Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto

Little Tech for Big Results Link to recording of presentation

Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto is co-author of Let’s Go (OUP), one of the world’s best-selling English courses for children, and program director for the International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi). An EFL teacher and teacher trainer since 1985, she has conducted workshops throughout Asia, the U.S. and Latin America. Her motto is “Always try new things,” so these days, when she’s not teaching, writing, or giving workshops, you’ll often find her online exploring the potential of social media for professional development. If you’d like to explore with her, you can usually find her on her blog, Teaching Village, her wiki, on Twitter  or on Facebook.



18 Responses to Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto

  1. Technology for teaching and learning fascinates me, and I’m excited about finding ways to use tech tools in ways that improve on what I’m already doing in class. Since it takes me time to learn how to use a new tool, and I teach in fairly low-tech environments, I focus on simple-to-use tools that can be used even without an Internet connection.

    The examples I’ll be showing were created with students in my own classes. While the presentation is geared toward teachers of young Iearners, I use the same techniques and activities with my adult learners, too. I hope you’ll find something that will prove useful for your own unique teaching situation!

    Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!


  2. ffingerprint says:

    Fantastic talk with loads of great ideas, thanks Barb!

  3. Here’s a link to my wiki, with all of the links and resources mentioned in the presentation:

  4. Marie helene says:

    Thank you so much Barb! I thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful presentation!

  5. Hugh (UK) says:

    Just tried some features on Voicethread! thought it would be really complicated! It isn’t. Thanks so much Barb! Hugh

    • So glad you like Voicethread, Hugh. It’s one of my favorites for collaboration because it allows students to “talk” to other students even when things like skype conversations aren’t possible, either because of the students’ language level or because of time zones.

  6. Marijana (CRO) says:

    Dear Barb!
    It was a lovely presentation and even though I teach teenagers I will definitly try the 6 word stories.
    Love your simple but very efficient techinques. I wanted to ask you which comic tools would you suggest for teenagers to try? I love the one you mentioned “toondoo” but somehow I don’t think
    it would work with teenagers.
    It was great seeing you, hugs
    Marijana, (@mscro1)

    • Hi, Marijana!
      Thanks for the kind words. One of the nice things about the six word story activity is that students automatically adapt it to their own language level. I’ve used it with both 7 year old children and 70 year old adults, and both groups had equal fun. Your teens might light the quirky characters at The site doesn’t require an account, either, so it’s easy to use with a class. There are a lot of comic generators listed on our Digital Storytelling for Young Learners wiki: (go to the Sandbox)

      I hope you can find something there that your teens will enjoy 🙂

      • Marijana says:

        Thank you so much Barb for sharing the links with me. I wasn’t able to be a part of EVO Digital Storytelling due to lot of works with BaW2012, but will definitly check out the wiki and “Sandbox” page :))

  7. Lucy Zenonos - Cyprus says:

    Dear Barb
    I also really enjoyed your presentation. Afterwards I was thinking about the six word stories at dinner and thought of a new story for the picture of the well-dressed dog: ‘This is a very smart dog’. In this case, there are two meanings of smart; well-presented and clever! I’m sure I’ll be able to use this idea with my adult learners as you did, so thanks very much.
    Best Regards

    • What a wonderful story, Lucy! I think my adult learners enjoyed making the stories even more than my young learners, if that’s possible. Younger students tend to write descriptive sentences (which is still good!). Adults understand the challenge of creating an entire story in the six words, and spend a lot more time thinking of, and discarding ideas. You know, I always thought it would be fun to start a Voicethread with the picture, and have my students write and record their stories in the comments. That way students from all over the world could add to the stories. Wouldn’t that be fun?

      Good luck with using six word stories in class. I hope you’ll let me know how it works out.

      • Lucy Zenonos - Cyprus says:

        Dear Barb
        Thanks very much for your reply. I like the idea of using a Voicethread with the picture. I’ll let you know how the six word story works out when I come to a lesson I can use it in.
        Best Regards

  8. Hugh says:

    Hi Barb. Sorry to contact you again but I’ve been quite enthused by Voicethread. I’ve managed to upload videos and to make some from scratch and have also experimented with both inbuilt and portable webcams. Learnt a lot!

    My question is whether you can download any features of the site offline in case your classroom has no internet access. I only found that you could download your own or another’s films/photos etc to hard disks/ portable devices/ email/ facebook etc if you pay on the site.

    I take it that you can’t actually access the actual site in any way offline in order to record or download offline and that you can onlyplay back individual material that you have saved to a portable device and paid for? Is the only way to record offline through a webcam not the site?

    Is ir similar on other sites ?

    Hope this is clear and if so is it correct? Many thanks. Hugh.

  9. Hi Barbs,
    Just wanted to tell you what a great session this was. Thanks for the laughs and the thoughts. I had a really good time.

  10. Hi Barbara,
    just watched your presentation (It was a busy week!). I really enjoyed that, so many great ideas.
    Thanks a lot 🙂

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