Summer Resource Roundup: Computer Science and Professional Learning

Professional development—it rarely inspires excitement. But if PD is relevant, fun, and hands-on, it can spark creativity and remind educators just why they started teaching in the first place! With that in mind, we’ve been exploring the intersection of CS and good PD on our blog all summer, researching and writing about Why Game Design Is an Awesome Introduction to Computer Science and Tools for Creating an Inclusive CS Classroom.

Through conversations we’ve had with teachers and experts, we’ve discovered a bunch of practical and fun resources. Below are some of our favorite articles, podcasts, books, and more:





Twitter Edchats

  • #EthicalCS: Spearheaded by Kara Chesal, senior director of strategic partnerships at #CS4ALLNYC, and Ed Saber, a CS educator, this edchat takes place Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST. Educators, computer scientists, and education policy experts come together to discuss how to make the field of CS more ethical.
  • #InfyEdChat: InfosysFoundationUSA invites education thought leaders to host these bi-monthly edchats. Topics range from “How to Start a Makerspace in the New School Year” to “Teaching CS Away From the Computer.”Here’s a guide to getting started with edchats if you haven’t tried it before!


  • CSTA Newsletter: Connect with fellow educators who teach computer science, and hear from innovators in CS curriculum, tools, and professional learning.
  • EdSurge Newsletter: Find out what’s new in edtech.


Want more resources like these? Sign up for our Newsletter, too!

Zulama Newsletter

Make Textual Information “Come Alive”!

36 Tools for Digitising your ELT Course Book

A great set of resources for both Zulama course authors and teachers from Nik Peachey:

Vocabulary Development

Wordle Get students thinking about the vocabulary from the texts they are studying.
Wordnik Get students finding out more about words and creating their own word lists.
FlickRiver Brainstorm topics using visual to stimulate vocabulary and existing knowledge.

Going Beyond Word Level Students can hypothesize and check collocations.
PhraseUp Students can find out words that are commonly used together.


Forvo Get students to do pronunciation research and find out about other accents.
HowJsay Get students to explore word stress and find related words.

Making example sentences and texts more interesting

Flickr Poet Students can make visual records of sentences or illustrate short poems or paragraphs.
Phrasr Create visual slide shows of sentences or short texts.
Transl8it Students can translate example sentences to text speak and keep them as a record. They can build up text speak dialogues.
PhoTransEdit Students can translate text to phonetic script and keep their example sentences or short texts in phonetics

Going beyond sentence level

Telescopic text Show students how to add detail to sentences and they can examine sentence structure. they can also practice adding detail to their own sentences.

Developing receptive skills

WallWisher Create receptive skills work which draws on varied sources and different types of media.
Simply Box Create reading tasks that exploit multiple texts and get students to collect their own selections of texts.
Twurdy Find texts based around key topics for lower levels far more easily.
Tag Bulb Students can explore multiple sources and media types based on a theme.

Checking comprehension

Urtak Create yes no receptive skills tasks and students can compare their answers with others. You can get students thinking about discussion topics. You can get students creating polls.
Intervue Me Get students to answers comprehension questions verbally using video. You can create discussion questionnaires for them.

Getting deeper into a text

Cue Prompter Develop students gist reading skills.
Cloze Test Creator Create instant interactive cloze test tasks.
Memorizenow You can create instant dialogue builds and gap fill activities that test students abilities to recognise word relationships.

Developing grammar through rough receptive skills

Bat Lyrics Find songs that link to key grammatical structures or lexis.
VYou Set up your own grammar q&A video booth. Get students to ask you questions.

Getting students practicing functional language

Dvolver Students can create dialogues. You can create short scenes that illustrate time relationships.
Makebelief Comics Students can create dialogues and link them to context.
Xtranormal Students can create dialogues or news reports or more complex animated scenes.

Developing students speaking skills

MailVu Students can send in reports and homework tasks verbally using video.
AudioBoo Record and publish audio directly from your classroom.

Controlled practice

Voxopop Create discussion tasks. You can set drills and get students to listen and record their responses.

Listening comprehension

Listen and Write Create your own listening activities for dictation or listening close tests.

Developing writing skills

Sync In Students can work on text collaboratively in real time.
Write or Die Students can write and focus on fluency and drafting ideas rather than accuracy.
Posterous Get students writing and publishing while integrating different media into their blogs.
Bookr Get students to write illustrated reports.