34+ Nonsense Apps, Web Tools and Resources to Wake Up the Brain Cells!

Students can get restless about this time of year. Summer vacation is near and so is April Fool’s Day and Easter. Many students also are testing or gearing up for graduation and this can be a stressful time for both teachers and students. Humor can help you and students avoid burn-out. Humor also engages students and keeps their minds open to the learning when implemented appropriately! Below are some free web tools, apps, and resources to add some humor to lessons. Also, find my latest webinar recording and slide show, Engaging Learners with Humor, to discover strategies for integrating humor and also where I share pitfalls to avoid like sarcasm.  For more ideas check out my articles in the GO Teach magazine and The Education Horizons Journal, LOL! Teacher! Using Humor to Enhance Student Learning.

Get your copy of Hacking Digital LearningThe 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!

Tips and Resources

  • Add some humor with emojis. Find tons of ideas here for incorporating emojis and emoticons to liven up math, science, or English!
  • Try expressing it with a gif or learn with gifs.
    • Teachers can use Giphy or Bitmoji to easily create gifs or find gifs to integrate in learning materials.
    • Gif Lingua is a website full of educational gifs, flashcards, quizzes, and books with gifs to search through to support learning.
  • Use memes to teach testing tips, introduce the rules, or open up the lesson! Teachers can create memes with Meme Generator. I don’t recommend this for students.
  • Feel free to use my Joke Bingo template as a fun icebreaker or use my QR Code Bingo Icebreaker from my book, Learning to Go!
  • Show them how inspiring speakers engage audiences by showing them a list of the funniest Ted Talks.
  • Toca Boca has some of the best iOS, Android, and Kindle apps for children with funny silly characters who are engaging and represent true diversity. Children love to learn with Toca!
  • Have fun with animated mouths or laugh at yourself with these fun web tools and apps!
    • Blabberize is a free website students can use to upload their drawings and images and draw a mouth to make the images talk.
    • Gabsee is an iOS and Android app that lets students turn themselves into a 3D avatar to create videos in the real world using augmented reality. It’s so much fun!
    • Chatterpix Kids is an iOS apps where students upload their images and drawings and add a mouth to animate the images.
    • Mouth Mover Lite is an iOS app where students choose a mouth, put the phone in front of their mouths, and talk to watch the mouth move.
    • iFunFace is an iOS and Android app where students create talking photos, ecards and videos.
    • Funny Movie Maker is a free iOS app where students create talking videos with their faces similar to Annoying Orange.
    • Animate Me – Funny Face Swap and Moving Pictures is a free iOS app where students create talking photos, e-cards, and videos with their faces and heads as humorous characters or dressed in costumes.
    • Yarn Spin– from the same developers as Puppet Pals. Take photos of all your emotions, cut them out, then watch your character come to life.
  • Students can create comics with humorous characters to express the learning! Try Makebeliefscomix, Toondoo, Friendstrip iOS/Android app, or the ComicsHead iOS/Android app.
  • Students can create videos with fun animated characters with the following web tools and apps:
    • Plotagon is a web tool and app for iOS and Android that allows students to create animated avatar videos.
    • ZimmerTwins is a web tool for young learners to create fun videos.
    • Dvolver is a web tool for older learners to create a short film and choose from their library of characters, backgrounds, and props.
    • SockPuppets is an iOS app for creating short movies with talking socks.
    • Puppet Pals and Toontastic are iOS apps for creating short videos with fun characters that students animate.
    • Talking Tom and Ben News is an iOS, Android, and Amazon app where students act as newscasters. They report the news in pairs as either Tom, a talking cat, or Ben, a dog.
    • Voki is a web tool and app for students to create animated talking characters and animated presentations.
  • Students can create games including humorous characters with TinyTap app, Hopscotch, or Code Monkey.
  • Big Hug Labs has many different ways to create humorous photos and presentations.
  • Check out my infographic on Integrating Humor in the Classroom.

Challenge: Try one of these resources to integrate humor in your curriculum this year!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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