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Welcome TESL Ottawa!

This page supports Mike Simpson's presentation for TESL Ottawa Spring 2018

Turn it On (Part II): Tips for Teachers Working With Digital Media

TESL Ottawa spring conference May 5, 2018

Mike shares tips for teachers about getting the most out of digital media, whether in creation or consumption. Building on “Turn It On: Creating Digital Capability in the Classroom” (first offered in 2016-2017), the presentation digs into practical advice for using digital media.

Topics include:

  • Resource selection (websites with free / paid images and media)
  • PowerPoint alternatives like Haiku Deck (free, fast, fun!)
  • Device options in the classroom (from laptop to iPad to Chromecast)
  • Media formats such as MP3 and MP4
  • Making your own DIY audio and video recordings
  • WordPress for website, blog, e-learning and LMS

Learn to maximize the potential of tools you already have in your classroom, and gain insight into how to use inexpensive tech to get started with processes like digital storytelling.

Please scroll to the comments section at the end of this page if you wish to post a comment or ask a question (you’re welcome to do so before or after my presentation).


Update: As promised I’ve created a google document with links to many of the tools and resources mentioned in the presentation. Please use this link:

Welcome TESL Ottawa!

This page supports Mike Simpson's presentation on May 13, 2017


Turn it On: Creating Digital Capability in the Classroom

Mike shares observations and tips about getting the most out of the typical classroom technology available to teachers. Topics include: computer labs, TVs and projectors, wifi networks, PCs and Macs, and Android and iOS devices. Learn to maximize the potential of tools you already have in your classroom or what BYOD (or “bring your own device”) means for your teaching. Supercharge your classroom tech knowledge and win over your gadget savvy students.

Any teacher or trainer should make the best of use of the tools they have, and have an idea of what tools might improve their admin or teaching processes.


  • Graphics and presentations (free, cheap tools)
  • Devices and screens (PC, Mac, desktop, laptop, mobile, touch)
  • File management (hard drives, cloud storage)
  • Media players (traditional vs Chromecast)
  • Wi-fi networks vs. cellular (extenders, hot spots)

View Mike’s blog posts for examples and more information.


The following are articles / blog posts Mike has written on related topics.

Mike’s Top 10: Technology for Creatives and Educators

Images that Pop: Using Free Photos and Online Software

Mobile Apps for iOS/Android: Photography Editing with Snapseed


  1. Mike

    Hello everyone. Welcome to the presentation and support page for 2018. I’m glad to return and offer you Part 2 of my Turn it On presentation. It’s a bit tech but I offer useful tips to educators. I hope you’ll get a lot of ideas out of it!

    If you’d like to share this page with colleagues please use the URL in the address bar or copy this:
    TESL Ottawa support page for Turn It On Presentation Parts 1 and 2

    Bonus: If participants want a sneak preview, which is never a bad idea with a tech oriented presentation they can preview the most recent (edited, simplified for web) )version of the presentation here: (prepared for TESL Toronto).

    Thanks and see you on Saturday!
    Mike Simpson

  2. Catherine Savard

    Thanks for your input at the TESL Ottawa professional development event. I enjoyed the workshop. There were lots of good ideas and practical tips.

    I see that we still need to publish this url on our chapter website so that more people come and check out this great content after the event.

    • Mike

      Thank you Catherine. I’d love to see this shared among the TESL Ottawa membership. I’m glad you enjoyed the workshop. Stay in touch.

  3. Mike

    Thank you for hosting me. I was glad to be able to have the chance to share some insights and to also get some interesting questions from the audience. Questions were asked about topics such as:

    Virtual classrooms
    Using Vocaroo
    Audacity vs Audition

    If you look the topic of the virtual classroom up you may find discussion related to e-learning, distance (online) education, and the use of learning management systems. Anytime you use a website to host learning you are essentially dabbling in a “virtual learning environment.” I prefer to talk about online course and e-learning as virtual classroom sounds a bit old-fashioned.

    The question about Vocaroo was interesting. I really like this tool for fast recording for class assignments or other assessments. Audacity and Adobe Audition are great editors for important audio. Just try to use a high quality recording device when you do important recordings that are part of presentations of digital storytelling.

    Lastly, thanks to those who registered at Ancestry Project. I look forward to working with you throughout 2017.

    Please post any comments or questions here and I’ll try to reply.



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