Fun ad: what happened next?

I got this one from Viral Video Chart, which I keep my eye on (via its RSS feed, on Google Reader) for stuff for class.

With this, you could try stopping it after exactly 27 seconds and asking your students, in pairs, to guess what is going to happen next. Who can get closest?

Ask first if anyone has already seen it, in which case they should remain silent. I always get one learner in each pair to take notes during any brainstorming: that could be their job.

Texts learners actually want to read

Here's a story I spotted this morning when I opened Google Reader, as I do first thing every morning. I do that because almost every morning it brings me something I could use in class.

The headline that caught my eye was Miami Invaded By Giant, House-Eating Snails, and I immediately bookmarked it on Delicious, in fact even before I'd actually read the whole article. I'm not sure when I'll use it or with which class but it's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for…

What I'm thinking as I scan the headlines is that any story with a headline I want to click is maybe a text my learners are going to want to read; and any text they want to read is one I want to take to class.

And being on NPR, the article also comes with an audio version and a transcript (not to mention a photo to import to my interactive whiteboard).

Argh! Bloglines to close, October 1

Bloglines, a popular RSS reader [definition] is to close October 1, as it says "being locked in an RSS reader makes less and less sense to people as Twitter and Facebook dominate real-time information flow".

Thanks to Twitter and the like, people don't read use RSS readers any more, in other words (though over 70% of Mashable's readers do — or at least they did, a year ago).

To follow lots of blogs (and a huge etcetera), however, an RSS reader is indispensable — and has at least one huge advantage over Twitter and Facebook: you choose who or what you want to follow, and you don't finish up swamped by garbage.

Switching over to a different RSS reader is simply a question of exporting your feeds from Bloglines and importing them into a new one… but which one? The new, social media version of Google Reader was the obvious choice (though I much prefer Bloglines) — but further dependence on the Evil Empire aka Google, that's bad news, too.

So much good stuff from Larry Ferlazzo

What drives motivation? Great for a Business English class…

One of the great mysteries of the Internet: how on earth do people like Larry Ferlazzo find time to find so much amazing stuff?

I barely have time to read my RSS feed for Larry's Websites of the Day, so that when I eventually get round to it, my Bloglines account is overflowing with good stuff. Among what's been accumulating there:

Who needs Google when we've got Larry…?!

Free resources for learning languages

One that came from one of my favourite RSS feeds — the excellent Lifehacker.com — free (mostly podcast) resources for learning languages (37 of them, including English). Useful to your students, useful to you too if you're heading off to teach English somewhere exotic…

"Don't search, have stuff come to you," I always say, and RSS is a great way to make that happen, whether you're a teacher or a learner.

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