February Treasure Hunt

This month’s hunt: a couple of fantastic Chrome extensions – one for readability and the other for content curation. A YouTube playlist on Water/Water Crisis with handouts in Word and as a pdf. And finally, some tools you can use with your students to make posters and two earlier posts with more programs reviewed and advice on copyright

Chrome extensions

Mercury Reader​

Mercury Reader is a Chrome extension that removes ads and distractions and leaves us with clean and crispy text and some nice images. Excellent for students with dyslexia. Useful if you want to print out the text. 

Watch a short video clip to see how it works. 

Mix - for content curation

As explained in the EContent article, content curation is “the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds specific subject matter”. If you have Facebook or Twitter, you are curating content not even realising that. But, how to do it more consciously and efficiently? How to collect articles, videos and other type of content about specific areas of interest or topics you like? How to find the content that would help inspire your students to learn? You have probably heard about platforms such as Scoop.it   or Pinterest. I have recently discovered Mix. They claim, you will be able to curate the content “without noise”. As with other platforms, you can have mix on the phone/tablet and as a chrome extension to make things faster. The program is free

WATER - YouTube playlist

A collection of six videos on the topic of water and water crisis. Click a hamburger icon at the right top corner to see all six videos. The list might be updated soon so you might see more than six . 

Students were asked to choose two videos from the WATER  playlist and take notes including at least 5 hard facts. Click for a handout in word/pdf underneath.

Image by ptra from Pixabay

Get creative

As part of Global Goals 2020 campaign,  my students have been exploring a range of areas such as World Hunger, Food Waste, Ethical Shopping, Mental and Physical health, Climate Crisis or Water Crisis. The final product of a series of lessons will be visuals – posters, leaflets and infographics. Below, you can see two earlier posts with information about free tools and free images your students can use. I found, however, two more programs worth trying out. 


for its simplicity

Very simple programs. No thrills in a free version. You can create your visual from scratch or use a template. 

Free version features include changing size, background, adding shapes and text. You can use in-built images, search the web for free images or upload yours.


The design is public which means students can’t sign it. You can download the design only in png. 


for originality and innovation

Postermywall is apparently the first program program that lets you integrate a video in your visual design.  With almost no skills of a professional designer, you can create, edit,  and share professional-looking graphics and videos. In the free version, you can download visuals only as jpg and, if you are using an in-built video, the program will limit you to the first 21 seconds. Obviously, all designs created in the free version are only for personal use. You can share your design as a link or embed on your website/blog. See below. 

An example of postermywall design

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Written by 

ESOL teacher at Edinburgh College