What is HTML5?
Html5 is a new(er) coding language that is being used to create games and activities online. It is completely free and open-sourced. It was originally created by MIT. Personally, I use it to create Spanish practice activities for students.
I started using HTML5 2 years ago. For a beginner, it is extremely user-friendly and easy to create very interactive lessons. In order to host the activities you have to have them embedded on the website. That’s why I had uploaded a ton of activities for my Spanish students last year. But then, I completely forgot about them!
Adobe Flash is Ending in 2020
Until I read that Adobe Flash would not be available in 2021. Curious to see what updates they had made in preparation for this, I went back to take a look at my old embeds. I had originally created these activities for my online Spanish 1 students, that I did not get to see live. This was a way to provide more interaction for them. And hopefully make their assignments a little bit more fun.
Much to my shock, even though I had forgotten about HTML5, the internet didn’t. They were popular! Especially in April and May, when over 7,000 visitors were playing them each month. When coronavirus hit a lot of people began to Google fun Spanish activities, and Spanish practice activities, and came across my website. If you are looking for fun Spanish classes, make sure to visit our courses page to see upcoming classes and topics.
We are in Need of Fun, Learning Activities
But, now we are 7 months later, a lot of us are still in quarantine or self isolating. This gave me an even fresher perspective on the types of activities that you can create using this technology. I wanted to share some of the ideas that popped into my head especially with regards to Spanish language students. However, these activities could be used with any foreign or second language program.
What Types of Spanish Practice Activities Can You Make?
Just some of the examples of the many activities that you can easily create with this language. You might find other websites that offer some or combination of these activities and they might not be exactly how I describe them.
Drag and Drop: These types of activities allow users to drag either a image or a word to a specific site within the game. For example this could be used to create sorting activities. For example, these are useful for students to sort different food groups, or furniture in the rooms in a house (that you’ll see him example below).
Branching Scenarios: A branching scenario allows users to participate in an activity with customization. They progress in a way that provides a unique experience. Each answer depends on the answer that they chose to the previous question. As they move through the branching scenario three the answer that they pick is going to determine what the next question is.
For example, if I’m going through a branching scenario assessing my eligibility for a specific prize, the first question might be if I am 18 years or older. If I say no to this question, the next response is going to be based on me saying no. If I say yes to this question, the next one is going to be different.
Even More Activities To Go
Interactive Presentations: This option is a combination of several of the other HTML5 activities. As an interactive presentation, you’re able to add videos, pictures with hotspots, audios, fill in the blanks, etc. Can you send me used for a lot of different purposes but I think for me the best used for training purposes I’m really interactive, project-based learning where there’s a lot of different elements that you want to tie together. See the example presentation below.
Fill-in-the-Blanks: Was feeling like activities you have the option either to set up one for students to type in the answer the text, or you can set it up where they drag the word to the empty space. I feel like both of these have their purposes depending on the age is in level of the students that you’re teaching.
And Still A Few More Spanish Practice Activities
Audio Recordings: This is where I think it’s him out five really starts to set it self apart from a lot of the other options for creating activities. It actually gives students the ability to record themselves through the website that it’s being hosted on. So this can be used for students to be able to complete speaking or pronunciation practice.
Dictation: If you’ve ever done dictation in a classroom you probably heard the groans. Even though it’s one of the best activities for language learners, it’s not exactly fun. With a team of five you were able to add media to the dictation that could be either a video or an audio. Very easy to embed YouTube videos with a link so it doesn’t have to be original materials.
360 Degree Tours: I haven’t been able to play too much around with this option. But you can see my example of an interactive 360° tour below. What I liked about it is that you’re able to download 360° pictures for free on websites such as Pixabay.com.
You can then use those pictures to create your 360° tour with hotspots, text, video, audio, etc. Assess students knowledge you can add questions throughout the tour and even additional scenes if you want to make it more comprehensive.
How Long Do They Take to Create?
For the most part, the HTML5 activities are quick to create and implement. One example of one that takes longer is a comprehensive branching scenario. These activities are extremely valuable but the one downside is that they take a long time to set up. I previously had an activity that was based on being a fortune teller of sorts.
The activity was going to guess what students look like. So, as they go through the branching activity, it’s asking them if they have blonde hair, if they are short or tall, etc. By the time they get to the end of the scenario, that activity is able to guess their major physical appearance characteristics.
Example Spanish Activities to Try
Here are some example Spanish activities that I have created using HTML5. I host them on my WordPress website via the HTML5 Plug-In. Below each activity, you can see the embed option. This allows educators to reuse the activities across the internet.
Free Creator Platforms to Share and Recycle Ideas
These platforms serve two purposes. First, you can create your own activities and share them with other educators. At the same time, you can recycle activities that you find on the websites, for your own personal use.
This platform has over 45 types of HTML5 activities. The technology is completely free, and open-sourced. This platform has a WordPress plug-in, which allows you to create and host your activities on your own webpage.
This is a lesser-known platform that has many of the same activities on the first option. However, the library allows you to create a profile as a creator, send messages to other creators, and borrow activities that you find. It is specific for learning, so you will find popular subjects with their own categories, including Spanish as a foreign language, and ones created for Spanish-speakers.
Do you know of another online platform where you can create and share HTML5 activities for Spanish students? Comment below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sara Tyler has 2 M.A. degrees, in Educational Technology and Curriculum and Instruction. Her B.A. degree is in ESL. She has worked online since 2014, and has taught languages since 2010. You can contact her here if you are interested in taking classes.
Her company, Viva Online, L.L.C. provides Spanish language courses, immersion classes, and professional development teachers. She lives in Veracruz, Mexico with her husband and 2 daughters.