Russell Stannard: Tools for digital storytelling

Adam Simpson's picture

'Russell Stannard: doing the hard work of finding the best tech tools so you don't have to!'


Russell’s presentation was part of the YTL Special Interest Group. He reflected on the fact that we as ELT practitioners are already good at the flipped classroom, so today he wanted to talk about what he calls the ‘connected classroom’.


Russell’s interest in technology was piqued many years ago, as it opened up opportunities for students to work on their skills outside the classroom.  Key to his thesis in using technology for this is that we need to connect the classroom bit of the process to what happens at home. Russell achieves this by viewing the two as one complete whole: the classroom and the homework are totally connected.


The tools that Russell finds particularly easy to use are:


Vocaroo (


He uses this with learners for many tasks, such as interviews and explanations of a typical day.


MailVu and Eyejot


He uses these video recording tools for feedback, as well as getting learners to do their own recordings which they can then mail to you.




This also allows students to record themselves, but it also allows the learner to incorporate all kinds of file formats. For instance, you can upload a video ro PowerPoint and then talk over the top of it.


The key for Russell is the ease of use, for both teacher and learner. Additionally, they offer great opportunities for self-assessment. All of the tools mentioned are showcased on Russell’s award winning website (