Holiday Sites to Bring You Cheer!

Part of the Cool Sites weekly series!

As a little girl, I made Christmas gifts for my father. He preferred them over bought gifts. Well, at least until I can afford box seats for the Dallas Cowboys games. Making gifts can be difficult for children who have to beg a parent to buy them the materials and disguise this so one parent does not find out. However, web 2.0 tools have made this task a bit easier. If your children, students, or you still need to make some gifts for the holidays here are a few free websites to help!

Animoto

This video site has amazing multimedia tools and Christmas templates to help you make inspirational videos. You can sign up for a free educator account to access premium tools for your students, but you should do it now. It took a month for me to get my account. Here’s my video greeting for you!

Vimeo

I’ve made my family various Christmas videos throughout the years, but who can beat the quality of Vimeo. You can also embed videos on a website, blog, or wiki. Vimeo provides me most of the inspirational videos I include in this blog, because many of the videos come with a post detailing the story behind the video. The Chiarastella (bright star) video illustrates an Italian tradition told through the drawings and music of 22 eight-year-old students. A few days before Christmas the children go caroling with a star-shaped lantern and sing for money. The better they sing, the more money the children receive.

Chiarastella from Raffaella Traniello on Vimeo

Mixbook

Create stories, photo journals, and more! Look at this incredible Christmas story illustrated and written by Hunter.

Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | View Sample Photo Books | Create your own Photo Book

Scrapblog

Has many templates and tools to make your holiday message look like a scrapbook! Check out the holiday greeting created by Akela.

Even More Holiday Goodies

Hundreds of other holiday web 2.0 tools and websites are mentioned in the links below:

Challenge:

Make a homemade holiday gift for someone!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, author, and international speaker. She is the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars and the Social Media Community Manager for The Consultants-E. She has co-founded and organized the acclaimed educational projects, Edchat, ELTChat, The Reform Symposium E-Conference and the ELTON nominated Virtual Round Table language and technology conference. Her prolific presence in the educator community through social media has been recognized by several notable entities, such as The New York Times, UNESCO Bangkok, Edweek, Converge Magazine, the United Federation of Teachers, the 140 Conference, Mashable, English Central, Tefl.net, and T/H/E JOURNAL. Her education blog, Teacher Reboot Camp, is ranked as one of the top 10 language teaching and technology blogs and the 50 best blogs for education leaders. In 2012 find her book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators published by Eye on Education and participate with over 7000 educators worldwide in this online professional development course that helps educators develop Personal Learning Networks and accomplish social media and teaching goals. Find her on Twitter, @ShellTerrell. Shelly has taught English language learners at various levels since 1998 in the US, Greece, and in Germany. She currently presents and hosts workshops on integrating technology effectively with young learners and adults. Shelly holds an Honours BA in English and a minor in Communication with a specialization in Electronic Media from the University of Texas in San Antonio and an Honours MA in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix.

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