Friday, 9 March 2012


Smartboard is not a website; it is a system and machine that teachers can use this machine to motivate students. This machine is similar to whiteboard, but this machine is smarter than whiteboard. It has more functions than whiteboard. It not only can be used as a whiteboard, but also can be used as an online classroom.

How to use:

1.     Smartboard can be used as whiteboard or blackboard, but what teachers write on this board can be saved in the computer. Thus teachers can save what they write (note of this lesson) in class and post this note to their blogs and students can download or review these notes. In this way, students do not need to make any notes in class. They can only concentrate on what teacher is talking about.

2.     Smartboard can provide teachers to make some tasks with clues. Teachers can use these tasks to motivate students to learn new words. Teachers can provide the Chinese meaning of the new words for Chinese students, and let students write down the word, and check whether they write the right words or not.

3.     Teachers also can find many funny pictures in smartboard. Some pictures can be used to teach children English, but some pictures can be used for students to make a presentation.

4.     Smartboard provides a pen, called ‘magic pen’. If teachers draw a square, the part in this square will be magnified. If teachers draw a circle, the part out of this circle will be dark, and the part in this circle will be stressed.


1.     It can save the pages that teachers used in class. In this way, students can review the notes anytime. It will save students’ time to make notes in class, and they do not need to focus on the notes rather than the teachers’ explanations.

2.     Teachers can use this to motivate students to make presentations in public. Since this system only can be used by one person every time. Thus teachers can ask student to prepare a presentation before class and show their presentation in the entire class.


1.     I admit that sometimes this system is good, but this system makes some simple questions into complex. For example, this system provides teachers to make their own task, such as making sentence with disordered words. While most teachers refer to give students some papers with different words and let them make these words into a sentence.

2.     This system can be used by one person every time. Thus teachers cannot let students to work in pairs or work in groups. Or this system only be used by teacher, it will be same with a projector.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Hot Potato

Hot potato is a software that teachers can use this to design their own tasks (e.g. cloze, cross, sentences-making , matching, etc.) for students. This software is free to download and use. It is sweet that this software provides a tutorial for the beginners to learn how to use this software, since this software includes many kinds of ways to design tasks. After teachers finishing their tasks, they can put these tasks on the website, and then ask students to do these tasks online. In this way, students can be interested in learning English.

How to use:

1.     Teachers can use JMatch to design a match for students. Students need to match synonyms and in this way, students will get many synonyms and understand a new word deeply.

2.     Teachers can use JMix to make a Jumbled-Sentence. Teachers need to type the whole sentence in this software, and then put the words in wrong orders. In this way, teachers can practice students’ writing skills, and let students know the sentence structure. This task will more suitable for teachers to teach sentence structure.

3.     Teachers can use JCloze to make a gap-filling exercise for students. In this way, teacher can test whether students understand the text or not and test their English level.

4.     Teachers can use JCross to make a crossword exercise. Teachers need to give students some questions or hints to guess what the word is and this will motivate students to learn some knowledge outside the coursebook and new vocabulary.

5.     Teachers can use JQuiz to make quiz for students. This task can check students’ understanding of a text or the meanings of new vocabulary.

6.  Teachers can ask students to design their own tasks. Taking their tasks to school and let other students do these tasks. Teachers can check students’ understanding of what they have learnt. Also students can communicate with each other and get some feedbacks from their peers and teachers.


1.     Teachers can use this software to motivate students to learn English. Since teachers can design some interesting tasks for students to learn new vocabulary, to understand text deeply, to relate the text they have learnt to their daily life, etc.

2.      Teacher can use this software to make some homework for students. It is more interesting to do these tasks than to copy the new vocabulary many times. After students doing these tasks, they will remember the meaning or the use of new vocabulary, since these tasks are like games for students.


1.     The tasks which are designed by this software cannot be used in the test, since the answers can be found on the Internet easily.

2.     All tasks need to be typed by teachers. It is a heavy work for teacher to design a wonderful task for students to do. It will also waste teachers much time to design suitable tasks for students.