help_outlineFAQs

Frequently asked questions

We've tried to come up with answers to the sorts of question that we are commonly asked about TextActivities. If you can't find an answer to your specific question below, please feel free to contact us via the contact form, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

General / accounts

Yes. And no.

TextActivities is essentially Textivate 2.0, but with so many changes from the original that we had no option but to launch it as a totally separate website.

Those familiar with Textivate will recognise here many of the activities and pedagogical features of Textivate, but delivered in a completely different way, with a totally new interface, a completely different approach to classes, school management, resource creation, student logins and assignments, and hopefully a much more intuitive work flow.

See this user guide on the TextActivities blog for a comprehensive list of the differences between TextActivities and Textivate: Comparing TextActivities and Textivate

While our hope is that current Textivate users will value these improvements and will want to migrate to TextActivities, the original Textivate will remain in place.

Not exactly, no.

TextActivities has a subscription / pricing model based on teacher and student limits. This makes it very different to the subscription model on Textivate, so I'm afraid there is no direct correlation.

Our subscription model provides much more flexibility than is available with Textivate, so that you can create a subscription account based on just the numbers that you need. See the pricing page for more information.

You can, however, import your Textivate resources into TextActivities. See the question in the "Resources" section below: "Can I reuse my existing Textivate resources?"

If you are an individual teacher wishing to subscribe, or you are wishing to subscribe on behalf of a school, you need to go to the pricing page and fill in the subscription form.

If you are a teacher who belongs to a school that has already subscribed, your school admin can set up an account for you by inviting you to join their subscription. They can do this via the school admin page (which is only available to subscription admins).

If you are a student wondering how to gain access to the site, you need to ask your teacher for your log-in details.

Teachers can set up user accounts for their students via their classes. Once you have created a class, go to the Edit tab, click on the button to "Create / Add Students", and follow the instructions to set up student accounts.

Note that student accounts are NOT email-based. Rather, a username and password PIN is generated for each student as part of the above process.

Once you have created student accounts, your students will be able to log in using the log-in credentials (which you can access via the "View / Edit student list" button in the Edit tab of your class).

Teachers can manage their students via the Edit tab of each class and perform actions such as resetting passwords, removing students etc.

Subscription admins can do all of the above (including creating classes) via the school admin page.

See this user guide on the TextActivities blog, which explains (i) how to set up a class, (ii) how to create student accounts, and (iii) the initial sign-in process from the student's perspective: "Setting up classes and students on TextActivities"

Teachers can set up user accounts for their students via their classes. Once you have created a class, go to the Edit tab, click on the button to "Create / Add Students", and follow the instructions to set up student accounts.

If your student already has a user account (e.g. if they are already in another class and have been set up by another teacher), as long as you type in their names correctly, you should be notified that they already have an account in the step above, and you will have the option to add the existing student to your class.

If your student already has a user account, you also have the option to let them join via the class code and password, also in the Edit tab of your class.

To copy a list of students' usernames and password, click on the "View / Edit student list" button (also on the Edit tab of your class), which shows you a list of all of the students in your class (first names, last names, usernames and passwords), and click on the button to "Copy log-in info".

See this user guide on the TextActivities blog, which explains (i) how to set up a class, (ii) how to create student accounts, and (iii) the initial sign-in process from the student's perspective: "Setting up classes and students on TextActivities"

If you are the admin for a subscription account, you will be able to add teachers to your subscription (up to the limit as defined by your subscription) via the school admin page. The school admin page is accessible via the profile / log-in menu options for subscription admins only.

Teacher accounts are email-based. Once you have added teachers' emails to your teacher list on the school admin page, an email will be sent to the teachers in the list inviting them to join your subscription. They then need to follow the link in the invitation email to complete the set-up process.

If you subscribed using a finance email address, and the subscription is NOT for just one teacher, and presuming that you don't wish the finance email to be included in the teachers count, you'll need to do the following:

  • First, follow the link in the account set-up email to complete your registration, however temporarily. This is necessary so that you can perform the next steps.
  • Once you are registered and logged in, you'll then be able to add teachers via the school admin page, accessed via the "School admin" link in the user / log-in menu cluster at the top right of the page. Adding teacher emails sends an invitation email to the addresses provided.
  • Once another teacher (the HoD?) has accepted the invitation and is confirmed as a teacher for your school, you may then transfer the school admin role to this teacher. (Once they have the admin role, they'll be able to remove you from the subscription.)

If the subscription is for just one teacher, you can contact us via the contact form in the footer below, and we'll look into how we can fix it for you.

All subscriptions have a student limit, which is determined by you when you set up your subscription.

As a teacher, you can manage student numbers via your classes, by adding and removing students. Students which no longer belong to a class are no longer counted as part of your limit.

Subscription admins can also do this for all classes and can delete student accounts completely. Again, students which no longer belong to a class are no longer counted as part of your limit.

If you are a student, you will need to ask your teacher for your password. Your teacher can also reset your password for you.

If you are a teacher, you should see a link to reset the password ("If you have forgotten your password, click here to reset it.") following an unsuccessful login attempt using the correct email address. This process requires confirmation via email.

Resources

Yes, you can :)

The "new resource" page contains a button at the top which gives you 2 options for importing existing Textivate resources:

  • Copy and paste from the Textivate "Show all" tab
  • Sign in to Textivate (from TextActivities) and browse through your existing Textivate resources

The first of these requires you to have access to the Textivate resource that you wish to copy, so if it is a resource that belongs to you, you need to have an active Textivate subscription to be able to access the resource. The second option will allow you to browse through the Textivate resources associated with a particular Textivate username even if the account associated with that username is no longer active.

Whichever option you choose, the content of the Textivate resource will be broken down into its component parts and used to populate the "new resource" page. Then all you need to do is add in the additional bits of info for the resource (such as language settings, title, folders) before uploading it to TextActivities. Obviously this needs to be done on a one by one basis due to the need to add this additional information for each resource.

99% of existing Textivate resources will work fine, but a few Textivate features are not compatible with TextActivities (e.g.: sound match using "speak::", since matching with audio prompts is now a feature of all match resources with TTS enabled)

See this user guide on the TextActivities blog: "Importing textivate resource data to TextActivities"

If other members of the TextActivities community create resources which they save as "Public (community)" resources, you will be able to browse and search these resources in the "Community resources" section of the resource search.

Resources saved as "Unlisted (school only)" can be accessed by you if you happen to know the URL for the resource, but they won't show up in the "Community resources" browse / search results. "Unlisted (school only)" resources are also available via the "My school resources" search to teachers and students who are part of the same subscription, and via the "My teachers' resources" search option for students of the resource owner.

Resources saved as "Private" can only be accessed by the person who created them, although they can be used as the basis for assignments and competitions.

Teachers can make copies of any resources saved as "Public (community)". They can also copy any resources that have been created by other members of their subscription, as long as these have been saved as "Unlisted (school only)" rather than "Private".

Yes. If you save a resource as "Private", this means that only you can access the resource page for that resource, although you will still be able to set assignments and competitions based on that resource in your classes.

If you want to make a resource available to your students and to other teachers who are part of your subscription, you can save it as "Unlisted (school only)".

Students only see 2 resource options when they browse the TextActivities resources:

  • My teachers' resources
  • My school resources

If you save your resources as "Public (community)" or "Unlisted (school only)", they will be visible to your students when they browse the "My teachers' resources" search category. These resources will also be visible to all students on your subscription (even those who are NOT in your classes) when they browse the "My school resources" search category. If you don't want students to be able to access your resources in this way, please save them as "Private".

If you save a resource as "Unlisted (school only)", other teachers who are part of your subscription will be able to access it via the "My school resources" search category, but it will not be listed in "Community resources" search results.

Students who are in your classes will also be able to access it via the "My teachers' resources" search category, and all students on your subscription (even those who are NOT in your classes) when they browse the "My school resources" category.

The languages currently available for text-to-speech on TextActivities are as follows:

Basque, Catalan, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English (UK), English (US), English (Aus), Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Br), Russian, Spanish, Spanish (Lat.Am.), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Welsh

Some of these are of better quality than others. Most TTS voices are provided by ResponsiveVoice, which uses Google's voices, and which, where possible, attempts to play speech using TTS engines integrated into the browser on your device.

If you wish to create resources for languages other than those listed above, you can still do so. Your resource will still have a wide range of interactive activity options, but all of those requiring interactions via TTS will be disabled.

No. If you prefer not to use the TTS voice for your language, simply leave the TTS option empty. You will still be able to create a resource with a full range of activities, but obviously, all of the activities and interactions based on TTS audio will no longer be available for your resource.

Similarly, if you wish to create a resource for a language for which TTS is not provided on TextActivities, you can do so by simply leaving the TTS language option empty (and by choosing "Other" as the resource language).

Teaching with TextActivities

TextActivities can be used...

  • front of class
  • as free practice via a "Resource"
  • as informal practice with an element of gamification via a "Competition"
  • as a more formal "Assignment"
  • as classwork or homework
  • as worksheets

TextActivities creates resources based on text and vocab, generating a wide range of interactive activities based on the resource content.

These activities provide TONS of repetitions of the resource content in many different ways. So students get to read the content many times and in many ways.

Add TTS-audio to the mix and you're also getting students to listen to that content too. See this post on the TextActivities blog about the many, many ways that TextActivities can be used to create scaffolded dictation-like activities, to develop students' listening skills and reinforce sound / spelling links: "Dictation activities on TextActivities"

And many of the activities are about rebuilding or translating a text (into the L2), which means that students will develop their ability to write more accurately in the L2 as a result of repeated practice via the many scaffolded writing activities. If you use model texts, or texts containing language that you would like to form part of your students productive language repertoire, arguably you will be developing your students' ability to speak more accurately and with more confidence in the L2 too.

See this post on the TextActivities blog about how you can use TextActivities to exploit a single model text to the max to help promote students' productive skills (writing / speaking). It starts off with a short discussion about text types, and it contains TONS of examples of interactive activities (screenshots + live links) all based on a single short model text in French: "Exploiting a Model Text to the Max to Promote Productive Skills in MFL"

Yes! You can generate all sorts of printable content based on the content of your (or any) TextActivities resource. See this post about printing worksheets: "WORKSHEETS on TextActivities"

Yes. You can create all sorts of bespoke assignments based on any TextActivities resource. There are also various predefined assignment sets to choose from, each with a different focus.

An assignment can consist of up to 20 interactive activities, where you can set various parameters for each assignment activity, such as:

  • Parallel text
  • Mode / TTS
  • % in play
  • Passmark
  • Score mode (including assessment mode)
  • Mid-activity restarts
  • Resource preview

You can view your students' overall performance per assignment, as well as a breakdown of scores and time taken per activity. Assignment data can be exported as CSV data too, so that you can paste it into a spreadsheet program for your own record keeping.

See this post on the TextActivities blog, which looks into all of the above in much more detail: "Assignments on TextActivities"