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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal


Replace Voicethread for free

We are all on a budget and the educational institutions are in a very tight pinch. Voicethread pulled the Ning connection for a business model they thought best. I want to introduce Big Marker: 



BigMarker provides fully-featured web conferencing solution for free to everyone. Here you can host web conferences with friends, family or colleagues, teach online training seminars to students, practice presentation skills, or broadcast events in real time – all free and unlimited! There are no trial period and no monthly fee.


BigMarker is also an online virtual community and a hub for live information exchange, providing you a powerful platform to host video web conferences and present to the world. Use BigMarker to connect with others live online, share contents collaboratively, spread ideas, conduct live webinar, or promote business online. Expect instant feedback and responses!


With BigMarker, you can:

Share contents interactively


Use internet desktop sharing, interactive whiteboards, instant messaging system, and live audio and video chat to conduct online web meeting that can be as collaborative and productive as in-person meetings. Plus save money, time and travel!

Get online instant access from anywhere


Use any web browser with no complicated downloads necessary to join any net meeting — all you need is free Adobe Flash Player runtime which are install on more than 95% of the browsers.

Start meeting with anyone right away


With instant access and an elegant user interface that is remarkably easy to use, you can start being productive right away using our free web conferencing tools. No training needed. Try it now!

Top Features

Multipoint video conferencing


Unlike traditional video chat offered by services such as Skype or MSN Live, BigMarker is not limited to two-way video conference. Our multi point video conferencing technology supports multiple participants to interact via video and audio transmissions simultaneously..



Use familiar tools to mark up the shared whiteboard. Draw lines and shapes, drag and reshape, add text, and even capture the Whiteboard as an image file.

Screen sharing


Show others what's on your screen instantly. Choose to share your entire screen or only part of it.

Unique meeting room URL


Take advantage of personal online meeting room with permanent URL that is easy to remember, so you'll always know where to meet online.


Stay public or remain private.


Choose to list your global internet conference publicly on the BigMarker conference catalog, OR set up a private and secured internet conference room and allow access to only people you invite. It’s your choice!


Educational Applications:

This does seem to be the answer to replace voicethread and it is FREE! I will be using this in my ESL /EFL / EIL classrooms along with a excellent LMS called Schoology also FREE.


Give BigMarker  a look and see for yourself. I am truly excited about this voicethread replacement.

Downloads: 1058

Comment by Ellen Pham on January 18, 2011 at 12:23am

What??? Will my voicethreads disappear if I don't pay the $60? I had no idea their model had changed. I did pay the $60 initially... they were still deciding on their pricing policy... but after that it was free for educators, yes? You paid a one-time small fee?


Ohhh. When I was teaching English online it was worth the $60, but now I don't use it often enough : (. Gotta go check and make sure my voicethreads are still there.

Comment by ddeubel on January 18, 2011 at 3:07am



Maybe Rob can comment for himself but I think he's confusing things and not really understanding exactly what Voicethread does??? Last week he introduced a recording tool that was great but not anything like what Voicethread does...  And yes, much cheaper now to use voicethread - works like a charm - my vote for the best tool for educators since power point.


About Big Marker I can say even more. This is my cup of tea. Great that it is free but they are using just the standard out of the box, BBB open source code that I know like the back of my hand. It doesn't work without customization and also a great server/set up. They have chutzpah but their code is just low grade - Rob, have you tried holding a conference there yet? with more than 2 people also?


I'll also add. This will be free until they get it working and then get some users. That's what I don't like - the dishonesty - like Ning did here. Said everything was free, got you in the door and then baaaaaaam! So beware also of using any tools like this that are totally free. There is always a catch - it costs money , there is no way around it . And someone will have to pay "at the end of the year"....

Comment by Ajaan Rob Hatfield on January 18, 2011 at 9:35am


You right about start ups. I was fairly upset with voicethread so I am always looking for a replacement.  Just can't afford VT on what Thai schools pay. I approached VT on a better pay deal for poor third world countries...they just laughed and said that is the way it is. Big Marker will evolve. I hope they will not pull the same thing as VT. They may go the route of adverts instead.

I like Chirbit and have used it in my English 310 class all semester. Its easy and the student do not have to down load anything, plus they can upload MP3 /4 files. 


Ellen, keep VT for now. I won't pay for it. I will pay for Brainpop though, it really helps with the I+1 of ELT. I use them for warm ups prior to start of class including the quiz corporately, especially when teaching writing.


Comment by Ellen Pham on January 18, 2011 at 11:10am
I haven't paid anything since 2008, Ajaan : )  I am disappointed in how VT responded to your suggestion of a lower cost for third world countries.

Comment by ddeubel on January 18, 2011 at 12:55pm

That's strange.


I have only got polite replies from voicethread.  Also, I've only ever paid $10 for an educator's account and if you hit our VT button, you can see how many I've made and which have always worked.Did you specifically inquire about an educator's account?


I agree, Chirbit is great. There is quite a bit of movement in this area of the educational online market place. I do not like though, that Chirbit doesn't allow you to download your mp3s. Could be a problem if they go the freemium way after building their community.  Audio Boo, Cinch, Audio Pal are all similar....

voxopop is a good alternative without an image. That might be a  good alternative for you.


I'm sceptical of Big Marker. I looked at their code and it is highly insecure. You really need this stuff highly encrypted and framed. Plus, I don't understand how they can not use their own server and still be seen as anything "reliable".  I can only think they have some association with Big blue button, so they can do this.


You cantry out my own rooms.  Let me know how they work. Make on the go, no registration and tweet/message the meeting... no fuss, no muss.

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