One the great things about digital resources is how easily and quickly they can be adapted to real-time events. This is great for teacher and student alike – rather than plough on with the same old content, suddenly you can use material that reflects news and the world calendar. Take Halloween, for example. It’s on October 31st, in case you didn’t know, and – being a ghoulish celebration of all things dead and undead – is enthusiastically observed by trick-or-treating teens everywhere (for which I blame the US in general and ET in particular). It’s ideal source material for motivating students of all ages. So what can digital publishers offer us?

Macmillan’s brilliant onestopenglish  is offering a range of Gothic goings-on at These range from a murderous short story by Edgar Allen Poe – complete with trademark twist in the tale – to monster lesson plans and a suitably spooky Webquest. The webquest is free to any registered user, not just the paying “Staff Room” subscribers – a really nice Halloween gift.

Websites are not the only digital offerings that offer tricks and treats. Apps can do it too, of course. You may recall our all-time favourite vocab app, Word Carrot, which features a word-hungry Rabbit with Attitude.

One of the topical wallpapers you can upload for your iPhone or iPod Touch

Word Carrot is offering a spooky selection of wallpapers for your iPhone or iPod Touch plus a themed downloadable worksheets. Get them all by going to! The app itself – a finalist in the 2012 Digital Entrepreneur Awards – is free from the app store and is now available in British and US editions.

No traditional coursebook can offer material as fresh, fun and topical as this – material which will really give your students (of any age!) a motivational prod at this otherwise dull time of the year. So check these two out if you don’t want a class full of zombies.

Gothic Goings-On in Digital ELT

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