3 Ways Pokémon GO Can Create Meaningful Learning Opportunities | EdTech Magazine

Pokémon GO has only been available in Canada for about 10 days, but it’s become extremely popular, in a very short amount of time.  Players should pay attention to their surroundings, and they should be considerate of people who live and work near Poké Stops & Gyms, where you collect weapons and have battles.  Unlike other video games, players have to get out and move around their communities to play Pokémon GO.  It’s very interesting to see how much exercise players are getting, and how much interaction is happening, when players meet each other.  So many strangers have given me advice about how to play!  Think about some skills that you want to learn and how you can use Pokémon GO to help you learn those skills.  Prepositions are one area of vocabulary and grammar that are often difficult to learn.  Ask for advice and give it about where to locate Pokéstops, gyms, and monsters! Find new places around your neighbourhood, as well as when you go someplace new.


A Pokémon gym in Fort Assiniboine, AB, also the world’s largest wagon wheel & pick!

Educators from around the web offer ideas for incorporating Pokémon GO into the classroom.

Source: 3 Ways Pokémon GO Can Create Meaningful Learning Opportunities | EdTech Magazine

The Road To Impact – BioLite

I have mentioned previously that I’m very excited about my BioLite cooking system that I use for camping and for BBQ. As soon as I saw this great new innovation, I needed to have it! In the beginning, it was a little bit frustrating, because you need to use wood for your cooking, and the wood at a campsite is often wet, and hard to start. However, I learned to carry dry kindling with me, and once a fire ignites, it is easy to keep the fire going with the generator and fan. Food cooks and water boils quickly and conveniently, and I don’t need to buy or carry fossil fuels, in order to enjoy my camping meals. This video shows you a little bit about how the technology is being used to improve the lives of families in developing countries, where cooking is often a dangerous and difficult activity. When I think of creative solutions, BioLite is often one of the first products that I think of.


Ready to make a dried meal

An honest look at the business of change and what it takes to bring Energy Everywhere. Learn how your purchase has a direct impact on our mission.

Source: The Road To Impact – BioLite


WOW!!!!! Most amazing video yet, by OK Go, filmed by drone

I’ve been really impressed with the music videos that OK Go makes, since their early video on the treadmills.  They have an amazing sense of timing and visual imagery.  This video is like nothing that you’ve ever seen.  It appears to have been filmed in Japan, but I’m not too sure.  Probably somebody who watches will recognize the environment a bit better than me.  Please leave a comment, with your reaction to the video!


Abundance is our Future: Peter Diamandis TED talk

Most ESL language books have a unit about technology.  Often the focus is on gadgets or devices that are quickly becoming obsolete, like “floppy disks”.  Instead, I prefer to focus on how we use technology, and what we are able to do more easily, thanks to new developments.  This is a very interesting talk about new developments, and the impact that they’re having on developing countries.  There are English subtitles, and an interactive transcript, so you can focus on reading, or on listening, or you can combine the skills.  Tell me what you think about the talk!

Perfect Language Learner.

Free-English-lessons-in-London_Perfect-Language-Learner.jpg (1616×1252).

St. George International School posted this lovely infographic about how to be an excellent language learner.  I really believe that the best students take advantage of little blocks of time every day to read or listen to something in the target language, and they speak and write in the new language as often as possible.

Learn about the ISS International Space Station

When we study technology, I like to look at the International Space Station (ISS), and all of the international cooperation that has gone into making this possible.  It’s amazing to me, when I remember the Cold War “Space Race” from my younger years.  The US and USSR fought hard to keep their secrets, and to be the first to cross each new barrier in space.  Now, businesses from around the world are trying to send their goods into space, and people have been living in space throughout this millennium.

This music video by Five For Fighting, and NASA shows the crew living on the space station:

Tonight, I received an email from:


They said that the space station would be visible for 3 minutes tonight at 7:18 pm, so we went out to try to get a look.  In fact, it wasn’t that hard to see the station, even in the city lights, once our “Skyview” smartphone applications told us where to look.  It was just as bright as Jupiter, and it was too high in the sky to be an airplane.


You can learn more about the space station on the simple, or the regular Wikipedia page.

10 things ESL students can do with Evernote on their tablets

This is written for teachers, but you can easily see how you can use your tablet, laptop, and/or smartphone, along with Evernote to document your progress in using the English language. I also recommend that you put together a portfolio of any of your work in your field of study!

Oxford University Press

Tablet in handsMohamed El-Ashiry takes a look at how Evernote can be used in the classroom

Portfolio assessment in the ESL classroom offers many benefits. On the Prince George’s County Public Schools’ website, a portfolio is defined as ‘a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits the student’s efforts, progress, and achievements in one or more areas of the curriculum’. Brown & Hudson (1998) have also described portfolios as a ‘family of assessments’. Some of the benefits of using portfolios, as described by Brown & Hudson (1998) include: (1) focusing student attention on learning processes; and (2) increasing student involvement in the learning processes. I have always been a fan of such ‘alternatives in assessment‘ because of the fact that they focus a lot more on the ‘process of learning’ as opposed to the ‘product of learning’ (Brown & Hudson, 1998).

Now that iPads and tablets are spreading into many…

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Abundance is our future

Perhaps you are pessimistic about the future, and you believe that everything keeps getting worse and worse in the world.  If so, it’s a good idea to watch this video, because the speaker has a very different perspective than the average person!

This is still a very interesting speech and it has a lot of useful vocabulary for talking about technology.

A video with a crazy invention

The British band, OKGo has crazy videos. I don’t recommend this video for a listening exercise, because the lyrics are hard to understand, but it’s a fun video to watch and describe.

In Top Notch 3, we study about a Rube Goldberg Machine in unit 8, and this video is a perfect example of a Rube Goldberg Machine!