Monday, 29 July 2013

Celly and Remind101 outside the USA

Remind101 and Celly both offer a way for teachers to keep in touch with students and parents of students by using SMS on US mobile phones. This makes them impossible to use outside the USA, you would think. I haven't found a way to use Remind101, but I think I have for Celly.

These  two systems are similar to WhatsApp, but with some important differences. The most important one is that Celly and Remind101 both screen mobile phone numbers, so your students can't phone you and you can't phone them. In many teaching situations this is legally necessary.

There are apps for both systems, but you can't download the ones for Remind101 outside the USA. With Celly, it is much easier for two reasons. One, you can download the apps (at least) in Spain and the other is that you can use Celly in a web browser.

The procedure to follow is explained in this 'training video' I've made for my students:

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.
I've made a much smaller version, but it is still very slow to start.

Basically, you go to and sign up for an account as a teacher and create a cell for each of your classes.  Then you ask your students to go there and sign up using their real names, or possibly their first name plus an initial from their surname.

The students can then ask to join the cell you've created for them. Here's one I've created that you can ask to join:

Don't invite students to join your cell. Just tell them the name of the cell they should ask to join. Thay way they won't have to use SMS at all.

I have the Android app working on my Samsung Galaxy S3 and on my HTC Wildfire S, I can use the web browser and log in to

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

e-portfolios with ipadio + WordPress or Blogger

Here are some instructions I prepared this evening to give to trainees and students:

Setting up a Blog to post your spoken and written English to.

Sign up and create a blog
Use a title like My e-portfolio of spoken English, Chris Fry's e-portfolio of spoken and written English
Make a note of these three things:
1. the URL of your blog e.g. 
2. your username e.g. chrisfrybarcelona
3. your password *******

Send me your URL e.g.


Sign up and creat a blog
Use a title like Chris Fry's e-portfolio of spoken and written English
Go to Settings, Mobile and email
- Select  Publish email immediately
Make a note of Posting using email e.g. chris_fry_barcelona.*******

Send me your URL e.g.


Setting up ipadio to record yourself on.

Install the ipadio app on your iphone or Android phone.
- Make a note of your pin
- Then go to
- Sign me up

or, if you can’t install the app, go to
Sign me up

Send me your Channel Homepage e.g.

Go to Share Media
Click on the Wordpress icon
Enter your WordPress URL, username and password below (the three things above)

Click on the Blogger icon
Enter your unique Blogger email address below (go to Settings −> Email & Mobile and look under "Posting using Email")

Click on the first icon 'Preferences'
Blogger Yes
WordPress Yes

Go to Privacy
Select yes for all of these (or at least these*):
Show broadcasts on public listings page
Make channel page public *
Enable live broadcasting on this channel
Turn on Speech-to-Text on this channel *
Allow comments on this channel
Email me comments on this channel
Allow other people to embed my broadcasts *

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Experimenting with ipadio to collect material for e-portfolios

I'm more and more convinced that ipadio is the ideal way for students to record themselves in class. There are apps for iPhones and Android phones and a service for simple phones that is completely free. 

It is easy to embed the recordings in Edmodo as a response to an assignment and then I can give feedback privately to students. I see my students sending me their best recordings every week or two weeks and as they should be making at least two recordings of themselves speaking every week, they won't be short of material to choose from.

Edmodo is a closed system so students won't be able to create portfolios there that they can take with them when they leave my class and today I experimented with setting up autoposting from ipadio to Facebook, Blogger and Wordpress. I had tried it with tumblr before but wasn't happy with the result as it only added a link: there was no embedded audio.

With Facebook, Blogger and WordPress autoposting worked well. The audio was embedded so you can listen without leaving the site. I liked the look of the Blogger embed:

This is the original ipadio post:

This is the Facebook page where it appeared, but Facebook doesn't want you to use links to posts, so you'll never find it after a few hours:

This what it looked like initially and then when you click on 'Play'

A second reason for wanting (selected) ipadio recordings to be auto posted to somewhere like Blogger is that ipadio is perfect for audio, but I would like some written work in the students' e-portfolios, as well.

Getting students to create their e-portfolios is hard enough, but it is even harder to get the maximum possible benefit out of the process......