ESL Tech Tools

Where the TA TEKS and the ELPS Meet

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If You Give a Kid a Laptop

From TEA

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#1 Connecting Students (and Parents) to Websites

All teachers must develop efficient methods for students to access resources online. They need to be ONE click away whenever possible.



  • FREE
  • Group text without being IN a group text.
  • Private--no one knows your phone numbers
  • Schedule Texts (birthdays, parent reminders, holiday greetings)
  • Add attachments
  • Add voice memos
  • Insert Links
  • Text as few as 3 people. Great for reminders (pun intended) for smaller groups.
  • FREE

Apps for your phone:

Click here for the Remind App for iPhone.

Click here for the Remind App for Android.

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  • FREE(minum)
  • Online bulletin board
  • Can be moderated
  • Post links, images, videos, or upload files.
  • Anyone can post to them.

There is a Chrome Extension as well. Click here to add it to Chrome.

For more ideas for the classroom, click here.

QR Codes:

Create a QR code for any URL. If a person has a device with a QR read app installed, they can scan the QR and get to the information.

QR Reader/Scanner:

i-nigma is my preferred QR reader. Click here for the Apple version.Click here for the Android version.

QR Creators:

You have to have a plan for efficiently creating QR codes. There are two quick ways:

Click here for information on how to create QRs.

Click here for information on helping parents understand QRs.

Symbaloo (EDU)

SymbalooEDU is a free educational tool that allows teachers and students to save their online resources in the cloud with access from any device. Teachers can easily save their favorite web 2.0 sites to a webmix with just a few clicks then share it with colleagues or students. With an account a users resources are available on any iPhone, PC, Mac and iPad.

#2 Collect and Curate Content

How do you get better at what you do? How do you connect? How do you discover content relevant to your current assignment? Once you find content, what do you do with it? How do you "save" it? How do you find it once it is saved?

It is now a choice for an educator to remain in isolation and ignore the opportunity to connect, learn and become better teachers for their students.~ANDREW T. GARCIA

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#3 Calibrate (How to Know What They Know)

Newsela (Nooz-ella)

Newsela is an innovative way to build reading comprehension with nonfiction that's always relevant: daily news.

Newsela's range of reading levels invites targeted intervention and differentiation. You can assign articles to individuals as well as small groups, using the quizzes to track progress and make further suggestions. Whole-class work has just as much potential; you can select articles for targeted instruction on specific reading standards while modeling good annotation and close-reading strategies for your students. Afterwards, encourage them to practice independently.

#4 Creating Content


ThingLink is a web-based tool for embedding multimedia content in an image or collection of images. The image-embedding process, for both teachers and students, simply involves uploading an image and linking it to other resources on the web. Links can lead users to informational webpages, audio recordings, and videos. Prompts guide users most of the way, and there's a Search Content option, which helps support the embedding process with links to commonly used web resources.

Click here for the Andriod App.

Click here for the iPad/iPhone App


Thematic is a tool to create simple (limited text) and visual projects. Projects can contain up to 20 photos with limited text boxes. Super easy to create visual stories or supports.


Stupeflix is a web application to make awesome videos in a few clicks.
Select a video style, pick photos, videos, music, add text, and you're done.

You can import photos, videos from your computer or from the web. You can use photos from your Facebook, Dropbox, Picasa or Flickr accounts. You can even use your webcam to record.
Add a soundtrack by uploading a song or choosing one from our library. You can also add a voice-over file or use our computer voices that will read your text.
Then tell your story with text slides and captions on top of photos and videos.

Stupeflix as an iPhone/iPad sister named Replay.

Bonus Tools

Google Chrome Tools

Google Chrome can provide students (and teachers) with differentiated supports to access the Internet.

Google Chrome to can be set to MANY different languages. Some of these languages can even be used for spell check.

Click here for more detailed instruction on Chrome.

Here are some extensions and apps to assist teachers and students:

  • and learn words on webpages. You get definitions, grammar, audio and flashcards to help you build your vocabulary in a quick and easy way as you browse online newspapers, Gmail or even your own Twitter and Facebook feeds.
  • Language Immersion- Language Immersion for Chrome is an experimental extension that aims to simulate the experience of being immersed in a foreign language. By switching certain words and phrases from English into a language of your choice, the websites you already visit can provide a way to experience the world from a different perspective.
  • Word Cloud Website Preview-This handy extension gives generates a Word Cloud from the page you are currently reading. For ELL students and reluctant readers, this provides an overview of the content, a place to gather a general understanding of the article. Try this: ask your students to go to an article and run the Word Cloud Website Preview extension. Ask them to note the words that appear the most and create an anticipation chart. The uses are countless!
  • Read&Write-Boost reading and writing confidence. Offer support for Google Docs/web to students with learning difficulties, dyslexia or ELL/ESL. Read&Write for Google™ offers a range of powerful support tools to help students gain confidence with reading and writing.
  • Movenote--Add your favorite content from whatever source you want, and record video alongside to it with your computer, tablet or smartphone.


iPad Apps for ESL/ELLS

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The list for iPad apps is dynamic. Not only do new apps come around, all apps are free through out the year. The key is to be connected in a way you can find, discover, or review different apps and their availability.
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* Copyright 2015 by Region 7 Education Service Center. This document may be reproduced for educational use only.