NB. Since posting this, I have been informed by those using Internet Explorer that the video doesn't display. The video format is .swf and I think it is something to do with IE security settings, not sure. If anyone can tell me how to get round this, let me know.
The only solution at the moment I can suggest is to download Firefox and use it as a back up browser. There are no problems using Firefox to view this swf file. In future I will try and avoid this conflict, sorry!
I was going to write this post about The Hat software from Harmony Hollow but have since found that downloading anything from their site has been flagged up as dangerous by my anti-virus software. Apparently it installs ad targetting code so am steering well clear of it.
I'm really disappointed as I appreciated the fact that I could use it offline.
However, I'm going to write the same post about the Classtools Random Name Generator
You have to be online to use this. The video below explains how to use the software and an idea on how you can exploit it to play a game for teams in class to practise any language on any topic. I'm using it at a fairly simple level to get pupils to read, repeat and practise simple phrases. I'm sure there are ideas of how to use it that require deeper thinking skills. Leave comments and links if you know of any.
First, write out your list of words, phrases in a simple text editor such as notepad. I wouldn't use Word or Pages as you need to have the list of vocab open in a seperate window as you play the game online and it is easier to resize a window in notepad.
Second, copy/paste this list into the Classtools site
Third, click on "save as webpage@ to any folder on your laptop/pc
Fourth, divide your class into teams. Before clicking on the web page you saved to start the game, have the notepad file open that you originally created the list in and ask pupils from one team to predict which vocab item will be selected.
Fifth, click on the webpage to open the classtools page with your text in the slot machine. It will automatically spin and select one item. If that is the same as the team's prediction, they get a point. Remove this item both from the classtools slot machine and from the notepad list. Go to the next team, and so on.
The pupils love seeing how lucky they can be. Obviously the chances of guessing correctly are very low to begin with but get higher as more items are removed.
A variation would be not to delete items from the notepad file. Pupils have to remember which vocab items have already been chosen