TGIF ~ March 12, 2010

Technology Gems, Ideas, and Facts

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gem ~ a website or application that might work well for you or your students

Books Should Be Free is a website that provides free, full-length audio recordings of books that are in the public domain. These recordings are available for download either as mp3 files or as podcasts. There are many classic works of literature available, including (just to name a few) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Odyssey, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. These audio recordings could be an enhancement to the study of any of these books as well as a great support for students who struggle with reading. Playing a short snippet of a particular recording as an activator could also help to make some literacy connections in subjects where literature is not usually a focus. (

Idea ~ a way to enhance your LFS lessons with technology

Make Beliefs Comix allows users to create comic strips using a selection of characters and objects and adding their own text. Students could create comics to practice writing dialogue or to express opinions about a topic. They could also be used to practice analyzing perspectives, by having two different characters share their thoughts on a topic. The comics are quick and easy to make and can be printed or emailed. Personally, I’d suggest taking a screenshot of the finished comic and saving it as a picture so that it can later be included in a document, presentation, or on a webpage or blog, as I’ve done below. Make Beliefs Comix also has a large selection of premade comics with empty speech bubbles. Teachers could print these and have students complete them, perhaps as a summarizer for a lesson. World Language teachers should note that the site allows text to be entered in Spanish, French, German, Latin, Italian, and Portugese, including appropriate accent marks. (

Fact ~ Just a bit of information

If you like the audiobooks discussed in the “Gem” section above and would like to find a free print copy as well, check out Google Books. This collection includes previews of thousands of books and even includes the full text of some. Perhaps you only need a short section of a book to share with your students to illustrate a point. This could be a way to allow all of your students to read the text without having to purchase multiple copies of the book or make copies yourself. Sometimes it’s “hit or miss” as to whether the passage you want is included in a preview, but it’s worth a look. (

Have a great weekend!



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