cannot see what the problem is, dear Annouchka : Either you use the ws or activity, either you don't. I hope this message does not sound rude, as it is not meant to be...My point is : As educators, we CHOOSE the ws or activities we give to our students...If we feel we may hurt, let's not do it...But I strongly believe - whatever the religion - we are supposed to teach the LANGUAGE...
I once taught my older students about women's rights, & got unexpected reactions ...So, what ??
On second thoughts, I hope God ( ie= Black woman ;-))) won't mind my not taking religious feelings into account!
:-) Take care,
7 years ago
I have been busy working on Android applications for tabs. All of the programs that I make can also be converted into a Microsoft application (desktop), html5 and whatever else. I use gamemaker and have been making my apps with code. Once you start writing your own programs and find the ins and outs it really isn't that difficult. Try the free Gamemaker apps and try to make something for an English activity. You would be surprised how easy it is to draw words across the screen once you figure it out. Powerpoint can be used to make your images. Try it out as I am getting ready to publish a few games. It takes a lot of work but it isn't costly if you do it yourself.

John Foose
7 years ago
I have started posting some English games on Amazon.com if you are interested in Android English games for the Samsung and other tablets (not supporting Apple's ITab yet.)

John Foose
7 years ago
Hello everyone,

I'm working on some worksheets and lesson plans using 'Pages' for IPad. As those of you with IPads know, the downloads don't always look the same after being downloaded. When I have finished I would be happy to send them by email as 'Pages' documents. If anyone is interested? Just testing the water, nice idiom there for all you teachers.

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